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Letter: Peaceful protest

Published: Tuesday, May 13 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

I've studied a little about civil disobedience and witnessed a few protests in my time, but can't understand the mentality involved with the blatant disregard for law and order when seeking change.

I'm disheartened when I read about people, and in particular, leaders who disregard and break existing laws to make their voice heard. In San Juan County, we have county commissioner Phil Lyman who planned and had an ATV protest ride into Recapture Canyon (on Saturday May 10, 2014). Recapture Canyon contains hundreds of ancestral puebloan ruins and other ancient artifacts that are 1,000 years old. In 2005 and 2006 ATV riders rode into the area; the Bureau of Land Management claims they caused significant damage. The BLM of Utah closed the canyon to motorized traffic in 2007. It is against the law to ride ATVs into the canyon, yet that is the plan.

In a law-abiding society, we have proper avenues to initiate change. Why are these avenues not being used?

Are we going to allow law breaking to become the norm for protest? Think of the ramifications: If everyone who has a particular law they don't like decides that the best recourse is to go out and break that law, then we have stand-offs and chaos.

Robert Williamson

Roy

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