Keeping It Real

Prisoners against the war

By: pardoned Illinois death row prisoner Stanley Howard

Thanks to all the essay writers

I'd like to thank all the prisoners who participated in the Prisoners Against the War (PAW) essay contest, explaining why they are against the war.

The opinions and outrage expressed in the essays are very moving. They reflect the worldwide damning of the atrocities and inhumanities occurring in Iraq and Afghanistan, and why we must bring the troops home now.

I formed PAW in 2005 at Statesville Prison in Joliet, Ill., in conjunction with five other prisoners and the Military Project in New York. It was formed to give prisoners around the country a vehicle to voice their opinions concerning one of the most major social issues of our time--the war. It was also formed to show we support the troops, and that we stand in solidarity with the anti-war movement. And this very spirited contest was yet another way of serving that purpose.

Echoing Bill Ryan (publisher of Statesville Speaks newsletter) and members of the Military Project, who selected the winners, "all of them are good and winners." Receiving $100 for first place prize is Christopher Askew; $50 for second place is John D. Velez; $25 for the third place is Ted Williams; $10 for fourth place is Corey Moore; and, thanks to the Military Project, we will be selecting 15 new fourth place winners.

It's our hope to compile the essays into a pamphlet and donate the proceeds to the antiwar movement.

With tens of thousands of lives, lost, maimed, displaced and in peril, it is most urgent that we stand up and voice the will of the people against the U.S. government to end this madness.

The winning essays were published in Statesville Speaks, and its our goal to have all of them online very soon. For more info on PAW and to read past letters written by PAW, visit

Congratulations to all the winners. And a special thanks to the Military Project, Statesville Speaks and the Campaign to End the Death Penalty for sponsoring the contest.

Keeping It Real: Regardless of the lies, "the U.S. is unable to pull out from Iraq because..." told by Gen. David Petraeus, Ambassador Ryan Crocker and others, we must continue using aggressive activism to pressure these warmongers for nothing less than a swift and complete withdrawal.

You can contact Stanley by writing to:

Stanley Howard #N71620
2600 N. Brinton Ave.
Dixon, IL 60612.