Saturday, June 5, 2010

Rep. Eddie Washington - Presente!

Illinois Rep. Eddie Washington died last night of a heart attack.

This is a terrible loss to the people of Illinois. Rep. Washington was the Chairperson of the Illinois House Prison Reform Committee, and was a leader in the struggle to bring some rationality and justice to the broken Illinois Department of Corrections. He was the first African American ever elected to the Legislature from Waukegan Illinois.

Eddie impressed me personally very deeply in our work to correct the injustices of the current prison-industrial complex. He often expressed a profound and deep appreciation of the role that white supremacy plays in maintaining and extending the prison system, in which the overwhelming majority of prisoners are African-American and Latino. He recognized that when a person is imprisoned his or her entire family suffers. He was a fighter against crime and violence in the community based on principles of ending injustice in the criminal justice system and the struggle for genuine equality.

Eddie Washington will be deeply missed. We need to recommit ourselves to the principles he lived for.

Eddie Washington, Presentè!

Ted Pearson, Co-chairperson
Chicago Branch, National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression

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