June 05, 2013Although the VC Fire Protection District has toned down its original plans to hold an informational meeting June 8 on its proposed relationship with the San Pasqual tribe, which was to have been open only to residents, property owners and business owners—until this newspaper protested vigorously, I suspect that most people will find it most offensive that attendees will be asked to show their driver's licenses or some other form of ID before being allowed in.
It is unfortunate that the district is so afraid of adverse public comment (read, members of the Cal Fire employees union exercising their right of free speech) that it has decided to go ahead with such an (I'm going to use this word again because I can't think of a good substitute) offensive requirement. This should turn the stomach of any person who values open discourse and it is a very Un-Valley Center sort of tactic to employ. I plan to keep my wallet firmly in my pocket if asked, although my Hitchcockian silhouette is so familiar to most people that I'll probably be let in anyway.
But I hope that most people showing up will refuse to open their wallets or purses and insist on either going into the building anyway, or stay outside and make plenty of noise. Good old-fashioned civil disobedience is what is called for here. Nothing violent. Just a demand that the public be treated with respect. What are they going to do? Refuse to let a few dozen people into VC Community Hall? Arrest people? As a newspaperman I'd love to get photos of people being hauled away in handcuffs! The Cal Fire union would undoubtedly love to broadcast that image too. Shoot! I'd love to be hauled off myself!
Sadly, the fact that the district board has a very good case to make for why it has been negotiating a separate deal with the tribe may be overshadowed by this fiasco. I hope that the public will at least listen with respect to the presentation by board treasurer Phil Bell and, hopefully read our front page article on the subject to gain some perspective on a situation that is clearly something of a "turf" war. Mr. Bell visited The Roadrunner office on Friday and laid out in some detail his board's reasoning for the change. People who want to be informed on the subject should read the article.
People over a certain age may recall the term "hang loose," which was coined during the days of the Vietnam War protests. In those days protestors, upon being taken into custody by the police, would not cooperate by allowing themselves to be meekly led away. Instead, they would "hang" limply, forcing the police to bodily haul them off.
So, hang loose, readers!