Interview with Gloria Rubac

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Terms:
 
 
 
Organizations 
  •  Prisoners Solidarity Committee 
  •  Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty 
  •  Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement 
 
Places 
  •  Huntsville, Texas 
  •  Sam Houston State University 
  •  Death Row 
  •  Texas Southern University 
  •  Oklahoma 
  •  Oklahoma State University 
  •  Houston, Texas 
  •  New York 
  •  Dominican Republic 
  •  Harris County, Texas 
  •  Galveston, Texas 
  •  Dallas, Texas 
  •  Monterrey, Mexico 
  •  Mexico City, Mexico 
  •  Shape Community Center 
  •  San Antonio, Texas 
 
People 
  •  Abu-Jamal, Mumia 
  •  Aldape Guerra, Ricardo 
  •  Amour, Jeanne (Sister) 
  •  Beathard, James 
  •  Brandley, Clarence 
  •  Bush, George W. (Texas Governor, then U.S. President) 
  •  Castro, Fidel Alejandro 
  •  Clark, Ramsey 
  •  Clements, Diane 
  •  "Connie" (Greg Wright's mother) 
  •  Earvin, Harvey "Tee" 
  •  Ferguson, Cheryl 
  •  Foster, Kenneth 
  •  Graham, Gary (see Sankofa, Shaka) 
  •  Graham, Theresa 
  •  Hinojosa, Juan (Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa) 
  •  Idar, Eduardo, Jr. (Ed Idar) 
  •  Johnson, Lyndon Baines (President) 
  •  Justice, William Wayne (Hon.) U.S. District Judge, Eastern District of Texas) 
  •  Keller, Sharon (Presiding Judge, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals) 
  •  King, Martin Luther, Rev., Dr. Jr. 
  •  McKinney, Cynthia 
  •  Newton, Frances Elaine 
  •  Nichols, Joseph 
  •  Nichols', Joseph's, mother (unnamed) 
  •  Pease, Icky 
  •  Perry, Rick (Texas Governor) 
  •  Quintero, Juan 
  •  Recer, Danalynn 
  •  Riley, Michael 
  •  Ruíz, David 
  •  Santana, Carlos 
  •  Trian, Robert 
  •  Tucker, Karla Faye 
  •  Whitmire, John (Texas State Senator) 
  •  Williams, Dana 
  •  Wright, Greg 
 
Topics  
 
Chapters 
  •  Introductions and consent 
  •  Visiting Death Row 
  •  Clarence Brandley 
  •  Shaka Sankofa (Gary Graham) 
  •  Ricardo Aldape Guerra 
  •  Kenneth Foster 
 
Table of Contents 
  •  Watch Video 1of "Interview with Ms. Gloria Rubac." 
 
Map 
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Transcript 
  •  BACON: Tell me about the Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement and that organization and your work with that. I was curious if you wouldn't mind talking a little bit more about your organization versus TDCP and how they’re different and what your different focuses are and if there is a difference.  
  •   RUBAC: Well that's a good question. I think that we are more of an activist organization than they are. They do a lot of work with churches, which isn't a bad thing and we work with churches also. They just seem to be—what would the word be—less confrontational, or less militant about the struggle to abolish the death penalty. They also are a predominantly white organization and our organization is predominantly people of color.  
  •  RUBAC: I don't know what they do. I know they have a huge budget. We are always laughing about that—"Gosh, if we just had a tenth or a hundredth of their budget." But they are part of the national coalition and so they get funded. They are more of a middle-class organization, whereas we are based in the working class, we are based among death row families, we are based in the black community and we are just more militant about fighting the death penalty. 
  •   BACON: I have seen some clips of you online at the protests and out there with the bullhorn and really kind of leading the charge. Could you talk about what that was like?  
  •   RUBAC: Well—  
  •   BACON: In being more militant and confrontational? The kind of responses you have had?  
  •   RUBAC: I guess our position is if somebody is being murdered, you shouldn't be quiet about it. And that's just how we function. We can’t always get numbers of people to Huntsville because of the executions are supposed to be at six o'clock. Most people don't get off of work till five o'clock. I just retired, but even before I retired I would go because I just taught school and I got off early enough that I could pick up those people who were either unemployed or who whatever, and I would get a carload and we would go up there. 
  •  RUBAC:  But I think it is important to be in Huntsville, just to let them know that people are watching, people don't like what they are doing [BEEP]. Oh Lord—that it's wrong—they are killing somebody and they don't have the moral authority to do that. Now for the 200th execution of Governor Perry, we didn't go to Huntsville, we stayed here and did something here in Houston at the Old Hanging Tree downtown. But normally, I try to go. And I have had family members of people I didn't even know actually tell me later, "Thank you for being there and for just saying my brother's name and acknowledging that they were killing a person.”  
  •  RUBAC: And then the other thing about being in Huntsville was if it was somebody you do know, you can go to the funeral home afterwards and touch them while they are still warm and tell them goodbye. I mean I don't do that often because most of my friends have been executed. And because I didn't get to visit for so long, I don't know that many people on death row anymore. But there was a case —a man who was executed last fall, Greg Wright. And he had always proclaimed his innocence and I didn't know enough about his case to say for sure whether he was innocent or guilty. 
  •  RUBAC:  But I knew his wife, and then the day he was executed, Cynthia McKinney—it must have been in October—she was running for president on the Green Party ticket. And she was coming into speak at Houston and she found out there was an execution and she had the Green Party people call me to ask if it was all right if she went to Huntsville to protest it. So I said, "Gosh, oh that would be great." And I called Greg's family and they said fine—the more people to protest the better. She was actually so moved. Connie must have witnessed it because Connie's daughter was outside with us. 
  •  RUBAC:  And, oh my gosh, the conversation that Cynthia McKinney had with Greg's step-daughter was just so touching and Cynthia was moved, just totally moved by the whole thing. But after the execution—I mean Cynthia didn't go with us, but some of us went with Greg's wife over to the cemetery and she actually asked me to take pictures of her hugging him while he was laying on this gurney in the cemetery—I mean the funeral home—right after the execution. He still had tape on his arm from where the IV was.  
  •  RUBAC: But a few of my friends I have been able to hug. Francis Newton, I never knew her, but I worked so hard. And we didn’t save her, but I got to touch her at the funeral home. But we go to Huntsville because it is important. They can’t just think, "Oh well, this is routine, we are executing somebody today then we go have our—They go make the prisoners prepare some food so that everybody that participates in the execution has a party afterwards. So, we just try to make it as difficult as possible for them to think that this is ordinary because murdering somebody is not ordinary at all.  
  •   BACON: Would you mind talking about what it is like to have one of your friends executed and then go see them at the funeral home and that whole experience?  
  •   RUBAC: Well, it's awful. It's—I guess the first person I ever saw at the funeral home was my friend Carlos whose execution I witnessed. And I didn't even know that you could do that but there was some religious person there at the execution with this long brown robe on—I thought he was like a monk or something, but it was somebody Carlos knew. And he asked me if I wanted to go with him to the funeral home that they were going to do a short service. Now that's the only time I have seen the funeral home allow any kind of service at all. But they did some prayers and whatever.  
  •  RUBAC: But it’s almost surreal to think that yesterday I was visiting this guy—he was healthy, vibrant, alive, and now he is dead. It’s a very surreal experience. And going with—I mean Carlos was somebody I visited and that I knew very well. I've gone with friends over there and the mother of Joseph Nichols. I mean she works with our group when he was executed two years ago, we went over there—got to touch him. It's just a horrible experience. It's not like your grandmother died and that's sad, but she was old.  
  •  RUBAC: It's like, "This is somebody young, who was healthy." Carlos' case, somebody who never killed anybody. Whoo—it's just not a good thing. It’s something nobody should have to go through, nobody. Most mothers don't even witness executions. But just to even have to bury your child, I mean my kids are going to bury me. Hopefully, I am not going to bury them. That's just how things go. But to have somebody young, killed like that is just—it's senseless, oh God, I had so many nightmares about Carlos' execution. I'll never forget his chest going up for the last time, and then I realized it didn't move again. I thought, "Oh my God, they've killed him. He is dead. His chest isn't moving." So, it is horrible, horrible.  
  •   BACON: Sabina do you have anything you want to pick up on?  
  •  HINZ-FOLEY: I've never talked to someone who has witnessed an execution without there being the glass there and what's that like? You mentioned that you were able to talk to him. Can you talk about that experience and what it's like?  
  •   RUBAC: Well I didn't know what to expect when I went in. In fact, Carlos was executed on Monday. I had visited him that Friday or Saturday before. And the last thing that he had told me, because I told him that I would be there with him if he wanted me to because I knew his wife and kids were in the Dominican Republic. And he didn't have family here. And he said, "No, I couldn't put you through that."  
  •  RUBAC: So I was kind of relieved on the one hand and on the other hand I felt kind of bad because I thought, "God, how horrible to be executed and not have somebody with you." So when I drove into Huntsville that night—it was supposed to be a midnight execution—this man walks up to me as I’m getting signs and banners and stuff out of my car. And he introduces himself, "My name is Ramsey Clark, I'm Carlos' lawyer. I guess it's going to be you and I in there with him tonight." And I am like, "In where?" He says, "He has put us both down as witnesses."  
  •  RUBAC: And I am like, "Oh my God! Okay, maybe it's better that I didn't know this, because I would have been freaking out." Ramsey Clark is the former US Attorney General under Lyndon Johnson, I believe—excellent lawyer and now an activist attorney. So about eleven o'clock, they took us into the prison administration building and locked us in a room with some guard with cowboy boots that had little steel tips on the toes, which I had heard about for years from people who had gotten kicked and beaten.  
  •  RUBAC:  But the execution didn't happen at midnight, it didn't happen at one. Ramsey had so many things he had filed. So it was about three in the morning and I was—and at that time, if the sun was starting to rise, you couldn't execute. It had to be between midnight and sunrise. And I thought, "Oh God, let the sun start coming up!" But about three o'clock they took us across the street from the administration building into the death house. 
  •  RUBAC: And when we got in there, Carlos was laid out on this gurney the IVs in his arms and straps—he was like strapped down. But we could talk. And we talked about his kids, we talked—he had messages for some of his friends when I saw them. And he talked a little bit with this monk-looking man, I don't even remember who he was. And he talked to Ramsey, his lawyer. And then he made a last statement. I can’t remember when our conversation ended and when his statement—I guess they asked him if he had something to say. And he said something about, this was after he asked me to promise him not to stop fighting the death penalty.  
  •  RUBAC: He made some statement about, "Executions aren’t the answer to anything. More violence isn't the answer.” He said, "Love is the answer." He said "If this country doesn't change the tracks it's on and deal with loving people instead of the violence that we have now, whether it is the violence of executions or the violence of war, the violence of poverty, of racism.” He said, "The whole thing is going to implode." And that was I think the last thing he said was, "Love is the answer." But it was just so surreal, being in there having this conversation with him, talking to him, listening to him from—I'm thinking we were standing out behind, kind of like those theater ropes that they have to rope people off, something like that.  
  •  RUBAC: I don’t know, I thought—I remember thinking, "I don't guess there is anything I can do to stop this. I guess I could jump across this rope and just do something really outlandish. But there’s all these people in here and uniforms so that isn't going to work.” But it is just the strangest thing. It was nice looking back on it now. To be able to have had a conversation with him before he—I'm not going to say before he died, before he was murdered. And I think that’s the way that it should be—I think people should be able to tell people goodbye. And not just give a last statement into a microphone that some illiterate person tries to transcribe—but be able to have a conversation. But that's not allowed anymore. So that was nice, but that doesn't erase the fact that it was an execution—it was a murder. My friend is gone, his two boys don't have a father and it wasn't necessary.  
  •   HINZ-FOLEY: You had said that and this was before they had the murder victims’ families in a room. Were you in the room with the actual—or who was in the room with you?  
  •   RUBAC: It was just me and Ramsey Clarke, and this religious person and a bunch of guards, and I guess the doctors hiding behind the wall, behind the one-way or two-way mirror, whatever. So no, it was just like we were in a room talking except for the guards being there. But of course every time I'd ever talked to him, there had been guards there, because I had met him after he went to prison.  
  •   BACON: Have you ever had confrontations with murder-victim families—or if when you are at the actual execution, how that us vs. them—  
  •   RUBAC: Well, now supposedly, what's that group, "Justice for All," they make them go to the other end of the street. I don't know if that is true or not. They used to let them come stand with us and they would argue with us and, “Blah-blah-blah whatever was your kid.” But the one person that I always remember—she is part of "Justice for All" and she claims that somebody in her family was murdered, but I found out later that wasn't even the case. What's her name, Diane Clements? I think her son, her daughter, her child was killed in an accident or something. I don't think it was actually murder.  
  •  RUBAC: There's been—when Carla Faye Tucker was executed, there was a couple thousand people out there, including people who supported her execution and they would yell stuff. I actually felt bad. We had taken a bus, rented a bus—the Abolition Movement—we took a busload of people to Huntsville for that. And a number of the people on the bus with us were mothers, are mothers who had sons on death row. And some of them—I got a little worried—they were elderly, with like blood pressure problems and here were these people yelling "Kill her with a pick-axe! Stab her to death!" Just all these, I don't even remember, horrible things. And I kind of got nervous when one of the moms said, "I think I need to go sit down somewhere." And then I have been there when the Ku Klux Klan has been there.  
  •   BACON: When was that?  
  •   RUBAC: I am thinking that was when Shaka was executed. The Klan was there. And I have been there when there's been a whole bunch of cops, like the person had killed a cop. I don't remember who, what case it was. A couple of times though, there have been like twenty or thirty police officers there. And a couple of times, I'm thinking it was at Carla Faye Tucker's execution, people came and got in my face, but I just kind of ignored them. I figured, "You know, I am going to protest the execution, but I sure don't want to get into a physical confrontation with anybody over it." And most executions there's like less than ten of us there. That's the norm. The norm isn't that there's murder victim's families or the Ku Klux Klan or students. Fortunately, the students don't celebrate anymore like they did that first night. They did for awhile, but not anymore.  
  •   BACON: So what was it like to be there with thirty police officers or the Ku Klux Klan? What was that like for you?  
  •   RUBAC: Well that was scary, because there was so much tension in the air when Shaka was executed—that whole day. We got there—I don't remember, like around noon and the execution wasn't supposed to happen until six. And then it didn't happen until eight or nine o'clock at night. And it was June, it was hot, and his mom was there and his daughter was there. But there were cops in riot gear—there were Huntsville Police, Department of Public Safety, Texas Rangers—there were helicopters, there was the Klan.  
  •  RUBAC: And then, I actually looked down Avenue J, I guess it is that's on the corner there and I saw a tank in the street. I'm like, "Holy Cow! What is going on? " It's not enough that they had rows and rows of cops with shields and big sticks, but there's a tank. And I'm like, "Oh my God!" And then some people did civil disobedience and that escalated things when they were arrested. And then one of my friends, I am trying to think if her husband had already been executed—I think he had—when she saw the tank down the street, she's like "Oh my gosh." 
  •  RUBAC:  And she had an empty soda-pop bottle, and she threw it in the air. I don’t know what she was thinking but it actually went forward and hit one of the cops with a shield and it turned out to be the Warden at the Polunsky Unit. Now, I don’t know what he was doing there with a shield, and maybe I am just totally not remembering—Robert Trian—she got charged with assaulting Robert Trian with like aggravated assault with an empty Sprite bottle. And she was arrested. She's never been tried to this day and it will be nine years Monday.  
  •  RUBAC: So I don't know what the statute of limitations is on assault with an empty soda pop bottle. But that was something. I guess they were afraid that we were going to storm the death house and physically stop the execution, which is impossible—they would have killed people before. And obviously they were planning on it because they had a tank. Can you imagine a tank? An army tank, I guess. I don't know who else has tanks. But it’s like something you see in a movie and it was right down the street. 
  •  RUBAC: I'm like, "Where did that come from?" So that was a horrible day. And one of my friends from New York who was there, he called me later after he got back to Newark. He says, "We didn't save Shaka, but now we know you can chair a nine-hour rally." And I'm like "God, no wonder I am still tired—nine hours in the sun in Huntsville, no shade." My scalp had gotten so sunburned that day. I'll never forget my scalp was like peeling off. What a horrible day, horrible day [BEEP]. Oh, I wonder what's setting that off? Her dogs at my house, the cat's inside. I don't know. Strange.  
  •  BACON: I wanted to ask you, you mentioned earlier that you had some people get in your face in these situations, and I wanted to ask you how you respond to that and what your kind of overall philosophy is when it comes to being militant and resistant in civil disobedience and that sort of thing.  
  •   RUBAC: Well, I mean, I don't like people in my face, I had somebody in my face a few weeks ago, totally unrelated, but I was with some students from University of Houston, protesting outside the home of one of their administrators about paying fair wages to the workers on campus. And the neighbor got in my face. I don't like people in my face and I do believe in self-defense. 
  •  RUBAC: But I also know that a situation like at Shaka's execution or at Carla Faye Tucker's execution, I wasn't about to do something that would start a free-for-all. That's not productive. But I do very much believe in self-defense. If somebody slugged me, it would take a lot of willpower not to slug them back. If it were just me and that person, or the six or eight or ten of us that are usually in Huntsville, I might do something, but not to where it would affect a whole bunch of people. No. If it is something that is going to set off widespread violence, I am not going to do that.  
  •  BACON: And where does—I guess as an organization—where does your organization draw the line when it comes to wanting to be militant and make a statement. I guess where do you draw that line?  
  •   RUBAC: I guess it depends because we have been involved in civil disobedience and getting arrested [BEEP]. We would never provoke anybody, period. That's not productive at all. Like a couple of weeks ago, it was the 200th execution. We were all downtown at the hanging tree—we had some hecklers. I just told people to ignore them. They are uneducated. We're here to do something and we’re going do what we're going do. 
  •  RUBAC: And I guess basically that is our philosophy, is to not get in the confrontations, particularly with just ignorant people on the street who are angry. We'll get into verbal confrontations with politicians, or anybody but not to the point where it’s going to become a physical thing, no. And if it’s a tense situation, we tell people, "Don't talk to people, just ignore them." So I guess that's our philosophy. I don't know that that’s a "non-violent" philosophy, or just our way of dealing with situations like that in what we see as a practical matter.  
  •   HINZ-FOLEY: I know you have been heavily involved in the prison movement. But are there any other causes you’re involved in? You said you were a product of the sixties, so I am wondering—  
  •   RUBAC: Oh, I'm involved in all kinds of things. I'm going tomorrow to protest at the Hutto Family Detention Center north of Dallas for that. Anti-war stuff, housing issues in the city, yeah. Two days ago, I was doing freeway blogging for Palestine. I’m with a group called "Justice for Palestinians." Every other first and third Wednesday we'd go stand on the bridges over the freeway with these giant signs on the bridges over the freeways and we've been doing that for about three years. So yeah, I'm involved in a lot of different things.  
  •  RUBAC: But I guess the issue that touches my heart the most is the death penalty just because I have known so many people on death row, I have witnessed my friends' execution. I am passionate about a lot of things, but I am probably more knowledgeable about the death penalty than what's happening in Iraq, or Palestine even. But I mean, I am going to go to Cuba in four weeks for the fiftieth anniversary of the Cuban Revolution. 
  •  RUBAC: I am going with a group I have been with once before called "Pastors for Peace" that this will be the twentieth time they have taken humanitarian aid to Cuba in defiance of the United States laws. I actually was invited to go to Cuba once to talk about the death penalty on their nightly TV show they have called "Mesa Redonda." Roundtable—it's kind of like Nightline, where they discuss whatever. And it was about two weeks before Shaka's execution, and they invited people who were working on Mumia Abu-Jamal’s case and then myself from Texas working on Shaka's case. We did a television show in Cuba. Yeah that was exciting, got to meet Fidel. That was pretty amazing.  
  •   HINZ-FOLEY: I had something else I was curious about. What are your retirement plans? Now that you have—  
  •   RUBAC: Now that I don't have to call in sick to go to a demonstration—to continue. We're hoping to actually set up a chapter called "Critical Resistance" here in Houston. And Critical Resistance is a ten-year-old organization whose goal is the abolishment of the prison-industrial complex. And it's a national organization, so we are working on setting that up here in Houston. So that's one plan I have. We are hoping that they will fund an office and staff and so on so, I may actually get paid to do what I do anyway, which is fight against the prison industrial complex. So that would be amazing. But if that doesn't happen, I just plan to continue being an activist and try to figure out how I can live on my pittance of a retirement. So the struggle continues and I will too.  
  •   BACON: You said you are teaching?  
  •   RUBAC: Yeah. I didn't teach though. After my first trip to Cuba in 1979, I went with a group called the Evincedermos Brigade—they take people and they work and then they travel in Cuba. So the work we did was construction, building apartments for workers for a new factory outside of Havana. And I just loved doing it, so when I came back, I got into the Carpenter's Union so I actually helped build big buildings downtown for about ten years. 
  •  RUBAC: Then I did other things, waitressed and I taught school for three years in the sixties when I got out of college and I didn't like it. My principle was in the Ku Klux Klan. I thought he was the stupidest person I had ever met. He'd let the Klan have rallies on our playground on the weekends. So I taught three years and quit. I got him fired, before I quit. I didn't think I'd ever go back but then I was a carpenter during the eighties, and the I guess it was about 1988, there just wasn't much work. And I said, well, maybe I'll teach until I figure out something else to do. And then I taught until last year and then I realized, "Okay, you haven't figured out what you are going do, so you might as well stay with this, so I taught twenty—1988 to 2008—twenty years."  
  •   HINZ-FOLEY: What did you teach?  
  •   RUBAC: Elementary. I taught English as a second language as well as reading, writing, everything else, math. So, I enjoyed it. I didn't like the administration, which is why I finally decided I've got enough years in to retire, "I'm getting out." But I loved the kids. All my students were mainly immigrants and just wonderful. But my last principal's main problem was, "Your students are laughing too much, every time I pass by your room, it's not quiet. They are all smiling and having fun."  
  •  RUBAC: I'm like, "I teach kindergarten, what do you want me to do, like beat them or something?" She said, "They got to practice for the test." And I'm like, "Screw the test, these kids passed their test," whatever, you know. I said, "Isn't it more important that they learn to love learning?" "Well how is taking them out to bird-watch helping them?" I said, "That's life-science, that's part of the curriculum. Besides, it's fun” [laughter]. Anyway, after she said that to me for the umpteenth time, I'm like, "I'm checking out." So I left in mid-year, I said, "Adios" and I never looked back.  
  •   BACON: I guess is there anything that you want to tell us that we haven't asked you?  
  •   RUBAC: I don't think so [laughter]. You-all are pretty thorough.  
  •   BACON: Anything you'd like to say just for the public record or what you'd like people to know, about the work you do, from your experience?  
  •   RUBAC: Yeah, there is one thing. I think that being involved in fighting the death penalty is not an isolated issue, I don't think that any struggle is, whether it's health care or jobs or unemployment rights or whatever. I think all these things are tied up. The last time this country didn't have the death penalty was from 1972 to 1974 or something. But during the sixties, there was really a de facto moratorium on the executions because of not just the Civil Rights Movement, but the Black Liberation Movement, the Black Panther Party, everything that was going on in this country affected that. And they didn't dare execute people. 
  •  RUBAC: It was— so I think that the struggle to abolish the death penalty is part of the overall struggle in this country for people's rights on whatever issue. And I think that with the movement that's picked up in the last few years around Bush's War and now around the whole economic crisis that we are in—I mean people in Detroit just had a tent-city outside of a big business meeting that was going on there. I think that as the movement grows and the movement picks up, that's going to help the issue of the death penalty. It's not isolated. It's affected by everything else that goes on in this country.  
  •  RUBAC: So I think protesting the war in the Middle East is helping the death penalty. You know, I think it is all very much inter-related and I think, if the economy keeps going the way it is, the struggle keeps picking up, I think that's going to benefit the death penalty. And we've gotten to a point through decades of work on the death penalty and particularly in the last ten years I guess that like I said for the first time I can see light at the end of the tunnel, and I didn't know if I'd live long enough to say that.  
  •  RUBAC: But I think that the death penalty will be abolished. And I think it's going to be part of a broad, a number of things, of gains that people will make in this country. And I think that's important because people think—people, particularly death row families who maybe don't have a broad outlook on things because all they can see is their son, or their daughter. "This isn't right, this isn't right. Why don't people see it?" Well, they didn't see it until their child went to death row. But for people that are in the progressive community, in the activist community. People, whether they are in Labor Unions or Women's groups or Lesbian-Gay groups, all of these things, all of these struggles for Civil Rights are very connected to the struggle for Prisoner's Rights and the struggle to abolish the death penalty. So I'm glad I am going to be around when that happens.  
  •   HINZ-FOLEY: Well, thank you so much. 
  •   BACON: Thank you really.  
  •   RUBAC: Oh, well, thank you guys. I hope I didn't talk too much.  
  •   HINZ-FOLEY: No it was wonderful. We learned so much. [End of Interview]  
 
Featured Segments 
  •  Prison Rodeos and Ruiz v. Estelle 
  •  "Indecent Exposure" Ordeal 
 
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Title:Interview with Gloria Rubac
Abstract:Gloria Rubac, a retired teacher and writer, has been a committed civil rights, prison and death penalty activist since the early 1970s. In Tape 1, Rubac discusses the inspiration for her early activism; her introduction to prison activism in the 1970s; and her growing involvement in protests against the death penalty in the 1980s after its reinstatement in Texas in 1976. Rubac then describes her friendships with and advocacy on behalf of numerous death row inmates since 1982. At the end of Tape 1 and the beginning of Tape 2, Rubac describes her role in the founding of the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, her current involvement in the group Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement, and the differences between the two groups. In the rest of Tape 2, Rubac reflects on her presence in Huntsville during executions; witnessing executions; attending funerals for executed friends; and her activist strategies and commitments. This interview took place on June 19, 2009 in Houston, Harris County, Texas.
Sequence:2 of 2
Creators:
  • Gloria RubacRole: Narrator
  • Texas After Violence ProjectRole: Collaborator
Contributors:
  • Kimberly Ambrosini-BaconRole: Interviewer
  • Sabina Hinz-FoleyRole: Videographer
  • Karen ReedRole: Transcriber
  • Lydia CraftsRole: Proofreader
Date Created:2009/06/19
Languages:eng
Geographic Focus:North America--United States--Texas
Geographic Base:North America--United States--Texas--Austin
Type of Resource:Moving image
Genre:Interview
Identifier:tav00015
Rights:
    This electronic resource is made available by the University of Texas Libraries solely for the purposes of research, teaching and private study. All intellectual property rights are retained by the legal copyright holders. The University of Texas does not hold the copyright to the content of this file. Formal permission to reuse or republish this content must be obtained from the copyright holder.

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