In mid-July, FIJA National mailed packages of back issues of the FIJActivist to over 175 law libraries around the country, then followed up by sending each library a letter offering the FIJActivist by subscription.
Why? Because the FIJA organization, the FIJActivist, and individual FIJA activists are nowadays being mentioned, cited, even quoted in the legal periodical literature! It's a trend we want to encourage, and making news of what we're doing available "on the shelves" of the law school library can only help.
Kathy Ballard, FIJA National's secretary, reported a wonderful statistic to us the other day: by her count, the number of articles written about (or including substantial mention of) FIJA has now passed the 1000 mark! We're talking about inclusion in everything from the scruffiest, lowest-circulation underground newsletter to the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Playboy Magazine.
Two more major national publications have printed articles featuring FIJA since the last FIJActivist was published, those being The Spotlight and Machine Gun News.
"MINI J-PIK" COMING SOON
By the time this newsletter reaches you, a new "miniature" Jury Power Information Kit should be rolling off the press. Only ten 8 1/2" x 11" pages long, it will weigh an ounce or less, even with a reply envelope inside--and that's the point.
Gary Dusseljee, whose phone bank in California fields all calls to the 1-800-TEL-JURY number used to have to wait until 200 or more callers left their names and addresses on tape, so that he could use bulk mail rates to send the 16-page J-PIK tabloid.
Recently, he's taken to using First Class mail to speed up our response time, both to increase chances that the caller would then join (before forgetting he or she had even called, it was so long ago), and to be of more assistance to the caller (some are desperate--going on or in front of a jury in just days). But it has been expensive: even inclusion of a business reply envelope kicks the postage to 75 cents each.
Now, the "Mini J-PIK", by careful editing, contains all the essentials, including reply form and envelope, and mails for 29 cents. The only things not in it are the more technical items found in the earlier edition, of interest more to activists than to those learning about FIJA for the first time. [And activists, not to worry--we'll stock copies of items "of interest to activists", available free or at a bargain price from FIJA National.]
In addition to their value to FIJA National, the new "Mini J-PIK's" should be of more use to FIJA activists around the country, especially if they would like to mail material to an entire jury pool, and haven't been able to afford to do so before now because of postage costs.
And here's hoping that, precisely because it's "shorter, smaller, and snappier", people who receive it will also read it, keep it, use it for future reference, share it, or best of all, join FIJA and help get the jury power education job done!
FIJA FAX: UP AND RUNNING!
In the last issue, we said that anyone who sent us $36 for weekly FIJA FAX news updates would begin receiving them. We are now up to three subscribers, and four FIJA FAXes transmitted. The big question is, then, by the end of the year, which will be higher, the number of subscribers or the number of transmissions sent?
But we've already discovered an unanticipated benefit to FIJA FAX--we can urge it on to total strangers who like to call up HQ and ask, "So...what's been going on recently?" Now we have a quick and easy answer. We say that for less than the price of a periodic phone call, they can get hard-copy briefs every week from their friendly local fax machine...
That should leave us several hours a week to "walk the walk"--to actually do the kinds of things that they'll want to read about in the next FIJA FAX!
Anyway, if you're serious about advancing the cause of justice by jury, FIJA FAX is an ideal way to stay abreast of progress and problems as we experience them. "Try it, you'll like it!"
1995 FIJA POCKET CALENDARS
If you haven't gotten one or our 4" x 6" pocket calendars in the past, it may be because your postperson up and died, or the stars are against you, or you thought it was junk mail and circular filed it unopened. But the chances are better that it's because you didn't contribute enough to FIJA to qualify for one of these little beauties (12 Montana scenic photos by professional landscape photographer Larry Dodge, a usable date matrix, a little FIJA information, etc.).
Yeah, the deal is this: we find out how many calendars will be available at year's end from Larry's photo souvenir products distributors. Say there are going to be 1000 copies available. We then go through the data base and locate the "top 1000" contributors, and send each of them a calendar.
Why are we telling you all this? Because we want you to qualify! And the sure way for you to do that is to send us more money. I mean, how subtle can we get and still function? It's not that hard (last year we sent a calendar to everyone who gave us in excess of $25.) So, don't suffer though another year without one...you don't have to! Send a few bucks on a regular basis, and you may find yourself on a year-long date with FIJA! You and a 1000 or so others, that is!
PRODUCTS, PROBLEMS, AND PRICES
It's not as bad as the headline makes it sound, but the unhappy news is, after discovering we've been losing money on some items we've been selling (see Activists' Supply Shop for a complete list), we've decided to raise the prices on those items.
But there's more to it than bucks alone, so here are some "annotated" price increases:
John Adams Coffee Mugs: These have turned out to be quite popular, but it also turns out we were into them about a half-dollar more than we've been charging. Worse yet, there's been considerable breakage, which adds to everyone's costs. What we are now considering is going to a larger, heavier mug--one which won't break or cost any more to ship, since we're already paying the "1-2 pound" rate. But it will cost more to make, so expect a price increase here soon.
True or False Brochures: The price of paper just went up, and it was passed along to us. Also, at low quantities, the postage was exceeding the price of the contents, so we're now going to $50/1000, $6/100, and 10 cents each (minimum of 10 copies). In addition, we're including a photo-copiable "slick" of the latest edition (note new cover in ad) in our MASTER COPIES collection of documents useful to FIJA activists (see Activists' Supplies).
Also in Activists' Supplies, note that the old 3' x 5' red, white, and blue BANNER is gone. We still have a few, and will part with them for only $15 each. But we "filled the blank spot" on the list with a new item: Rodger Sless's attorney Nancy Lord's closing remarks to the jury, available either on diskette or paper, for $10. This is as polished a job of telling the jury its power without getting shut down by the judge as we have seen. Attorneys and pro se/pro per defendants should appreciate it most of all, but it's worth reading even if you never face a trial by jury.
PRATT LETS FLY
Larry Pratt, Executive Director of Gun Owners of America and a member of FIJA's Board of Directors, recently did an outstanding job of representing FIJA as a guest on the "Mitchells in the Morning" show on National Empowerment Television (Galaxy 7, Channel 20) on June 13. Thank you Mr. Pratt!
BAIN OF FEDERAL TYRANNY
Just as they thought the public was going to buy the idea that the jury had agreed with Judge Smith and the Prosecution (a terrible band that plays mostly to the media in central Texas), Branch Davidians' trial jury forewoman Sarah Bain screamed "foul", and a large part of the world seems to have heard her.
We've published "An Interview with Sarah Bain" in this issue, but it could hardly top the volley she fired on Chuck Harder's "We the People" national radio talk show, on which she lambasted the government's handling of the case, decried the fact that Smith had misled the jurors regarding their power to judge the law itself, withheld important evidence, and failed to tell the jury that the sentences would be as much as forty years in jail for the "minor" counts against the defendants. Sarah also took time on the show to say good things about FIJA.
FIJA expresses thanks to two donors of needed computer equipment. R. J. Tavel of Indianapolis, Indiana, upon upgrading his equipment, sent us the 386-DX he'd been using until then, complete with Windows--which all we now have to do is learn! Thanks, R. J., and know that about half of this issue of the FIJActivist was written in your computer.
Thanks also to Joseph Orolin of Trevose, Pennsylvania for his donation of a Canon Starwriter--a laptop word processor which Larry Dodge already has plans for (can you really run it off a car cigarette lighter, and write documents with one hand, while the other is on the wheel?) Well, it should pack into a motel room with ease, and take the place of HBO, right?
NATIONAL BOARD TO MEET IN ASPEN
As one person said when he heard we were going to have our next (fourth) annual national board meeting in Aspen, Colorado, "Now you're getting smart". It's a beautiful place, we've been assured, and board member Doug Casey, who maintains a residence there, concurs. We'll let you know in the next issue if the high altitude had any beneficial effect upon our decision-making!