REF: When Fascism came to Lancaster County

I recently encountered professor Timothy Snyder of Yale on MSNBC and ordered his very short book “On Tyranny”.

For over sixty years I have tried to learn the meaning of “fascism”. I now understand my difficulties since it is more like a creeping cancer than an alternative form of government and, as we saw with Nazi Europe, is lethal.

We talk a lot these days about fascism but it was Snyder in 2017, reacting to the then current threat, who provides twenty different things to do to oppose it.

I now consider the most important work I did in my life was to stand out on the corner at the Central Market, weekends after weekends, and often at the ballpark passing out the current editions of NewsLanc.

The Lancaster Convention Center and Marriott Hotel are monuments to when fascism came to Lancaster. I am not saying they should be torn down, but rather we should know how they came about, just as we know the origins of Volkswagen, Mercedes and BMW.

The evil tactics that took place from the outset of the proposed convention center project by a few local officials, a prominent oligarch, and the local newspaper terminated in the almost year long Grand Jury trial of county commissioners and the Nazi type mischaracterization of the Jury’s conclusion by the Lancaster Newspapers.

(Let me say that I believe that subsequently LNP has returned to its historic role of presenting quality news and commentary, for which I give credit to the Steinman family and especially Bob Krasne.)

I knew when I stood there (in my middle 60s) in the open regardless of weather and season that by handing out newsletters that I was setting an example of political activism. I could not accomplish as much by paying someone else do so, although I had the help of others. It was at times painful … but I knew it to be meaningful.

It was more of a personal message against what I now recognize as fascism in Lancaster than anything that my money could have provided.

“On Tyranny” by Timothy Snyder is very short but extraordinary book that can be purchased for about $6 at Every citizen needs to read it. The history of the Convention Center Project was reported upon as it took place and is available at NewsLanc.


1 Comment

  1. It was disgusting and a black mark on its history for sure. The convention center — unused 90% of the time during a good year — could be used for auxiliary public school classrooms.

    Penn Square Partners pay nothing in real estate taxes, zero (for the Marriotto). Covid requires distancing, as you know. I forget how many square feet the convention center is, but I know it’s at least 200,000 sq.ft.

    A number of classrooms, nay, whole schools, could use the facility for education. It would be a way of erasing, or at least mitigating, that black mark.


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