To the editor: Giving the leaders of the groups Refuse Fascism and the Revolution Club a platform to defend their anti-Trump protests that shut down the 101 Freeway is wrong. Blocking any freeway to get attention for a cause is detrimental to a large number of people.
Parents have to bring their kids to school. Public defenders need to get to court to serve their clients. Patients need to get to doctor’s appointments or scheduled surgeries on time.
Any unnecessary delay hinders productivity at the expense of a few thoughtless and selfish activists. If these people want to protest, they should do it in a way that doesn’t prevent people from going about their daily lives.
Brian Ong, Riverside
To the editor: I took part in such roadblocking actions in order to protest the Gulf War in 1990, shortly before it began. I suppose a pause for the cause is sometimes in order.
But the war happened anyway, despite the fact that I and my fellow antiwar demonstrators were jailed for several hours, released on our own recognizance and later sentenced to pay a small fine for trespassing.
Looking back on my experience with civil disobedience, I wonder how many workers were made late to their jobs, how many pregnant women may have been unduly stressed by the delay in traffic, how many emergency room professionals may have missed the opportunity to mitigate suffering among my fellow community members?
The consequences of our actions of protest must be weighed against the harm inflicted by the powers that be. It is a tricky balancing act. Let our conscience be our guide.
Ben Miles, Huntington Beach
To the editor: These activists will not get rid of President Trump by punishing the residents of Los Angeles. Declaring their actions “safe” does not give them the right to shut down a freeway.
Their message suggests anarchy in saying it will take millions of people to “remove” Trump from power. No wonder they were under surveillance by the Los Angeles Police Department.
They should get off the freeway and take their protest to where it belongs: in front of the White House.
William Goldman, Palos Verdes Estates