I want to thank you and the rest of the PSU crew including Diane, Jay, Summer, Charlie, Carla, and anybody else whose name I've forgotten (sorry!) -- please pass this along to all of them as well) for your hospitality during and after the protest on Sunday. I was very impressed by your devotion and courage, to put on the protest despite the arrest of Dr. Heicklen, the continual harassment by the police, and the Saturday night riots. I hope that you're all as proud of yourselves as I am of you, and that you'll continue to move forward with the protests, building on the ground gained so far, and taking advantage of and adding to the momentum that you've achieved. I want all of your to know that what you've accomplished is no easy feat, and is something that most people could only dream of doing. Your continued activism and support of the reform movement has inspired me to do more to fight prohibition, in whatever ways I can. I, and others, have tried for some time to organize others to support the reform movement, both here in the Harrisburg area, and where I was living in Delaware, with relatively little success. People too often find that the "easy way out" is more attractive, to lay low and play it safe. They let themselves fall prey to the intimidation of the law, rather than take the risk of defiantly standing up for their rights and beliefs.
You, on the other hand, have overcome apathy, ignorance, fear, extremism and hate. You've stood firm in the face of oppressive and heavy-handed authorities to defend your convictions. You've worked to the point of exhaustion to make your message heard and to educate people about the truths concerning issues which in our society are so often surrounded by lies and misinformation. You've had to endure slanderous remarks, obscenities, and people giving you the finger, in response to your attempts to enlighten them and open their minds to the truth.
Despite these and other hardships, you've succeeded in informing those who came to find out more about issues regarding the drug war. You've shown people, who otherwise would have thought that they were alone in their beliefs, that there are indeed others out there that feel the same way. You've made people think about whether or not the drug war is a good idea. You've spread awareness about cannabis, and about the evils of the war on drugs. You've looked the authorities in the eye and stared them down, both figuratively and literally. You've collected hundreds of signatures that together create a show of force against prohibition. You've managed to get hundreds of car horns to honk in support of the reform movement. You've garnered the support of countless others in the reform movement, and convinced many to join you in support. You've made history by taking the first steps toward restoring the civil liberties which have slowly been stripped away, as well as our human birthright to utilize cannabis. You have successfully defended and exercised your freedoms, as embodied in the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, and have proven yourselves to be true, red-blooded Americans; you deserve medals for bravery, courage and valor.
YOU ARE ALL TRULY HEROES!
I am saying all this because I want to make sure that you realize it. It's easy to get caught up in what you work so hard for, that you don't fully recognize what you've accomplished. This is a task that requires a tremendous amount of effort, time and devotion, and which involves a great deal of frustration, tears and weariness. It's also one for which you receive relatively little praise, thanks or satisfaction, other than that which your give yourselves. I want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart, and congratulate and salute you all for a job well done. I hope that my words will provide you with hope, encouragement and support that can help keep your group together, to stay active, vocal and public, and to keep up the fight against the tyranny and injustice of prohibition. We have the truth on our side. It's up to each of us to get it out and make it be known! Tom Donohue