Protesters demand rights but don’t allow others the same

Letter date: 
Thursday, April 20, 2017
Letter publisher: 
Statesman Journal
Letter author: 
Jim Kolousek
Letter body: 

Recently I attended a meeting of the Oregonians for Immigration Reform in Salem and, as usual, the protesters were out en masse with their silly signs and meaningless chants. They attempted to block the entrance to the facility where we met.

When we started the meeting, we were advised not to confront or interact with the protesters. We want to respectfully honor their right to protest, and we did so. However, there were police and a hired private security guard there to protect our right to have a peaceful meeting. At one point, the security guard had to prevent the protesters from entering the facility conference room and disrupting our meeting.

I don’t get it. How can these protesters — who demand freedom of speech, tolerance and acceptance — be so willing to violate our rights of free assembly and freedom of speech by attempting to shut down our peaceful meeting? We were doing nothing wrong or illegal. We were not advocating violating the laws to accomplish an evil purpose. We were simply sharing information and discussing ideas of working within the existing laws to accomplish change.

What was so wrong about our meeting that these protesters find it acceptable to not practice what they preach?