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Diane White update: City Council speech, GP of PA support, hearing postponed

It has been reported to me that Diane White’s hearing, scheduled for today, September 12, 2007, has been postponed. -KW

from a Green Party of Pennylvania Press Release
Contacts: Hillary Aisenstein, Marakay Rogers

Green Party Denounces Harrisburg Police Abuse
Greens Call for Investigation; Anti-Racism Training for all Officers

Harrisburg, PA – Today the Green Party of Pennsylvania issued a statement about a recent police abuse scandal in Harrisburg. GPPA Chair Hillary Aisenstein called the physical beating of Dauphin County Green Party leader Diane White “an outrage” and vowed that the Green Party would stand by Ms. White as she seeks justice. The Green Party of Pennsylvania condemns unwarranted police brutality of any sort and calls for the Harrisburg Police Department to drop all charges against community activist and Dauphin County Green Party leader Diane White.

On September 1, White, of Allison Hill, was helping her neighbors wrap up a successful block party celebrating the final days of the summer. Police arrived to respond to a parking complaint unrelated to the block party from an individual who wanted to turn the corner. The officer announced that he was shutting down the block party even though the 10 p.m. permit had not expired. According to White, she approached the officer to inform him that she had the permit signed by the Chief of Police, his supervisor. The officer led her away from the crowd where she was, assaulted and then arrested her. White sustained bruises on her back, arms, torso, right temple and ankle. White was charged with aggravated assault, resisting arrest, and two counts of disorderly conduct and was later released on $5,000 bail. Over one week later, the police officer in question has still not filed an incident report.

“Diane White is an upstanding member of the community. She does not deserve to be treated like this,” said Marakay Rogers, GPPA Steering Committee member. “No one deserves to be treated like this,” continued Rogers, who is also one of the attorneys representing Ms. White. “Residents of Harrisburg have been complaining about police brutality issues for quite some time. This is a perfect example of the issues they are facing.”

Aisenstein, who recently worked with White to plan an anti-racism workshop for the Green Party Annual National Meeting held in Reading this summer, questioned whether the Harrisburg police officer’s actions were affected by racism. “Whether it was conscious or not, I cannot help but wonder if the police would have treated a white woman in a nice suburb the same way,” said Aisenstein. “However, I do not want to point the finger or throw around wild accusations. Unfortunately, anyone who grows up in our society learns to be racist. We all need help undoing those demons and I encourage the leadership in the Harrisburg Police Department to consider a dismantling racism workshop for their members as we in the Green Party did this summer.”

The Green Party of Pennsylvania is an independent political party that stands in opposition to the two corporate parties. The Green Party of Pennsylvania stands for grassroots democracy, sustainable economics, nonviolence, and ecology. The Green Party of Pennsylvania stands in firm opposition to the War in Iraq.

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