Vigil on hiatus

Many readers will have noted the weekly presence (every Saturday since inauguration) of a sign-wielding group at the intersection of Park Street and Santa Clara Avenue. Sometimes referred to as The Human Billboard, individuals and groups including Alameda Progressives, Black Lives Matter and Resist came together rain or shine to hold vigil and affirm the stance “Everyone Belongs Here.” Sometimes we numbered in the single digits, sometimes in the hundreds.

Due to the “retirement” of lifelong activists Ruth Smiler and Ashley Jones, who were the glue and guiding forces, the vigil is on hiatus until further notice. We thank them both for their strength and spark. Thanks to all the others who joined in when they could, and the many who expressed support and solidarity through horn honks and high fives. Even those few who felt compelled to flip us off did their part to fuel our conviction. And a thank you to Stanley Hallmark who weekly stepped out of his corner newsstand to join us and raise his sign high.

The vigil is on hiatus, but the work continues as old and new issues become more and more pressing on a daily basis. There are many ways to get involved on our little island. All are needed!


Jane Peal