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Announcement :: Human Rights
Once More Time-Professor Elizabeth Warren Can Talk The Talk. Can She Walk The Walk? Where Will Ms. Elizabeth Warren Be On March 18th?...
10 Mar 2012
Last Chance To Get On The Peace Train
Among the Mayfair (or on that day the Hibernian) swells or at the Saint Patrick's' Day Peace Parade in South Boston with-

*Those that are audacious and bold enough, in the street and at the seats of government, to, proudly and loudly through hard-bitten experience, put the words veteran and peace in the same sentence, and mean it. Damn how we mean it.

*Those who, sometimes lonely, unheard and unheralded, keep up the fight against war, from old time Vietnam to the now war drum beat threatened strike on Iran, alive on the vigil corners of Park Street, Copley Square, Arlington, Newton Center, Watertown Square and a hundred other often wind-swept streets and squares.

* Those who have, as a matter of simple democratic and social decency, proudly and publicly expressed their sexual preferences and do not want to be shunted off into some airless closet on Saint Patrick’s Day, or any other day.

*Those who cry out to the high heavens against the notion that living and breathing while being black, Hispanic, Moslem, or just plain ordinary different, is a crime.

*Those who fiercely defy those who howl in the night, blood red in their eyes, when they rail that immigrant –created America be walled off against those who lately come to these shores.

*Those who “speak,” speak in the public squares, at the seats of government, and in the courtrooms, for those political prisoner sisters and brothers whom governments have attempted to silently entomb behind the walls.

*Those who are workers, or who support workers struggles, like at Verizon, out on the don’t cross picket lines and who stand for the private and public union principle-“No More Wisconsins”

*Those that organize and physically put themselves on the line to stand up to the banks and other financial institutions on public service rate increases and when foreclosure and evictions days come around.

*Those of the Occupy movement who, inexpertly, perhaps somewhat haphazardly and fitfully, have nevertheless attempted to provide a platform for the voiceless.

*And those who struggle against the myriad other hurts and oppressions of this wicked old world too numerous to mention here at the cost of sounding cranky and long-winded.

I don’t know where Elizabeth Warren will be on March 18th but I know where I will be, and gladly.

All Out On March 18th for the Saint Patrick’s Day Peace Parade- Chocky Ar La (rough, very rough, phonetic Gaelic translation- “Our Day Will Come”)

Al Johnson, member VFP, Saint Patrick’s Day Peace Parade Organizing Committee* (used for identification only, although I hope I have caught the spirit of both groups)
********
Veterans For Peace

Call for Help

Saint Patrick’s Peace Parade

Alternative Peoples Parade for Peace, Equality, Jobs, Social and Economic Justice

When: Sunday, March 18-2:00 PM

Where: South Boston- form up outside the Broadway Redline Station-follow the VFP flags to the staging area.

Please join us for our Second Annual Saint Patrick’s Peace Parade, the

Alternative Peoples Parade for Peace, Equality, Jobs, Social and Economic Justice.

Once again Veterans for Peace have been denied their application to walk in the official Saint Patrick’s Parade in South Boston. Last year they gave us a reason for the denial, “They did not want the word Peace associated with the word Veteran”. Well last year, in three weeks’ time, we pulled our own permit and had our own parade with 500 participants. We had to walk one mile behind the traditional parade. We had lead cars with our older vets as Grand Marshals, Vets For Peace, MFSO, Code Pink and numerous other local peace groups.

Also: Seventeen years ago the gay and bisexual groups in Boston were also denied. They were the first groups we reached out to and invited them to walk in our parade. Last year we had Join the Impact with us. We also had church / religious groups, and labor. Last year we stole the press, it was a controversy and we received front page coverage and editorial articles in all of the major newspapers, radio and television reports.

This year we anticipate 2,000 people in our parade, multiple bands, we have a Duck Boat, the Ragging Grannies will be singing from the top of the boat. We have a trolley for older folks not able to walk. We may have floats. We will have multiple street bands, a large religious division, a large labor division and “Occupy Everywhere” division, including Occupy Boston and numerous other Occupy groups.

All we need is you, your VFP chapter, peace groups, GLBT groups, religious and labor groups and Occupy groups. Please come to Boston and join us in this fabulous parade.

Please see the attached flyer and a description of the Saint Patrick’s Peace Parade, its history and where we are.

On behalf of the Saint Patrick’s Peace Parade Organizing Committee.

Thank you,

Pat Scanlon (VN 69’)

Coordinator, VFP Chapter 9, Smedley Butler Brigade

patscanlonmusic (at) yahoo.com

978-475-1776

MassPeaceAction:

Cole Harrison 617-354-2169 infor (at) MassPeaceAction.org

On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/events/242916262450591/

Facebook.com/smedleyvfp

Web: smedleyvfp.org

Twitter: @SmedleyVFP
********
From Veterans For Peace:

Saint Patrick's Peace Parade-History

Peoples Parade for Peace, Equality, Jobs, Social and Economic Justice

Saint Patrick, the patron Saint of Ireland was a man of peace. Saint Patrick's Day should be a day to celebrate Saint Patrick and the Irish Heritage of Boston and the contributions of the Irish throughout American history. In Boston the parade should be a day to celebrate the changes in our culture, the ethnic, religious diversity, points of views and politics of our great City of Boston. For on Saint Patrick's Day we are all Irish.

Saint Patrick Day parades have been held in Boston since 1737 (Unofficial parades). In 1901 Evacuation Day was declared a holiday in the City of Boston. Because of the coincidence of the proximity of the two holidays the celebrations were combined and for the past forty years the Allied War Veterans Council have been organizing the Saint Patrick's Day Parade, turning what should be the celebration of Saint Patrick, the Irish Heritage and History into a military parade.

In 2011, the local chapter of Veterans For Peace, the Smedley Butler Brigade submitted an application to march in the traditional Saint Patrick's Day Parade. Veterans For Peace is a national veterans organization with 130 chapters across the country. The Smedley Butler Brigade has over 200 members locally. Its members range from veterans from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf, Iraq and the Afghanistan War. All Veterans For Peace wanted to do was to march in the Saint Patrick's Day Parade and carry their flags and banners. Their application was denied by the "Allied War Council". When the organizer of the parade, Phil Wuschke, was asked why their application was denied, he stated, "Because they did not want to have the word peace associated with the word Veteran". They were also told that they were too political, as if the Saint Patrick's Day Parade and other activities surrounding the parade are not political.

Veterans For Peace subsequently filed for their own permit for the Saint Patrick's Peace Parade. Seventeen years ago, the gay and bisexual community (GLBT) had also applied to march in the parade and like the veterans were denied. GBLT sued the Allied War Council and the case went all the way to the US Supreme Court, resulting in the Hurley Decision, named after Wacko Hurley, the ruler supreme of the parade. This decision states that whoever is organizing the parade has the right to say who is in and who can be excluded from the parade, no questions asked. Even though the City of Boston will spend in excess of $300,000.00 in support of this parade, they have no say in who can be in the parade. The Saint Patrick's Day Parade should be sponsored by the City of Boston and not by a private group, who have secretive, private meetings, not open to the public and who practice discrimination and exclusion.

In the case of Veterans For Peace, if you are carrying a gun or drive a tank you can be in the parade, if you are a veteran of the US Military and carrying a peace symbol, you are excluded. Once Veterans For Peace had their parade permit in hand the first group they reached out to was the gay and bisexual community in Boston. "You were not allowed to walk in their parade seventeen years ago, how would you like to walk in our parade" The response was immediate and Join the Impact, one of many GLBT organizations in the Boston area enthusiastically joined the Saint Patrick's Peace Parade, the alternative people’s parade. Because of another Massachusetts's Court decision the "Saint Patrick's Peace Parade" had to walk one mile behind the traditional parade. With only three weeks to organize the parade when it stepped off this little parade had over 500 participants, grand marshals, a Duck Boat, a band, veterans, peace groups, church groups, GBLT groups, labor groups and more. It was a wonderful parade and was very warmly welcomed by the residents of South Boston.

This year, once again, Veterans For Peace submitted an application to the "Allied War Council" for the inclusion of the small "Saint Patrick's Peace Parade" into the larger parade. Once again the Veterans were denied;

"Your application has been reviewed, we refer you to the Supreme Court ruling on June 19,1995your application to participate in the March 18,2012 Saint Patrick's Day Parade had been denied"

No reason given as to why, just denied. This should be unacceptable to every citizen of Boston, especially the politicians who will be flocking to the Breakfast and Roast on March 18th. This kind of exclusion should not be condoned nor supported by anyone in the City of Boston, especially our elected political leaders.

Just in case the Allied War Council has not noticed, South Boston is no longer a strictly Irish Catholic community. In fact the Irish are no longer a majority in South Boston. The community is much more diverse in 2012 in ethnicity, life styles, religion, points of view and politics then it was forty years ago. Times have changed, the City has changed, the population has changed, and social norms have changed. People are much more accepting of those that may be different, have a different religion, customs or ideas. We are a much more inclusive society, everyone that is except the antiquated Allied War Veterans.

It is time for the Saint Patrick's Day Parade to be inclusive of these differing groups. It is time for the Saint Patrick's Day Parade to be reflective of the changes in our culture. It is time for this parade to include groups of differing life styles, points of views and politics or the City of Boston should take back this parade. There is no place in Boston or anywhere in this country for bigotry, hatred, censorship, discrimination and exclusion. This should be a day of celebration, for all the peoples of the great City of Boston to come together, to celebrate Saint Patrick and our Irish History and Heritage. In 2012 this parade should be inclusive and also celebrate what makes us Americans, what makes this country great, our multi-ethnic diversity, differing life-styles, religious affiliations, differing politics and points of views. All of us should wear the green; no one should be excluded, since on Saint Patrick's Day we are all Irish.

This work is in the public domain
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