Dot com and you

By Chris Lotze, TNC graphic designer

My friend Chrissy Taylor, at age 19, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for running an errand for a boyfriend who assured her it was legal to pick up certain legal chemicals. His assurances were lies. Today, she still sits in prison, waiting for the government to hear her story. In a letter to me a few weeks ago she mentioned that one of her dear friends was designing a web site for and about her.

I went to the web site called to check it out. I was blown away with its opening quality. It told her story, her social background, family, and it offered ways that viewers can help Chrissy. The site featured links for sending emails to the White House and to members of Congress.

After five minutes browsing at Chrissy's site, I emailed a letter to President Clinton, to the First Lady, to my local Congressman and Congresswoman, pleading for Chrissy's release.

Within five minutes! "Hey, I can't brush my teeth in five minutes, five minutes of my time for someone's plea for freedom, who can pass that up?"

Just twenty years ago, if grassroots leaders needed to get a certain message across, they were challenged to assemble a lot of people in one area and hope that people walking by would listen to their 'new ideas'. To attract media attention, activists would use sit-ins and the like just to attract media to their side of the story. Today, the Internet is the grassroots' communicator's tool of choice.

With just a few clicks of your mouse you can be heard worldwide. No longer must your message only be heard by a random few walking by your soapbox rally; now any group or person can easily publicize their own special pleas or stories and be seen by anyone online on earth.

If your for-profit business is making one, you are already being seen and heard on the net. From McDonalds to the White House, everyone is on the net today. The November Coalition, Drug Policy Foundation, FAMM, Drug Sense to name a few are each online. But there is room for many more sites.

The Internet is a wonderful tool. With the Internet, there's less need to stand in front of City Hall banging on drums 24 hours a day, hoping that people will be compassionate to stop and listen. Instead, the Internet gives us fingertip power to present our message, in our own manner, and at anytime during the day or night to someone anywhere on Earth who clicks to listen.

Individual casualties of the drug war are just now realizing that their own message in their own words can be seen on the net. From to the brand new , more and more families and friends are finding a way to tell the world about what the drug war has done to their families.
Why do Charles Garrett and Chrissy Taylor have a web page and you don't? They are people just like you. They have loved ones who care about them, miss them and want them home just as bad as you do. The only difference between them and you is that someone took it upon himself or herself to put up a web page. Tracy, one of Chrissy Taylor's close friends for more than 13 years, decided to help her cause by designing and establishing a web site about and for her.

I ask drug war prisoners reading this to think about putting your story on the Internet. More personal web sites about the horrific drug war and what destruction it is having on America will cause more people to see that it's time for change.

(Editors note: please don't forget that the November Coalition has a web page with a section devoted to the prisoners of the drug war called "The Wall" It is free to each and every victim of the drug war. If you would like to be included in our website, please send us your story, a photo of a family visit if possible and your P.S.I. )

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