* Apparently the Fullerton police beat and pepper-sprayed students for interfering with traffic ("O.C. Latino Students, Police Clash," Sept. 17). This is the type of response one would expect of turf-protecting gang members. Shame on the police for turning a happy, exuberant march into a melee.
* Recently, I saw another of a series of protests and marches by Latino students, this time in Fullerton. Because I attended UCLA, and there were plenty of these to be found there, I guess I always associated Latino activism with Los Angeles. The proverbial Orange Wall has had a large chunk kicked out of it.
It really bothered me to read about the use of pepper spray and batons by Fullerton police when demonstrators blocked the streets near Fullerton College. Those students, whose only crime was a misdemeanor violation of the traffic code, were voicing a concern through their First Amendment right to free speech.
True, I am sure that the activists did not get a proper permit for their demonstration, so that they could use Harbor Boulevard in Fullerton to march on; this was certainly a flaw not to be overlooked. But I am quite certain that this flaw was not deserving of the aggressiveness received. Maybe it was a case of police panicking or misjudgment or loose cannons looking for a chance to take out aggression, or perhaps it was just routine reaction. I don't know, but I wish I did.
* It is unfortunate that 300 of Orange County's brightest Latino college students spend their energies on something so nebulous as "'Latino Studies" instead of spending it in helping to find a solution to the havoc brought on by the Latino street gangs.
These gangs spend their time killing each other along with many innocent bystanders and making life miserable for the majority of law-abiding Latinos that live in this area.
To solve the gang problem--that would be a cause worth fighting for.