Re: “Who created the counter-protest,” Joe Colella, Sept. 11.

I am compelled to respond to Mr. Joseph Colella’s letter where he questioned not only my integrity but also my constitutional right to freedom of speech. Mr Colella condemned a peaceful gathering at City Hall supporting our hardworking men and women of the Redlands Police Department and those who risk their lives everyday servicing cities across this great nation.

At the time when communities are rife with tension fed by racial incantations and divisive slogans surely Mr. Colella can appreciate the support offered to those who protect and serve.

Mr. Colella suggests that a public show of support somehow is racist, disloyal and falls under the category of “blue.” I will not argue the fact that there have been tragic outcomes to events through our nation and yes even the world. However, I will argue that the “Kool-Aid” he refers to those in public office as angry populist believing in the propaganda.

While Mr. Colella purports to be wiser and a strict constitutional conservative, he suggests that the First Amendment to the Constitution, the freedom of speech, does not apply to elected leaders or lifelong citizens of this community. Another read of the Constitution is in order, sir. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof: or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press; or the right of people to assemble and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.:

While I disagree with your ill-informed assessments of me, I support your right to say so, along with your right to protest peacefully, you sir should do the same.

Mr. Colella, I am certain you believe that all lives matter, as do I and most of this great nation’s population. Black lives, brown lives, white lives, yes Mr. Colella all lives matter.  I believe that with both heart and no soul and I am not ashamed to shout it from the mountain tops.

As Mahatma Gandhi shared with us, “A man is but a product of his thoughts. What he thinks he becomes.” Let us all become better men and women.

Paul Barich, Redlands City Councilman