The Huntsville 8 vs. the Texas Death Machine

Who Are the Real Criminals?

Revolutionary Worker #1085, January 7, 2001, posted at

We received this correspondence from the Huntsville 8:

"We refuse to compromise, we refuse to surrender our dignity for what we know is right. But we will move on, we have been strong in the past. We will continue to be strong as a people. You can kill a revolutionary, but you cannot stop the revolution. The revolution will go on. The people will carry the revolution on."

Shaka Sankofa, from the statement he made as he was executed on June 22, 2000

While serial killer and president-elect George W. Bush continues to sign death warrant after death warrant for Texas death row inmates, the state is also continuing its attempts to silence those who protest against these murders. When nine people were arrested for protesting the murder of Shaka Sankofa on June 22, 2000, they expressed the outrage of hundreds of thousands of people who are fed up with this (in)justice system and who spoke out against the railroad, death sentence, and execution of Shaka Sankofa. With this murder, the real criminals were exposed to millions around the world, but the state is now pursuing charges against these protesters!

Let's be clear: On June 22, the only crime committed was the murder of our courageous brother, Shaka Sankofa, by the state of Texas! The Huntsville 8 call upon you to join in demanding that all of our charges be dropped.

Television coverage reported that eight protesters "stormed the barricades" on June 22 and showed us being dragged away shouting "Stop the Legal Lynching of Shaka!" Seven of us now face up to 180 days in jail and $2,000 fines on charges of criminal trespass. An eighth person, whose husband was murdered by Governor Death, was charged with aggravated assault and faces five years in jail. Her court appearance has not yet been scheduled. An early victory for the protesters was won when charges had to be dropped against the ninth arrested person. Now, the Walker County DA has said "we intend to prosecute the case." And the people have answered by showing their support for the Huntsville 8 in many different ways.

From the bowels of the Texas prison system all the way to France, people have written letters of solidarity and encouragement to the defendants. Generous donations to our legal fund continue to come in as our case progresses. A prisoner in a Texas state prison wrote: "I can't contribute any cash, but I wanted you to know that your taking a stand is deeply appreciated." From another prisoner in Texas: "I witnessed on television the courageous actions of those who ran the barricade and I want you to know that even though we can't be with you in person, those of us anarchists residing at the gulag xxx will be with you in the spirit of solidarity. It takes a lot of guts to stand against the massive array of repressive police-state power that was so glaringly evident on that awful day. I wish you all the best of luck with your defense and I know in my heart that you will prevail. Stand proud as the true revolutionaries you have shown yourselves to be."

And from the letter of a supporter in Europe: "I'm convinced that your work is very important, if we can give you any sort of backup from Europe, please don't hesitate to call on us and we'll try to be there for you. We can't let them get away with it again. I just don't know how many innocent lives it's going to take before we can raise the awareness of American people--this country must wake up in a big way. No political regime should call itself a democracy while they behave like dictators with no respect whatsoever for the national laws and international treaties..."

On October 27, our most recent day in court, we brought posters and flyers explaining our case and exposing the real criminals. Many of the people waiting for their own court appearance responded with interest and supportive comments after they read our flyers. Anti-death penalty feelings are alive and well in Huntsville. Inside, we were joined by supporters from Houston, Huntsville, and Austin, who packed the courtroom in a great show of solidarity and made it clear that the people are on our side.

An article appeared on the front page of the Huntsville Item, the local newspaper, on the same day of our court appearance. Their quote from the DA, commenting about our case, made him sound like a fool: "Their right to protest was not infringed upon. They had an area to protest in and in fact, there were dozens of people who were there protesting who were not arrested. We had those barricades there to keep control." What he didn't say was that it took hundreds of law enforcement officials to carry out the state-sanctioned murder of Shaka Sankofa in the face of tremendous unified resistance from people of all ages, backgrounds, and political beliefs.

The next court date for seven of the Huntsville 8 is January 10. It is more important than ever to join in the call to stop the state's attempt to silence the voices of protest against the Death Machine. We call upon people to write the Judge and District Attorney of Huntsville, in Walker County, to demand that all charges be dropped immediately.

Supporters can also spread the word about our case in their communities worldwide. Updates, information about the defendants, and links to related information can be found on our website: Donations and letters can be sent to "Huntsville 8 Defense Committee," 5380 W. 34 St., #386, Houston, TX 77092. If you are interested, please join the defense team in showing unified support for the defendants and their actions during the state-sanctioned murder of Shaka Sankofa.

The charges against the Huntsville 8 are a politically motivated attempt to hide the crimes of the state by making an example of those who protest their bloody system. Your support of the Huntsville 8 can help to keep the revolutionary spirit of Shaka alive as we turn this unjust trial around and put them, the real criminals, on trial for the murder of brother Shaka Sankofa!

Below is a guideline to supporting the Huntsville 8 during this critical period:

PACK THE COURTROOM on Wednesday, January 10, 2001:

When & Where: Wednesday, January 10 at 1:30 p.m. in the Walker County Courthouse (located in the town square of downtown Huntsville). If you need transportation, please call 281.587.6805


Write the Judge and District Attorney to demand that all charges are dropped immediately!

Walker County District Attorney David P. Weeks, (936) 435-2441, 1036 11th Street, Huntsville, TX 77340

Judge Barbara Hale, (936) 436-4900, 1100 University Avenue, Suite 101, Huntsville, TX 77340

VOLUNTEER your help as a member of the Huntsville 8 Defense Committee

If you KNOW of A RADIO STATION, NEWSPAPER, or LOCATION where this case and the murder of Shaka Sankfofa can be discussed and exposed, please call: 281-587-6805

HAND OUT HUNTSVILLE 8 FLYERS in your community (at school, work, and church). For copies please call: 281-587-6805


Please make checks payable to Huntsville 8 Defense Committee. Mail checks to "Huntsville 8 Defense Committee," 5380 W. 34th St., #386, Houston, TX 77092

The site will be developing rapidly over the next month to include updates, upcoming action, defendant information and links to related information sources.

Huntsville 8 Defense Committee
5380 W. 34th Street # 386
Houston, TX 77092

Austin contact number for H-8 Defense Committee: (512) 647-7468.

This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolutionary Worker Online
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