Editor: Referencing your opinion piece “Democracy vs. safety,” from the Dec. 3 Chatham Voice.
Do you not see the irony in your statement, “But one thing we believe is that municipal officials did not do enough to help people exercise their right to free speech” when the protesters believe that government is interfering too much.
Which is it? You can’t have it both ways.
Per CAO Don Shropshire’s statement, “We weren’t out to get people.” What are you not sure of? The police chief made it clear that the education period is over and that charges would be laid according to the law. If someone gets a seatbelt ticket, are you “not sure that the government is out to get them?”
What do you think the protest organizers responsibilities are? Should they not understand the laws and bylaws and set up accordingly? It would have been so simple for them to break the full group up into smaller groups of less than 100 people.
Finally, per your headline “Democracy vs. safety.” These two items go hand in hand, not one versus the other. Democracy does allow for free speech, the right to protest etc. but it does not allow for people to do unsafe things e.g. screaming “Fire” in a crowded theatre.
For this protest, the law is clear; just because you are protesting does not allow you to break the law. The protesters want the rules changed so that such laws do not exist.
As a local news source you should be more careful about siding with people who do not follow the rules and disobey the laws. There is enough of that south of us.