Colonel Mason's prior report is appended. I counted twenty-six 'vigilizers' before the two young ladies from the West End joined us. I think there were probably 30 or 32 total, counting those who came and left. I decided at the event that my 'official' guess would be 28 participants. It was a gorgeous day, sunny with temperature in the 70s.
One reporter covered the event, Jonathan Fox of the Dallas Observer. He interviewed Rick, Bob Williams, and me. There were six to eight participants who heard about the event on the Internet via DRCnet and November Coalition web sites. This was the first time I counted people in attendance that I didn't know, and more than I could count with confidence. I look forward to this "problem" getting bigger. The nationwide publicity on the event helped a lot in getting more people to come out.
This was also the first time we had passersby stop and join with us until the vigil's end. There were four who joined us, including the two women mentioned above. The Libertarian candidate (Kelly Rush) for the 30th congressional seat and her companion handed out flyers, our literature and carried signs awhile, too, as I recall.
This was the first time we ran low on signs. We did run out of sticks to mount signs onto. I had made two new 30x40 ones: "Two Million is Too Many" and "PRISONER - America's Fastest-Growing Occupation." Rolf made a 40x60 version of his captioned photo of a 2-3 year-old black girl bawling in her prisoner-parent's arms: "The Drug War Destroys Families. Any Questions?"
He mounted it on the back of his pickup truck, which we parked in the first spot next to Houston & Main. Also on his truck was the sign announcing the next vigil for March 27th.
George DeMerle showed up as he said he would. Dressed in black and white prison stripes, he was quite a hit. I told him he could have "any sign in the place" to carry. He stood in the center of our greatest concentration at Houston & Main, near Rick and his bullhorn.
Our prisoner family members, Virginia Traylor and her nephew Sedrick, spent most of their time near Houston & Elm.
When we get more people than signs, we'll have to get some to volunteer to hand out literature. Craig Johnson likes to hand stuff out as well, but his Grandmother died recently; so he and his Mom both went to Kansas for the funeral.
Bob Ramsey, Drug Policy Foundation of Texas & Vigil Leader