By  Lynn Pacifico

I am a very confused ex-staunch democrat. Republican and Democratic politics have flipped and no one is speaking about it. Both party’s news stations only give one side of a story. A country founded on free speech is being severely censored and several states have begun lawsuits against the federal government for the crime of censorship.

Today, even though I have the same centrist sensibilities that I have always had, I might be called a right wing conspiracy theorist. No one is safe from being called out for the slightest variation in thinking. The news is no longer news but an influencer.

My Body My Choice has been a well-used democratic slogan for decades. I chanted it while marching in Washington DC and New York for abortion rights. Now democrats want to mandate laws that will take my bodily autonomy away. The democrats are now the hawks. No one sees the irony?

The republicans want government out of our affairs but now want to legally remove a woman’s control over her own body. This sentiment is incited by religious beliefs, in a country with legal separation of church and state. I thought Americans are supposed to “fight or die” to insure freedom. Republicans are against our involvement in Ukraine.

We are hearing about how the federal government has pressured media to quash alternate voices. Both corporate owned political parties do not have our best interests at heart. AI, police robot “dogs”, digital currency, censorship, 5G, weather, www3, losing body sovereignty, are making the landscape feel like quicksand. Current political, medical, financial, societal directions are sobering. Who should we trust to control the narrative—what is truth —who decides since we are no longer allowed to think independently?

What I know about the mutiny at WestView News is from our three, hyper-local papers. I have gotten to know George Capsis through reading WVN, and his campaigns for the benefit of the neighborhood. I appreciate his concern and his willingness to spend his resources to build awareness for world and local issues. He puts out an excellent paper that has enriched our community and our lives for twenty years. He is an extraordinary man.

Dusty Berke and I spoke briefly at a 5G meeting. She seemed sharp, logical and I liked her. Like George, Dusty shows concern for the neighborhood by working to bring awareness to 5G health risks and for looking beyond presently accepted narratives.

I have witnessed the time and effort Arthur Schwartz has devoted to our community for 30 years. It was Arthur who facilitated our getting the Leroy St. dog run after we were locked out of JJ Walker Park. Dog owners are the largest segment of park users, yet we were ignored and left with nowhere to go. The only public official that helped was Arthur. He received one of only two Dog Owners Action Committee Doggone awards given out. (The other Doggone award went to Aubrey Lees.)

Greenwich Village is supposed to search for alternative views, to explore and interpret them for art and freedom’s sake but informed consent is difficult when the truth is kept from us. Instead of honest debate, the new tactics are censorship, smear campaigns, and exclusion. There have been insinuating and disparaging remarks made, innuendo and character assassination. I didn’t expect that here in the village, involving these people.

We are called selfish if we don’t conform to the groupthink and virtue signal in recognition of a fraternity of compliance. Whether or not you are pro or anti jab, pro or anti war, pro or anti censorship, this is giving away individual freedom. How is this possible in the neighborhood made famous for questioning everything and the creative individuality that its non-conformity realized?

I do not know what transpired behind the scene to result in a mutiny and the start-up of a new paper. It is unfortunate that community activists, movers and shakers who effectively contribute, and who many of us like and have dealings with, have come to this impasse. Have the divisiveness and the censorship of the last three years gotten out of hand as part of the groupthink? 

People now want free choice but for themselves, not for anyone who thinks differently. Maybe the free speech ethic no longer works. Beyond being a centrist, I don’t know what I am. Censorship is the opposite of freedom and it shouldn’t stain the legacy of the freedom-loving Village.

Lynn Pacifico is a fourth generation Villager who loves dogs, nature and New York City.

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