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Barring of Amnesty International From the Orange International Street Fair

August 28, 1988

In his original draft of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote, "We hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable; that all men are created equal and independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent and inalienable, among which are the preservation of life and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

Amnesty International, winner of the 1977 Nobel Peace Prize, believes that these principles apply to all people regardless of the country in which they live. Amnesty International focuses on reporting the many gross violations of human rights that occur in our world and encourages people of conscience to help free those men, women and children who, without due process of law, are imprisoned, tortured and too often murdered simply because they believe in freedom and the sanctity of the individual.

Members of the Orange International Street Fair Committee view Amnesty International as a "special-interest group" rather than as a "service group," thus disqualifying it from participating in the fair Sept. 2 to 4 ("Amnesty International Cries Foul at Fair," Aug. 19). Perhaps the special interests of Amnesty International and our Founding Fathers do not belong at the Orange International Street Fair. If so, it might be wise for those who feel this way to contemplate that without the vigilance and sacrifice of these "special interests," there might be no Orange International Street Fair to celebrate.

DREW RENNER

Newport Beach

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