Picketers Defend Dallas Commissioner
by Jim Lane
DALLAS--Fifty silent protesters gathered outside the Federal Building in downtown Dallas on September 16th. They were defending County Commissioner John Wiley Price, who is the target of FBI allegations. A Grand Jury is deciding how far they can go with it. Commissioner Price is one of the most outstanding African American political figures in county history. He went from leading small protests at a local high school to holding a powerful county office. His level of militancy has not wavered even though he has endured years of really bad publicity and several attempts to undermine him from law enforcement agencies. Nobody knows what the FBI may have found in raids on his office and home, but the civil rights community has had enough.
For years, successful African American and Latino political figures have endured the slanders of the local media and harassment by law enforcement over petty and/or trumped up charges. A State Representative just returned from prison and a City Councilman is still there. Four members of a well-known Latino political family were indicted two days ago. Several other officeholders have been indicted since the early 1990s when minorities won a lawsuit that cleared the way for them to win office. Hardly any have ever seen favorable publicity in the establishment "news" services. The FBI has few friends, if any, in the civil rights community. John Wiley Price has many, including several prominent unionists who joined the September 16 picket.