Re: “A world stage to stir things up,” letter by Laura Zahn, Aug. 23 Editor: Laura Zahn of Dunedin wrote an uninformed diatribe against “paid professional protesters” she feared would show up at RNC. A perfect example of how single-party propaganda’s fear-mongering works well in Florida. And it’s about falling for media hype without checking out the facts.
It’s pretty plain that we’ve been under-educated and manipulated very professionally. That’s the way to destroy constitutionally permitted dissent, which is how America grew its democracy. But, sadly, it works. One of our careful neighbors, having read about snipers, etc., called us urgently to warn us to take down our 1 inch by 4 inch sticker, saying “we are the 99 percent” so we wouldn’t be classed with those violent protesters at RNC.
As an example, I applaud the occupiers everywhere as they made their case for the 99 percent and its issues nonviolently – it is still ongoing, folks. What I abhor is the influx of paid, black-robed and black-masted intruders sent in to disrupt and paint the occupiers as violent. That was arranged by outsiders to give occupiers a bad name and shut them down.
The main violence in some cities was by under-trained police who sprayed an 88-year-old woman and peaceful sitting occupiers and a gas canister thrown by police that caused a returning veteran’s concussion from which I hear he is not recovering now. I have attended protests and we are always trained in nonviolence Gandhi-style first off. So, calm and reasoned reactions are the order of the day.
The media do not cover these meetings and trainings, just as they did not cover the single-party’s legislative War on Women who protested peacefully by the thousands at the U.S. Capitol, D.C., Aug. 18! Media is selective in manipulating the news. We watch BBC News.
I actually attended the Hillsborough County informative meetings and listened to the careful planning from the county and from the ordinary citizen protesters. I heard reasoned discussion. The county was taking all due precautions and informing the public.
The protesters, from respected American organizations and citizens, all reported their plans. None of the plans I heard even in private conversations included brick-throwing, guns, violence of any sort. In fact, protesting folks will be effectively caged far from the activities as usual.
Informed dissent is applauded by our Constitution; I support the Constitution. It’s uninformed dissent that’s meant to scare us that’s just one more reflection of our now-unreasoned objections.
Before falling for manipulation, we must all use critical thinking – something not taught in schools nowadays. Ask for the facts, dig for them, Google them, but get the facts before spreading paid-for rumors.