Thursday, July 20, 2006


They're Gettin' 'er Done

It's finally coming together. Yesterday evening (later than an old fogey like me wanted to be awake) a group of students who form the TCASK Student Caucus working group were in the TCASK office. The students were preparing for Tennessee's first annual Student Conference Against the Death Penalty, which will be held on September 9th at MTSU.

The students did a session of peer review on the workshops that they themselves had developed for the conference (focused on campus organizing, planning events, the moratorium campaign, high school challenges, and campus events) and made final decisions on the conference structure. It is going to be a terrific event.

Luke Lea, one of the high school students involved in planning the conference, had this to say about student involvement:

An effort such as death penalty abolition, particularly in an entity with the general political views of Tennessee, requires an amount of conspicuous and deliberate opposition from each prominent faction. If any advancements are to be made, the expression of our opposition to the death penalty is imperative. Equally as essential to such a movement is the variety of sources from which these concerns are expressed. One such faction with untested and therefore untapped potential is the youth of Tennessee. The manifestation of this potential would provide our state with a radical core of abolitionists for years to come. The younger the individuals we succeed in mobilizing, the more successful mobilization we can accomplish, leading inevitably to favorable legislative results.

Sadly, a large part of the population assumes that the actions of the justice system are always just. Exposition of the facts will undoubtedly lead to new support for TCASK. Adding youth involvement to our cause can only strengthen this message. Displaying youthful enthusiasm for this cause conveys the fact that even students, a group infamous for their apathy, can unite in common opposition to the death penalty.

* * *
It's words and energy like this that should keep us all going and knowing that we're succeeding.

Comments :
TCASK's Student Caucus is a really good idea! Hopefully you can start some student groups in Tennessee colleges and high schools.
That's the goal. And through the caucus, students at schools across the state will be able to network with one another and learn from eachother. Even students who, for one reason or another, cannot form an organization on their campus can be involved.

If anyone is interested in being involved, or has student contacts that we should follow up with please contact me at
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