Protest timing was in poor taste

To the Editor:

The Camp Ripley open house was a time to recognize the valuable role that our community plays in supporting our soldiers who have dedicated their lives to preserve our freedom. The event was not, nor should have been, a time for a protest by a narrowly focused group of fanatics that call themselves partners for peace. And to say they are Little Falls Partners for Peace is a misnomer since they recruit protesters from outside Little Falls simply to generate numbers for attention.

While I am all about exercising our constitutional rights, there is a time and place and their protest during the Camp Ripley open house was in poor taste not to mention an embarrassment to our community. Imagine what was going through the minds of the children looking to their moms and dads for an explanation as to why this was happening. For the family members of our veterans, I am sure this was the last thing they expected or wanted to see.

Next time you decide to protest, peace partners, use some discretion instead of seeking the spotlight. — Marty Skoglund, Little Falls


  • robin hensel

    Marty…..the public has a right to know you derive your salary from Camp Ripley as the Camps environmental program manager. This explains much. The public also has a right to know that there were many clergy amongst us, and you have a lot of nerve suggesting that those who stand up for peace efforts are somehow fanatics. The Franciscan Sisters, Father Tony Kroll, and Sisters from St. Cloud (members of Pax Christi) would beg to differ. You suggest there is something wrong with recruitment for peace efforts, but doesn’t that smack of hypocrisy just a tad, in that the military, including the Army National Guard, HAS ALWAYS USED RECRUITMENT EFFORT, ESPECIALLY OF MINORS(high school students)? Just exactly what day would be a good day to protest the military industrial complex(the biggest welfare program giveout ever)? There were countless members of Veterans for Peace from all over the state present(former soldiers from all branches of the military). They chose to come out of concern about the increasing use of drones and another possible illegal invasion to yet another Middle Eastern nation (Syria). The good Franciscan Sisters have been long standing members of Little Falls Partners for Peace and proud to stand on the side of peace and justice. There were also members of St. Cloud Alternatives to War, Women Against Military Madness Mpls, Alexandria Circle of Peace, Little Falls OCC-U-PIE, Grand Rapids Peace Group, Womens Internation League for Peace and Freedom, and Brainerd Area Coalition for Peace actually coordinated this demonstration. Like one of my early signs says “Some of the bravest ones, don’t carry guns”.

    • Clifton Evans

      All it explains is that Marty has the same constitutional right as you to voice his opinion. It sure seems hypocritical for you to call out where Marty works as if it were a hidden agenda, while you call yourselves ‘Little Falls’ Partners for peace when many are NOT from Little Falls. I doubt you will see the relevence, as you are good at attacking others but are somehow immune from introspection.

      • robin hensel

        It is remarkable and important that many of the people protesting wars of aggression and the use of drones for assassinations, came from all over this Minnesota, and North Dakota, rergardless of what group they were from. This shows clearly that there are many who are willing to voice their disapproval of dirty imperialist wars.

  • RonaldDescarte

    I think this comment is completely off the mark. Take for example, if you indeed do disagree with whatever, what better time to show, keep in mind, your peaceful disapproval, than at a time in which there is expected traffic. It gets your word out better and that’s the point. It’s everyone’s constitutional right to protest whenever. By your logic one should hold off the protest “crazy hats” until the hypothetical “crazy hat” expo is over. Bad logic. Protesting isn’t about meeting everyone’s expectations about courtesy. If that were the case it would never happen. Also, the title Little Falls Partners for Peace, does not imply exclusive membership for little falls residents only.

    It seems to me you only wanted to chide the protesters for picking the best time for protesting, and you forgot to mention that you work at Camp Ripley as a google search has revealed. Of course you have these feelings. Thinking this way and then publishing your complaints is a step extinguishing this sort of protest. As far as popular opinion goes, the camp stands for defending these rights.

    So you should have been praising these people for exercising their constitutional rights and if you were a tour guide, proudly admit to that’s what makes this country great, and not some loyalist whining about the image of camp ripley.


  • coleenrowley

    The wars are in poor taste! So are the suicides (averaging 23 a day!) and homicides that veterans commit as a result of their exposure to war and preparation for war. Many of the mass shootings taking place (and even the major domestic “terrorists” including Timothy McVeigh and John Muhammad, the DC sniper, who were products of Gulf War 1) are committed by those with PTSD or simply suffering from war exposure. It’s important for our young people to appreciate such costs of war so that wars are not “by choice” but only as a last resort, in self defense. It’s why many war veterans, including John Kerry, have given back their medals after they come to appreciate the terrible costs.

  • Shelly Leit

    Seeking the spotlight is the whole point of protesting.

    What is really in “poor taste” is killing innocent people in support of bad government policies. I don’t pretend to honor anyone associated with illegal wars or drones that not only kill “suspected terrorists” but innocent people and even American citizens. Our country’s war policies are mostly illegal and certainly immoral. Kudos to all who protest this. Double kudos to those brave enough to stand out in public and do it in the face of “patriotic” events.

  • Alan Maki

    Since when is advocating peace ever in poor taste?

    If anything is in poor taste it is making weapons of war appear to be playthings for children.