Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack (CA-45) sent the following letter to Riverside Mayor Ronald Loveridge after city police moved in to clear an illegal encampment near City Hall, which was set up by Occupy Riverside protestors:
Dear Mayor Loveridge:
Thank you on a job well done. You and the Riverside Police Department are to be congratulated for the decisive and professional way in which the Occupy Riverside encampment was cleared this week near City Hall. For a group that claims, "We are the 99 percent," it has become clear with each passing day that the Occupy movement is stunningly out of touch with mainstream America. In fact, it's acting more like a lawless one percent.
Their opposition to our free market system -- which has helped to make our nation great -- as well as their support for a radical redistribution of wealth and suffocating regulation of American businesses is very troubling to me.
And yet, in our great democracy, the dissident views of all protestors should be fiercely safeguarded under the First Amendment's guarantee of free speech. That guarantee, however, does not extend to undermining public authority or public safety. I have become extremely concerned by the growing hostility and violent actions of many Occupy protestors around the United States.
We have witnessed this alarming trend time and time again, most recently in Los Angeles where 292 people were arrested on Wednesday for disobeying police orders, leaving behind a staggering 30 tons of trash near City Hall. That's not a protest; that's anarchy -- and it must not be tolerated anywhere in the United States. Nationwide, some protestors have been involved in making anti-Semitic remarks and engaged in beatings, robberies and sexual assaults. It's time for the so-called silent majority in America to speak up and say, "enough is enough."
What's also troubling to me -- and should be to most Americans -- is the fact that these protests were originally organized by the Canadian activist group, Adbusters, and stirred up by the international Internet group, Anonymous, which advocates civil disobedience but regularly is involved in criminal activities. This is the same group, by the way, which put the personal information of millions of American consumers at risk by hacking into the servers of such companies as Sony, Mastercard and Visa, and even threatened national security.
Moving forward, it's my hope that any new demonstrations will remain peaceful, and we can discuss our differences as Americans through the political process and not by throwing rocks and hurling insults.