Thursday, May 1, 2008

Day 22 Walk 4 Life Wake County Vigil

Day 22 made up for day 21 ten fold. The networking I thought was happening all came together. Instead of walking out of Wake county, I walked locally till the later evening when I was to attend a vigil in front of the death house (Central Prison) in Raleigh, NC. I had learned this vigil had been going on every Monday in front of the prison for the past three years. Incredible, that's all I kept saying because it was. This type of dedication to the struggle is exactly what's needed to defeat the killing machine that preys on America's poor.
It wasn't a massive crowd but you wouldn't have known with the amount of energy and passion. Moments after I arrived at the vigil I was joined by attorney Akin "Ice" Adepoju. Akin was one of many lawyers who helped exonerate the 7th wrongfully convicted death row prisoner in North Carolina only day before my arrival. Akin came to the vigil with only moments notice.
As soon as I stepped up to the vigil horns were blowing from people driving by showing their support, showing their approval. I give Akin much credit for coming out and storming the weather. It down poured on us for a good 15 minutes, but he stood with us even picking up a sign himself. He also marched onto the governor's mansion with us after the vigil.
This vigil was powerful for me seeing not long ago I felt like a lone activist. Now here I was with a group of people ranging from ages 8 to 70 all in sharing the same belief's, life should respected, preserved and cherished no matter what. I was honored to be a part of this vigil/march.
After screaming our feelings at the prison holding up our signs we set out to the governor's mansion. We first passed the Wake County jail. We then stopped at a local news paper where we were joined by a journalist for the rest of our walk in solidarity, this was incredible to me.
Before we reached the governors mansion, we stopped at capitol building where they showed me the window to the "Office of Death" as they called it. The governor's office where some 20 death warrants have been signed over the years. We then moved on continuing our talks, war stories you may say. I was shocked at the many stories being to me about how these average law abiding, concerned citizens have been repeatedly imprisoned for protesting what they felt were injustices. I was impressed to say the least at their willingness to put their lives on the line in the battle for true justice. I was without question in the company of true soldiers fighting on the front lines of the struggle.
We reached the governor's mansion and I was shocked to first see how big this mansion was. I was more shocked when I learned every brick was made and laid by prisoners. Even the side walk that surrounded the property was all laid brick. One brother told me the land was once a public park for the people, but was then bulldozed to build this mansion that houses a hired murderer.
Moments after we arrived security spoke to us through a talk box, warning us to leave or they would have us arrested. I thought I was a bit on the radical side, but seriously before I could say a word the citizens of North Carolina I had joined let the talk box have it. "This is our property" one brother said, "we have the right to be here", "our tax dollars paid for this place, and pays for your job". This is only a few lines of what was said. We did move on though, slowly but we moved at securities request. We just made our way to the front of the house where we held our signs of protest high as the journalist snapped many photos.
We then walked away only to be met by capitol police. Two cars, two officers. They were pretty cool with us. They just answered a call and told us we needed to keep moving so not to create any problems. What was interesting was the one officer made statement that lead us to believe he did not agree with the death penalty. He said there wouldn't be an execution in North Carolina any time soon, and hopefully there wouldn't ever be another. It was good to know that not all law enforcement officer believe in killing citizens regardless of the circumstances.
After the officers left we were then approached by a gentlemen I believe was a janitor for one of the state buildings we were passing by. He had a lot to say about capital punishment which he agreed with. Right there in street we debated with this brother touching on an array of issues concerning the issue. He had some good arguments, but what stood out was his anger, which rang out with a call for vengeance. I caught this on film. This is the type of footage I have wanted because I want people to view those that are pro-death penalty. Here is a citizen calling for the death of a fellow human being only looking at the crime committed, blind to any reason leading up to the crime. This is one of my arguments. Why doesn't anyone want to know what would lead someone to killing. Are we as a people afraid to learn that the way we treat people is the root of this evil? Are the leaders of this country afraid to find out that they in some way are responsible for pushing people over the edge? I will say this much, I was one of those many that fell through the cracks, let down by my peers in may ways. "The anatomy of a school shooting". (ILL Bill, of NoN-Phixion)
Every death penalty state I have walked through had large sections of impoverished neighborhoods. Now walking through the downtown areas was one thing, most are picture perfect, spotless with beautiful flowers and greenery. But only blocks away there are abandoned buildings, homeless citizens and filth. I could feel my anger boiling just passing through such conditions. Why in such a wealthy country do we have so much poverty. Poverty I believe is one of our biggest problems. One of the biggest reasons there is so much killing.
Anyway after debating with this brother for nearly a half hour we learned that we did agree on one thing. We agreed that our president was the biggest terrorist in the world. We agreed the war was wrong. After all was said and done, we agreed to disagree on the death penalty issue but; with open minds. And we stood to agree on the war issues. What was powerful for me though was that the brother then agreed to photographed by the journalist standing with all of us holding up our End the Death Penalty signs. Yes, a ray of hope.
I will never forget this day, or any of the great people I got to walk with. Rest assured I will be attending this weekly vigil again in the very near future. To those storming the weather week after week, I salute you. May God bless you all. Peace, Love and Progress. "X"
On this day, I walked and talked for Anthony Wiseman Texas captive.


monicauk said...

Good luck to you. I have great respect for your efforts.

~:*:*:Pixie:*:*:~ said...

We are right there with you. FEEL IT.