Protestors seem hypocritical about freedom to assemble

Letter date: 
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Letter publisher: 
Woodburn Independent
Letter author: 
Jim Kolousek
Letter body: 

Recently I attended a meeting of the Oregonians for Immigration Reform in Salem, and as usual the protestors were out en masse with their silly signs and meaningless chants.

They attempted to block the entrance to the motel where we met. Most people drove through them (not over them) but I drove around back and parked quietly. As I usually notice, their message was so compelling that virtually no one was willingly standing around listening to them.

When we started the meeting we were advised not to confront or interact with the protestors. 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 protestors from entering the motel conference room and disrupting our meeting.

I don't get it. How can these protestors, 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 protestors find it acceptable to not practice what they preach?