On November 7, 2009, the people’s historian, HowardZinn, was the keynote speaker at the Campaign to End the Death Penalty’s annual convention in Chicago. The event was held at the University of Chicago’s Mandel Hall, which was filled to capacity with 900 people.

Zinn spoke with author and activist Dave Zirin about past and present movements for social change, the criminal justice system, war, socialism, and why young people should become activists.

Speakers and performers included:

  • Darby Tillis, exonerated death row prisoner, with Chris Lynch on guitar;
  • Marlene Martin, national director of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty;
  • Marvin Reeves, recently exonerated Illinois prisoner and police torture victim;
  • Martina Correia, sister of Georgia death row prisoner Troy Davis, who was murdered by the state in 2011;
  • Sandra Reed, mother of Texas death row prisoner Rodney Reed; and
  • Lawrence Hayes, former New York death row prisoner.

The event was sponsored by the Campaign to End the Death Penalty and co-sponsored by Copwatch Chicago, Eighth Day Center for Justice, Haymarket Books, Illinois Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, Illinois Coalition for the Fair Sentencing of Children, International Socialist Organization, National Alliance Against Political Repression and Racism, University of Chicago Organization of Black Students, Students Organized and United with Labor, and Tamms Year 10. Supported in part by the University of Chicago Student Government.

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