Letter - All rights should be respected during protests

The recent unrest on college campuses has triggered my memory of 1968, when I was in the rather unique position of being an anti-war demonstrator and the daughter of a Chicago law enforcement officer.

I was not present at the demonstration that turned violent in Grant Park the year following the Democratic convention, but my father was. His firsthand account of his experience lives in my memory.

Among the sincere and well-intentioned young people who protested for peace and an end to the war in Vietnam were outside agitators intent upon provoking violence by taunting police with slurs of “Pigs” and lobbing urine-filled bottles and other crude weapons at CPD officers who had been called to contain the crowd. Most officers, including my father, were able to resist the provocation. Others were not. And the rest is history. Some called it police brutality. Others called it being human.

While I have strong feelings about our right to protest and demonstrate against policies we disagree with, I have equally strong feelings about respecting law and order and respecting the rights of thousands of students to pursue the education their parents paid for without harassment or obstruction. All rights should be respected. — Vivian Walsh Barre, Hinsdale