ANTI-WAR PROTESTS AND STREETS
Letters to the Editor
Frozen out of the war-mongering media, advocates for peace are reclaiming the streets for democratic expression. Yet the media emphasis is consistently on the traffic impact of such activism, and not the demonstrators' message against this unjust and immoral war.
The emphasis on traffic disruption is rather curious. Is our democracy really so feeble that motorist convenience takes priority over constitutional rights to free speech and peaceful assembly?
For centuries, streets were considered shared public space where kids played, neighbors gathered, artists performed, and community flourished. But in recent years, automobiles have monopolized the streets and crowded out any non-motorized use of this public resource.
Without generations of street protest, women wouldn't have the right to vote, African Americans would still live in Jim Crow segregation, and an ugly war in Southeast Asia would have claimed even more lives.
Please focus on the content of the protest, and not the reaction of drivers.
Published April 5, 2003 in the Sacramento Bee
Related Article by Paul Dorn:
Pedaling to Save the City