An issue of censorship?

To the Editor:

The article about the shameful efforts of HPKCC to suppress Nichols Park Advisory Counsel, a free association of dedicated, all volunteer, park protection advocates, from joining the lawsuit to stop construction of that humongous 235 foot tower and other invasive buildings in historic landmarked Jackson Park, the very purpose of the park protection mission of an Advisory Counsel, is telling for several reasons. First, it is more evidence of the guilty recognition and great fear that the rubber stamp supporters of thrashing Jackson Park have of a court decision finding it to be illegal. Perhaps, even more telling, is the extremes of pressure and intimidation they are willing to go to stop the exercise of citizens’ First Amendment rights to speak, assemble and petition by anyone who dares to stand in their dictatorial way. In my enlightened days as a UChicago student and long time resident of Hyde Park, everyone in Hyde Park would be supporting the lawsuit if not actually leading the charge.

PKCC should take notice that if they were to actually attempt to interfere and actively do anything to counter and suppress the free will decision of NPAC, they will themselves immediately be in court to answer and pay damages for violation of constitutionally guaranteed civil rights.

That this should be happening in Hyde Park, in the heart of UChicago liberal thinking, is pitiful and bizarre. It represents the ultimate surrender of compliant community leaders to the corruption of politics and the seduction of big money interests. My thoughts keep coming back to the innocent days when the women of Hyde Park rushed to Jackson Park to “chain” themselves to the trees to protect the park. No need for that today, the rush will be to the courthouse.

Do UChicago and the Obama Foundation have no shame in condoning conduct more befitting an oppressive authoritative banana republic.


Herb Caplan

Protect Our Parks