Last Friday, I was expecting to join a small group of Crusin’ Grand folks as I usually do on what should be the traditional Escondido Classic car meet up. We meet at Grand Ave and Broadway, with conservative signs and attire, urging California and Escondido to open up and get back to business. Tonight would be different, as I heard that a large anti-police protest would be taking place in downtown Escondido.
I meandered through the road closures and set up shop at the corner of E. Valley Parkway and Escondido Blvd. Coincidently, the sign I had made the night before would be perfect: I heart (love) police on one side, and I heart EPD on the other. I looked around and saw no one else with signs indicating any like mindedness to mine.
Since Escondido has a fairly large conservative base, I received a lot of thumbs up and positive “honks.” This encouragement along with a strong police presence, would support me as a crowd of about 300 anti police protesters started walking toward my location west bound on Valley Pkwy.
As they approached me chanting “f— the police,” they saw my sign and me and changed their chant to “f— you. go home.”
Now, while I don’t support this group’s general cause which includes anger against all police and the extreme profanities and obscene gestures they consistently use to support their cause, I do support their right to legal, peaceful protest. Unfortunately, this group’s “peaceful protest” many times ends up with rioting, violence, theft, and destruction.
I ended up closing the evening by standing for several hours at the corner of Grand and Juniper. By the time I left at 10:30 p.m., the only vehicles on the road seemed to belong to Escondido Police and the allied agencies assisting them. As I left, I felt reassured that our beloved town and especially the downtown area, would be free of looting and vandalism, at least for that night.
LORI HATLEY, Escondido