A week after the execution of Troy Davis, members of the Harlem community gathered at St. Mary’s Church to talk about why he was murdered.
The public forum was held by the International Socialist Organization (ISO), a group that fights for human rights and justice and that fought against the Davis execution long before the final decision was made by the justice system.
In an effort to not have Davis forgotten or have his death be in vain, the meeting not only discussed why Davis was murdered but also racism, capitalism and the criminal justice system-or, as they called it, “the criminal injustice system.”
Among those sitting in the pews were students, professors and community activists. Throughout the meeting, many stressed the importance of continuing to fight against injustice. Joseph “Jazz” Hayden, an advocate for prisoners’ rights, said, “We’re in the struggle, we don’t have a choice.”
A woman in the audience explained that even children are aware of what is going on in the justice system. She said her daughter was devastated when she learned of Davis’ execution. “You try to protect your kids ’cause you don’t want your kids to see such ugliness,” she said.
Why didn’t President Barack Obama intervene? This was one of the many questions that came up during the forum. Many agreed that he should have said something but did not because of the approaching election year.
A man in the audience stated, “Politicians built their careers on prosecuting, incarcerating and executing young Black men, especially in the South.”
Not only were those in St. Mary’s Church concerned with why Davis was killed, but they wanted to know who killed him as well. The United States Supreme Court denied Davis’ stay of execution, and activists and the community alike agreed that more information needs to be revealed about those who made the decision on Davis’ life.
For the ISO, community activists and everyday citizens, the cry for justice will not end with Davis’ execution. Future meetings to discuss injustice are set to take place.
A memorial for Davis was held on Saturday, Oct. 1 at Riverside Church in Harlem.