Re: Police raid

The occupation of the Chrysler Building on Sunday was not undertaken entirely by anarchists, as you incorrectly reported in your Nov. 16 article “Chapel Hill: cops vs. anarchists and nobody wins.” Those detained or arrested included reporters with press credentials, legal observers, random passersby and people of various political philosophies who believe that a different Franklin Street is possible. However, the absurd and lethally dangerous level of force used to terrorize and evict the peaceful occupation of the unlocked building was justified by the police on the grounds that “known anarchists” were participating and that certain “literature” had been found there. Are we willing to accept that a group’s literature and political beliefs can be used explicitly by the state to justify threatening their lives? Should the totally unarmed participants in a creative, festive act of civil disobedience have loaded assault rifles shoved in their faces because of what they allegedly think or read?

The issue is not “cops versus anarchists.” The issue is a mayor who values profit over people and a police force that bases repression on political beliefs, versus a diverse group of visionaries who dreamed of a free community center instead of a rotting, absentee-owned waste of a building. This supposedly “deliberate and appropriate” police response has prompted outrage throughout Chapel Hill and attracted embarrassing national media coverage. “No good guys”? Perhaps not, but there are undoubtedly some who support using paramilitary police to defend the interests of the wealthy against social movements, versus many more who value human need over private greed. Which side are you on?

Alex Berkman
Chapel Hill

Re: Southeast Raleigh

I find it truly amazing that Bob Geary can write such a long article on the problems in Southeast Raleigh without once mentioning the problems (“The other side of town,” Nov. 16). Oh, he covers the symptoms very well, but the problems he completely ignores. And without dealing with the problems, there are no viable solutions.

In a nutshell, those problems are:

1. Black youth not taking full advantage of the free education offered them.

2. Black teenage girls getting pregnant at rates that are simply astounding.

3. Black teenage boys getting black teenage girls pregnant, then walking away from any responsibility.

4. The pervasive culture of drug use in all its forms.

5. The unwillingness of black residents to properly inform police of those who they know for certain are criminals, especially those who are violent or members of organized gangs.

6. The seeming indifference of residents, especially poor renters, to keep their neighborhoods clean and uncluttered.

7. Finally, too much corruption in too many churches for far too long.

The solutions to those problems are plainly obvious and do not require massive and expensive studies to derive or government programs to solve. The solutions, though, reside within each individual to do what they know is right. If they do that, everything else will fall in line. If they don’t, well, the cesspool of crime and poverty will continue.

Steve Crisp