Monday, July 28, 2008

"Drugs Bring Death" - One Man's Sign Starts A Movement

In one Ohio city, a grass-roots movement against drugs has been started by one man with a handmade sign and a message that gets right to the point.

For about four hours, Jesse Lowe stood silently by himself holding a cardboard sign with three words scrawled in black marker: "Drugs Bring Death."

His message wasn't aimed just at the dealers or residents of the neighborhood scarred by shootings and fear. He wanted the city to hear him.

His wife, Cynthia, told him to take someone with him, but no one was willing to go along that first time. Neighborhood association leaders called his stand heroic while others said he was naive and putting his family at risk.

A week after that first protest, about 15 people stood with Lowe at another intersection in the same neighborhood.

"The courage of one man is spreading to everyone," said police Maj. Kevin Martin. "This is what the solution has to be. As police, we're limited in what we can do."

According to the article, there have been real results to come out of this campaign. Residents are more inclined to report suspicious activity; a coalition has formed among residents, police, and community leaders; and a website has been launched. You can’t help but admire the spirit of Mr. Lowe and those who later joined him to stand up to the drug dealers on their territory. The message certainly gets people’s attention as well. We wish them continued success in their efforts to clean up their city.

So is this the kind of “real solution” to drug-related crime that so many cities are looking for? And do you think it would work here?

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