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Letter: Protest Wasn’t Meant To Disrupt Businesses

For the past few days we have joined a group of fellow Morris residents on small portions of Atlantic Ave. sidewalks to peacefully protest, holding signs, the ill-advised attempt by President Trump and an Unregulated Militia to disrupt an orderly transition of power between the sitting President and President-elect Joe Biden. 

We exercised our constitutional rights to freedom of speech and peaceably to assemble. A permit for the assembly was requested and granted by the City of Morris. As you can imagine, it’s been interesting. 

We have heard that some businesses, which we assembled in front of, expressed concerns about potential loss of business and/ or that Stevens County citizens may think they condoned the assembly. We truly regret any loss of business the businesses may have suffered. That certainly was not our intent. We made certain to never block or impede anyone’s access to their businesses. We also did not solicit or expect any support from the businesses for our assembly. We simply followed the conditions of the permit and willingly moved to a different corner when instructed to do so by the Morris police. 

The mixed responses we received from passing traffic were both curious and gratifying. The most curious were the shouts of ‘Get a job!’ We’re pretty certain that everyone we stood with were either retired or working. Our favorite response was from the guy who drove by and thanked us and then came back and thanked us again because he wasn’t sure we heard him the first time. 

For what it’s worth, we hope the future will provide all of us, no matter our political leanings, with ample time for reflection on where we want to go from here as a family, neighborhood, city, county, nation and world citizens. We think a good place to start is with respectful and empathetic dialogue. Less persuasion. More energy devoted to listening, understanding and compassion for why we each feel the things we all feel. Small steps on an epic journey in challenging times. 

James Moore and Char Zinda Morris

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