Seattle Vigil Turnout Largest In Nation
Despite cold, rainy weather over 200 people came out and stayed out for three hours in the courtyard of the King County Jail (of recent WTO fame).
The final speakers' list developed as follows: Nora Callahan of the November Coalition, Harriet Walden (Mothers For Police Accountability), Matt McCauly (former probation officer and Chair of Washington Libertarians), Omari Tahir of African Reparations 2000/African Heritage Museum, Ron Mullins (Democratic Candidate for US Senate), Robert Lunday (Hemp.Net), Joanna Mckee (Green Cross Patient co-op), attorney Jeffrey Steinborn, Magic Black-Ferguson (Washington Hemp Education Network), Fred Miller (Peace Action Of Washington State), Justin Delacour (Seattle Columbia Committee), Chuck Armsbury (Editor of The Razor Wire), Claude 'Breeze" Tower (Regional Leader, November Coalition), Jeffrey Stonehill (Old School Hemp Activist/Actor/Poet), Lyle Courtsal (Seattle Greens Network), Wyconda Holcombe (African-American Activist).
Our special Keynote Speaker was Michelle Miles (wife of POWD David Miles), and the event was emceed by Vivian McPeak (Regional Leader, November Coalition).
Relations between vigil organizers and jail officials couldn't have been better. Crowd enthusiasm was terrific. Naturally, we expected a larger turnout due to the massive promotion we unleashed on Seattle before the vigil, but cold, wet weather is the mortal enemy of any outside action in February. The best part was the amount of information taken in, and many people put their names on 'volunteer' and 'petition' sheets.
The 'show was stolen' by the amazing "Raging Grannies', a chorus of four elderly women who dress in a cross between Minnie Pearl and Jimi Hendrix. They sang the most righteous and riotous songs. Singing to the tune of "she'll be comin' round the mountain", the Grannies version went like this, "You can smoke that crack cocaine if you are white"
We collected more than seven sheets of signatures supporting Renee Boje, and hundreds of 'action item memorandums' were taken. They list everything a layperson can do to support Renee Boje and David Miles, as well as ways to support The November Coalition and The Hemp Coalition, vigil co-sponsors.
Local media picked up on the two million 'angle', but though some television news was present, there was a surprising lack of coverage for a city of Seattle's size. We set up a lectern covered by an American flag, and we used a medium-sized sound system. I contacted the City for a permit to have amplified sound at the last minute (Monday); we weren't thinking we would need it, but we did, and the city said, "just do it". That's a first.
We are ONE!
Vivian McPeak TNC Regional Leader