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Senator Tom Brewer
The First Amendment to our constitution protects five different God-given rights. Last Saturday night the 30th of May the people of Lincoln and many other cities across Nebraska and the nation were exercising two of those rights; “…the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” I wholeheartedly support people exercising these rights. The oath I took to support and defend those rights has no expiration date.
Four blocks west of the Capitol building sits the City/County building. There was a large police presence there, so some of the crowd turned East and headed down the four blocks of Lincoln Mall toward the Capitol. Businesses and apartments on both sides of the street lost windows. Some were looted and one was burned. Some people lost their places of business either temporarily or permanently. Tens of millions of dollars in property damage was caused, most of it to private property. Video from the Nebraska Association of County Officials building showed dozens of people inside the building on a destructive rampage that lasted nearly 45 minutes.
By the time the vandals reached the Capitol, a constitutionally protected protest had turned into a rioting mob. Windows in the Capitol building were broken out and the statute of Abraham Lincoln was defaced with graffiti. The police were badly outnumbered and couldn’t stop the violence and destruction until a lot of damage was done.
To my stunned amazement I have watched talking heads on the news and mayors of large US cities, and even governors of some states tacitly supporting this violence and rejecting help from their state and federal government. The mayor of Washington, D.C. has stated she wants the National Guard and other federal law enforcement out of the city.
No one can exercise a right at the expense of another person’s rights. You do not have a right to riot. No cause is so noble it justifies burning some innocent person’s home or business. Senior elected officials around the country should remember that justice will be served one way or another. If the people cannot count on our justice system to protect them, vigilante justice will fill the void, and that is a dangerous prospect.
I believe in the weeks to come we will learn a lot more about exactly who many of the violent rioters were. Several came from out of town to exploit the protests for their own evil aims. These criminals have interfered with the constitutional rights of legitimate protesters and those whose property they destroyed. We will learn there are groups of people claiming to be anti-fascist, while their stated goal is to topple our constitutional republic and replace it with a communist, totalitarian government. They practice violent lawlessness to achieve their objectives. They need to be found and brought before the bar of justice swiftly, because their attempts at instigating violence have endangered law enforcement, peaceful protesters, and other members of the public. Law and order must be restored immediately.
Please contact my office with any comments, questions, or concerns. Email me at email@example.com, mail a letter to Sen. Tom Brewer, Room #1101, P.O. Box 94604, Lincoln, NE 68509, or call us at (402) 471-2628.