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I protest because I don't want to lose my civil rights 

I hope it is not too late to respond to Gary Wechter’s and Matt Foote’s commentaries about the Republican Party being in charge and the protests going on across the country (respectively: “So you didn’t vote for Trump,” Feb. 9, and “Get out of my party,” Feb. 23). You see, I’m one of the people Wechter denigrated in his commentary. I’m a woman who happens to be a progressive and a Democrat. I have a simple answer for him about why I am exercising my First Amendment rights to assemble, to petition the government, and to speak out. Under this president, I am afraid of losing those very rights. He’s already attacked freedom of the press, the right to due process, and the Eighth Amendment’s guarantees against cruel and unusual punishment. Which freedom is next?

I am encouraged by Foote’s response. I have also disagreed with presidents of both parties on some issues and agreed with presidents of both parties on others, but I haven’t been out demonstrating or writing letters to editors before. I have written more letters to members of Congress in the last month than I have in my whole 45-year voting history! The Republican-run Congress is not providing the checks and balances that the Constitution requires. They are endangering our democracy by not upholding their oaths. I, too, swore an oath “to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies both foreign and domestic.” Donald Trump is a threat to our Constitution. If the Republican Congress won’t defend it, I will. Will you?

-- Gail Chambers - Big Sur

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