Letter: Like John Lewis, protestors want equal rights, end to violence

Editor,

U.S. Rep. John Lewis, called the “Conscience of Congress,” was laid to rest this week after a long career of fighting for equal rights.

On March 7, 1965, “Bloody Sunday,” a peaceful march for Civil Rights across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala. led to John Lewis being beaten unconscious.

Now, 55 years later, mostly peaceful demonstrations are being described by Trump as riots that can only be quelled by him. This has led to beatings and tear gas used by his federal representatives.

The First Amendment does give us the right to stand up and protest.

Sending federal law enforcement into American cities does not quell protests but ramps it up, which is what happened in Portland, Ore. Perfect for Trump’s political agenda of trying to show some cities as out of control.

Portland is not a city we would think of as being a hotbed of rioting. Most cities are not.

We are seeing peaceful demonstrators used as pawns, by Trump and his unidentified, cammo wearing troops, stirring things up by the use of tear gas and beatings.

The senseless police violence and killings and unidentified federal troops, sent unrequested into American cities and used against American citizens is scary and should be stopped.

John Lewis was a kind, peaceful man who worked toward equal rights and against senseless violence. This is what demonstrators still want and work for today.

Hopefully it won’t take another 55 years to reach these goals. John Lewis, rest in peace.

Nancy Mayer

Freeland

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