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June 2007
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Chicago’s Vigil for Lost Promise

The DEA is at it again. Tonight, they are sponsoring the Chicago Vigil for Lost Promise at Navy Pier (with information at chicagovigil.org). Naturally, I am countering with Chicago Vigil for Lost Promise (with info at chicagovigil.com).
What we have here (and with the original Vigil for Lost Promise, and with the DEA Museum exhibits, etc.) is a blatant effort on the part of the DEA to help their own image through using the tragedy of people who have died. What makes it worse is that the DEA itself is, directly or indirectly, a cause of those deaths.
It is the drug war, and the enforcement tactics used by the DEA, that increases violence and the dangers of drugs, that keeps young people from seeking help — that shortens the promise of all those lives. I understand the pain of those who have lost loved ones. But for them to turn to the agency that contributed to their deaths for some kind of macabre celebration of the lethal drug war… is a sickness born of ignorance and despair.
The fact that this vigil in Chicago tonight will be held at the obscene DEA-glorifying exhibit Target America: Opening Eyes to the Damage Drugs Cause at Navy Pier, just makes it worse.
Of course, left out of this vigil will be the true victims. There will be no discussion of the lost promise of 14-year-old Ashley Villareal, who was killed by the DEA. Or those who have committed suicide since the DEA took away the medication they needed to live. Or all the broken families brought about from imprisoning non-violent drug offenders.
The vigil is a sham. A publicity stunt for the DEA, dancing on the bodies of the dead.
And, of course, all the usual suspects will be dancing — including NBC5/Telemundo and the Chicago Sun-Times, Motorola; McDonald’s; the Cebrin Goodman Center; the Richard Driehaus Charitable Lead Trust; Bensinger & DuPont Associates, Inc.; Families Changing America; TASC (Treatment Alternatives for Safer Communites); Prevention First; and the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, each of which will receive an “award” for dancing on dead people.
“A Vigil for Lost Promise” is open to the public and will take place on Monday, June 18th at 6:30 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier.
By the way, if you type “Vigil for Lost Promise” into google, the first site you get is mine. Hopefully, some will arrive there by accident and learn something.

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