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Senior Protester Harassed at Contra Demonstration

September 05, 1987

The following is a truthful and accurate blow-by-blow account of what occurred to me at a demonstration opposite the Century Plaza Hotel where President Reagan was meeting with the contras (Part I, Aug. 28).

Why would big bullies badger, harass, insult, shout and scream filthy four-letter words at a 5 foot, 1 inch, 77-year-old woman?

Being opposed to the insanity of our criminally sponsored war in Central America, I brought my small hand-painted sign that read, "No War in Central America." That was undoubtedly what enraged a group of vicious maniacs who literally attacked me. Why me? Because they saw a victim who would not fight back.

I completely ignored them. My lack of response and apparent indifference egged them on to hurl worse epithets, push and poke me in the ribs with their elbows and attempt to cover my small sign with their larger ones. A squeeze play ensued--one on each side squeezing me and shoving me, meanwhile shouting, "Go home old woman, sit in your rocking chair and die!"

If these brutes and thugs are examples of what contras are like, no wonder they are losing the dirty war. These ugly, abysmal creatures tormenting an elderly woman surely exposes their cowardice.

Behind me a "Young American for Democracy" grinned and shouted, "Grandma, go home where you belong. Get into bed and rot. This country belongs to young people like me. You'll be dead and gone and we'll rule America."

They finally pushed me into the street. An officer pushed me back. In the meantime they were yelling, "Ortega rapes his mother!" over and over. One of our monitors saw my plight and gently eased me away.

I heard a terrible uproar. The pro-contra group was surging forward toward the TV camera crews, shrieking, yelling and jumping like madmen. I was inadvertently pushed near a cameraman. He raised his fist and bashed my sign to the ground. As I reached to retrieve it I was knocked aside by a bellowing bully.

This shattering experience clearly showed me what kind of people the U.S. is hiring, aiding and abetting in the terrible war that already has murdered over 60,000 people and maimed hundreds of thousands, besides destroying their tiny impoverished country.

These depraved types are trained to kill and destroy their own people for personal aggrandizement.

Are we preparing for another Vietnam and Korea? To train and promote hatred in this ruthless, inhuman species will only degrade humanity all the more.

Their main aim is to utterly destroy and defeat any possibility of peace in Central America.

But the vast majority of "we the people" proclaim loud and clear, "Give peace a chance!"

SUZANNA MENDELSON

Santa Monica

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