Chico First, its members and supporters have been a hot topic lately. The Chico News & Review’s editor associated us with Nazis and the KKK, and speakers at the last City Council used words like “demonization” and “dehumanization” to characterize our view that the condition or status of any individual is not a pass for unacceptable conduct. Rules and laws apply to everyone, poor, homeless, famous or rich.
The weekly events hosted by Chico Friends of the Street, ostensibly the brainchild of one Patrick Newman (notably absent from the meeting), have been billed as being motivated by compassion, and that compassion is best expressed by random, drive-by charity in the plaza, they say. But last Tuesday we learned the truth.
“My involvement with CFOTS is not motivated by charity, but rather by an expression of my constitutionally guaranteed right to participate in a weekly protest …” Ah, now we see. The poor, desperate, brain injured, addicted and mentally ill that are the objects of their “protest” are merely stage props they find useful in expressing their tired narrative, which amounts to little more than a “Power to the People” screed against “the Man.”
Fortunately, we people have the power of a democratic process and the rule of law, and need not live under the thumb of those who will say anything if it fits their purposes. Votes, like facts, matter. Claims of moral superiority don’t.
— Rob Berry, Chico