Letters to the Editor Saturday, July 31

U.S. needs more diplomacy, not force

After reading the column titled “PRO: We need to beef up our military — and then some,” I felt the need to respond despite the article being a tad old.
The author argues that the United States needs to bolster military defenses. However, I argue that the United States does not need to do so.
The U.S.’s 2015 discretionary spending shows that 54% of federal spending went towards the military.
Contrary to popular belief, increasing the military is not the only way to improve national security. In fact, solely relying on the military to improve national security is actually more detrimental than it is productive.
This is especially important to consider, since direct military action has shown to destabilize governments and cause the very issues that the United States is concerned about.
Instead we should be allocating resources and funding to increase foreign aid. Many people believe that the United States spends most of its money on foreign aid, when in reality, less than 1% of federal spending went towards foreign aid in 2015.
Furthermore, foreign aid decreases the need for military spending by facilitating worldwide economic growth, which only helps the United States in the long run.
By providing foreign aid, the influence of terrorist groups is mitigated as countries become more stable and people have greater access to education, and basic needs.
It is important that the United States shift away from brute military strength and focus on development and diplomacy.
Farah Katadeen

Vaccinated will have more freedoms

Thank you for your title of Linda Peterson’s July 25 letter, “Many reasons to get your covid vaccination.”
Yes, there are indeed many reasons to get your COVID-19 (Coronavirus-19) vaccination.
Of the people whom the vaccine protects from covid, 99.96%, those who believe that it does have a good and easy reason: The vaccine protects them from covid.
But there are also good reasons for the rest to get the vaccine.
The vaccine gives one liberty.
“You’re now free to move about the country.”
As the seven-day average of new cases continues to rise, travel and public place restrictions will return. This time around, those restrictions will be easier on the vaccinated.
Being vaccinated gives one “favor with all the people.” (Acts 2:47) People are more comfortable with vaccinated people.
Being vaccinated makes those around you safer, in terms of mental as well as physical health.
Fear is not good for one’s mental health.
What about that missing 0.04%?
You mean like that fellow who laid hands on and healed in the name of Jesus two people from covid before the vaccines came out? Me?
These people are the spiritual descendants of Jesus and His Jesus believers, who, while not vaccinated, laid hands on lepers and healed them.
These people get vaccinated for the liberty and favor they need to work for Jesus.
Joel Nelson

Learn the difference between socialisms

The Sunday July 18 Gazette had a letter from Domenico DiCaprio (“Cubans stage revolt against socialism”) decrying Bernie Sanders and other “socialists” for being silent on the recent protests in Cuba.
He goes on to say the Biden administration blamed the protests on covid. But the main claim of his letter is that the “far-left” want socialism like Cuba.
The fact is that on July 12, Bernie condemned the Cuban government for the lack of democracy and opposition rights. He also called for an end to the 55-year U.S. embargo, which is the main cause of their economic woes.
Biden also supported the Cuban people whose protests were against the communist rule, lack of food and medicine, and poor response to the covid pandemic.
I think Mr. DiCaprio and many other Americans need to understand the difference between totalitarian socialist regimes (Cuba, Venezuela, China), and countries with socialist programs such as those taken for granted in American life – Social Security, Medicare, our infrastructure, child-labor laws, energy subsidies, etc.
These programs work for the greater good. Countries like Canada, Denmark, the UK and Switzerland have even more socialist programs that are popular and have improved their citizens’ lives. \
In yearly surveys of the happiest countries, socialist-heavy locales dominate.
I have a good deal of familiarity with Denmark, as my job took me there for work stints.
They have a saying: “few with too much; fewer still with too little.”
In the United States I’m afraid, it’s many with too little; many with far too much.
Wayne Virkler

Merger must ensure a full range of care

News of a planned merger between Ellis Hospital and Trinity Health has me deeply concerned about the access to quality healthcare in our region.
One only has to do a few seconds of searching on the internet to find stories about the many women denied needed health care due to Trinity’s religious tenets.
The Michigan ACLU tallied just some of these instances in its report “Health Care Denied.”
Pregnant women in severe medical distress have been repeatedly denied care at Catholic-run hospitals because their fetus still had a heartbeat even when the denial of care put the women at risk of life-threatening infections, severe pain and hemorrhaging.
Women have also been denied wanted or medically necessary tubal ligations and have sometimes not been informed that the hospital they plan to give birth at won’t perform sterilizations until it’s too late for them to go elsewhere.
Many women in the region go to Bellevue Women’s Center, run by Ellis, for their reproductive health care. More than 2,500 births take place there each year.
Any merger between Ellis and Trinity must carve out protections so that women in our region, no matter their economic status, can continue to receive a full range of healthcare — the healthcare we and our doctors decide we need, not just the health care options one church thinks we’re entitled to.
Gillian Scott

Protesters were only ones being disruptive

Please permit me a minor objection to your July 21 story (“Council meeting becomes shouting match”) on a recent event in Saratoga Springs. I was there and can attest there was plenty of shouting, but it was no match.
The shouting was entirely on one side, that of the Black Lives Matter protesters, who screamed, hollered and shouted at the council members, who either sat silently or tried futilely to speak calmly to them.
Likewise, out in the hallway, after the protesters had been peacefully escorted from the meeting room, those protesters did not “continue to yell back and forth with police officers.”
There was no “back and forth” about it. The officers either stood silently, or in one case, that of the lieutenant who appeared to be in charge, endeavored to speak calmly and courteously but got only angry shouts in return.
This is not really such a minor matter. It’s indicative of the approach taken by these increasingly raucous and disruptive protesters.
They block traffic downtown, harangue and harass cops and bystanders alike with indiscriminate accusations of racism, and then present themselves as victims when a few of them, very rarely, get arrested.
Carl Strock
Saratoga Springs

Let students interpret history on their own

“If Thomas Jefferson owned slaves,” a student once asked me, “how could he write all men are created equal and entitled to liberty?”
The answer is Jefferson didn’t consider African-Americans “men,” at least in the sense that they were intellectually and culturally equal to Whites. (Most, if not all, of the other White men who signed the Declaration of Independence couldn’t stomach the idea of racial equality either.)
But the issue facing social studies teachers is this: How is it possible to answer that student’s question without bringing up the subject of racism and its impact on American society?
I appreciate conservatives’ desire to instill in students a deep respect for the accomplishments of the Founding Fathers and for our nation’s past.
But we can’t ignore facts like these: 12 of the first 18 presidents owned slaves, including Ulysses S. Grant.
Even the Great Emancipator Abraham Lincoln never thought the Black man equal to the White. And Woodrow Wilson, whose achievements rank him among America’s top presidents, was an ardent racist.
I say let the American historical record speak for itself – blemishes and all – but let students judge for themselves whether the United States is an “inherently racist society.” No educator has the right to teach that interpretation as historical fact, but it would be equally wrong for states to forbid a class discussion of the issue.
American history is sometimes comforting and sometimes disturbing, but students must learn to draw their own conclusions. Anything less is indoctrination.
Fred Como
Burnt Hills

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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

(BPRW) Special Salute to the Olympic Athletes

(Black PR Wire) Jesse Owens, a black athlete from the United States, was the star of the 1936 Olympic Games.
Wilma Rudolph was an American sprinter, who became a world-record-holding Olympic champion and international sports icon in track and field follow

CPD Will Get More Support On Mental Health Calls

Police responding to citizens’ mental health episodes without the benefit of a trained professional will soon be just an afterthought when the city launches a pilot program next month. In 13 Chicago neighborhoods, certified mental health specialists will accompany police responding to calls regarding someone undergoing a crisis. Mental health workers and even some police officers have long maintained law enforcement isn’t always equipped to handle someone going through a mental lapse, regardless of the severity.

The pilot program will send teams consisting of a paramedic, police officer and mental health crisis intervention professional and is set to begin in August. Communities on the  West Side, North Side and South Side have been identified. 

The program, Crisis Assistance Response and Engagement (CARE), was announced in June at Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s Violence Prevention and Reduction committee meeting.  The targeted communities include; Auburn Gresham, Chatham, Chicago Lawn, East Garfield Park, Gage Park, Humboldt Park, Lakeview, North Center, Uptown, West Garfield Park, West Elsdon, West Englewood and West Lawn. Officials  have yet to announce how long the pilot will last. The majority populations in these communities are either African-American or Latino.

Amy Watson, who has studied issues involving persons with serious mental illness that come in contact with the criminal justice system noted, although there isn’t much research on the kind of program the city is piloting; however,  some evidence suggests they can reduce unnecessary transports to emergency rooms and increase connections to mental health care. Individuals in distress often experience long wait times in the emergency room, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).. Reducing unnecessary visits can help individuals get the help they need sooner.

“Having the clinician there can help determine that doesn’t need to happen whereas if it’s only an officer, the officer will err on the side of caution because they don’t have the training to do that assessment,” she added.

Calls for reform have also been driven by the large number of people with mental illness in jails and prisons. On any given day, between 25 to 30% of the individuals in custody at Cook County jail suffer from mental illnesses, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s office. That’s upward of about 2,000 inmates among the county jail population, which sometimes reaches more than 9,000 inmates.

The pilot is part of an effort to take a “public health approach” to crisis response and to look toward other places to take those in crisis “besides the emergency room or a lockup,” Lightfoot’s policy advisor for public safety, Alex Heaton said during the June meeting.

 These locations of the help sites  are places individuals can go to be checked for “underlying conditions and connected to community-based treatment instead of going to places that are very expensive or that could possibly be very traumatic,” according to Heaton.

“Our current crisis response system is really narrow”

Similar to the Los Angeles Police Department’s communications division, mental health professionals from Chicago Department of Public Health (DPH)  will be staffed in the city’s 911 call center in October. They will respond to calls that can be resolved over the phone and  provide support and consultation to callers, call takers, dispatchers and response teams.

Jen McGowan-Tomke, chief operating officer at NAMI Chicago, said the city is heading in the right direction with the pilot because “our current crisis response system is really narrow.”

“It relies on our first responders, which is not the best use of resources and the response is different from what folks might need,” she said.

When dispatching 911 calls for service, the Office of Emergency Management and Communications assigns identified mental health-related calls to Chicago Police Department officers. Sometimes they are assigned to officers who’ve voluntarily completed the 40-hour CIT training that educates them about mental illness signs, symptoms and de-escalation techniques.

In 2019, CPD officers responded to more than 40,000 calls with a mental health component, Superintendent David Brown said. Officers report these encounters can be problematic because those with a mental health condition may not respond well to traditional police tactics, according to Watson’s article. With limited options to resolve situations, police become the “gatekeepers of the criminal justice and mental health systems.” How officers respond to encounters with those individuals impacts whether someone receives treatment or is funneled into the criminal justice system.

Watson said his research found that some officers were frustrated “about the lack of responsiveness from the mental health system” in Chicago. “They felt they were responding to things that the mental health system should be funded to respond to. They were seeing people repeatedly that they tried to link to services but the services just weren’t there.”

“There are a number of things in the system that need to be built and the pilots are a component to that and a step in the direction of building a more comprehensive crisis response system,” McGowan-Tomke said.

Arturo Carillo, a licensed clinical social worker who works at the Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, contends police should not be involved in crisis situations because “the presence of police officers escalates the situation, intentionally or unintentionally.”

Some interactions between law enforcement and those experiencing a mental health crisis have ended in tragedy such as the 2015 shooting deaths of Quintonio LeGrier and Bettie Jones in Chicago.

On Dec. 26, 2015, LeGrier called 911 three times, saying someone was threatening his life and he needed help. LeGrier’s father, Antonio, called 911 soon after. He said his son had a baseball bat and was trying to break into his room. Quintonio was shot by the responding officer, Robert Rialmo. Quintonio allegedly swung a baseball bat at the officer outside of Quintonios father’s house. Jones, 55, a neighbor of the LeGriers, had come to the front door and was also fatally shot.

This situation “laid bare failures in CPD’s crisis response systems,” according to the DOJ report. A U.S. Department of Justice showed the dispatcher did not recognize LeGrier’s call as one involving someone in crisis and didn’t ask questions that could have revealed clues.

For Cheryl Miller, these instances justify an alternative response to crisis situations absent of police. “The majority of mental health and behavioral health calls do not involve violence and they don’t involve a crime,” said Miller, a community organizer for Southside Together Organizing for Power (STOP). “People are calling because they need help, because someone in crisis does not have the proper pipeline.”

She said a more effective model would be establishing a 24-hour hotline to connect people with crisis response units separate from 911. The units would consist of social workers and paramedics, similar to programs that exist in other cities.

Some advocates say the pilot program highlights the need to not only reform the city’s crisis response but also the city’s mental health care system. Chicago has seen a pattern of disinvestment in mental health services amid reduced spending and mental health clinic closures, according to a 2019 report authored by Leticia Villarreal Sosa, a licensed clinical social worker. Between 2008 and 2011, an average of $3.6 million was from the city’s general fund allocated to mental health salaries and positions per year. Between 2012 and 2018, $817,730 was allocated from those funds on average.

The city had 19 public mental health clinics in the 1970’s but by 2004, seven had closed. In 2012, six more were closed and another clinic was privatized. According to the Chicago Department of Public Health, staff at the city’s 12 clinics were spread thin in 2011, which made it difficult to provide consistent care to clients. The rationale was also that community organizations could meet the demand for mental health services and outsourcing care could help save the city money. There are five public mental health clinics in the city that remain, with one that is privatized in Roseland. They include Englewood Mental Health Center, Greater Lawn MHC, River North MHC, Greater Grand MHC, Lawndale MHC.

When the clinics closed, Reeves, the former CPD officer, noticed more “people on the streets talking to themselves,” he said. “That was a very bad thing for our community. People need help, they need those clinics.”

CDPH has said there were over 200 private providers equipped to meet the city’s service needs, But Carillio said after the closures many patients fell through the cracks. City clients transferred to private providers saw long waits  for appointments. Others were tasked with going to clinics that were far away from where they lived. These are still barriers many residents face, he said.

“Many people were unaccounted for and many people died as a result,” Carillo said.

The impact of the closures is hard to measure, Sosa said, but a survey by Collaborative for Community Wellness highlighted a limited availability of free services despite a high demand from residents. The coalition of nonprofits, mental health professionals and residents surveyed 378 Chicago residents between August 26, 2020 and March 3, 2021.

When asked if they’d go to a city-run mental health clinic in their neighborhood that offered free services, a combined 340 respondents (90%) reported either “Yes” or “Probably Yes.” There were 325 (86%) residents who answered “No” when asked if they believed there were enough mental health services available in their neighborhood.

Residents have not only cited access as a challenge to care but affordability. Many non-profit providers charge on a sliding fee scale, which can cost someone seeking care  $20 to $100, whereas public mental health clinics offer care for free, Carillo said. He also said many of the nonprofits lack the kind of accountability needed to maintain quality care.

“All the nonprofits are under the direction of a board and they are only accountable to that board. There’s no one else they are accountable to, so one of the challenges is that when those services are poor quality, when there’s a waitlist for services or when they start charging clients for use, you’re essentially stuck with that being your only option and you’re left without care,” Carillo said.

How has the program worked elsewhere?

Other cities have implemented programs similar to the one slated for Chicago, which has a population of 2.7 million. That includes Los Angeles, which has a population of nearly 4 million people. The Los Angeles Police Department has used Systemwide Mental Assessment Response Teams (SMART) since 1993. The teams consist of a crisis intervention team (CIT) trained police officer and a Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health clinician, according to Doug Winger, a sergeant at the LAPD’s mental evaluation unit. The clinicians are trained to conduct on-site mental health evaluations to determine the type of care the individual needs. The SMART teams respond to about 8,500 calls a year, Winger said. On an average day the LAPD deploys 17 teams throughout the city.

“The idea was just a way to help reduce the amount of time patrol officers were dealing with a mental health call,” said Winger. Police typically spend more time dealing with mental disturbance calls than they spend on calls involving traffic accidents, burglaries or assaults, according to an article on improving responses to persons with mental illness, authored by Watson and colleagues. Winger added the department has seen a decrease in the number of those in crisis repeatedly calling for services. “In part because the clinician that’s there is able to provide the client and their family with information, saying ‘hey, there’s no need for a police officer. Next time you can call a civilian mobile psyche unit or you can call these individuals. They can help you differently than the police can help.’”

COLUMN: May the Force Be . . . You

… , White Mississippians lynched nearly 350 African Americans.” I set that fact beside … intentional.  Enter institutional or systemic racism. There are of course individuals … RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News

‘Genuine Article’: Former Gov. Dick Lamm Dies At 85

DENVER (CBS4)– Former Colorado Governor Dick Lamm has died, just four days shy of his 86th birthday. A Democrat, he won office after Watergate and 12 years of Republican rule in Colorado. He held the governor’s seat for three terms between 1975 and 1987.

(credit: CBS)

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Lamm’s wife Dottie issued a statement saying he died of complications from a pulmonary embolism.

“Dick Lamm was famous in Colorado as somebody who talked straight, who was honest, candid,” says veteran political analyst Eric Sonderman, who helped run Lamm’s first gubernatorial campaign and worked under him.

Sondermann knew Lamm not only as a political force but a personal friend of nearly 50 years.

In many ways, he says, Lamm was ahead of his time, “He was prescient, he was able to see ahead of the curve. Most politicians are able to just barely see the curve, Dick had the ability to see what was around the corner.”

The former governor is maybe best known for leading opposition to the 1976 Winter Olympics. It was the first, and only, time a host city rejected the Olympics. But he led on many other issues too, passing an abortion law years before Roe v Wade.

Dick Lamm in 1985

Blue Knights get a flag from Colorado Gov. Dick Lamm in 1985. (credit: The Denver Post via Getty Images)

“He talked about the cost of health care and how much health care was driving people into bankruptcy,” says former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb. “He talked about oil companies tearing down mountains for oil shale, he said we’re going to have growth from Cheyenne to Pueblo.”

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Webb was a friend and a member of Lamm’s cabinet, despite walking out on Lamm’s first inauguration in protest of the lack of African Americans in his administration.

Webb says Lamm also endorsed him for mayor when few others believed in him, “He was dedicated to public service. I think he was one of the best governors this state ever had.”

Lamm wasn’t without controversy, coming under fire for his stance on illegal immigration. He was also a fiscal conservative who spoke out on entitlements.

“Lord knows Dick Lamm was not the first politician to find himself mired in controversy,” says Sondermann. “But he embraced the controversy, he didn’t run away from away from it, he would state his case and when he was wrong, he would back off.”

And Sondermann says a little of that could go a long way today.

(credit: CBS)

He says Lamm was a bold thinker but also intellectually grounded, “There’s still this longing out there no matter how politics have changed, no matter how toxic and divisive it’s become, there’s a longing for the genuine article and Dick Lamm was the genuine article. He was a Colorado original, he left his mark on the state from a policy and a personal perspective because of who he was and how he governed.”

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Sonderman says, in Lamm’s third term, he polled equally popular among Democrats, Republicans and unaffiliated voters. But, he says, Lamm would want to be remembered most as a husband, father and grandfather.

From Bed-Ins to first releases: Music author Ritchie Yorke’s life never had a B-side

The late Ritchie Yorke introduced Stevie Wonder to Australian audiences, was instrumental in John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s 1969 Bed-Ins and wrote the book on Led Zeppelin — literally.

Now, the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA) will dive into the life of the Brisbane music journalist, author and broadcaster to celebrate his contribution to the local and international music industry. 

As a young radio DJ in Toowoomba in 1960, Yorke’s passion for emerging talent and sounds actually got him sacked.

A woman with long red hair sits in a chair in her home, smiling.A woman with long red hair sits in a chair in her home, smiling.
Ms Yorke is working to ensure her husband’s career as a music journalist is documented and recognised.(

ABC Radio Brisbane: Edwina Seselja


Yorke had been campaigning to bring R’n’B to Australia and immediately “fell in love” with the work of a 12-year-old blind boy from America after receiving his album through the Motown mailing list.

“Stevie Wonder’s very first number one hit … Fingertips Part II,” Yorke’s widow Minnie said, as she recalled the song that had Yorke so excited.

“So on his Toowoomba radio show, he played that song, and in playing that song, Monday morning he was called down to their office and he was told never to play that N-word music again. 

“For Ritchie, [that was a] red rag to a bull.

Speaking about the incident in an interview later in life, Yorke told the Canadian Museum of Recorded Music and Culture (CMRMC): “I felt it was time to draw a line.” 

“That was when I realised, early in the piece, if I wanted to pursue rhythm and blues music by Afro-American artists, I was probably in the wrong country,” he said.

A framed photo of Ritchie Yorke, in 1969, holding a War Is Over poster.A framed photo of Ritchie Yorke, in 1969, holding a War Is Over poster.
Yorke travelled around the world spreading John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s message of peace.(

ABC Radio Brisbane: Edwina Seselja


In 1966, Yorke moved to England where he worked for Island Records before relocating to Canada where he wrote and edited articles for Rolling Stone, Billboard and The Globe and Mail.

With an ear for talent, it wasn’t long before Yorke was working alongside industry giants like John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Van Morrison and Aretha Franklin, many of whom became his close friends.

Yorke championed Led Zeppelin in the early days, at a time when the English rock band’s first album was not well received. 

And he was in the studio when Aretha Franklin recorded Natural Woman in one take — a story Ms Yorke said always brought tears to his eyes when he retold it. 

A framed photo of John Lennon and Yoko Ono's Bed-In for Peace protest in 1969.A framed photo of John Lennon and Yoko Ono's Bed-In for Peace protest in 1969.
Yorke threw his support behind Lennon and Ono’s Bed-In and helped bring it to the attention of the press.(

ABC Radio Brisbane: Edwina Seselja


Yorke was also instrumental in bringing the world’s attention to Lennon and Ono’s famous Bed-Ins for Peace in Amsterdam and Montreal in 1969. 

“I just thought it was amazing that John and Yoko were using their fame for something very positive, rather than just glorifying their own egos, which so many rock artists did in that day,” Yorke told CMRMC.

‘They’ve found an archeological dig’

Yorke didn’t throw out much, if anything, keeping almost every article, letter, press pass, photograph, vinyl record, concert ticket and item of clothing he’d collected throughout his career. 

When he died in 2017, his wife Minnie had the colossal task of cataloguing and preserving those memories, and now the NFSA has stepped in to help, with Yorke’s possessions now in Canberra.

Minnie Yorke surrounded by walls of vinyl and music memorabilia.Minnie Yorke surrounded by walls of vinyl and music memorabilia.
Ms Yorke says her husband’s music collection and memorabilia are now with the NFSA in Canberra.(

ABC Radio Brisbane: Edwina Seselja


In a statement, the NFSA said Yorke was one of Australia’s most significant music critics.

“The NFSA is delighted to be working together with Minnie Yorke to help celebrate Ritchie’s life and career,” the NFSA said.

But the NFSA actually came across Yorke by chance when hosting a monthly event called the Vinyl Lounge in Canberra earlier this year, Ms Yorke said. 

“The people who came along a month or so ago asked for the Beatles,” Ms Yorke said.

“They went looking through the archive, found a white label from a donation that was given to them from a radio station, a white label vinyl that had ‘John Lennon’ written on it.

A photograph of Yoko Ono, taken by Ritchie Yorke and an original War Is Over handbill on a couch.A photograph of Yoko Ono, taken by Ritchie Yorke and an original War Is Over handbill on a couch.
A photograph of Yoko Ono, taken by Ritchie Yorke, and an original War Is Over handbill.(

ABC Radio Brisbane: Edwina Seselja


“Then they researched the words that John was saying and discovered it was Ritchie talking to him. 

“Then they wrote to me … so of course I was delighted to say, ‘Yes, I can tell you more about this and there’s lots more’.

Hendrix’s hat and Lennon’s jumpsuit

Among Yorke’s collection is a hat, gifted to him by Jimi Hendrix in May 1969, when the musician was at the height of his career.

“There’s a great story behind this hat,” Ms Yorke said.

A woman holds a black felt hat with a red band and trim.A woman holds a black felt hat with a red band and trim.
Jimi Hendrix’s hat, which he gave to Yorke after the journalist appeared as a character witness for him in court. (

ABC Radio Brisbane: Edwina Seselja


“Jimi Hendrix was busted at Toronto airport for drugs, there was a very big sold-out show waiting to go ahead that night … but the court had to go ahead. 

Other pieces from the time include a small black jumpsuit that belonged to John Lennon and was worn by Yorke as a uniform during the War Is Over campaign. 

A retro black jumpsuits hands on a mannequin in a sun room. A retro black jumpsuits hands on a mannequin in a sun room.
John Lennon gifted this black jumpsuit to Yorke to wear during the War Is Over campaign.(

ABC Radio Brisbane: Edwina Seselja


One of the countries Yorke and Canadian rocker Ronnie Hawkins travelled to to spread Lennon and Ono’s message was China, where they brandished cardboard handbills on the Lok Ma Chau border point.

“We managed to get through the borders, held up our posters towards China and got back in the van just as the soldiers came pouring out of their building,” Yorke said once. 

It wasn’t the only item Lennon gifted Yorke. He also gave him the first acetate press of the Beatles song Let It Be.

The first acetate press of Let it Be by the Beatles.The first acetate press of Let it Be by the Beatles.
The first acetate press of Let it Be by the Beatles.(

ABC Radio Brisbane: Edwina Seselja


The journalist, who later worked at the ABC and was chief music writer for Brisbane’s Sunday Mail for two decades, also wrote a number of books, including biographies on Led Zeppelin, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, and on Van Morrison.

Many of the artists Yorke worked with remained loyal friends until they or he reached the end of their long and winding roads. 

RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News – Arts & Entertainment

Hate directed at health officials must end

… City of St Louis alone, African American residents represented nearly 80% of … overrepresentation continues with data showing African American resident cases at roughly 76% … Health Network [IHN] denounce hate, racism and xenophobia of any kind … RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News