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Should we allow dissenters to disrupt or disturb us?

Freedom of Speech or Security... Refuse to choose!

        Martin Luther King Jr. disrupted lots of meetings and disturbed many people who felt put upon...
But... we do have a right and a patriotic duty to dissent when our leaders err.  We have the right to
show up at events and express our opinions. This is called free speech and is granted by the
bill of rights. Some Americans choose to express our opinion with a sign, button, or shirt. This is
America and we are guaranteed these rights. Our rights cannot be relegated by zones or negated
by leaders who hide from the public.
        Sometimes in the course of human events, circumstances require "disruption." Klu Klux Klan rallies,
cross burnings, police beating people in the streets, torture, violations of civil rights, war crimes, and
other human tragedies are events which should not go unchallenged or uncontested.
        I am proud of our Oregon National Guard soldiers in Iraq who saw their duty and disrupted Iraqi
police torturing prisoners. Unfortunately, their superior officers said to let the prisoners be tortured.
Clearly some of our current policies are in error. If we do not dissent, troops will continue to be targets
while we destroy our credibility.
        When stubbornness is confused with strength, we foster terrorism rather than suppressing it.
We need mature leaders who can admit mistakes and regroup, rather than refusing to listen and hiding
from the public in private meetings. Dissent is patriotic.
        The upside to Bush's private meetings is that the people of this state can see the difference between
a closed administration which caters to a corporate elite, vs. a more open and democratic organization
which hold free and public meetings where everyone is invited and all voices can be heard.
        Truth must be spoken to power.  When we are told we must choose between security and free speech,
we must refuse to choose.  Dissent is patriotic.
best regards, Tim

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