Keys to the city for convicted felons

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Stopped at the Plaza Park to see what all the gathering of people and dignitaries was all about. Found out the mayor was proclaiming the day Reies Lopez Tijerina Day and was giving him the keys to the city. What?

I remember the ‘60s and the ‘70s. All the protests in the South led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I admired his fight for civil rights. I remember too Mr. Cesar Chavez fighting for the farmworkers’ rights. I greatly admired their courage to accomplish their goals by means of nonviolence.

Chicano rights were also being fought for. I remember attending L.A. City College at night while the Brown Berets kept the campus closed during the day with protests. They were protesting for educational rights for Chicanos though they were keeping me from attending school during the day. There were some who thought violence was justified because they felt they were in the right and believed the end justified the means. Mr. Tijerina was one of those.

Mr. Tijerina, if mind serves me, was armed, took over a state park, kept people hostage in a courthouse and injured two peace officers. He was captured, arrested, convicted and sent to prison. Mr. Tijerina is a convicted felon. Why are we honoring him? Whose idea was this? I would like to know. Was the whole city council in agreement on this? This is unbelievable. There is much to be discovered here.

It has been reported that Mr. Tijerina made anti-Semitic remarks during one of his speeches in town. With the desecration and vandalism that happened to the Jewish cemetery soon after his remarks, one has to wonder if one thing led to the other. With the city endorsing the actions of this man, it puts the city in a bad light. I resent the city promoting this man in any way.

 The vandalism of the Masonic and Montefiore cemeteries was a heinous and moronic crime done for what purpose? We may never know. I do know that there has to be people in this community who know who is responsible and eventually someone will brag and those responsible will be caught. When that happens, I hope they are punished to the max and made to provide restitution. I hope the city can restrain itself and not give them the keys to the city.

Jose J. Marquez
Las Vegas