2001-05-19 / Editorial/Opinion

Public Issue, Private Property

Public Issue, Private Property

We understand that Lew Simon and those 20 or 30 people who believe as he does that the Golden Video is somehow despoiling Beach 116 Street and the Rockaway Park community and must be exorcised, have the right to protest the store’s existence. We have to question, however, whether traveling to the home of an store owner who is doing nothing illegal and then picketing in front of his home is the proper thing to do in a nation that lives under a code of laws. Picketing a store that sells such material is an inherent right. Picketing the home of the owner of that store, we believe, is not. Walking in front of a person’s home, shouting invective and slogans is not something that should be taken lightly. Simon and his friends seem to take it lightly indeed. We see Simon’s actions as a political tool and political tools should not be used to excoriate a person where he lives. Picket all you wish at the store, although we consider it to be a self-serving device on Simon’s part to garner votes for his upcoming run for City Council. Do not, however, hit a person where he lives.

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