TO THE MERCURY: I'm a Mercury reader and a member of the Portland Business Alliance. I'm also a liberal democrat who voted for measure 28 and do not agree with the PBA stance on anti-war protesters downtown and other city issues. Most PBA policies are debated and voted on, and there are many like me who disagree with the majority decision on all stances and policies, but it is important that people like me, as a minority, are able to be members and voice our opinions. How can you urge the boycotting of businesses that are members without knowing what their stance is ["Anti-War, Anti-Alliance," News, March 13]? When Congress makes a decision, it doesn't mean all members voted for the policy. Most of the members are there to promote their businesses, not to get involved in politics. Why should someone like me suffer because of a majority stance when I do not agree?
AT LEAST BANGLADESH LIKES US...
DEAR SIR: I am very much interested receive your magazine. But the problem is that I am living in Bangladesh. If you kindly send me a copy, I would appreciate that. Yours sincerely
Circulation Manager Lance Chess responds: Thank you for your interest in the Mercury. It's not often we get international requests. Unfortunately, the cost of mailing a copy is around $4 U.S. If you'd still like an issue, send us a S.A.S.E. and we'll send you one right away. Or you can wait a few months until the United States invades and takes over your country in the name of freedom, in which case, you will be able to get a copy mailed for cheaper, as the postage will then be technically "domestic." See you then!
PEACE LOVERS: WEAK AND WORTHLESS
DEAR PEACE ACTIVISTS: I just have a couple of words for you. SHUT UP!!! Do any of you really believe the President will look at you and say the war is off? I have news for you. Look at the Vietnam war. Protests didn't end that war, and your street blocking and yelling won't end it either. I could understand going to Washington D.C. and protesting directly to the source, but what is Portland City Hall going to do about it? Nothing! Interrupting everyone else's activities is a waste of time. If I were driving across a bridge, and you blocked my car, I would definitely NOT join you in your protest or beliefs.
NewsFlash!! You don't know more about the war than our government. Who would be protecting you from the bad guys if our soldiers weren't out there doing it?
CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IS CHEAP
TO THE EDITOR: I keep hearing that protesters are costing the city a lot of money. To all you blissfully ignorant folks preoccupied with this matter, I ask: What do you think is costing Portland more--the war and the city council's failure to oppose it, or our civil disobedience in principled opposition?
Since the city council chose not to oppose the war for moral, legal, or even utilitarian reasons, since we have a self-proclaimed pro-war governor, and since we have, with a few notable exceptions, a gutless and war mongering U.S. Congress, civil disobedience is a legitimate local response.
VIOLENCE DOESN'T WORK EITHER
TO THE EDITOR: Craig Rosebraugh's comments ["Give Violence a Chance," March 20] indicate an exclusion of one important point: In a democratic society, nonviolent philosophy aims not only to change the mindset of the oppressor, but also the mindset of the constituency which voted the oppressor into power. Violence in any form allows opposition groups to dismiss the legitimacy of entire movements. Phil Busse omits the fact that violent groups (like the Black Panthers) helped marginalize and weaken the movements in which they participated.
HOW DID THEY PEE?!?
TO THE EDITOR: While watching Thursday's protest, one thing crossed my mind: If you're protesting with 25,000 of your friends, where do you pee? We all know about the limited number of toilets downtown. What about those poor souls who had a sit-in on 2nd and Burnside? Where did they pee? Maybe that's why a few people got up and left. Were the remaining people peeing in the street? Did they have bottles to store pee in? I have to know! HOW DID THEY PEE?!?!
CONGRATS TO DOGSOUP for winning the Mercury "Letter of the Week" and two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater. Got a question, but don't really expect an answer? Send in your letter, and you could be our next winner!