Letter: Peaceful protests should be respected as patriotic

Letter to the Editor


This is in response to Ed Meyer’s Sept. 5 question in his letter to the editor, “Do you honestly agree with the Democratic party’s current use of violence?”

Meyer gives no facts to support his claim. yougov.com cites a Sept. 2 poll of 4,900 randomly chosen adults which, in response to the question, “Do you think the violence happening at protests will get better, worse or stay the same if Trump is reelected,” the majority response was that under Trump, the violence will get worse.

In fact, Trump has done everything he can to portray peaceful protests — a constitutionally-protected right — as “anarchy.” However, almost every case of property destruction and violence against protesters has been traced back to provocateurs on the right, including the Boogaloo Boys.

Mr. Meyer has asked, “what moral imperative makes it OK to use and encourage violence as a path to political power?” He should ask that question of Trump, as it is he, not the Democratic party, who has been inciting mob violence as a path to power. By lauding the caravan of his supporters as “great patriots” after they drove into the midst of protesters in Portland, Ore., he condoned and abetted the use of powerful bear mace and dangerous paint balls against peaceful citizens.

By defending the man charged with first-degree homicide of two peaceful protesters in Portland, the president has crossed a dangerous line. Faced with the prospect of losing an election and power, he has gone beyond mere scaremongering and resorted to fomenting violent unrest from the White House.

It is essential for leading politicians of both parties to denounce violence and call for calm, which Biden alone has done.

Rather than falsely claiming that peaceful protesters have committed violence, Trump should actively discourage his followers from breaking the law by using violence to stop the constitutionally-protected right of citizens to peacefully express their viewpoints.

Protesters are seeking to prevent more unnecessary police violence. Almost every week we learn of more unarmed Black men being killed by police without provocation. We continuously read extremely disturbing headlines such as: “Black man stopped for allegedly riding bicycle unlawfully ends up shot and killed,” “Cops suffocate naked, mentally ill Black man to death after his brother called for help,” and “Man shot five times in back by sheriff who advises how to legally kill protesters.”

Peaceful protests should be respected as an act of patriotism, not, as Mr. Meyer suggests, as the acts of “bullies.”

Julia Glover and Robert Kenny