In following the national activities of Operation Rescue over the past few months, and now locally over last weekend, I can't help but think it's all a rerun. Citizens with strong convictions are methodically defying authority they deem to be in error, and are ready to go to prison before the media's cameras for these convictions. Visions of Vietnam protests and the civil rights movement are conjured up in my mind as civil unrest arises from the smug complacency of the self-satisfied '80s, and we again are examining our society's attitudes towards human life and personal liberty.
However, it appears, unfortunately, that we have learned very little from our past as a nation. As before, authority figures are also reacting with a blend of fear and self-righteousness, attempting to belittle a major concern. What is the response of local authority to the sincere, vocal convictions of many? In the case of Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl Gates, it is to label, target and threaten the "willful children," who he sees as "having tantrums," and to declare that Operation Rescue was asked "not to come here" (Part I, March 26). This sounds more like a Birmingham sheriff of another era rather than a response from a responsible individual sensitive to the profound stakes at hand in the abortion issue.