Letter to the Editor: Death of free speech

Dear Free Speech. I was sorry to hear of your recent passing and thought it was extremely rare and unusual that you were murdered at your birth place, Cal State Berkeley. This is where the free speech movement in the 60’s started and was successful in becoming law.

It appears that the liberal politicians of today, protecting their personal wealth and security, were able to dismantle free speech for all in a matter of days. The free speech movement that took thousands of students and many months of laboring and being arrested to achieve is dead. This is unfortunate because we all lose.

Free speech, you say you want diversity and an open-minded forum yet when a speaker who does not fit your political ideas and is supposed to be protected by the 1st Amendment is speaking at your college, you object, not by peaceful protests or by deliberating but by destruction and rioting. This looks to me like you are afraid of them or you're scared.

Back in the 60’s, when I was in my 20’s, I remember as if it happened yesterday watching the daily battles on TV between the Berkeley president and protesting students. I am now in my 70’s and maybe not any wiser but more experienced and what I see in today’s protestors (they’re not all students) allegedly peaceful demonstrations that turn into destructive rioting, looting, burning buildings and criminal activities like breaking into ATMs. What a shame to wind up doing this in college.

The average law abiding citizens who have no say in politics (other than voting) and go along with the outcome are the ones being hurt the most when they have their businesses broken into and their cars set on fire or maybe stuck on a street being blocked by peaceful protestors.

On Feb. 1, university officials called off the event about two hours before Milo Yiannopoulos was to speak at the student union, where more than 1,500 people had gathered outside.

“This is not a proud night for this campus, the home of the free speech movement,” said Dan Mogulof, a Berkeley spokesman. He noted that the vandalism interfered with the ability of the Berkeley College Republicans — who hosted Yiannopoulos — to exercise their 1st Amendment rights.

The moral of the story is that if you are a Republican, you have no rights or representatives in California and you cannot vote for a Republican U.S. Senator because of the rigged election process where only two Democrats, Loretta Sanchez and Kamala Harris, were on the ballot.

Show some guts, debate your opponents, don’t destroy property.

Maurie Thomas