August 19th, 2004

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Campaign Update (

Hey if there's anyone that would like to be on my campaign listserv please sign up or just let me know your email and I'll sign you up.

Visitors to my campaign website can now donate online.

We're going to need to raise at least $2000 if we want to reach enough of the 6000 voters that we need to reach in order to win this election. Very shortly I'll be purchasing yard signs and assembling materials for literature drops throughout the district.

We've applied to have the first $250 that we raise matched by the Green Party of the United States so if you're one of the first campaign donors your money may go twice as far!
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Police Brutality

I just watched this incredible documentary on PBS called "Every Mother's Son" about 3 mothers fighting for justice after their innocent sons were all separately killed by the NYPD. The sons were Amadou Diallo, Anthony Baez, and Gary (Gidone) Busch. All of them were completely innocent people, attacked and killed by cops. Baez was thrown to the ground and strangled to death by a cop (who has a record of choking suspects) after some kids that he was playing football with accidentally hit a cop car with the football. Diallo was shot with 41 bullets by a group of cops who claim his wallet looked like a gun. Busch was a holding a jewish prayer hammer, watching some cops respond to a noise complaint, when he was pepper sprayed in the face; when he ran in pain they shot him with 12 bullets. All of these police was tried and they were all let off on technicalities.

About 10 minutes into the film I started crying. I don't mean just the kind of "choked up about something sad" crying. I mean literally out loud snot running tears flying verbal crying. Every time I got it under control so I could pay attention to the rest of the story they'd show one of these mothers. And it didn't matter if she was sad or outraged or spirited or holding it all in or what, I just lost it. I looked at her and I thought of the situation and I couldn't escape the grief and pain. I couldn't escape the FEAR. Here's these people who are supposed to be your last defense against things that go bump in the night and if they come to your neighborhood they might just shoot you dead.

I don't think I've really cried in at least a year.

A few years ago a man, Greg Brown, was beaten to death by 17 Champaign police officers. His only crime was that he was lurking in an alley. They found him in that alley because they were responding to a missing person's report from his family. No police were charged in this incident. The coroner found that the man died not of a beating but of a heart attack caused by the stress related to the beating.

New York City had a citizen's police review board until Giuliani got into office. He campaigned on a platform of eliminating that body.
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