Pubdate: Thu, 09 Jan 2003
Source: Racine Journal Times, The (WI)
Address: 212 4th Street, Racine, WI 53403
Fax: (262)631-1702
Copyright: 2003, The Racine Journal Times
Author: Alan D. Eisenberg


I have worked my entire life fighting injustices. In all those years, I 
cannot recall a greater injustice than the blatant violation on our 
constitutional rights at the hands of the Racine Police Department on the 
evening of Nov. 2.

On that evening, Racine's "finest" took it upon themselves to purposefully 
target an electronic music fund-raiser for a local community group and 
issue 441 citations to the partygoers whose only act was peaceful assembly.

They called it a "rave." They said they don't want "raves" in Racine and 
this would send a message to others not to "rave" in Racine.

I have news for the city of Racine. The United States Constitution 
prohibits this type of attitude and infringement. You cannot issue $1,000 
citations and hold people for hours because you do not want a certain type 
of legal event or people in your city.

The San Diego Police Department attempted to do it. The city of San Diego 
lost $1.5 million. The Houston Police Department did it and there are 
hundreds of millions of dollars of lawsuits filed. One can only guess how 
much this blatant violation of our rights will cost the city of Racine.

I applaud the American Civil Liberties Union for representing those cited 
with frivolous citations. I applaud the Green Party of Wisconsin for being 
concerned enough to offer their support in the defense of civil rights.

I condemn the city of Racine Police Pepartment and prosecutors for their 
actions. I condemn the Racine city government for not correcting an 
injustice as soon as it occurred.

I encourage the people of Racine to join them in calling for an immediate 
dismissal of the citations and a call for an independent investigation into 
the actions of the Racine Police Department actions. This is your country 
and your Constitution. This is who we are. This is what we must do, defend 
it with diligence.

Alan D. Eisenberg

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