Debriefing from My First FIJA Event

A big thanks goes to Raymond for preparing 700 copies of the Fully Informed Jury Association flyer. I really underestimated just how many people wanted the information. One image really stuck in my mind. It was a truly magnificent sight, a line of at least 50 potential jurors reading the FIJA flyer while waiting in line outside the Justice Center.

The process was easy but also rewarding. We found a lot of sympathetic ears, and we let them know how to get involved locally in the Tarrant County Campaign for Liberty. I don’t know if we’ll save someone from an unjust law; however, I know for sure that we reached some other hearts and minds seeking liberty.

I didn’t have any trouble except for this one assistant district attorney. In the accompanying YouTube video I posted, I described the events just prior to the footage.

I was outside the Tarrant County Justice Center in downtown Ft. Worth, passing out Fully Informed Jury Association literature to potential jurors with some other activists, when I was approached by a man who identified himself as a county prosecutor. He repeatedly questioned who I was and who I worked for. I, of course, repeatedly ignored his questions, and that only seemed to upset him more.

I intentionally avoided approaching anyone wearing a suit or an employee ID badge because I was trying to be as inconspicuous as possible. I stood by myself on the northeast corner of the building, while Katy and Raymond were on the southeast corner attending to bus loads of potential jurors. Most people had their jury summons or a big thick book in hand, so they were easy to spot. There must have been 40 officers and security personnel who passed me, and not one threatened me or tried to intimidate me in any way. They were true professionals. One even thanked me for what we were doing. However, Katy later told me about an officer who yanked the flyer away from a woman who he didn’t appear to know. The officer apparently read the first few sentences and scoffed as he walked away.

I’d say that nine out of 10 people took the handout. We dressed sort of business-like, so a lot of people might have assumed we were with the city. I borrowed from a line and would say, “Have you got your juror’s rights information, yet?” or just “Here’s your juror’s rights information” and then hand them the paper.

At about 8:45 or so, we decided to close shop. If we had gone Tuesday through Friday, then we would have waited because the jury summons is 30 minutes later during those days of the week. Parking was also easy. We parked next to the building at a parking meter, and since the hours of operation don’t start until 8:00, it only costs less than a dollar to park.

Ideas to Consider

If we plan to make this a regular thing, then we’ll need to find a print shop sympathetic to our message to achieve some costs savings.

I think eight, two at each street corner around the building, is an optimal number of participants for this kind of event.

Any other ideas or suggestions are welcomed.