Message from Kevin Zeese


Day Seven:  The Final Leg to Austin
September 28, 2000

Cathy Jordan, a medical marijuana patient with Lou Gehrig's Disease, had her first full day with the Journey after joining us yesterday.  She is an inspiration to us all -- traveling from Florida in her wheel chair severely disabled by Lou Gehrig's.  Lisa and Amanda joined from Gainesville, TX, four and a half hours away near the Oklahoma border.  We also had consistent observers from various law enforcement agencies in Texas along the final day before reaching Austin.

Tomorrow we will be joined by a busload of citizens, mainly children who have a parent incarcerated for a non-violent drug offense, from Tulia, TX (about 10 hours away from Austin).  They have made their own Journey to join with us.  We are inspired by their participation.  Tomorrow, the ACLU is scheduled to file suit challenging an 18 month undercover drug enforcement that targeted the African American community resulting 40 African Americans, two whites and one Latino being arrested.

We began in Giddings, TX, with a First Amendment demonstration at the Courthouse.  We passed out literature to signatures, held signs for passing vehicles and were interviewed by the local media.  Local police hid behind the corner of a local bank monitoring our activities.  They stayed with us throughout lunch and monitored us as we left town from behind restaurants and in cemeteries.

We arrived at Austin to a First Amendment Forum at the Mexican Cultural Center.  We were joined in the session by Cop Watch, an Austin-based group that monitors police abuse.  There were about 50 people in attendance.  The two-hour forum included the skits from the A&M forum on the First Amendment rights of petitioners and the Fourth Amendment rights of people in automobiles.  Cop Watch added skits on searches of your home and being interrogated at the police station.  Kevin Aplin, our Florida ally, spoke about how to exercise First Amendment rights.

We already have a full day tomorrow, with a parade, press conference and demonstration outside of Governor Bush's mansion.  But, the Journeyers, particularly the medical marijuana patients, are upset with Al Gore's dishonesty on the issue of medical marijuana.  We saw the Democratic headquarters in Austin and are discussing the logistics and tactical issues around an event there tomorrow.


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