D’Wayne Hodgin, Moscow
The Moscow-Pullman Daily News 5/5/12
This letter is not about politics. It’s about not letting ignorance have the day. Don Meyer’s letter to the editor (Opinion, May 1) displays he knows next to nothing about the “megaload protests.” He says “on many occasions … your group disobeyed lawful directives given you by the police.” Since I never saw Meyer at the protests, I wonder how many police he quizzed to get his “facts.”
On the half-dozen times I joined the protesters, I saw no one break the law. On each occasion, I talked amicably with police officers while I waved my sign at the passing megaloads. Several officers even mentioned they respected our (and anyone’s) legal right to protest. The only folk I saw come close to breaking the law were a few anti-protester protesters who yelled at (disturbing the peace, anyone?) the protesters. The only time citations were given (yes, once, Meyer) was on the first or second time – of the more than 30 times – that megaloads came through Moscow. Yet Meyer says the protesters broke the law “on many occasions.”
Meyer also says that “there were many instances of disobedience to police directives.” I personally witnessed nothing of the kind. When police “gave directives,” the protesters responded without disobeying. I questioned one officer about when we could “go through the crosswalk.” His response was something like this: “Any time until the megaloads come into view; then, you’re not allowed to enter the crosswalk.” My next question, “even to cross the street?” His response, “Even to cross the street.” Essentially, we were denied our right to cross the street, and everyone complied. No one broke the law. The police showed no restraint simply because the protesters did not push them into showing such “amazing restraint” (Meyer’s words). Ignorance may be bliss, but it can also be dishonest.