End the Drug War:
For the Sake of Prisoners, Their
The People of Our Nation:
November Coalition Tennessee Vigil
Report, January 17, 2000
by Kay Lee, of Journey For Justice
and The November Coalition
It was cold in Nashville, and the wind was
brutal. The pale sun cast long shadows off the Estes Kefauver
Building as our small band of shivering warriors, armed only
with truth, marched to the sunnier side of the block to continue
the relentless, often-heartbreaking, task of educating a propagandized
and misinformed public.
The vigil for drug war prisoners got started
right on time. People had come from Florida, Kentucky, and all
parts of Tennessee. We marched united under the banner of the
November Coalition which reads: There is No Justice in the War
We braved the weather, the wind, and lazy-brained
apathy to raise our voices against America's war on its own people.
The traffic was heavy and the red light long, providing brief
time for the curious people staring from warm cars to realize
we were there protesting the interminable, destructive war on
drugs. Our frozen hands held pictures of the imprisoned victims,
and signs proclaiming the social injustice.
"It has," we called out to motorists,
"been going on for over 30 years. We build a new prison
each week in America," we told them, "and we are currently
housing two million of our fellow citizens, three-quarters of
whom are nonviolent offenders of the drug laws."
We explained how much this war is costing.
"After all, $1.3 billion per year to fund the drug war is
coming from the most vital resources- our children's schools,
our community development, ultimately the hard-earned dollars
from our own wallets." We asked if they thought our children
were any safer from drugs now than ten years ago. "Are there
fewer drugs," we asked, "Are they harder to find? Do
you see any improvement after 30 long years?"
We told them we
need their support if, together, we are to develop in our society
a less harmful solution to the 70 million or so drug users in
America. We told them all we could in the brief moments before
the light turned green, and they sped out of our lives.
Thereafter, we proceeded to the Al Gore National
Headquarters and traded bumper stickers. His said, "Gore
2000." Ours said, "Stop The Drug War." But "End
the Drug War, Mr. Gore" does ring well for next time.
We put our hearts into planting seeds in Nashville.
We will continue planting until the wrong is right. We pray for
a quick, rich, and productive harvest.
For more Feb 2000 vigil reports CLICK