Keep the protests peaceful
July 10. 2018 8:15PM
To the Editor: A friend of mine recently sent an email that said, “In the end this will be settled in the streets.” He and I and most people our age remember that Vietnam and civil rights were largely settled in the streets.
Vietnam went on because of President Johnson’s hubris saying, “I will not be the first American President to lose a war.” So thousands of our friends and neighbors died or were wounded to save “Johnson’s reputation.” There was a draft then which should be restored. Americans finally got sick of endless war and endless loss and endless lies.
Likewise, the dogs set loose on peaceful demonstrators on Pettus Bridge woke Americans from a slumber to the critical issues of equality, race, and justice. I was in Harlem the night Dr. King was killed and the anger was scattered across 125th Street with mannequins on fire as surrogates for pent-up outrage.
Since President Trump’s inauguration, there have been four major national street protests. So far, the protests have been large and peaceful, but there may come a time when the dark forces Trump has unleashed (witness Charlottesville) will take matters into their own hands with a whole new category of weapons and make the confrontation at Pettus Bridge look like a welcoming party.
The one remaining hope is the restoration of a respectful and responsible, multi-party government in Washington.