Protesting Bush's Execution Machine

Campaign chapters around the country gathered with other opponents of the death penalty to oppose the execution of Timothy McVeigh and Juan Raul Garza -- and to call for a moratorium on the death penalty.

About 75 people protested McVeigh’s execution at the Boston Common’s Park Street Station on the Sunday before he was scheduled to die. The protest was organized by Amnesty International, the Campaign, and Murder Victims’ Families for Reconciliation. A smaller group protested Garza’s execution June 19 and took part in a vigil the next morning.

On June 7, despite heavy rain, about 50 anti-death penalty activists gathered in the heart of downtown Atlanta to speak out against the execution of McVeigh and racism on federal death row.

"Killing McVeigh would not help heal any of the wounds," said Steve Pruitt, a survivor of the Oklahoma City bombing who lost one of his eyes as a result. "In fact, it would do nothing but add more death and suffering in the continuous cycle of revenge."

Participating organizations included the Campaign, Georgians for an Alternative to the Death Penalty, Amnesty International, Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda, Southern Center for Human Rights and the International Socialist Organization.

The Campaign organized a picket outside the Department of Justice on the Sunday evening before McVeigh’s execution. The event was covered by four local television stations and several radio stations.

Campaign members also attended a prayer vigil of about 100 people outside the U.S. Supreme Court on the day of McVeigh’s execution. That night, members of the Baltimore Campaign participated in an overnight vigil against executions outside Maryland’s death row.

Campaign members were interviewed on local, national and international television and radio about their disgust.

To oppose Garza’s execution, the Campaign organized a picket of 20 people outside the Department of Justice.

At 5 a.m. on June 11, 50 anti-death penalty activists gathered outside the Federal Building to protest Timothy McVeigh’s execution. The protest was organized by the Death Penalty Action Team, a coalition of organizations, including the Campaign, American Friends Service Committee, Death Penalty Focus, the American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International and the Buddhist Fellowship. Despite the early hour, the crowd was in a fighting mood.

Activists protested McVeigh’s and Garza’s execution by gathering at the Federal Building. On the day of McVeigh’s execution, the protest included a ceremonial reading of the names of the victims of the Oklahoma City bombing and the names of Illinois death row inmates.