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LETTERS: Tunney on attacks
2009-08-26

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Tunney business

My office has received a number of calls from concerned constituents about the two most recent attacks that took place Aug. 19. We have had ongoing safety issues in the Belmont-Sheffield Area for years and have been working closely with the police to mitigate the problems and build solutions. It is my belief that we have the resources to handle the issues of loitering, prostitution, drug dealing and, more recently, robberies; however, sufficient resources are not on the street during the midnight shift when these crimes are being committed.

During my tenure as alderman, I have consistently worked with the police to identify this area as a hot spot for criminal activity, installed police cameras at the major intersections, improved lighting on residential and arterial streets and have stimulated positive economic development in the area. These are some of the most effective tools to fight crime.

Most importantly, I want to ensure that all of my residents are kept safe at all hours of the day. Please be alert when walking late at night and avoid walking alone. Call 911 whenever you see suspicious activity on the street, and give the best possible description to the call taker, including an address.

My office will continue to work with police, CAPS and residents. We are setting up additional safety seminars and CAPS meetings to address these issues and we have been on several late-night walks with police and residents. Information is also regularly updated at www.44thWard.org and through e-news blasts.

I am committed to doing all I can to address these issues and am confident that working together with the community, businesses, police and CAPS we can improve safety in this area.

—44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney

Message in the music

Michael Rapino

President and Chief Executive Officer

Live Nation, Inc.

9348 Civic Center Drive

Beverly Hills, Calif., 90210

Dear Mr. Rapino:

Hopefully, you are aware that Live Nation/House of Blues has booked Buju Banton for a nationwide tour, including a Chicago stop Oct. 1. Banton is one of a handful of performers whose output has been labeled "murder music" for openly advocating the murder of lesbians and gays in the lyrics of their music.

House of Blues has faced protests before against its sponsorship of anti-gay "murder music"; yet, it apparently persists in thinking that LGBT people should "tolerate" those who call for murdering us.

House of Blues/Live Nation would never book Buju Banton or any performer who advocated killing African Americans or Jews, and rightfully so. Why, then, is it okay for House of Blues to hire a musician who calls for murdering lesbians and gays? Why the double standard?

When Live Nation purchased House of Blues several years ago, we wrote to your corporate office asking that reggae dancehall "murder musicians" like Banton not be booked unless and until these performers renounce their past behavior and promise no more murderous lyrics going forward. Banton first signed and then repudiated such an agreement. This is particularly an issue in his native Jamaica, where gays face a living hell due, in part, to performers like Banton who stoke the flames of an already dangerous situation by singing their murderous music.

Perhaps his most notorious "kill gays" song is "Boom, Bye Bye" in which Banton describes shooting "battyman" ( slang for a gay man ) in the head, sometimes with an Uzi, an automatic weapon.

We call upon Live Nation management to do the right thing and cancel the Buju Banton tour. We will credit your company with the appropriate corporate response to irrational and murderous hostility toward lesbian and gay people. Should Live Nation not cancel Banton's tour, you will offer us no alternative but to go forward with plans to protest in as many cities as possible, including Chicago.

Sincerely yours,

Gay Liberation Network

www.GayLiberation.net

Note to readers:

We encourage those who are outraged by Live Nation's promotion of this viciously anti-LGBT tour that you contact Live Nation yourself and let them know how you feel about Live Nation's sponsorship of messages encouraging violence against LGBTs. You can call the Live Nation customer service line to complain at 800-431-3462, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday or e-mail them at CustomerService@LiveNation.com .

We encourage activists around the country to mount their own protests against murder music performances in their cities. Here is a list of Buju Banton's 2009 concert tour dates:

Philadelphia ( Sept. 12 ) ; Portland, Maine ( Sept. 17 ) ; Charlotte ( Sept. 23 ) ; Raleigh ( Sept. 24 ) ; Norfolk ( Sept. 25 ) ; Richmond, Va. ( Sept. 26 ) ; Detroit ( Sept. 30 ) ; Chicago ( Oct. 1 ) ; Denver ( Oct. 6 ) ; Aspen, Colo. ( Oct. 7 ) ; Salt Lake City ( Oct. 8 ) ; San Francisco ( Oct. 10 ) ; Tallahassee, Fla. ( Oct. 11 ) ; Jacksonville, Fla. ( Oct. 12 ) ; San Jose, Calif. ( Oct. 13 ) ; Charleston ( Oct. 14 ) ; Los Angeles ( Oct. 14 ) ; Las Vegas, Nev. ( Oct. 15 )


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