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Memorial Day Event Disrupted in Irvine

June 05, 1988

An interesting thing happened to me over the Memorial Day holiday and the ramifications are frightening.

On Memorial Day, I attended a celebration at Irvine City Hall--one that was virtually broken up by political extremists and racists. On Tuesday, I attended a City Council candidates forum (same venue) and ran across several of these same extremists -- this time presenting themselves as "Irvine Pride," hosts of a supposedly "nonpartisan" televised forum.

I've seen some of these troublemakers all over the county. They challenge anyone's patriotism at variance with their own rigid sense of what's acceptable. My fear now is that they've entered our city politics.

One day they're brown shirts. The next day they're the hosts of ostensibly "nonpartisan" gatherings. Their target in Irvine is the city's Human Rights ordinance and any candidate who supports it. At the Irvine Pride Candidates Forum they made this clear only in the slanted wording of their questions to the candidates. But just the day before, at the Memorial Day celebration they were part of a violent, ugly crowd screaming anti-Semitic epithets.

I was furtunate enough to see both of their faces. But voters who haven't had better beware. No doubt, you have received some of their smear campaign literature that attacks candidates supporting the human rights ordinance. Please, don't be taken in by these reactionary forces. If you had seen the violent hateful side of these extremists, you'd be frightened too.

BILL BILLINGSLEY

Irvine

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