I grew up not far from Ferguson, MO.  In fact it was half an hour away.  This morning, 18 August 2014, I read that Missouri Governor Jay Nixon ordered the MO National Guard to Ferguson to attempt to quell peoples’ outrage in that city due to the shooting of an unarmed black youth, Michael Brown, by a white policeman 9 August.  He was shot six times, including twice in the head.

While going through some of my photos today, preparing for an upcoming exhibit, I came upon the photo below that I took in 1995 in Burlington, VT during protests at the National Governors’ Association Conference there.  The protests helped stop the execution of political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal.

And still news commentators wonder why people take to the streets.

The caption below the photo tells more.

plmartin-robTwo protesters are arrested attempting to blockade President Bill Clinton’s motorcade during the National Governors’ Association Conference in Burlington, VT in 1995.  They were protesting to draw attention to the impending execution of political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge, who signed the Death Warrant for Mumia Abu-Jamal, attended the National Governors’ Association Conference in Burlington, VT from July 29 to August 1.  Governor Ridge was targeted during four days of militant protests in support of Abu-Jamal during the conference.  There were 24 arrests.

In what many believe was a frame-up for his political beliefs, activist Abu-Jamal was convicted of killing a policeman in 1981.  The protesters said his “trial” was farcical, with an inadequate defense, suppression of evidence and a judge who put more people on death row–the majority them people of color–than any other judge in the U.S.  The execution order was overturned, but left Abu-Jamal on death row.  Mumia Abu-Jamal would have been the first political prisoner to be legally executed in this country since Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were electrocuted in 1953.  Following the protests in Burlington and other cities, the death warrant was rescinded.