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Protest in Commack drawing criticism

This screenshot from video shows a recent protest

This screenshot from video shows a recent protest in Commack, where a group of protesters harassed a News12 reporter. Credit: Newsday

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The behavior of a few unruly demonstrators at the recent Commack protest was shameful [“Trump cheers LI protesters,” News, May 17]. If these few were, say, 4% of the demonstrators, the other 96% could have and should have shouted them down. That small group was aggressive, inconsiderate of others, and shameful. They think guns and shouting and flags and MAGA hats combine to show they are correct. Where were the others with similar opinions who could discredit the shameful actions of those few? Why aren’t President Donald Trump and Fox News condemning what those few did? I hope other readers will react the same way, and I hope Newsday publishes their condemnation of those few.

Jan Huml,

Bohemia

Friends from out of state were calling me and asking what’s wrong with the people here who harassed a TV reporter at a rally in Commack. I’m embarrassed by the sheer ignorance and arrogance of these people who don’t care about the coronavirus or who dies from it. Salons, gyms and nonessential business closings were the only thing that kept this virus from even more tragic consequences. These screaming people need to get a clue. As for me, I don’t care if you’re not smart enough to do the right thing. Go catch the virus but keep it in your own circle. You shouldn’t be allowed to spread it to those of us who abide by the state mandates.

Carol Galati,

Ridge

We read how President Donald Trump worked his magic and people who had apologized for their appalling behavior were suddenly not at all sorry.

That’s the president’s special sauce — bring out the worst in people. On May 15, Trump tweeted, “Fake news is not essential,” with a video retweet of the Setauket Patriots’ protest. The next day, he tweeted that the TV reporter was an “enemy of the people.” Although the group had apologized two days before, blaming a “few idiots” and “outsiders unaffiliated with the group” for harassing him, once they got the presidential nod, they reverted back to form, tweeting, “Thank You President Trump.” In November, it’s up to us to send Trump and his enablers packing.

Carol Deistler,

Springs

The protesters who want to rush into opening Long Island with no precautions are like Typhoid Mary, who argued she should be free to live her life even if she infected others because she wasn’t sick herself [“We’re all Typhoid Mary now,” News, May 17]. We all want to resume a normal life, but most of us want to proceed with caution to lower the risk for the vulnerable. You can’t do that if you have a herd of people who don’t care if they are infected or if they infect others. Some, egged on by the Rush Limbaughs of the world, think it is no big deal if we cull the herd of the elderly, the sick and the poor. I am most appalled by those protesters who call themselves Christians. Jesus did not tell his followers to turn their backs on the vulnerable. It is the exact opposite of what he said.

Bill Bence,

East Meadow

Newsday’s editorial about the protesters who harassed that News 12 reporter got me angry all over again [“Protesters behaving badly,” May 19]. To me, this small band of haters in no way represents the larger majority of Long Islanders, and yet we now seem to be singled out by President Donald Trump as being his supporters. I’m even more upset by my local Republican representatives who now choose to just stand by and do nothing to admonish the president or the protesters for their actions. I need to remind them that we, the voting public, have very long memories and come November will hold them accountable for their actions. I was and had been a conservative Republican for 50 years — but not anymore.

Frank Socci,

West Babylon

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said in “Trump cheers LI protesters” [News, May 17], responding to the president’s tweets, that he did not want “to get into any kind of back and forth on what the president may be saying.”

We understand Bellone’s position as a politician in a county hard hit by COVID-19. President Donald Trump’s remarks aren’t overtly subversive, but I see them that way. He is really calling those who harassed News 12 Long Island reporter Kevin Vesey “great people,” showing Trump supports a fanatical base, the more fanatical the better. When he tweets, “Fake news is not essential,” he shows he understands the power of a free press and will actively undermine it at every turn. We must conclude that his concept of governing is antithetical to our representative, democratic ideals.

I have only one question: President Trump, have you read the First Amendment, which guarantees the right to peaceably assemble — and a free press? It’s only 45 words, Mr. President, and it’s a good read.

Katherine Curcio-Payne,

Seaford

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