Train Operators Sue Protester Brian Willson Over Accident

I was grimly astonished by your story about how the train operators who ran over peace activist S. Brian Willson with a munitions train severing his legs are now suing Willson for their "embarrassment" and "mental anguish" (Part I, Jan. 12).

I recall that when Willson was maimed last September all I could conclude was that this country was becoming increasingly like Nazi Germany in the 1930s, that the military men ran over Willson because they thought they could get away with it.

And they did.

I was struck by the arrogance, the naked evil of the American military machine: men who believe that nothing must stand in the way of our war in Central America, that nothing must halt the flow of arms to the Contras, our mercenary army of murderers and torturers--Oops!--I mean our "freedom-fighters" or the "Democratic Resistance" or whatever President Reagan and Lt. Col. Oliver North are calling them.

So instead of simply calling the Sheriff's Department and clearing the track, taking the protesters to jail if they were breaking the law--that's how civil disobedience works--they ran over a human being, an American citizen and a Vietnam veteran--with a train.

Yes, I thought that we were being transformed like a nation of werewolves into Nazi Germany.

But I was wrong. There is something weird and uniquely perverse about my country. Where else but in America could the operators of a train grinding a protester under its wheels sue the protester?

A suggestion for the attorneys of conductor Ralph Dawson, engineer David Humiston, and brakeman Robert Mayfield: After you finish winning this suit there is plenty more cash to be made (adds up fast at a hundred clams an hour, eh?) taking advantage of the precedent established.

Perhaps you could look up that monster who raped a teen-age girl and hacked her arms off--you know, the guy the authorities let out of prison (guess they need precious prison space for peace activists like Katya Komisaruk or something . . .) and assist him in suing his victim. Surely his victim has caused him more than a little anguish. Hell, the poor guy hasn't been able to settle anywhere or lead a normal life or anything.

And I guess Klaus Barbie is dead now but surely there must be a few remaining Nazi concentration camp guards around that could use your services.



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