>Protests at Graham Execution
>by C. BRYSON HULL
>Associated Press Writer
>HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) -- Protesters burned American flags, chanted
>and waved signs Thursday outside the prison in Huntsville to speak
>out against the execution of Gary Graham, but a restless peace
>After a day of vocal protests and cries of ''No justice! No peace!''
>the tension briefly boiled over for some demonstrators, who rushed
>a police barricade shortly before the execution was scheduled to
>take place. The incident ended quickly, with six people arrested
>by officers in riot gear.
>Graham, convicted of killing 53-year-old Bobby Lambert during an
>armed robbery outside a Houston supermarket on May 13, 1981, focused
>national attention on capital punishment and the presidential
>candidacy of Republican Gov. George W. Bush.
>Of the hundreds of people who gathered outside the prison, by far
>the most vocal and visible were Graham's supporters, who are numerous
>because of his active media presence throughout his years on death
>row. Graham maintained his innocence and claimed he was convicted
>on shaky evidence from a lone eyewitness.
>When word came that the state parole board denied Graham a reprieve,
>supporter Ashanti Chimuranga called the crowd with a bullhorn:
>''Brothers and sisters, we need to come together for this.'' She
>announced the board's denial, producing shouts of ''Murderers!
>Murderers! Bush is a murderer!'' against a back beat of throbbing
>A woman who claimed to be Graham's daughter sobbed in the arms of
>While she cried, another protester with a microphone reminded the
>crowds of the Los Angeles riots that followed the acquittal of the
>police officers who beat motorist Rodney King.
>''This raises the specter of Los Angeles in 1992,'' Houston activist
>Travis Morales shouted. ''We must execute the slave master, not
>the slaves.'' Prison authorities took no chances, corralling Graham
>opponents and supporters on separate ends of the imposing brick
>prison. At one point, around 100 Graham supporters attempted to
>confront about 20 Ku Klux Klansmen demonstrating in favor of the
>execution, but the police presence made it impossible.
>The protesters also marched also out of the prison area and into
>the streets of downtown Huntsville, chanting ''Free Shaka Sankofa!''
>Graham adopted that name to reflect his African heritage.
>Date: Fri, 23 Jun 2000 00:36:49 -0500 (CDT)
>From: "Marpessa Kupendua" <email@example.com>
>Subject: !*LONG LIVE THE SPIRIT OF SHAKA SANKOFA
>Death Row Warrior
>Murdered by the State of Texas 8:49 p.m. CT
>Some final words as reported by witnesses
>to the execution:
>"Black Power! Keep Marching! Get the tapes
>of them pepper spraying and beating me and
>publicize them! They are murdering me!"
>(To Lambert's side of witness chamber) "I did
>not kill Bobby Lambert."
>(To the People) "You can kill a revolutionary,
>but not the revolution. Keep Marching! Black
>Shaka Sankofa died with one eye open.
>We must take up the challenge.
>We must carry on his work.
>Abolish the death penalty.
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