End the Drug War:

For the Sake of Prisoners, Their Families, and
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 on Drugs.

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 HERE