They protest the flag, America, the anthem, and anything remotely patriotic. This shit was inevitable.
In what started as a peaceful demonstration in support of the Black Lives Matter movement within the City of La Mesa, the evening of May 30 descended into chaos when the La Mesa Police Station suddenly came under attack.
This was followed by attacks on City Hall; the complete burning of two local banks, a railroad museum, vehicles and a fire truck; the looting of Walmart, Target, and Vons; complete looting and destruction of several small businesses; and to the after-the-fact surprise and nonsensical reaction of the community and members, the burning of American and POW/MIA flags at American Legion La Mesa Post 282 and damage to the facility.
American Legion Department of California Commander Edward Grimsley condemned the property destruction on Monday, calling on all involved to stop punishing the innocent:
“On behalf of all veterans in California, The American Legion supports the peaceful protest of the senseless death of George Floyd, but there are many who are committing violence and destruction, some out of a genuine sense of righteousness and others just to cause mayhem. Regardless of their motives, committing vandalism and property destruction is only taking away from the meaningful message that the peaceful protestors are trying to convey. Over the weekend, a place very special to our military veterans was desecrated. These are men and women of all races who fought for your freedoms and your rights to peacefully assemble. It’s a shame, because I’d be willing to bet that a majority of those who vandalized American Legion Post 282 in La Mesa probably have a relative who served in the military. This is a disgrace to them and all who have worn a uniform for this country. Just as not all peaceful protestors are rioters and looters, not all police officers are murderers. And just as those good cops shouldn’t let bad cops do wrong, I would expect the peaceful protestors to try and persuade the rest to join them in solidarity and to stop the senseless violence. To all my veterans, by all means, help our posts board up windows to minimize damage, but please follow all curfew orders and do not engage the rioters or looters. This is the best way to support your law enforcement.”
The flags that flew over the Vietnam Memorial, adjacent to Post 282, were taken and replaced by an unknown flag. The flag in the front of the facility was completely burned. Other damage included graffiti sprayed over the entire building and the breaking of two very large windows and one smaller.
Due to road blockages and an imposed curfew, Commander Porath first assessed the building early on Sunday morning and to his surprise found volunteers already cleaning the areas and facility.
The volunteer group quickly swelled and consisted of facility membership, members from other Legion and VFW Posts, strangers, and La Mesa Boy Scout Troop 51. Their work included painting over the graffiti, power washes, facility repairs, temporary covering of the broken windows, tear-gas cleanup, and some repair and painting of the Vietnam Memorial. Due to the vandalism, the entire building will need to be repainted and various repairs made; an unexpected cost that is out of reach of the Club.
They always start out “peaceful” and quickly turn violent. It’s their signature.