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Saturday, July 08, 2006

From: Brian Riley, Gallaudet Alumnus 1987

To: Gallaudet Community

Re: Inspirational message

Date: July 8, 2006

Dear fellow members of the Gallaudet Community,

More than a week has passed since the Gallyprotest press release of June 30, 2006. We've all been waiting for the other shoe to drop, and we've heard nothing, unless you want to say that the little slipper that Fernandes dropped afterwards qualifies.

As a "living bridge" from 1988 to the present, I would ask that other people also come forward who are willing to serve as such kinds of "bridges." I didn't play a major role in 1988, but I was there right in the center of the political hurricane--in the protest headquarters in the Alumni Office--standing up on the steps of the Capitol with the speakers that day of the march--in the Ely center after Jordan returned to campus after his acceptance speech, looking like a boy who just woke up on Christmas morning--in the wild and incredibly noisy celebration in the Abbey where Jordan gave a late-night speech--and many more places.

Please try to remember those days and recall the enthusiasm and spirit of the times. Let's pass those feelings on to the current protesters who need our inspirational support and guidance.

Very soon will come the day of reckoning for the malevolent forces that are at work now behind the scenes, frantically pulling every string they can grasp ahold of, making promises of future jobs, future favors, anything that they think will help to put the protesters to sleep and end the nightmare that they themselves created.

I am here to personally make a public vow that I will do everything in my strength and within my capability to bring about final victory in this protest. At this point I've been working so long and so hard, I can't even think of a way to convey the sense of dedication I feel. Words fail.

We are involved in an effort which will influence the course of history for many, many years. Try to imagine how much is at stake, how much tips in the balance right now involving the future happiness and success of Gallaudet students and Americans in general.

I am merely a facilitator. It's not necessary that I mention now what needs to be done. The people who have the power to do what needs to be done, including members of FSSA and other community leaders, know who they are and they already know what they need to do. I have supreme confidence that everything that needs to be done can be accomplished before January 1st. The time is now.

Therefore, in light of all the above, on behalf of all those who wish to join in, I hereby emphatically declare a moral victory in this current protest!

Now it's time to go on to achieve the practical victory. I know we can do it.

To quote Jerry Covell from 1988 in one of his famous speeches:

"The world can't stop us!"


Brian Riley

Note: To see a photo of Brian on stage at the Capitol during the rally on Friday, March 11, 1988, see the photo on the bottom of page 126 in Jack R. Gannon's book: "The Week the World Heard Gallaudet"--(wearing "Deaf Prez Now" T-shirt and blue jeans, right tennis shoe tilted outwards standing next to cameraman's bag.)


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