Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

By Rube Render
Columnist 

Rally security a miserable failure

 

August 23, 2017 | View PDF



Forty years ago, the American Civil Liberties Union went to court to defend the right of Nazis to march through Skokie, Illinois.

The ACLU defended the group’s right to free speech based on the same laws it had raised during the Civil Rights era when officials tried to stop civil rights marches throughout the South.

Recently in Charlottesville, Virginia, the ACLU also supported the “Unite the Right” organization in court when city officials tried to revoke their permit to protest.

Whether you agree with their stance on these issues or not, the ACLU has remained consistent in defense of the First Amendment.

Although city officials in Charlottesville promised to maintain control of the rally, they failed miserably. Groups of protesters and counter-protesters battled each other in the streets while police watched and took no action.

According to statements from the ACLU, police on the scene were told not to intervene until given the command to do so. ProPublica, a nonprofit news organization that does investigative journalism in the public interest, reported that “a group of assault-rifle-toting militia members from New York State, wearing body armor and desert camo, played a more active role in breaking up fights.”

President Trump’s statement that, “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides,” has been ridiculed by the press for not being more forceful or specific. The fact of the matter is that Trump’s statement is true, both sides were at fault.

Left unexamined by the press were the following statements by Virginia officials:

Brian Moran, Virginia’s secretary of public safety, said in an interview on Sunday that “it was a volatile situation and it’s unfortunate people resorted to violence.’’ Moran continued, “From our plan, to ensure the safety of our citizens and property, it went extremely well.’’

From Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe came the following: “I was just talking to the state police upstairs; they had better equipment than our state police had. And yet not a shot was fired, zero property damage.”

Read these two statements carefully and you will see that the governor and the secretary of public safety in their after-action assessment consider the security precautions measures for the protest a great success. No shots fired and no property damage. What a triumph.

Heather Heyer, the lady who was run down by a crazy person in a car and both Trooper-Pilot Berke M. M. Bates and Pilot Lt. H. Jay Cullen who died in the helicopter accident were not available for comment.

Rube Render is the Curry County Republican chairman. Contact him at:

rube.render@actsnm.com

 

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