In Thursday's Mail Tribune, Jacksonville City Administrator Paul Wyntergreen claims the decision to order riot cops to force protestors east of the intersection of California Street and Third Street was something that wasn't expected and thus unavoidable. He is quoted as saying, "It was a sudden change of plans and we had to change gears suddenly". Are we supposed accept this as a reason for an aggressive assault on peaceful protestors? When Bush was ushered from the Expo to the Jacksonville Inn through an alley, demonstrators remained along California Street. Are we supposed to believe that only after the President had finished dining did it occur to the police that protestors needed to be moved back a block?
What were the responsible law enforcement agencies doing while Bush was eating dinner?
Police had nearly one hour to address the "security perimeter". Instead, while Bush skipped his broccoli, police officers (from as far north as Salem and as far south as Yreka) donned bullet proof vests and shields and committed a type of tyranny that is becoming common protocol on Bush campaign stops. To be blunt, Sheriff Winters and J'ville City Administrator Paul Wyntergreen are being deceitful. And why wouldn't they be? They made an irresponsible, dangerous decision. Politically it's imperative for them to point fingers anywhere other than at themselves. What happened in Jacksonville, as anyone who witnessed it can testify, was police repression of free speech. Police CHOSE to shoot less-than-lethal weaponry, the same that killed a college student in Boston this week. Police CHOSE to intimidate and terrorize law-abiding citizens that never imagined fear would be used to silence their voice.