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Posted on October 24 at 3:50 p.m.
I like Mr. McDermott's comment because it acknowledges that we live in weird times. By "weird" I mean--it is WEIRD to many of us that local politicians and police have far more regard for a park hours ordinance than they do for the U.S. Consitution, which guarantees the right of free speech, and the right to petition the government for recourse. When all other channels fail, the only thing people can do is physically come together and speak out, which is what the demonstrations were about last year. Perhaps some people don't believe we are at a time of crisis in this country where we are not being represented---or that the only way left to be heard is to demonstrate or make noise. I'm glad those folks are doing just fine and do not see the crisis. But it is not true for many, many, many of us today, who cannot be heard when it comes to basic public health and safety issues like Smart Meters, for example. They have been making people sick for years now, and the Public Utilities Commission does nothing. What is there to do but demonstrate---? And then get hogtied, positionally tortured, humiliated and jailed by police.
This just happened in Riverside, California, to a woman who I don't know personally but who has very valid concerns about the city awarding contracts to out-of-town and out-of-state businesses. And I'm talking very, very, very juicy contracts.
Council "gadflies" have been around since the beginning of time, but these confrontations have not. We are living in changing times. What is perhaps most upsetting is that police, who are often the best among us and who have to deal with criminals every day, do not recognize the difference between criminal activity and civil rights.
The Independent erased my last comment. I hope this one will be allowed to stay.
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