* Hooray for Councilwoman Jackie Goldberg! The concessions she extracted for her vote approving the $4-million bailout of the backers of the Democratic National Convention will renew a tradition that placed Pershing Square at the center of public political discourse (June 24).
In 1900, Gaylord Wilshire, for whom Wilshire Boulevard was named, addressed a crowd in the park on the virtues of socialism and was arrested by the police for disturbing the peace. He was subsequently arrested for violating a business-supported ordinance that was designed to prevent proponents of unpopular causes from speaking in the park, but the charge was ultimately dismissed by the court on constitutional grounds.
During the 1950s, street preachers and soapbox orators made Pershing Square a lively place. Believing the crowds were unsightly, downtown business interests, working with Mayor Sam Yorty and the Police Department, cleared out the park, leaving it to this day virtually empty of people and largely unused.
It would be wonderful if the political activity that will be displayed this August began a new tradition in which Pershing Square became our city's speakers' corner. Unfortunately, the whining and complaining about Goldberg's proposal show that the old tradition of opposition to this possibility by downtown businesses and the police remains steadfast and unbroken.
Pershing Square for demonstrators? How dangerous and harassing for Democratic convention guests, many of whom will be nondelegate women and children. How worrisome for merchants. Give the supporters and protesters the Coliseum for any and all demonstrations. There they can be contained and easily covered by the press.
JEANE B. BARNBROCK
Palos Verdes Estates
Bravo for Goldberg in standing up for the protesters at the Democratic convention. As for the unnamed wag who commented on calling the protest site "Che Guevera Square," sure and we will call Staples Center "Let Them Eat Cake" Center.
JAMES MICHAEL HITE