Lacamas Magazine editorials are rare, but given the reaction (over 1,000 comments on the Lacamas Magazine Facebook and Instagram sites) from our coverage of Saturday’s Open Camas Rally, I’d like to lay out a few facts:

1) A reporter’s job is to report the news, so reporting an event isn’t necessarily agreeing or disagreeing with the event or the news itself. It is the news. Why is this rally/protest news? When a group this large (160+ people) peacefully assembles — during a pandemic — to speak out, have their say, and march the streets in front of shuttered businesses, it is newsworthy. I would have covered it had it been a group of environmentalists, teachers, mill workers, students, or even Boy Scouts.

2) Don’t begrudge the reporter. The report is simple and straightforward, and reflects the opinions of a segment of our local population. Lacamas Magazine has provided for months ample, factual, and objective COVID-19 reporting from Governor Jay Inslee, state and local health officials, and first responders. We will continue to do that. Saturday’s rally provided another perspective.

3) This was NOT a collective local business owner-driven event. What do I mean by that? One local business owner helped organize it to demand leaders re-open society; it wasn’t planned as a political event espousing an ideology or particular candidate, though some people brought political signs.

4) Downtown Camas business owners did not organize this rally. They are doing their best to survive right now. Don’t aim any of your anger towards them as that would simply be wrong.

5) The police were present and provided guidance to the demonstrators on how to best conduct themselves, which included staying on the sidewalks and not blocking traffic.

6) I was with the rally participants from 1 pm until approximately 2:30 pm and during that time I did not see any malicious traffic blockage, profanity or anything overtly disrespectful. With that said, watch the video and make your own conclusions: https://youtu.be/8B0306z8hxA

And, one more important matter: Local businesses are preparing to reopen under guidelines that keep changing. They are doing their best to prepare for customers to feel comfortable — and welcome. What are things you suggest they do to help you feel comfortable?

People in a free world are at liberty to express their opinions, and freedom of the press is in our Bill of Rights. I invite you to submit letters to the editor, or even draft opinions, if you’d like.

Thank you for reading,


5 replies
  1. Kimberly Koch-Hawk
    Kimberly Koch-Hawk says:

    While we all have the right, under the U.S. constitution, to peacefully assemble and to speak freely. Those rights also come with responsibilities and repercussions. When stepping out into public without a face mask you are not only making a choice for yourself but also for your whole commumity. What you do within our community/society is not simply a solo action for which you carry all the weight…your choice is also mine. I wear a face mask not just for me but for you, for your elderly parent or your new baby at home and in truth for you…because I am choosing your well being over my comfort and my “rights”. Being a part of society means being a team player…there are great benefits but also a responsibility to others.
    The concerns on both sides of the issue are real and impactful. The loss of businesses is tragic and our community is suffering….these are undeniable truths. Lives have been lost in untold number and that singular fact is the reason we must step forward with great caution. Every single person has value and though I may not share your thoughts on this issue I care very much about the very lives we may risk should we jump to quickly back to “normal”. Please know I am as unhappy as anyone about the inabilty to work and socialize…but NOTHING is worth the life of my freinds and family.
    Lastly a direct message to the protesters:
    -I don’t think most of you even live in Camas so take your opionion back to your own town!
    -Camas businesses have been working extreamly hard to do their best to abide by the state mandates and have done a beautiful job serving their customers and our community. I am so proud to support you and hope I have done been of help.
    -Mathew 18:20 says “When two or more gather in my name I am there.” Please don’t make God the bad guy in this issue…God doesn’t need a church building to be God and God has a good bit to do right now so be of assistance and love your neighbor or better yet love your enemy-Jesus did and if it’s good enough for him should be hood enough for you.
    Please be kind to your neighbor and yourself! Like it or not we are actually in this together!

  2. Carol M. Kolson
    Carol M. Kolson says:

    I would have felt more sympathy for this demonstration if the people had worn masks, as we have been asked to do.
    They have a right to have their say. But their rights do not include putting themselves or others in jeopardy.
    we must advocate for the good of all. What happened to empathy. We will not overcome this virus unless we all pull together
    for the good of all.


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