Statement from Joe Veale, for the Revolutionary Communist Speaking Tour on the Execution of Stanley "Tookie" Williams
Stanley “Tookie” Williams, co-founder of the Crip street gang in Los Angeles, was executed in San Quentin Prison on December 13 just after midnight.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger coldly and callously refused to grant him clemency, saying that “the facts do not justify overturning the court decision.” Even though Tookie Williams had changed and became a very outspoken advocate against gang violence and for peace. They showed him no mercy. But it is deeper than this. In a highly political statement, Schwarzenegger also said that Tookie Williams' 1998 book Life In Prison was “dedicated to people like Assata Shakur, Mumia Abu Jamal” and particularly “Black militant George Jackson” which, according to Schwarzenegger, “is a significant indicator that Williams is not reformed and that he still sees violence and lawlessness as legitimate means to address societal problems.”
George Jackson and the other prominent Black figures mentioned in Schwarzenegger’s statement are heroes to a lot of Black people and people of all races and nationalities because of their revolutionary stance. This is proof that this is a politically motivated execution.
It does not matter to Schwarzenegger and the powers-that-be that Stanley Williams has changed. That he has consistently spoken out against gang violence. Or that the evidence which led to his conviction of four murders in 1981 was circumstantial and that the testimony against him came from people facing felony charges of fraud, rape, murder, and mutilation. Or that he had consistently and repeatedly said that he is innocent.
Since his final appeal was denied, the powers-that-be have put Stanley Williams’ execution on a fast track. They moved it up ahead of people who had their final appeals rejected before him.
This represents a leap in the vicious, racist, and genocidal program they have for the masses of people in the inner cities. Many of the youth of the inner city have no jobs and no prospects of ever being employed. The system has no productive use for them. The working of this capitalist systems puts people in desperate situations where crime becomes the only option for many, many of them to live. Then, Black and other oppressed youth are attacked and maligned and “demonized.” William Bennett, a former adviser to Ronald Reagan, has said: “If you want to get rid of crime you could abort all Black babies and the crime rate would go down.” That’s genocide.
The execution of Tookie Williams comes on the heels of Hurricane Katrina, where tens of thousands of Black people were left to die. The Bush regime is making it LOUD AND CLEAR that GENOCIDE is their agenda. Look at what they did. People in New Orleans did not have to die. But the powers that be left thousands of people to suffer and die needlessly, while at the same time “demonizing them” and sending in the National Guard to suppress them. Didn’t Bush himself issue an order to “shoot to kill”anyone who was caught “looting,” no questions asked? The system's well-oiled propaganda machine spewed out lies about Black people raping babies and robbing and murdering each other. The very clear message was: the masses of Black people in New Orleans were “demons” and deserved to die.
Hundreds and even thousands of people who tried to get into New Orleans to rescue, feed and give medical aid to people were stopped by the army and police and prevented them from helping people. A congressman from Louisiana said they had been trying to get rid of the projects in New Orleans for years and god decided to do them a favor by getting rid of them.
Again the message was that Black people are “bad seeds” who do not deserve to live.
Pat Robertson, one of Bush’s Christian Fascist advisors, has called for a “biblical model” for crime and punishment which suggests genocide against the masses of people in the inner cities as well as preparation to use extreme repression and even execution against people who do things which are minor crimes – or in many cases no crime at all.
What kind of system is this that does these things? It is one that cries out for proletarian revolution.
Although Stanley “Tookie” Williams was not a revolutionary, he dedicated his book Blue Rage, Black Redemption in this way: “To poor people, prisoners, slaves and the disenfranchised everywhere – through faith and theories put into practice you bend the most oppressive circumstances to your will, to make the impossible possible.”
REVOLUTION IS THE SOLUTION
When we make revolution and overthrow this system based on profit and exploitation we can change all this. We can build a new socialist society and give everybody jobs. Feed everybody. Give people good medical care. We will be able to cure people hooked on drugs instead of locking them up. Everybody will be fed on the strength of being a human being. Everybody will be given good medical care. More than that they together with the masses of people will be brought into the process of running society. Deciding the direction that society should go so that it serves the people. Deciding how many schools and hospitals to build. How much food to produce. How much to put aside for natural disasters and how much to send to people around the world fighting for revolutionary change. Not only will people’s material needs be met, but their intellectual and “spiritual” needs will be met as well.
The powers-that-be do all they can to prevent people from rising to this potential. One of the ways they do this is by trying to force us to accept the hand that the system deals us from its stacked deck. Trying to be “somebody” and get “respect” on the terms that the system sets is no solution either.
In the world today no one has to go without. No one has to be hungry or living in poverty. No one has to seek “respect” or attempt to “come up” by banging or riding on others.
People have developed enough wealth, knowledge, science, and technology to give everyone on the planet a decent life. To feed and provide housing fit for human beings to everybody. To enrich everyone’s life with sports, culture, and art.
The only reason this does not happen is because all this wealth, knowledge, science, and technology that has been created by humans over thousands of years is controlled by a tiny handful at the top of this imperialist system. And they use it to re-produce and enforce this dog eat dog way of life over and over again.
It’s gonna take communist-led revolution to lead those on the bottom of society, the employed and the “unemployables.” The “disposables.” Those with nothing to lose, together with their potential friends from the middle class — to rise up and take the power of running society out of the hands of those who run this system — take all this wealth that people have created, build a new system, and put all society’s resources in the service of emancipating humanity.
To all those this system has cast off. To all those this rotten system tries in every way to drag down. To all those this system treats as less than human. Rise up and be “somebody” for real. Rise up and join the communist emancipators of humanity. Rise up and join the grave diggers of this foul and cruel system.