Dog Stars In Chicago Vigil

We held the first vigil in Chicago at the James R. Thompson Building at 100 Randolph Street. This building is in the center of downtown Chicago, houses many government offices, and sees a lot of foot traffic. There were seven of us, plus a photographer, and my sister's dog Odie, dressed up as the 2,000,000th prisoner, got lots of attention when he wasn't too cold and sitting on my mother's lap!

I used vacation-time to take my son, Tim, to Detroit, Michigan for a small operation to implant an anti-opiate drug, Naltrexone, in his stomach. This is a condition of his release from jail two weeks ago and was done on the Monday before the vigil. We traveled five hundred miles in one day. We were all tired, but distributed more than 1,000 pieces of literature: Razor Wire newspapers, Newsletters, Blue vigil brochures, and lots of copies made from pages of the 'Drug War Facts' booklet I got last September in at our regional leader's workshop.

The great majority of people were very supportive and stopped to read the laminated pictures of prisoners and their stories. They cannot believe what is going on in this country!

The laminated pictures were a big draw for bringing people in close, and I need to get more of these for the next vigil. Many people had a family member in prison, or they, themselves, had been in jail or prison for drugs. I think if we could harness the voting power of all these people adversely affected by this evil, we could make real changes soon.

My older son, Shawn, especially enjoyed trying to attract the expensively-dressed corporate-types and he would get them to listen, take some literature, and perhaps he opened their minds just a bit. He hooked a couple prosecutors who were highly offended by the whole thing, but stayed to listen and argue for awhile. Their arguments sounded so stupid when spoken out loud that even they (the prosecutors) had to be embarrassed hearing them. One took a newsletter, another left in a huff, and we just laughed.

A free-lance photographer, Yarka Vendrinska, was there for most of the vigil and took lots of pictures. I took a few shots also and will send them to you soon. I am so glad to be part of this effort with all of you.

Susan Bobby, TNC Regional & Vigil Leader