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the Warriors, keeping reporters at a distance and assuring that, should any trouble begin, Price would be protected. Since the protests moved to north Dallas, the city has been flooded with complaints from motorists forced to wait while the picketers crossed the crosswalk, and from nearby residents complaining about the protesters in their neighborhood. “I believe in John Wiley Price’s right to protest,” one white motorist said while waiting 70 seconds for the protesters to cross the road, “but when his right to protest interferes with my rights, that’s where his rights end.” Apparently the city council thought so, too. In September Councilmember Donna Halstead, whose district includes the Northeast Substation, proposed an ordinance that would prohibit protests at the substation. The Dallas Morning News reported that the ordinance would probably pass, with at least eight council members saying they planned to support, or were leaning toward supporting, it. “It amazes me that people talk about the few seconds that people are inconvenienced, versus the years that people have been deprived,” said Price. “You know, to make an admission to deal with racism has other side-effects that Dallas is just not willing to face. Derrick Bell talks about it in his book Faces at the Bottom of the Well. So does Cornell West in Race Matters, that there are two nations, one black, one white and they’re both separate, and they’re both hostile. What we’re trying to do is gain equity in this country by whatever means necessary. But the people have always talked of someone else’s inconvenience. That has been the history of the civil rights movement in this country.” In what many view as a shrewd move, Price extended an invitation to the Hispanic community to come out and join the Warriors in their daily protests. Price, along with Luis Sepulveda, organizer of the West Dallas Coalition for Environmental Justice, which claims some 3,500 members, came together and approached the city council before the scheduled vote on the picketing ordinance. “We told the council that we’re not about being contained, or about being entertained. That we were serious about this. They could pass whatever city ordinance they wanted to, and we would still be there,” Price said. The ordinance did not pass. “It’s time our communities coalesce for social justice,” said Sepulveda. “We should have come together a long time ago. But Dallas has been famous for dividing and conquering our communities.” Victor Bonilla, with Chicanos in Action, who also responded to Price’s request to join in the protest, said the African-American and the Hispanic communities have the same goals in Dallas. “We want our voices heard,” said Bonilla. “We shouldn’t just come together after a police shooting.” According Bob Ray Sanders, an African American journalist and talk-show host in Dallas, the only time the two communities have come together in the past has been to protest police brutality or killing. Sanders said that local government has traditionally responded to the two communities by dividing them, negotiating with each group separately and making promises that were often contradictory. Luis Sepulveda agrees that unity in the minority community is overdue. “Dallas has never seen our communities come together,” he said. “They won’t know what to do. They won’t be able to overcome us.” Some in Dallas thought they could overcome Price. When Republican Judge Cas Dunlap on the evening of October 22 ordered Price to begin his jail sentence immediately, with no allowance for work release, some in the white community said maybe the protests would end at last. But that evening hundreds of Price supporters held a candlelight vigil outside the jail and vowed to be there every night until Price was released. And the following morning the number of protesters tripled at the Northeast Substation, where protesters expanded their picket to a second crosswalk. Price, meanwhile, has taken his sentence in stride, smiling and saying he was in good company referring to Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. His supporters said his jail term is only more proof of racism in Dallas. “It’s interesting to me,” said Sanders, “that you have a white guy in Arlington, Christopher Brosky, given probation for murder, while John Wiley Price sits in isolation for bending a windshield wiper. “I am forever amazed by the boldness of racism in Dallas,” Sanders continued. “They’ve tried everything to get rid of John. Before the last election the Dallas Morning News came out with a poll saying he was going to be defeated. He won with nearly 80 percent of the vote. They tried to turn blacks against him, and that didn’t work. So now they’re using the district attorney’s office. The only way they can get John out of office is for him to be convicted of a felony, which they’ve tried to do and failed.” Ron Goranson, one of six attorneys who volunteer as counsel for Price, said that any other person would have been granted a work release in a case like this one. “But not John,” Goranson said, “because he has stepped on the toes of the white establishment.” Goranson, who is white ; decided to volunteer as defense counsel for Price two years ago after sitting in the district attorney’s office and overhearing four white police officers, who didn’t know he was there, talk about how they treated African Americans. “It was the most racist conversation I’ve ever heard,” said Goranson, “and I decided then to do what I can to help combat racism.” While emotions were running high among Price’s supporters, new City Manager John Ware announced that the city will reduce the time protesters are permitted to walk across the street and hold up traffic from 70 seconds to 30 seconds. This was a move, said Sanders, to pit the new black city manager against the black county commissioner. “I have no doubt that this was part of the deal struck with the mayor and Ware before he was given the job. An effort to show the white commissioners that he’s a strong guy and willing to deal with John Wiley Price.” Cheryl Wattley, another lawyer providing pro bono services for Price, said the new restrictions imposed by the city might inflame an already volatile situation. “Why now? Why, when emotions and tensions are running so high? The city had the chance to make overtures and resolve this issue, but instead they fan the fire [reducing the pickets’ crossing time] from 70 to 30 seconds to anger the Warriors. To show that Anglos’ comfort is more important.” “They think that by putting John in jail it will knock the wind out of us; that there will be no one there to point out racism to us,” said Luis Sepulveda “but if anything it will make us stronger and more determined.” Price said the group would pull down its pickets if the police chief appoints two more black and Hispanic assistant chiefs in charge of substations. That would make three of the six two-star-level assistant chiefs from minorities. There is now one AfricanAmerican assistant chief at the two-starlevel, in charge of a substation. “We want a reorganization with at least one more AfricanAmerican two-star chief and one Hispanic two-star chief. That’s it,” Price said. City leaders continue to deny that racism is a problem in Dallas, though Judge Dunlap did admonish the district attorney’s office for citing racism as a factor in the hearing on Price’s work release. The DA’ s office said it wanted to establish that Price had made racial remarks about a white officer. “I’ve often said that Big D stands for Denial, not Dallas,” said Sanders. Price, too, says the city is in denial about racism: “It’s easier than addressing it.” Price points to the differing approach two Metroplex newspapers took to coverage of running back Emmitt Smith’s contract dispute with the Dallas Cowboys. Both newspapers reported that a fan held up a sign; the Fort Worth StarTelegram reported that the sign read, “Jerry, do the right thing, not the white thing.” The Dallas Morning News printed, “Jerry, do the right thing, not the W**** thing.” Price points to the article and says, “If that’s not denial, I don’t know what is. They think if they don’t print ‘the white thing,’ then somehow it doesn’t exist. “But,” Price says, “they’re going to see that it exists. We have a saying that we recite on the picket line: ‘Even in the rain, ’til they relieve our pain.’ We’re going to keep on coming until they see we’re serious.” [I] 12 NOVEMBER 12, 1993