Letters to the Editor

Capitol violence, free speech, water aplenty, banning Confederates, trashy rafters

Members of the group called ANTIFA Sacramento, Anti-Fascism Action, try to light a flag on fire as they stage a counter-protest against the Traditionalist Worker’s Party at Capital on Sunday.
Members of the group called ANTIFA Sacramento, Anti-Fascism Action, try to light a flag on fire as they stage a counter-protest against the Traditionalist Worker’s Party at Capital on Sunday. pkitagaki@sacbee.com

Why couldn’t police protect?

Re “Police defend response to violent rally at Capitol” (Page 1A, June 28): The facts are clear. More than 100 law enforcement personnel could not protect about 30 people with a permit to assemble at the Capitol from over 300 counterprotesters without a permit. Some counterprotesters were from groups committed to violent actions who announced plans for their counterprotest.

Some counterprotesters dressed for aggression, armed with weapons, hid their faces, told the media “no cameras” and forced media away, and initiated the physical violence. Police acted as if this were a fight in a prison’s exercise yard instead of protecting a group exercising and willing to defend their right to free speech on the Capitol steps.

Not making any arrests as the attacks occurred illustrates additional failures of law enforcement personnel. We deserve much better.

Dean Dal Ben, Sacramento

Anarchists are to blame for violence

After watching many videos of the neo-Nazi rally and “protest” at the Capitol, it was easy to see that the anarchists were to blame for starting the violence. The group was easy to identify in their black clothing and covered faces.

Kudos to The Sacramento Bee for assigning a label to this group that always seems to pop up and turn peaceful demonstrations into riots. Oakland has seen this happen far too many times. It is a mystery why none of them are ever arrested after their violent behavior.

The neo-Nazis, no matter how offensive their beliefs, have a right to be heard and had received permits for a rally designed to proclaim their support of Donald Trump. It’s ironic that instead of lauding law enforcement for keeping the city safe, citizens have condemned them for not using greater force.

Eileen Glaholt, Sacramento

Missing concept of free speech

Is this the kind of community we have turned into? Busing people in from other areas to forcibly and physically stop a meeting of people with whom you may not agree?

What these young, inexperienced demonstrators don’t realize is that in the United States, everyone has a right to free speech. These demonstrators need to grow up. Or, if they prefer, they should move to a country that only allows one point of view. That is exactly what they are ushering in, whether they realize it or not.

Anne Hansen, Carmichael

Which is enemy of free speech?

On Sunday, a self-proclaimed anti-fascist group staged a protest against a so-called neo-Nazi group at our state Capitol. I guess it didn’t occur to them that singling out a group and actively working to deny them their right to assemble and exercise free speech makes them as bad as the group they disdain.

Michael Lee, Carmichael

Water districts and their fairy-tale math

Re “Area’s water districts give rosy assessment of supplies” (Page 1A, June 27): We’ve had several continuous years of a severe drought, with some winter relief in the northern state but none in the south. Plus, groundwater has been severely depleted for years. Plus population numbers and agricultural needs continue to expand. Plus long-term forecasts indicate another dry winter ahead. And the sum is: Water districts say, “We have plenty of water!”

What kind of fairy-tale math is this? The emperor with no clothes is alive and well.

Mary Ann Gieszelmann, Roseville

Rafting leaves trash in its wake

Re “Rafting Gone Wild gets a little bit tamer” (Local, June 26): So how much more tame was Rafting Gone Wild? As a regular cyclist on the American River Parkway, I waited until 7:30 p.m. Saturday to let the temperature cool down before heading for a ride.

I arrived at Rossmoor Bar picnic table, my usual spot to rest and enjoy the view. The table was covered with paper plates and remains of pizza, empty beer bottles, a tall plastic drinking cup still full, plastic grocery bags and an empty box from a portable BBQ. I disposed of the trash in a can less than 20 feet from the table.

I have never seen so much trash in one place on the parkway. When I arrived at Sacramento Bar on my way home, the still warm air was saturated with the stench of stale beer. Must have been quite a party. Tamer?

Janice Kelley, Fair Oaks

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