Ed In Little Rock August 28th for West Memphis Three

by Kathy Davis on August 9, 2010

Donny of the best Pearl Jam Podcast around,  All That’s Sacred , tweeted this wonderful link with information about an upcoming Eddie Vedder appearance in Arkansas, U.S.A.  August 28th:

Two of the pop music world’s biggest names are headlining a benefit for the West Memphis Three at the end of the month in Little Rock. Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder and The Dixie Chicks’ Natalie Maines are coming to the Quapaw Quarter United Methodist Church on Saturday, August 28.

On Wednesday, those who’re on the WM3 supporter email list will get information on the ticket vendor. If any tickets remain early next week, they’ll be made available to the general public.

General admission will be $95 and VIP will be $500.

The church holds just under 700.

A message from a member of Arkansas Take Action: Don’t call Quapaw Quarter UMC to ask about tickets. The church doesn’t have anything to with ticket sales.

Here is information from the Churches’ newsletter’, and Minister Thompson Murray,  about the event and how it came to be:

A large event will be happening in our church on the evening of August 28. It will be called “Voices for Justice”, and it will be a unique combination of entertainment and advocacy. We are primarily functioning as host for the event, but on a significant level we are serving as a partner in an interesting convergence of agendas.

Perhaps the best way to explain what will be happening is to share the story of how this came about. I was contacted a few weeks ago by a man named John Hardin, who asked if we could meet and talk about the case of the three men who have become known as the West Memphis 3. We met for coffee and were joined by Lorri Davis, the wife of one of those men, Damien Echols, who is currently on death row. They proceeded to tell me of their desire to have an event to raise awareness and funds for their ongoing struggle for justice.

Lorri shared her desire to have the event in a spiritually oriented facility because her desire was to bring people together in a place that evoked both silence and hope. She also explained that she had some significant friends and partners in the struggle, namely Eddie Vedder, Natalie Maines, and Johnny Depp who she felt would participate in an event if their schedules would allow, but she didn’t want a carnival atmosphere. Needless to say, they had my attention.

Neither John nor Lorri had ever been in our sanctuary before that day, but they were conscious of our church’s reputation as a place that serves marginalized people, and that was what made them think we might be willing to allow such an event to happen in our church. Lorri went on to say that her intention would be to sell tickets for the event at a significant price to raise money for their non-profit organization, Arkansas Take Action, and that she would want to make a significant contribution to our church to support our work as well.

Following this initial conversation I engaged in some intentional research on the case, and I became even more convinced that this situation is very deserving of attention. I became an advocate for us to host this event, and after a considerable amount of prayerful conversation and consideration, our Administrative Council moved to allow this to happen. The feeling of that body was that while we are not all of one mind on this particular case, we are a place of advocacy for justice, we stand with the United Methodist Church in its position against the death penalty, and we want to provide voice for the voiceless.

To learn more about this wonderful churches’ ministry (BUT NOTHING ABOUT THE EVENT!!), their website is here.

Public Ticket Sales information will be forthcoming.

Benefit Rock!

August 17, 2010:  UPDATE:

Thought I’d update to include the venue change and ticket information provided over at PearlJam.com today, just to keep it all real…

Voices for Justice: A Rally in Support of the West Memphis 3

7:30pm on Saturday, August 28th at Robinson Center Music Hall in Little Rock, Arkansas

Words by Rev. Thompson Murray and Arkansas Take Action Representatives

Video Messages from Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley

Plus Acoustic Performances by Eddie Vedder, Natalie Maines and Special Guests

TICKET INFORMATION

Tickets for the Voices for Justice rally go on sale Wednesday, August 18th at 9:00 AM CDT at ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster outlets and via phone at 800-745-3000. Tickets are also available person at the Celebrity Attractions Ticket office (300 S. Spring, Suite 100, Little Rock, AR  72201) and via phone at 501-244-8800. Celebrity Attractions office hours are Monday-Thursday 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM CDT and Friday 9:00 AM to noon CDT.  Visa, MasterCard and Discover are accepted.

Tickets are $25.00 each plus a $1.00 facility fee per ticket. Tickets purchased through Ticketmaster are also subject to a $.75 per ticket credit card fee. There is a four ticket per person limit. Tickets are not tax-deductible.

VOICES FOR JUSTICE EVENT DETAILS

WHO: Rev. Thompson Murray, Arkansas Take Action representatives, Eddie Vedder, Natalie Maines and special guests

WHAT: A rally to increase awareness of the continued injustice visited upon Jason Baldwin, Damien Echols, and Jessie Misskelley, collectively known as the West Memphis 3

WHERE: Robinson Center Music Hall (Markham & Broadway streets) Little Rock, Arkansas 72201

WHEN: Saturday, August 28, 2010 ( Doors open at 6:30 PM CDT; Event begins at 7:30 PM CDT)

Little Rock, AR – Over 17 years ago Jason Baldwin, Damien Echols, and Jessie Misskelley were convicted of a crime that they did not commit. Despite a lack of evidence at the time as well as mountains of new evidence sufficient for exoneration, the West Memphis 3 remain in prison, with Echols on death row.

In an effort to bring further attention to the wrongful convictions of the West Memphis 3, local support group Arkansas Take Action (ATA) announces Voices for Justice: A Rally in Support of the West Memphis 3.

On Saturday, August 28th, Rev. Thompson Murray and representatives from Arkansas Take Action will welcome guests to the intimate Robinson Center Music Hall in the heart of downtown Little Rock, Arkansas.

New video messages from Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley will be unveiled at Voices for Justice. Arkansas Take Action is also proud to announce that the rally will include special acoustic performances by longtime West Memphis 3 supporters Eddie Vedder, Natalie Maines, and special guests.

“We are incredibly honored to have Eddie and Natalie lend their voices to this important evening,” said ATA co-founder Capi Peck. “Their willingness to join us for Voices for Justice will help raise even more awareness about the profound injustice that continues to occur. We will not rest until our political and judicial leaders hear our voices and do the right thing.”

On September 30th, the Arkansas Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Damien Echols’s appeal for a new trial. New DNA testing and other powerful forensic evidence –combined with a sworn affidavit that the original jury foreman engaged in blatant misconduct that contributed to the jury’s decision — prove that Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley were wrongfully convicted.

“Voices for Justice will not only bring awareness to the case, but it will also be a chance for supporters to reflect and collectively send love and support to Damien, Jason and Jessie,” stated Echols’s wife Lorri Davis. “This type of support is what has helped sustain them throughout the last 17 years. “

Davis continues, “We hope this event will help us send the message to our political and judicial leaders that it is time to bring an end to this grave injustice.”

For more information on the West Memphis 3, visitwww.freewestmemphis3.org.

There you have it!

Kath

Kathy Davis ( Twitter: @CrookedArm23 )
A Bay-Area based entrepreneur, co-editor Kathy conceives and writes her share of TFT’s articles and sections. She was co-editor/co-founder of one of the first Pearl Jam fanzines "Footsteps" (1992-1997). Kathy’s first Pearl Jam show was at the Bridge School Benefit on November 1, 1992.

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