Chicago Paper Ignores Parallels Between Mayors To Go After Anarchists
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Letter to the Editor
The OTHER Paper
Chicago Paper Ignores Parallels Between Mayors to Go After
Rebuttal to an Aug. 11 article in the Chicago Tribune about
anarchists in Eugene:
I write not so much to set the record straight, but to
remind readers to always question what they read or hear.
Sometimes they get a fair picture of reality. Too often its
the prejudices of the writer and/or publisher.
What Flynn McRoberts wrote about anarchists was based on
opinions of the Eugene mayor, Jim Torrey. That was the
equivalent of accepting the views of the original Chicago
Mayor Daley about who was responsible for disruptions at the
1968 Democratic convention in Chicago. I was there in
Chicago to compare Daleys words with reality. Ive been in
Eugene where Ive been able to do the same with the
propaganda of Torrey.
The comparison is apt when recognizing the way the two
mayors, three decades apart, resorted to demagoguery in
using police powers. Daley, maybe the last of the
dictatorial big city mayors, sent his police into violent
attack against anti-war demonstrators on Michigan Av. and in
Grand Park during the convention. Torreys use of police
intimidation was not on such a massive scale. In June 1999,
he gave his blessings to use of pepper spray by Eugene
police on demonstrators trying to prevent controversial
cutting of old trees.
The Tribune article misled by suggesting Eugene, the home
of ancient forests, has grown a movement that disrupts. The
disruption in question was at the World Trade Organization
conference in Seattle last fall. What the rest of the
country heard about was damage that caused police to act.
But disrupters who damaged property supposedly Eugene-bred
anarchists were a tiny minority who merited being
arrested. What the mass media ignored was what legally, and
effectively, disrupted the WTO agenda: thousands of
disciplined and well-behaved citizens from the length of the
West Coast who feel the WTO is a threat to individual
These non-violent protesters included hundreds from Eugene,
many of whom Ive observed using their democratic right of
free expression on a wide range of issues. Often Ive agreed
with them; sometimes I have not. Whats at issue is not the
rightness of the cause, but the right of public dissent.
As in Chicago a generation earlier, the public response in
Eugene and Seattle was led by youth. In Chicago, students
protested what they felt was illegal U.S. involvement in the
Vietnam War; in Seattle the target was what is perceived as
globalization for the benefit of corporations to the
detriment of persons; in Eugene, it was an action viewed as
the latest step in destruction of the natural environment
without public review.
Daleys obscenity-laced criticism of party liberals was
viewed by a national TV audience. In Eugene, Mayor Torrey
avoided personal confrontation. He watched police pepper
spray so-called tree-protectors from the privacy of his
car parked nearby. His praise for hard-line police tactics
has led to a community effort to create a citizens review
board of police behavior.
The Tribune writer suggested Eugenes long history of civic
dissent may be a root cause of more violent activism. That
sounds like a torry (British variety of the 1770s)
describing those in the 13 colonies who had the temerity to
challenge the power structures edicts, coming from a
monarch across the Atlantic.
Those challenges can pay dividends for all.
George H. Beres
The Website of Lord Weÿrdgliffe:
The Dan Clore Necronomicon Page:
"Tho-ag in Zhi-gyu slept seven Khorlo. Zodmanas
zhiba. All Nyug bosom. Konch-hog not; Thyan-Kam
not; Lha-Chohan not; Tenbrel Chugnyi not;
Dharmakaya ceased; Tgenchang not become; Barnang
and Ssa in Ngovonyidj; alone Tho-og Yinsin in
night of Sun-chan and Yong-grub (Parinishpanna),
-- The Book of Dzyan.