Amnesty International Group 22 Pasadena/Caltech News
Volume XXIII Number 6, June 2015

  Thursday, June 25, 8:00 PM. [NOTE NEW 
TIME!] Monthly Meeting. We meet at the 
Caltech Y, Tyson House, 505 S. Wilson Ave., 
Pasadena. (This is just south of the corner with 
San Pasqual. Signs will be posted.) We will be 
planning our activities for the summer. Please 
join us! Tasty snacks will be served.
  Tuesday, July 14, 7:30 PM. Letter writing 
meeting at Caltech Athenaeum, corner of Hill 
and California in Pasadena. In the summer we 
meet outdoors at the "Rath al Fresco," on the 
lawn behind the building. This informal 
gathering is a great way for newcomers to get 
acquainted with Amnesty.
  Sunday, July 19, 6:30 PM.  Rights Readers 
Human Rights Book Discussion group. This 
month we read "The People's Republic of 
Amnesia: Tiananmen Revisited" by Louisa 


Hi everyone,

Well it's finally summer and the end of school!  
I've been going through all our stuff, making 
piles to take to the recycling center and 
Goodwill plus trying to fit in some time for 
relaxation and just plain flaking off!

Words fail me and others in response to the 
shooting in Charleston, S. Carolina this week.  
Cries for gun control are heard anew, but I read 
that the perpetrator obtained his gun legally and 
passed a background check.  
What is the answer?  I liked what David Brooks 
said on the PBS newshour Friday evening: we 
have to reach out to these angry young (white - 
they seem to be mostly white) men in order to 
prevent this kind of thing happening again.

Con Carino,

Human Rights Book Discussion Group

Keep up with Rights Readers at

Next Rights Readers meeting:
Sunday, July 19, 6:30 PM
Vroman's Bookstore
695 E. Colorado, Pasadena

[From the Economist online 3-31-14]

The People's Republic of Amnesia: Tiananmen 
By Louisa Lim

ON THE night of June 3rd-4th 1989 the Chinese 
army unleashed its tanks in the centre of Beijing 
to crush a protest that had begun seven weeks 
earlier against the Communist Party's autocratic 
rule. Ever since, Chinese officials grow nervous 
in the run-up to the anniversary of the 
crackdown. This year they are especially jittery, 
fearful that the symbolic passage of a quarter of 
a century might encourage some dissidents to be 
more daring than usual in their public 
remembrance of the hundreds, perhaps 
thousands, who were killed. Security forces 
around the country are on heightened alert, 
particularly in Tiananmen Square, the plaza that 
has become synonymous with the unrest.

Ageing rebels, bitter victims

Louisa Lim, a correspondent for America's 
National Public Radio, writes in her new book, 
"The People's Republic of Amnesia", that 
China's modern history "pivots on that night" of 
bloodshed in 1989. Yet a new generation of 
young Chinese has since grown up that knows 
little of what happened, and appears not to care. 
Ms Lim showed students at leading Beijing 
universities the iconic photograph of the man 
standing in front of a column of tanks close to 
the square (above). The party's memory-
eradication campaign has been so effective that 
only 15 out of 100 of them correctly identified 
the picture. As Ms Lim notes, many young 
Chinese see today's prosperity as justification 
for the crackdown.

This year's anniversary will not be mentioned 
by party-controlled Chinese-language media. 
Two years ago censors even tried to block online 
references to the Shanghai stock exchange when 
it fell 64.89 points in a day, a number that 
sounds like June 4th 1989. Few will notice this 
year's information blackout, other than the 
rebels of the era, some elderly intellectuals and 
the relatives of those who died. No one expects 
more than a handful of small-scale isolated 
efforts to mark the occasion inside China; the 
only exception may be Hong Kong, where 
controls are much lighter.

But the memories that remain are potent, as Ms 
Lim shows, which is why the party still expends 
so much effort in trying to suppress them. The 
author offers a series of meticulously (and often 
daringly) reported portraits of participants, 
beginning with one of the least-told stories of 
all: what the soldiers who took part in the 
killings felt about their mission. Chen Guang, 
now an artist in Beijing, was then a 17-year-old 
soldier with the martial-law troops. He describes 
how, in order to avoid being detected by the 
demonstrators, he and his fellow soldiers 
dressed as civilians and made their way by 
subway, bus or on foot to the Great Hall of the 
People overlooking the square. Others stormed 
their way into the city, shooting 

Inside the cavernous building "nerves were so 
taut that there were numerous accidental 
discharges, bullets flying through the ceiling of 
the hall", Ms Lim writes. Mr Chen's hands 
trembled so much as he gripped his gun 
preparing to move into the square that he was 
given a camera instead to record the event. He 
later recalls seeing hundreds of injured soldiers 
on the floor of the Great Hall of the People, 
many of them bleeding profusely after being 
beaten up by angry crowds.

The party, ever paranoid about the army's 
loyalty, does not want people like Mr Chen to 
dwell on such horrors. Another, unnamed, ex-
soldier tells Ms Lim that every soldier in his 
company had to hand in his ammunition after 
the square was cleared. He believed this was 
because the army feared the soldiers might 
rebel. One of Ms Lim's most revealing portraits 
is of Bao Tong, an outspoken former senior 
official in Beijing who was imprisoned for seven 
years after the crackdown and still lives under 
constant surveillance. She says that from Mr 
Bao's perspective the suppression of the protests 
was the "defining act" of modern-day China, 
accounting for its major ills today: rampant 
corruption, lack of trust in the government, a 
widespread morality crisis and the ascendancy 
of the security apparatus. The Chinese may not 
be so quick to blame the 1989 bloodshed, but 
most would recognise these symptoms.

Ms Lim's book is a meticulously reported 
account of the events of that night and what has 
followed. It is particularly good at showing the 
extent of the pro-democracy movement-and 
the reaction to it. Protests erupted in more than 
80 Chinese cities. Ms Lim writes at length about 
previously unreported unrest in Chengdu. She 
has painstakingly assembled detailed evidence 
of the beating of dozens of protesters in a hotel 
courtyard by Chinese police, many of them 
apparently to death. In Chengdu, as elsewhere 
outside the capital, the authorities found they 
were not constrained by foreign television 
footage when they drafted their official versions 
of what happened. Ms Lim says Chengdu 
provides "nearly the perfect case study in first 
re-writing history, then excising it altogether". It 
is a sad reflection on the outside world's ability 
to monitor a country of China's size and 
secretiveness that it has taken 25 years for the 
record of this one provincial city to be set at least 
somewhat straighter.

Louisa Lim is an award-winning journalist who 
has reported from China for a decade, most 
recently for National Public Radio. Previously 
she was the BBC's Beijing Correspondent. She 
lives with her husband and two children in Ann 
Arbor, Michigan.

Group 22 Remembers Tiananmen

On May 30, 8 members of Group 22 attended 
Visual Artists Guild's annual commemoration 
dinner. Stevi and Kathy accepted a posthumous 
"Spirit of Tiananmen" award to Lucas Kamp, 
former leader of Group 22.  On June 4, three of 
us participated in the vigil at the Chinese 
Consulate. Photos are posted on the Group 22 
Facebook page.

NAACP Guest at Meeting
By Stevi Carroll

Mr. Gary Moody, president of the Pasadena 
branch of the NAACP, joined us at our monthly 
meeting on May 28.  Along with recruiting 
younger members into the NAACP, the local 
organization also works with the inter-
denomination faith community. One area Mr. 
Moody and his group addresses is violence.  

The NAACP is involved in mediation.  Mr. 
Moody told us a beautiful story about some 
young men who were having a disagreement 
and sought out counsel at the group's office.  He 
said that after hours of talking, the situation was 
resolved without rancor.

We also discussed the Kendrec McDade case. 
Mr. Moody said that he and others have worked 
with the police department to find less lethal 
ways to handle encounters between the police 
and young African-Americans.

At this time when the media are filled with 
news of violence not only within our culture as a 
whole but also in the African-American 
community as we've seen most recently at the 
the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC, 
building bridges within our own community 
seems essential.

Many thanks to Gary Moody for sharing his 
insights and wit with us.

By Stevi Carroll

The Supremes and the Death Penalty

Perhaps by the time you are reading this the US 
Supreme Court will have ruled on Glossip vs. 
Gross, the case concerned with lethal injection as 
a method of execution. Four inmates on 
Oklahoma's death row filed a case that the 
Supreme Court agreed to hear. The case calls 
into question the use of midazolam instead of 
sodium thiopental as anesthetic administered 
first in the three-drug protocol.

Executions such as Clayton Lockett's have made 
people consider the efficacy of midazolam and 
thus the three-drug cocktail.  After the drugs, 
one of which is supposed to paralyze the person 
being executed, were administered, Mr. Lockett 
tried to sit up and speak.

As we know, should the Supremes rule five to 
four in favor of the drugs, state government 
officials can reintroduce other methods of killing 
the condemned. Oklahoma has given the go 
ahead to the use of nitrogen gas and Utah the 
firing squad (again). As we can see from the 
executions below, states embrace the one-drug 
protocol with pentobarbital.

Although the one-drug protocol is used and 
since this case is about one of the drugs in the 
three-drug protocol, Justice Samuel Alito 
believes death penalty abolitionists are at fault 
for the lack of drugs with which people can be 
dispatched by the State.  Of course, it was 
advocates of the anti-death penalty movement 
who moved pharmaceutical companies to stop 
selling these drugs to states that use them to kill 

Four of the Justices had to agree to have this 
case heard. Sadly Charles Warner, one of the 
inmates involved, needed five Justices to stay 
his execution until after they ruled. Instead, Mr. 
Warner was executed January 16, 2015.  After 
midazolam was administered, he said, "My 
body is on fire."

We await the Justices decision, and its 

8	Alfred Brown (#154)		TX  
Charges Dismissed Years after conviction: 10

154. Alfred Brown: Texas conviction: 2005, 
Charges Dismissed: 2015
Harris County, Texas prosecutors announced on 
June 8, 2015 that they have dismissed charges 
against Alfred Dewayne Brown, who had been 
sentenced to death in 2005 for the murders of a 
Houston police officer and a store clerk during a 
robbery. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals 
had overturned Brown's conviction last year 
because prosecutors withheld a phone record 
that supported Brown's alibi. Prosecutors in 
2013 said that the phone record had been 
inadvertently misplaced. Brown had long 
maintained that he had been alone at his 
girlfriend's apartment at the time of the murder, 
and that he had called her after seeing reports of 
the shooting on television. Defense lawyers 
argued that the time of the phone call 
established that Brown could not have been at 
the store when the murder occurred. There was 
no physical evidence against Brown, and a series 
of Pulitzer prize-winning columns by Houston 
Chronicle writer Lisa Falkenberg disclosed 
irregularities in the grand jury process, that 
Brown's girlfriend had faced intimidating 
questioning and threats of perjury by a police 
officer who was the grand jury foreman, and 
that she had been jailed for seven weeks until 
she changed her testimony to implicate Brown. 
Since 2007, Brown's attorneys have compiled 
strong evidence that the murder was committed 
by another man with a history of robbery and 
connections to the co-defendants in the crime. 
Despite a 2008 motion to test the alternate 
suspect's DNA, such a test has not been carried 
From: Death Penalty Information Center - 
Innocence Cases

Stays of Execution
5		Hubert Michael		PA
18		Robin Myers		AL
23		Charles Wright		TN

3	Lester Bower		TX 
Lethal Injection 1-drug (pentobarbital)

9	Richard Strong		MO 
	Lethal Injection 1-drug (pentobarbital)

18	Gregory Russeau		TX 
	Lethal Injection 1-drug (pentobarbital)

[Special thanks to Paul and Paula, who braved 
a rainy evening at Caltech to write these.]
UAs                                       10
Total                                     10
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Amnesty International Group 22
The Caltech Y
Mail Code C1-128
Pasadena, CA 91125

Amnesty International's mission is to undertake research and action focused on 
preventing and ending grave abuses of the rights to physical and mental integrity, 
freedom of conscience and expression, and freedom from discrimination, within the 
context of its work to promote all human rights.