Whilst I've been a member of a Marxist party for pretty much all my adult life (bloody hell) - for a similar length of time I've also been a member of Amnesty International.
I know there are some contradictions here - Amnesty is essentially a middle class liberal organisation with some serious political flaws. BUT when some of my comrades point this out I'm reminded of the scene in Monty Python's Life of Brian:
My rationale - without illusions - is that so long as people are actually being imprisoned, tortured and killed in the real world then writing a few letters on the outside chance that it might make a slight difference isn't going to derail the revolution with a revisionist petit-bourgeois deviation-ism. Simply sometimes doing something - even if it's pissing in the wind - is better than doing nothing.
I feel depressed at the news this morning that Troy Davis was executed. And also absurdly guilty - although I've written previous letters I forgot to send an emergency last minute email - I was too wrapped up in stupid work shit.