Each morning as I sit and read the Orange County Register I tread lightly when I turn to the letters and opinion pages of the Local section. Generally I find a litany of rants attacking Hillary, undocumented immigrants, Democrats and Muslims mixed in with those singing the praises of George W. Bush, the Minutemen, Republicans and Christians. Well in today’s Letters to the Editor I found a letter regarding the protests in Little Saigon that I wanted to share with all of you.
Mob rule in Little Saigon
Little Saigon’s top elected officials should take note Ã¢â‚¬â€œ this is the United States ["Keeping their distance" April 14]Ã¢â‚¬â€œ where freedom of speech is the norm, and mob rule is not tolerated. Clearly the Nguoi Viet Daily News has only exercised its First Amendment right of free speech by publishing the photograph of the South Vietnam flag.
Those protesting against the newspaper have a right to protest, but when they continue to demonstrate against an establishment that functions entirely within its free-speech rights, those protesters, and the elected officials who support them, become nothing short of an unruly mob tearing at the principles of the freedom which welcomed them after the fall of Vietnam. These protesters are engaged for no other purpose than to further their desire for mob rule. They attack the innocent and their neighbors in downtown Garden Grove and should be stopped.
Mr. or Ms. Bennett got it exactly right and I am sure that I am not the only one that thinks so. Over this past weekend business owners on Main Street in Garden Grove staged a protest of the protesters. The business owners say that these professional rabble rousers, who have been protesting against the Viet Weekly for about a year now, are driving away customers from their businesses. They are tired of it and ask what about their rights?
Vietnamese political leaders including Supervisor Janet Nguyen and Van Tran have chosen to side step the issue and their apologists in the blogosphere are whining about folks like Bennett, myself and others for taking them to task for it. Janet, Van and the blogowhiners are using the Constitution to shield themselves from criticism, claiming that the right to free speech and assembly give these protesters free reign to do as they please.
The purpose of these protests is two-fold. They are trying to drive these newspapers out of business through intimidation, bullying and various scare tactics and they are also attempting to send the very chilling message that you better not cross “us” or “we” will come after you next. I doubt that this is what our forefathers had in mind when they called for the rights of free speech and assembly.
Well when will enough be enough? How long should these protests be allowed to continue? How long should these other businesses have their rights infringed upon before someone steps up and says or does something? When will one of the Vietnamese politicians step up and tell these folks that it is time to move on?
I’d bet Janet, the “Trannies” and the blogowhiners would think much differently if a angry mob armed with bullhorns and giant speakers set up shop in front of their homes or place of business and ranted for months on end. If that happened they’d have a much different attitude about how far the freedom of speech and assembly go.