Charging protesters goes against Constitution

I was shocked and incensed by Wednesday’s letter, “Charge protesters a fee.” The Occupy movement is about restoring some economic equality to our county — one increasingly controlled by the wealthy who hold the puppet strings of our elected public servants.

But what really stupefied me was the letter-writer not understanding that a protester fee is a basis for rescinding the rights guaranteed all U.S. citizens by the First Amendment. In his haste to “fix” something he “just can’t figure out,” he came up with a solution ensuring that only those who can afford it are entitled to form opinions and stand against what they see as injustice. Where would we be today if the First Amendment had been based on this idea?

Applied retrospectively to our country’s history it could single-handedly undo the outcomes of all the civil-rights movements and women’s suffrage. We’d have no unions and no strikes. Seems like a steep price to pay when the real problem is simple ignorance.

Leah Culleny
San Francisco

Occupy SF has got to go

It is time for Mayor Ed Lee and police Chief Greg Suhr to ask Occupy San Francisco to dismantle its encampment and move on. If it refuses, The City should take whatever action is necessary to remove the camp and restore order at Justin Herman Plaza. This site has now become a mecca for thugs, petty criminals and other destructive outsiders. There have been multiple reports of assaults, fistfights and other violent crimes.

Many of us predicted this is what would result when you allow people to set up these permanent encampments.

The residents of San Francisco should not have to surrender their public spaces to lawless thugs. We either live in a city governed by the rule of law or we are going to live in a city of lawless anarchy. Which is it to be?

E.F. Sullivan
San Francisco

Why go after Cain?

Apparently the news media will give full coverage to any implausible or nonspecific charge against Herman Cain. Isn’t this the same press that tried to ignore much more specific charges against former President Bill Clinton and presidential candidate John Edwards? Isn’t this the same press that went after the accusing females and ruined their lives?

What is different about Herman Cain? He is not a Washington insider. He is a black conservative. He is a successful businessman who turned around two failing companies. He is not a Democrat.

Keith C. De Filippis
San Jose

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