For some citizens, dissent is patriotic |

For some citizens, dissent is patriotic

The suppression of political dissent continues. In California, critics of military recruiters (McDonald, The Union, Aug. 24) have been targeted: In 2005, after protesting against recruiters, University of California students appeared on the Homeland Security’s TALON database tracking terrorism (S.F. Chronicle, July 19, 2006). In Nevada City’s 2006 – and possibly 2007 – Constitution Day Parade (Bravard, The Union, Sept. 30), parade emcees diminished the Americans for Constitutional Integrity statement calling for impeachment.

To those who legitimatize the war on terrorism, the dissent of McDonald and ACI is treasonous and justifies censorship. To dissenters, the war is a fraudulent excuse for, and cover-up of, the real agenda: Private, self-serving, corporate globalization (Privatization of Iraq, To them, dissent is patriotic, and they find it ironic when their speech is censored by those who claim the war is being fought to defend freedom of speech.

The First Amendment protects political speech in order to check the government’s abuse of power. For the government to suppress dissent, therefore, is a denial of constitutional rights and another basis for impeachment. For ACI members to “get over it,” as war supporters insisted at the 2007 parade, would be the true betrayal of the Constitution.

Robert Lobell

Grass Valley

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