Amnesty International Group 22 Pasadena/Caltech News
Volume XXVI Number 3, March 2018

  Thursday, March 22, 7:30-9:00 PM. 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 putting 
together our calendar of events, including 
guest speakers and Amnesty videos, for the 
coming year. Please join us! Refreshments 
  Tuesday, April 10, 7:30-9:00 PM. Letter 
writing meeting at Caltech Athenaeum, corner 
of Hill and California in Pasadena. This 
informal gathering is a great way for 
newcomers to get acquainted with Amnesty. 
  Sunday, April 15, 6:30 PM. Rights Readers 
Human Rights Book Discussion Group. This 
month we read "Divided We Stand: The 
Battle Over Women's Rights and Family 
Values That Polarized American Politics " by 
Marjorie J. Spruill. 

Hello all,
This is Joyce, substituting for Kathy. There are 
lots of things going on, starting with our own 
group's March 22 meeting. We plan on mapping 
out events - speakers, videos from Amnesty 
USA, topics for discussion - that we can have for 
each monthly meeting in the future 

March for Our Lives on Saturday, March 24.
General info on the Los Angeles march at

Email from AIUSA: There will be Amnesty 
delegations participating in marches in the 
following cities: Washington DC, New York 
City, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, Oakland and Los 
Angeles, Orange County, Colorado Springs, 
Fort Collins, Dallas / Fort Worth, Minneapolis, 
Columbus and Detroit. Please sign up to march 
with us at

Save the Date! April 28, Amnesty 
International's Southern California State 
Meeting in downtown Los Angeles. Register at

Next Rights Readers Meeting

Sunday, April 15
6:30 PM

Vroman's Bookstore
695 E. Colorado Blvd 

Divided We Stand 
Marjorie J. Spruill


'Four Days That Changed the World': Unintended 
Consequences of a Women's Rights Conference

Among feminists, Donald Trump's election has 
prompted unprecedented soul-searching about What 
Went Wrong. The revelation that a majority of white 
women helped put Trump over the top cut especially 
deep. The initial mystery - how could women vote 
for that man? - gave way to betrayal: How could 
they do this to other women? Then, after some 
Kbler-Ross stages of grief, and a few million pink 
pussy hats, came the questions: How to harness the 
euphoric rage of the record-breaking women's 
marches? How to make tangible progress, not merely 
prevent further losses?

To answer these riddles requires understanding how 
we got here, and Marjorie J. Spruill's "Divided We 
Stand" offers a detailed if sometimes dense primer. 
Spruill, a professor of women's, Southern and 
modern American history at the University of South 
Carolina, convincingly traces today's schisms to 
events surrounding the National Women's 
Conference, a four-day gathering in Houston in 
November 1977. At the time, Ms. magazine called the 
event - a federally funded initiative to identify a 
national women's rights agenda - "Four Days That 
Changed the World." So why is it that today, as 
Gloria Steinem recently observed, the conference 
"may take the prize as the most important event 
nobody knows about"?

In Spruill's telling, the Houston conference was 
world-changing, but not entirely for the reasons the 
organizers had hoped. The event drew an estimated 
20,000 activists, celebrities and other luminaries for a 
raucous political-convention-cum-consciousness-
raising session. The delegates enacted 26 policy 
resolutions calling not just for ratification of the 
Equal Rights Amendment (then just three states shy 
of the 38 needed) but a wide range of measures 
including accessible child care, elimination of 
discriminatory insurance and credit practices, reform 
of divorce and rape laws, federal funding for 
abortion and - most controversially - civil rights 
for lesbians. Those "planks" later were bundled as a 
National Plan of Action and presented to President 
Jimmy Carter, amid much fanfare, in a report entitled 
"The Spirit of Houston."

The conference had an unintended, equally 
revolutionary consequence, though: the unleashing 
of a women-led "family values" coalition that cast 
feminism not just as erroneous policy but as moral 
transgression. Led by Phyllis Schlafly, a small but 
savvy coalition of foot soldiers mobilized against the 
conference's aims. These activists found common 
cause in their deep religiosity and opposition to 
feminism's perceived diminishment of "real" 
womanhood. And although their leadership denied 
it, the group also had ties to white supremacists. 
"Divided We Stand" argues that the potency of these 
advocates and their successors reshaped not just the 
nation's gender politics, but the politics of the 
Democratic and Republican Parties as well.

The Houston conference originated with a 1975 
executive order issued by President Ford, charging a 
National Commission on the Observance of 
International Women's Year (thereafter known as the 
I.W.Y. Commission) that would, as Ford put it, 
"infuse the Declaration of Independence with new 
meaning and promise for women here and around 
the world." Later that year, Congress tasked the 
commission with holding conferences in all 50 states 
to elect the delegates.

The state conferences that convened in the summer of 
1977 proved to be anything but unified, and 
documenting that turmoil takes up much of Spruill's 
attention. Members of the Schlafly coalition - which 
called itself the I.W.Y. Citizens Review Committee, or 
C.R.C. - doggedly attended each meeting, 
disrupting the proceedings and attempting to win 
inclusion among the representatives who would 
travel to Houston.

In the end, few C.R.C. representatives were elected 
among the more than 2,000 racially diverse delegates 
who headed to the Houston Convention Center. So 
Schlafly and her followers took another tack: They 
organized a daylong Pro-Life, Pro-Family Rally 
across town at the Astro Arena.

The chapters detailing these competing events are the 
best in "Divided We Stand." The feminists' 
conference was steeped in symbolism, starting with 
the lighting of a "torch of freedom" in Seneca Falls, 
N.Y. - site of the 1848 women's conference marking 
the beginning of first-wave feminism - that over the 
next six weeks was carried to Houston by a relay of 
runners including icons like Billie Jean King. 
Speakers included three first ladies - Rosalynn 
Carter, Betty Ford and Lady Bird Johnson - as well 
as Coretta Scott King, the Texas representative 
Barbara Jordan, the anthropologist Margaret Mead, 
and fiery political newcomers like Ann Richards and 
Maxine Waters.

In contrast, the family values rally was as much a 
religious revival as a political event. A sign placed 
next to the podium said it all: "Women's Libbers, 
E.R.A. LESBIANS, REPENT. Read the BIBLE while 
YOUR [sic] ABLE." Many of the attendees - who 
were nearly all white - were men. Among them was 
the archconservative California representative Robert 
Dornan, who exhorted the audience to let their 
members of Congress know, as one attendee put it, 
that "the great silent majority is on the move to take 
the nation under God's guidance."

After Houston, that contingent was more successful 
in making political inroads than its feminist 
counterparts. The difference, as documented by 
Spruill, was in its single-minded pursuit of those 
power brokers Dornan had commended to it. Most 
notably, it won over the Republican Party leadership. 
At the time of the commission's formation, 
Republicans were moderate when it came to 
feminism; the 1976 party platform, for instance, 
included support for the E.R.A. But by the 1980 
presidential election, that had changed; the "family 
values" coalition co-opted the party platform, won 
conversions on abortion from Ronald Reagan and 
George H.W. Bush, and propelled them - along 
with numerous other state and federal candidates - 
to victory.

In contrast, the Plan of Action landed with a thud on 
President Carter's desk. A born-again Christian 
uneasy with alienating religious conservatives, 
Carter had inherited the conference initiative and 
never threw his full weight behind it - and indeed, 
had rebuffed organizers' entreaties to come to 
Houston. Despite efforts by some White House staff 
members, the plan never became a legislative 
blueprint. With a wary White House that became 
outright hostile after Reagan's election, a split 
Congress and feminists' attention diverted to the 
E.R.A. ratification effort - which failed when the 
time for approval expired in 1982 - any hope of 
implementing the plan stalled in the 1980s. The 
Houston conference may have succeeded in 
awakening countless women to feminism, but most 
of its policy goals remain on the movement's to-do 

These divergent narratives from 40 years ago offer 
many lessons to those hoping to maintain the 
momentum of the Jan.?21 women's marches. Two of 
the most salient: Forge unity out of diversity and 
hold elected officials accountable. Early signs show 
that today's feminists are fast learners. The "unity 
principles" issued by national march organizers 
incorporated race, immigration status, gender 
identity, sexual orientation, class and disability 
within multiple resolutions, instead of segregating 
them (as was the case with the Houston planks). A 
next step: Strengthen alliances between the majority-
white marchers and the women of color who 
mobilized against Trump (and before that, led the 
Black Lives Matter movement). A second day of mass 
action - a nationwide "women's strike" on March 8 
- was an opportunity to show an even more united 
front. Meanwhile, women were vocal participants in 
the overflow crowds at congressional town halls held 
during last month's recess, women-centric media are 
educating readers about grass- roots activism and 
thousands of women have begun preparing to run 
for office.

But perhaps the most auspicious sign came from the 
Republican representative Dave Brat of Virginia: He 
recently complained that "the women are in my grill 
no matter where I go."

Marjorie J. Spruill teaches courses in women's 
history, Southern history, and recent American 
history at the University of South Carolina. She 
is the editor or co-editor of several anthologies, 
including ONE WOMAN, ONE VOTE and THE 
She is on the editorial board of the Journal of 
American Studies, the journal of the British 
Association for American Studies (BAAS). She 
lives in South Carolina.

Security with Human Rights
By Robert Adams


An ad campaign from Amnesty International 
USA that was rejected by the Washington 
Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) 
will be displayed across the city today and 
tomorrow, calling on activists to join together 
with the global human rights group in holding 
world leaders to account.

The series of ads, which depict US President 
Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir 
Putin, and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, 
warn that "a storm is brewing."
"We want to send a message to Washington - 
there's a storm brewing and we're ready to 
stand strong for human rights. Our world 
leaders, including President Trump, need to 
know that when human rights are denied, 
Amnesty International and our supporters 
won't be silent. We will continue to fight 
injustice around the world and here at home," 
said Amnesty International USA executive 
director, Margaret Huang.

On Monday and Tuesday this week the ads will 
be displayed on a truck with LED video panels 
as it drives through Washington, DC, stopping 
at landmarks. It coincides with Amnesty 
International USA's lobby day. More than 300 of 
the group's activists will meet with their 
members of Congress on Capitol Hill on 
Monday to discuss crucial human rights issues, 
including refugee protection, gun violence and 
women's rights.

The ads were originally intended to run as a 
teaser to the launch of Amnesty International's 
annual report on the state of the world's human 
rights, which launched last week in the US for 
the first time in the organization's history. The 
report highlights the growing importance of 
activism in an era of "state-sponsored hate" in 
which leaders are openly pushing hateful 
rhetoric and policies that are undermining 
human rights.

However, the ad campaign was rejected by 
WMATA on the grounds that it violates its 
policy against issue-oriented advertising. 
Amnesty International USA rejects the notion 
that these ads are political, given they focus on 
human rights, which is a matter of international 

 "It's deeply unfortunate that advocacy ads are 
so notoriously hard to place in our nation's 
capital - exactly the market where they're 
needed the most.  We're very disappointed with 
WMATA's decision, but are determined to get 
our message out to defend human rights both 
here at home and around the world," said 
Margaret Huang.

 "The message of our ads is a simple one asking 
people to join us in upholding human rights, 
which is not and should not be a political or 
partisan issue. World leaders are accountable to 
their citizens and should respect their basic 
human rights. It should not be controversial to 
point out that this is their job."

By Stevi Carroll

OOOO Oklahoma

What is a state to do when the Corrections 
Department can no longer get the drugs it needs 
to put people to death? Oklahoma has a possible 
solution - Nitrogen Gas.

In an interview with Scott Simon on NPR, 
Fordham University law professor Deborah 
Denno said that the OK state adopted nitrogen 
gas with very little knowledge of this method of 
execution and without having any physicians as 
part of the decision making process. The 
decision was made by two criminologists and a 
political science professor. 

According to Professor Denno, the most humane 
method of execution is firing squad, but we also 
consider it the most barbaric.

Of course, our 'real' problem for our present 
procedure is that drug companies are no longer 
willing to have their drugs used to kill people 

March 16, 2018, the LA Times had an editorial 
that stated "The fallback: 'nitrogen hypoxia,' in 
which the condemned would be locked in a 
sealed chamber and the air would be replaced 
with nitrogen, sending the person to sleep and 
then death. At least that's the theory. No one has 
ever used the method, and there is no ethical 
way of studying whether it would work or not. 
In short, Oklahoma will be conducting human 
death experiments."

The editorial goes on to say, "Yet isn't there 
something ludicrous (and macabre) about trying 
to dress death up so prettily?" as we attempt to 
find a 'humane' way to execute human beings.  
Along with this ludicrousness is that disturbing 
reality that the condemned person may not be 

The editorial ends with "There are no persuasive 
arguments in favor of the death penalty, and a 
menu of solid arguments against it. But it is 
debates such as this - how best to kill someone 
- that point up the inherent absurdity and 
inhumanity of an act that, if committed by any 
of us individually, would be a crime. No 
government should have that power of life and 
death over its citizens."

And yet the OK state now wants to use nitrogen 
Donald Trump

One thing we know is that many Americans are 
dying from opioids. Lives are being destroyed. 
What is the solution? Mr. Trump knows what to 
do: the death penalty for drug dealers. He may 
have gotten this idea from Philippines President 
Rodrigo Duterte. Apparently, Mr. Trump will let 
us know what his plan for the opioid crisis is 
within the next three weeks. 

Stays of Execution

22	Doyle Lee Hamm		AL 
	Execution called off by Department of 
Corrections Commission Jeff Dunn close to 
midnight on February 22, 2018 after execution 
team reported it would be unable to set an IV 
line before the death warrant expired.

23	Raghunandan Yandamuri	PA
	Stay granted by the U.S. District Court 
for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on 
January 16, 2018 to provide Yandamuri the 
opportunity to pursue state and federal post-
conviction challenges that are available to all 
criminal defendants.

9	Charles Ray Hicks 	PA	 
Stay granted by the Monroe County Court of 
Common Pleas on February 12, 2018 to provide 
Hicks the opportunity to state post-conviction 
challenges that are available to all Pensylvania 
criminal defendants.

14	Douglas Coley		OH
	Rescheduled for September 18, 2019 by 
Gov. John Kasich on May 1, 2017*
14	Warren Henness	OH
	Rescheduled for February 13, 2019 by 
Gov. John Kasich on September 1, 2017.^
	On February 10, 2017, Ohio's Governor John R. 
Kasich issued a statement revising the schedule for 
eight upcoming executions. This revised schedule 
is in response to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 
Sixth Circuit's denial of a motion to stay 
enforcement, pending appeal, of a federal 
magistrate judge's order declaring Ohio's execution 
procedures unconstitutional.
^ On September 1, 2017, Ohio's Governor Kasich 
issued a statement and an updated execution 
schedule, which changed the execution dates for 19 
of 26 condemned prisoners who had scheduled 
dates between September 2017 and September 2020. 
The execution schedule for these 26 prisoners now 
extends through April 2022. 


15	Michael Eggers*		AL	 
	Lethal Injection 3-drug (midazolam)  
	Years from sentence to execution = 15
15	Carlton Michael Gary		GA	
	Lethal Injection 1-drug (Pentobarbital) 
	Years from sentence to execution = 31

-	volunteer - an inmate who waived ordinary 
appeals that remained at the time of his or her 

Narges Mohammadi
By Joyce Wolf

March 20, the first day of Spring, is Nowruz, the 
Persian New Year holiday. The Amnesty Iran 
team puts out an annual action to send Nowruz 
greeting cards of support to seven Prisoner of 
Conscience cases in Iran, one of which is Narges 


Six of us attended the Group 22 letter-writing 
meeting on March 13 and wrote Nowruz cards 
for Narges. Pictured above are Paul, Cheryl, 
Elena, Joyce, and Robert. (Photo by Stevi.)

Group 22 member Candy did not attend letter-
writing, but she emailed that she had written 
and mailed cards to all seven cases of the 
Nowruz action.  Thank you, Candy - you  
inspired me to sit down and write 6 more 
Nowruz cards! Our group's total for the action is 
19 cards, 7 of which are for Narges and 2 each to 
the other 6 cases.

I don't think it's too late to participate! A copy of 
the Nowruz action is on our website:

Next month, on April 21, it is likely that Narges 
will once again mark her birthday in prison. We 
hope to participate in an action for her on that 
date. In the past two years, Alexi coordinated 
international campaigns for Narges's birthday - 
remember the exciting rally at UCLA in 2016? 
And last year, all the beautiful daffodil-themed 
images from around the world? (The name 
Narges means daffodil.)   

You can follow #FreeNarges on Twitter to join 
in the worldwide efforts on her behalf.

UAs                              10
Nowruz cards for POC Narges       7
Nowruz cards for other cases     12
Total                            29

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.