I Don't Get It: Sigrid Meinel on Our Bill of Rights

Letter to the Editor: Southampton Press

July 9, 2006

I don't get it! Am I supposed to be grateful to the Southampton Village politicians for letting me and like-mined individuals - people opposed to our occupation of Iraq and the harm's way we have placed many of our young people, people who are worried about the erosion of civll liberties in our country, people who want to remind our fellow citizens what the Bill of Rights means and how precious it is and, how vulerable it is today - parade with the people of Southampton, calling for more attention to what is happening in our names in America and abroad?

In the Press article on the parade (July 5, 2006), the headline states that, "The village allows protesters to march." The fact is that the Village of Southampton was not going to let citizens, who carried a message they did not agree with, march. They called it "propaganda". To have a different view from the Bush Administration is not propaganda in the land of the free and the home of the brave, to my understanding. I consider myself free and brave! When the Village decided to let our two contingents march this year, "if we behaved ourselves", our lawyer preferred to go before a federal judge (conference call, Monday, July 3rd with Justice Joanna Seybert) who reminded the town of our First Amendment Right to free speech.

Newsday called it a "compromise" (July 4, 2006), but it was no compromise and I don't think I am being impolite in pointing this out. I am merely stating the facts.

I commend all of those who came out to parade with us, veteran and non, religious and non, and most of all, I want to acknowledge the wonderful and hopeful reception we received from the crowd who watched.

Sigrid Meinel, Hampton Bays


The above is a corrected version of a letter printed by the Press on July 13.

East End Report notes that this issue is not dead. The judge issued a temporary order to enable the marchers to excercize their constitutional rights. A lawsuit to prevent the Village from restraining our first ammendment rights has yet to be heard.