San Diego Free Press
by Doug Porter June 30, 2013
Saturday afternoon was one of those Chamber of Commerce San Diego days in more than one sense. The beautiful skies and ocean breezes near the coast were kinds of experiences tourism marketers wish they could bottle and sell.
A protest in front of San Diego’s Hall of Justice reminded me of the other side of this city’s history, one where vigilante brutality all-too-often operated under the protection of the local establishment. The glittering skyscrapers and happy tourism marketing schemes cannot erase the fact that these are same streets where police and mobs encouraged by the local press sought to suppress the Free Speech Movement nearly a century ago.
In a matter of days the prosecution of San Diegan Jeff Olson on 13 counts of vandalism stemming from chalking protests slogans outside Bank of America has become a worldwide cause celebre. The 40 year old Olson was outraged by disclosures about B of A’s role in fostering the mortgage crisis leading up to the near-collapse of the economy and the suffering it caused millions of Americans.
Jeff Olsen was given a gag order by the judge in his trial.