Wednesday, January 09, 2008

What My Family is Doing to Eliminate Fascism

While I was emailing a friend threatening to risk a Giuliani presidency rather than vote for Hillary Clinton, my husband was working a little harder to identify and contain fascism. Here's his excellent letter published in today's Sacramento Bee.

Top cop's unshining moment

Re "Departure bittersweet for top cop," Jan. 2: What columnist Marcos Bretón describes as Police Chief Al Nájera's "shining moment" – the militaristic crackdown on peaceful protesters during the June 2003 Bush administration agricultural summit – actually amounted to an outrageous assault on the constitutional rights of free speech and assembly; the worst that I have seen during my decade in Sacramento.

What I saw when I emerged from the Capitol on that day shocked me. Hundreds of police officers in full Robocop gear had corralled a diverse group of Americans, including moms pushing babies in strollers, and refused to let them move freely in Capitol Park, despite the fact that they were doing nothing more threatening than chanting slogans about fair trade.

Why is Bretón, who makes his living from the constitutionally protected printed word, so thrilled that Nájera raised a red banner belonging to protesters and boomed, "We got their flag!"? Would the columnist be as exultant if the police had confiscated The Bee off of local newsstands because Nájera had decided one of the day's columns was politically incorrect? And is our police department so afraid of free speech that its biggest victory comes from confiscating a banner, instead of removing violent criminals from our streets?

- Bill Magavern, Sacramento

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