News Copter Hit by Bullets in Standoff

  News Copter Hit by Bullets in Standoff

Posted by FoM on September 01, 2001 at 08:40:48 PT
By The Associated Press 
Source: Associated Press 

A news helicopter was hit by a bullet during a standoff between police and the owner of a campground who was due to appear in court on drug and weapons charges. The bullet tore through the helicopter's rear stabilizer, but the helicopter was still able to land safely and no injuries were reported, the Indiana television station operating it reported. Police still had the property surrounded early Saturday. 
"We're trying to set up some negotiations right now, to get a phone line in and do some talking," Cass County Sheriff Joseph Underwood told The Truth newspaper of Elkhart, Ind. "Obviously, (Crosslin) is in an agitated state at this time." Sheriff's deputies went to the Rainbow Farm Campground about noon Friday after neighbors called saying the owner, Grover T. Crosslin, 46, was burning buildings on the property in southwest Michigan. Deputies evacuated six houses and watched from a distance as three buildings burned, said Underwood. There was gunfire coming from the campground, and the helicopter from South Bend, Ind., television station WNDU was hit, Underwood said. Calls to Rainbow Farm early Saturday were met with busy signals. Crosslin's mother, Mae Crosslin, 68, reached in Vandalia, said she didn't know how the standoff could be resolved. "We don't know that much right now." she said. Authorities arrested Crosslin and others on drug charges in May after a long investigation into allegation of marijuana use at the campground and its annual festivals, Underwood said. A Hemp Fest there typically draws thousands of visitors A statement on Rainbow Farm's Web site says it "supports the medical, spiritual and responsible recreational uses of marijuana for a more sane and compassionate America." Crosslin was charged with felony possession of a firearm, growing marijuana and maintaining a drug house. On Friday, he was facing a $150,000 bond revocation hearing because police believed he was violating the terms of his release. The property is also the target of civil forfeiture proceedings. "I assume he's upset about the court hearing," Underwood said. Newshawk: mr.greengenes Source: Associated PressPublished: September 01, 2001Copyright: 2001 Associated PressRelated Article & Web Site:Rainbow Farm Campground Farms Raided for Drugs

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Comment #32 posted by Sharnee on November 28, 2001 at 22:35:29 PT:

Could you send me pics?
Hi, I'm doing a school project on marijuana, and I'd appreciate it if you could send me some pics of a marajuana plant? Thanks,
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Comment #31 posted by Patrick on September 03, 2001 at 21:53:03 PT

Professor Hemp you knew this man and all I can say is that I am sad and sorry to here of his demise. I did not know who he was until a few days ago.
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Comment #30 posted by FoM on September 03, 2001 at 21:31:29 PT

Professor Hemp 
 Thank You Professor Hemp,You haven't heard. They killed him. I'm sorry. Campground Owner Killed After Four-Day Standoff Owner Shot Dead by FBI
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Comment #29 posted by Professor Hemp on September 03, 2001 at 21:22:46 PT:

The Standoff at Rainbow Farm
I have been involved in the Drug Reform movement for nearly 14 years, off and on, and am very concerned about what is happening at Rainbow Farm. So far this year a number of odd things have happened in Michingan:* Adam Brook (MC of the Hash Bash) is busted.* Marvin Marvin (Long time Michigan Hemp Activist) is harrassed by Channel 4's Problem Solver over a overblown work release issue. During the story the report belittles Marvin for his support for Drug Reform.* Rainbow Farm is cited in May for Drug Trafficing etc.Now they take Tom's child away from him because of earlier drug charges. My concern is that we may be looking at LIC (Low Intensity Conflict) strategies that have been historically used by the NSA, CIA and other covert groups in third world countries for the purpose of destabilizing organizations not in sync with National Security doctrine. The purpose of LIC tactics is to trip up you enemy through tactics ranging from embarrassing disclosure to assasination. The BIG difference is that now it looks like they may be employing these tactics right here in Michigan. The jury is still out on this one but I do think the "government" is getting a bit stressed over the global movement to say "the hell with the Drug War." England, Canada, Portugal, Amsterdam . . . have all recently made it clear that they are considering alternatives to the Drug War that include . . . and certainly should include . . . the legalization of Marijuana for adults. Lets keep our heads about these developments and see them for what they are -- the last resort of a scoundral. I think this is the beginning of a last ditch effort, on the part of the U.S. government, to silence drug reform in this country and we must not allow it to happen.Over the years I have spoken at Rainbow Farm and have talked to Tom at length on many occassions. Although we have had our differences, over the years, Tom is a very nice, layed back and effective activist. I find it very difficult to believe that he would take up arms against anybody unless they pushed him to the brink. I can only hope that this gets resolved without incident. Tom does not deserve this and I have a very strong sence that this "baiting" was very well planned and primarily directed at discrediting another drug reform activist.
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Comment #28 posted by Will on September 03, 2001 at 16:08:29 PT:

Rapid Response Teams
Be sure to check your local laws. In some cases there may be a law against using police scanners in a vehicle unless you are a member of the press. Be sure to stay out of the way of the cops, so that you don't get charged with obstructing justice. Your job is to obstruct injustice by watching the cops and testifying against them in court, should they violate a suspect's civil rights.If the suspect's friends or family are around after the cops have left with the suspect, you should give them your contact information, so that they know who to get in touch with. Go to for a list of NORML Legal Committee members and be prepared to supply the suspect's friends and/or family with the contact information of lawyers in your area who specialize in marijuana cases.
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Comment #27 posted by lookinside on September 03, 2001 at 10:55:28 PT:

this is exactly what i'm looking for...the only way we mightprevent an arrest is if the cops knew they were on shakyground to begin with...but a few hundred folks, some withvideo cameras would DEFINITELY slow down some cop with ideasof violating someones civil rights with a nightstick or agun...cops hate outside legal what i'm suggesting a "conspiracy"of some sort? can i leave leaflets at the clubs to getothers interested in this idea? i have my cell phone with me24/7...perfect for what i'm thinking about...
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Comment #26 posted by Will on September 03, 2001 at 04:00:31 PT:

Re: Great dialog going on here
I happen to be the director of a fledgling NORML chapter in a rural area about a 90 minute drive northeast of Rainbow Farm. We're struggling to recruit members, but we're gaining ground. I like the idea of a rapid response team, although, let's look at it in another perspective. Since the drug war has eroded our civil rights, I think the mission of such a rapid response team would be to arrive on the scene of an incident involving an arrest for a marijuana offense as soon as possible, to observe what is taking place.Team members should remain silent unless they witness an obvious act of police brutality. If they want to convey a message, let them carry a sign. In the interest of safety in a confrontational situation such as this, it is unwise to carry signs on wooden sticks, which can be considered weapons, and may give the police an excuse to use deadly force. The ultimate goal is to help in the defense of a drug war POW by providing witnesses to the arrest. Their court testimony could be enough to free that POW.
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Comment #25 posted by Will on September 03, 2001 at 01:41:20 PT:

Report from the front line
I have just returned home from Rainbow Farm, where there were about 2 or 3 dozen people camped beside State Route 60 less than a mile from Rainbow Farm itself. I spoke with the person who is acting as the arbitrator between Tom Crosslin and the police, and as I understand it, what precipitated this standoff was the placement of Tom's son in foster care.All Tom wants is to know that his child is safe, and preferably home where he belongs. While it may have been drug offenses that caused the government to take Tom's child from him, the issue here isn't about drugs, it's about families. While I can't say that Tom's decision to take this course of action was a wise one, I can understand and empathize with him. God only knows what I would do if my child were taken from me.Now, I've only known Tom casually through common activist organizational affiliations for the past 18 months, but he doesn't strike me as the kind of person who would harm a child, and I know he believes that drug use should only be legal for fully informed, consenting adults. While Tom's son may have a slightly more realistic education about marijuana than some of his classmates whose parents let the police come into their childrens' schools and brainwash them, I feel certain he has been drug free all his life, and may, if he so chooses, to celebrate his 21st birthday smoking some (hopefully) legal marijuana.
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Comment #24 posted by Dan B on September 02, 2001 at 22:53:52 PT:

Great dialog going on here
First, thanks dddd (and everyone else who has kind words for my comments whom I have not yet thanked) for your kind words. It always makes my day when something I have written rings true for someone. (By the way, I also appreciate it when I am clearly wrong and people take the time to set me straight).That aside, I think that lookinside has sparked an interesting idea, and I believe we could use it to our advantage. Perhaps we could develop some kind of Cannabis Action Network, where activists in various locations can become part of a rapid response team, responding immediately to breaking drug war news (such as this standoff) by first contacting a list of ten or so people (who, as lookinside has already pointed out, would contact still more people), then showing up where the news event is occurring. Perhaps we could invest in some police scanners in order to get the news before it breaks.This kind of rapid response team would be useful for several reasons: (1) they would provide a very visible voice of opposition to the drug war, (2) they could make things more difficult for cops et al., and (3) they would quickly lend visibility to whatever organization(s) might support such an effort (e.g. NORML, MPP, etc.). This idea can work. It has worked for other groups in the past. It is a proactive solution that is both confrontive and nonviolent, and that sounds like just what we need at this stage of fighting the drug war. Thanks, lookinside, for a very insightful idea. Now all we need is some forum in which to get this thing started. I would bet that some NORML chapters already have such a system in place. It would be worth checking into.Dan B
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Comment #23 posted by lookinside on September 02, 2001 at 21:12:38 PT:

an idea...pick it apart please...
that is a start, and a good one...but we need masses ofpeople showing up, getting in the way...making thingsimpossible for the gestapo to accomplish theirunconstitutional goals...a FAST response is mythought...people need to get there as quickly aspossible...and keep on coming until the criminal criminaljustice system collapses...
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Comment #22 posted by FoM on September 02, 2001 at 20:48:55 PT

I've had the opportunity to do news almost as fast as it was happening. When the protest was going on at Barr's Office, Gary Storck email what was happening and I got it posted within an hour of receiving it. I have believed all along that every event should have one person that will report on what is going on with a laptop. That worked this one time we did it. Gary didn't use a laptop but went to a library I think. I might be wrong there but he got a hold of a computer. Is this what you mean?Jim Busted, Cheryl Put Back in Chair Users Invade Barr Office
What's New in Drug Policy Reform
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Comment #21 posted by lookinside on September 02, 2001 at 20:31:41 PT:

an idea...pick it apart please...
today we have the greatest access to communication the worldhas ever we have the will to put our money whereour mouths are?i noticed in one of the articles that about 30 supportersare camped out at rainbow farms...what if it were 3000 or30,000?can we network in geographical areas for a quick response tothese situations? i'd like to see a universal message numberthat we all have to report these kind of travesties to...theperson recieving the call would call 5 or 10 other numberswho would again each make several calls...emails could alsobe sent en masse...i envision several thousand passive"witnesses" gathering peacefully and generally inadvertantlymaking a hairy nuisance of themselves...maybe setting uptheir BBQs in the front yard of the surrounded house andpartying til the porkers got extremely frustrated...and left...they can ignore a few dozen of us, but thousands are adifferent story...remember what one man with a video camera started whenrodney king got the SH** kicked out of him...i've given this some thought because i fear for our friendsat the co-operatives in the SF bay area...they arevulnerable unless a LARGE group gathers quickly to get inthe way...any thoughts?
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Comment #20 posted by dddd on September 02, 2001 at 18:36:55 PT

Extremely well said Dr D.
...And while I appreciate Wills wise comments,,,I'm afraidthat Dans' comment is more right on in the strange new timesof today....I dont mean to say that there are not any modes,andmethods of passive resistance that are effective and appropriate,but the blossoming evil political/media/corporate empire that hasestablished its' monstrous global dominance recently,is not an easything for the passive dissident to alter....Even the loud voices ofrespected figures,that speak out against injustice,and domination,are effectivly neutralized by the well organized entities that nowcontrol the media.I'll bet you could set yourself on fire in the townsquare,in an ill advised,self sacraficial attempt to make the worldaware of the looming takeover of the world,and it would make no difference.You would be,(perhaps correctly),portrayed as a nut case in the media,no matter how sane,and eloquent your message was.You would be luckyto even get as much press as the latest shark bite. We are in a way different world than the time of Ghandi,,,and I'm notnecessarily recommending a solution that includes violence,,but I dothink that it may be time for "plan B". Thanx for the great commentary Dan B....I thought it was outstandingand inspirationaldddd 
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Comment #19 posted by Dan B on September 02, 2001 at 16:39:31 PT:

The Limits of Passive Resistance
Passive resistance is a wonderful goal, and I wish it were true that real change could be brought about by simply shouting at the government to stop crushing us. But such is, I am afraid, not the case.I am sure that there were many Jewish people living in Germany in 1939 who believed that peaceful protest was the way to go. Many non-Jews saw what was going on and chose to protest peacefully, as well. What they didn't consider was that the Nazi war machine had already grown too huge for peaceful protest to work. Before long they were all rounded up in concentration camps where they would be killed at the slightest whim--where protest was completely out of the question. The Nazis had the control over the Jews that they wanted . . . for a while, until the Americans, British, French and, yes, the Soviet Union came to their rescue with bombs and guns and tanks--you get the picture.The United States right now is very similar to Germany at the beginning of the Nazi regime. By way of the drug war, the government has provided every single step in the path toward genocidal annihilation of drug users except for the final step--annihilation itself. That step is already in its infant stages. It can only grow under the current paradigm.In other words, we are very likely beyond the stage where peaceful protest can be effective, and if the government decides to institute a true policy of genocide against those affiliated with drug use (including anyone demanding a change in drug policies), who in the world will come to our rescue? Is any country powerful enough to conquer the United States, or even to wound it enough that it will loosen its stranglehold on not just its own citizens, but the governments and citizens of every other country in the world? China might be able to give it the old college try, but I doubt they would see any reason to come to the aid of "druggies," whom execute on a regular basis.While I wish I could believe that we are still capable of ending the drug war peacefully, I just don't see it happening. What I do see is a future of more bloodshed and quickly evaporating freedoms. The bottom line? We are playing a balancing act right now, peacefully protesting the drug war while hoping we don't get crushed in the process. It's a dangerous business, and sooner or later we will likely have to make the big decision: do we physically fight our way to freedom, or do we cower to those who would be our masters. I, for one, will let no one be my master.Dan B
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Comment #18 posted by Will on September 02, 2001 at 15:50:08 PT:

Freedom through passive resistance.
Ghandi may not have been an American, but his work as a freedom fighter must not be overlooked. He achieved his goals without violence, and we should seek to follow his example. The more passively we resist, the better. By resisting without violence, we make our opposition's violence stand out just that much more, and show them for the butchers they really are. By using violence ourselves, our opposition will only justify their actions and increase the level of violence. Haven't enough people died in this war already?
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Comment #17 posted by sunsetcloudz on September 02, 2001 at 15:46:52 PT:

I have a question
Maybe I'm just young and ambitious,but why are we letting this war go on any longer? While people are losing everything they have ever worked for(including their freedom to walk down the street!) because they smoke weed, the rest of us who are lucky enough to be free are waiting for "legal" processes like votes and senators to liberate us! I'm sorry to say but these proccesses are not working for us fast enough.At the rate things are going it will be my daughter's children's generations that sees a free country,and I dont want MY children to come up like this! I am completely opposed to violence but something drastic must happen in order for a true change to take place.We all in the most literal sense stand up and say "The time is NOW to take back our God given free will!" We need a revolution.For our children's sake.
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Comment #16 posted by Duzt on September 02, 2001 at 09:44:28 PT

American hero
He's an American defending his property, a real American. We didn't win our fredoms sitting on our asses waiting for it to come. He is doing what is right. It's his property and they have no right to be there. They are stealing it and his freedom. I would and will do the same if ANYBODY threatens me on my property. Cowards deserve no freedom, this man is no coward. Jefferson, Washington, Lincoln, they were true Americans who fought for freedom. As far as I know, Ghandi wasn't American and doesn't represent how we won our freedoms.
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Comment #15 posted by lookinside on September 02, 2001 at 09:12:56 PT:

having been through our crooked and greed driven legalsystem, i can relate to mr. crosslin's actions...the policedid not try to take my property, which surprised me...ifthey had, they would have gotten a smoking ruin for theirtrouble...the frustration he feels is apparent...if he's bent on selfdestruction, i hope he takes a large uniformed honor guardwith him...not one of those would be an innocent victim...
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Comment #14 posted by Will on September 02, 2001 at 08:53:38 PT:

While I have made it clear that I don't condone Crosslin's actions, I haven't made it clear that I also don't condone the government's actions in this standoff and events leading up to it. It truly is a shame that our government has driven people like Tom Crosslin to violent crime. Tom's behavior, as reported by the local TV news here in Michigan, is that of a desperate individual.Regardless of the circumstances, it is obvious that both Crosslin and the government are to blame. Were it not for the government's failed war on drugs, things wouldn't have reached this point. However, as Ghandi said, "I am willing to die for my freedom, but I am unwilling to kill for it." Crosslin is just as culpable in this situation as the government is. We're not going to win this war by taking up arms against the government. The only armament we need is the truth, and enough guts to proclaim it.
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Comment #13 posted by rabblerouser on September 02, 2001 at 08:39:56 PT

a plight America does not deserve 
I read the 'purpose' at Mr. Croslin's Rainbowbow Campground website and it looks innocuous(beforehand). I apologize, Will, if I do not have all of the facts. I do not want to think that you are a prohibitionist and I will not.Here is an account of what happened to me:One summer I had a job where I thought that I could get away from all of the drinking and drugs that was in the town that I lived. Unbeknownst to me I jumped from the frying pan into the fire. It turned out that I was working with a few herion addicts. Not a fun experience, however, they all got up each and every day and went to work. Just like the drunks did. The only problem that I perceived (in hindsight) was the illegality of the drug that they were using, and really nothing else. Unfortunately, I think that prohibition of any drug is folly. I use the word 'unfortunately' because people are going to use drugs, period. Their drug of choice is their business even if it may harm them.  What are you or I going to do to stop them? Make it crime and put them in jail is the current functional mode pursued by those who think that this should be done.
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on September 02, 2001 at 07:59:08 PT

Just a comment
Thank you Will for sharing your feelings about this situation. I understand you are upset. I just hope no one gets hurt. That is my main concern. 
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Comment #11 posted by ekim on September 02, 2001 at 07:58:58 PT:

Dick Cowan will do news on Tuesday
I wish Geoffrey Fieger would mediate for a safe outcome. No one knows who has done what, please remeber that when speaking harshly Of Tom it reflects badly on you.
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Comment #10 posted by Will on September 02, 2001 at 07:06:38 PT:

Tom Crosslin's behavior is irresponsible
Tom Crosslin's behavior is reprehensible! He is doing more harm for the drug law reform effort than good. He knew better than to allow other people to turn Rainbow Farm into a supermarket where you could buy any illegal substance you wanted, yet he let it happen anyway.Now he's involved in an armed standoff with police, firing on helicopters, and burning his own property down before he had a chance to prevent its forfeiture in court? I don't know what kind of drugs he's on, but it sure as hell isn't marijuana. If he would have just smoked a joint and chilled out, he would have realized that violence isn't the answer to any problem. Now he's making those of us who REALLY want to see marijuana become legal look bad, and I, for one, am not going to put up with it.Those of you who are working on Michigan's Personal Responsibility Amendment, remember that Tom Crosslin is one person, and he doesn't represent all marijuana smokers in Michigan. Unlike him, we are peaceful, productive, responsible, otherwise law-abiding citizens. The best thing the media can do for us is ignore Tom Crosslin and his Waco-esque dramatics.
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Comment #9 posted by rabblerouser on September 02, 2001 at 06:47:56 PT

You should re-evaluate your position. These are extraordinary circumstances, and they might come for you one day.
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on September 01, 2001 at 23:31:02 PT

My 2 cents
I just would like to say how I feel about this. I don't know Mr. Crosslin and have never been to any event centered around marijuana. I wish people well who enjoy them though.I really am uncomfortable speaking negatively about people's situations because the shoe could be on the other foot and it could be me. There's an old saying "There but by the grace of God, go I." and that means a lot to me. I hope for a safe resolve to this sad situation. It's one of desperation and it really makes me feel sorry for him. I really hope no one gets hurt.
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Comment #7 posted by Will on September 01, 2001 at 22:39:50 PT:

Media attention not needed or wanted
Bringing national media attention to an event like this, especially in Michigan, which currently has a ballot initiative effort to decriminalize marijuana under way, would be more of a hinderance to our efforts than anything. Let's not let one desperate and irresponsible guy who's burning his property down and shooting at helicopters deter us from showing the world that nutcases like this are in the very small minority among marijuana smokers as well as the rest of society. If we let him have the national spotlight, his association with the marijuana reform efforts in Michigan would hurt our chances of success.
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Comment #6 posted by ekim on September 01, 2001 at 09:44:24 PT:

Have asked Dick Cowan to use pot tv 
Have asked Dick Cowan of to use his pot tv or radio show to highlite this event. We here in MI have been blocked out of National Media on our petition drive. The farm was a big supporter and targeted because of that. Like the web site says -------A statement on Rainbow Farm's Web site says it "supports the medical, spiritual and responsible recreational uses of marijuana for a more sane and compassionate America." 
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Comment #5 posted by mr.greengenes on September 01, 2001 at 09:16:49 PT

Rainbow South Bend Tribune links
 These links have picures with the story. The free publicaccess expires in 7 days, after which I think they charge a buck or two to retrieve.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on September 01, 2001 at 09:09:35 PT

Update from Mr.greengenes
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Comment #3 posted by The GCW on September 01, 2001 at 09:07:44 PT

Property is the target of civil forfeiture proceedings, for marijuana (cannabis) use . Maintaining a drug house? It sounds like they think cannabis is a "DRUG". He was facing a $150,000 bond revocation."Obviously, (Crosslin) is in an agitated state at this time." The man probably feels like he has nowhere to turn. All over using some plants. Or is it also over the aquirement of his life and belongings?
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Comment #2 posted by lookinside on September 01, 2001 at 09:05:27 PT:

i think...
that our government and law enforcement have finally goneoff the deep end...the media has stopped reporting events inan evenhanded manner...they don't even pretend to try anymore...i hope you find more on this situation, bearswatching...a good example of our justice system running amuck...
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on September 01, 2001 at 08:49:40 PT

What can we do?
I'm so upset about this and thank you Mr. greengenes for bringing this to our attention. There's no coverage by CNN. Yesterday they spent practically all day on a burning house. What can we do to make them pay attention to this standoff? Think people.
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