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Announcement :: Organizing
Join the St. Patrick's Peace Parade! Sunday, March 16
19 Feb 2014
People's Parade for Peace, Equality, Jobs, Environmental Stewardship, Social & Economic Justice Unite, Participate, Celebrate Join the St. Patrick's Peace Parade! Sunday, March 16, Assemble 1 pm, Parade start 2 pm
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BACKGROUND - Why are there two parades in South Boston on Saint Patrick’s Day? For the past four years Veterans For Peace have been denied to walk in the historic Saint Patrick’s Parade in South Boston. This is the largest parade of its kind in the country with over 700,000 people viewing the parade. The parade has a dual purpose; the celebration of Saint Patrick and the Irish traditions and heritage and a celebration of Evacuation Day, the day the British were run out of Boston. Both days fall on March 17th, so the City of Boston thought it a good idea to have the Allied War Veterans Council (AWVC) organize the parade. The problem is that one side of the equation, St. Patrick, a man of peace, is second fiddle to a military parade. AWVC has the exclusive say in who gets to walk in this historical parade. The City of Boston, South Boston Community Groups, the Boston Police have absolutely no say in who walks the streets of South Boston in the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. In 2011 Veterans For Peace’s application was denied, when asked why and were told, “They did not want to have the word Peace associated with the word Veteran”. Well they did not know the Smedleys very well. We pulled our own permit and with only three weeks to go before the parade pulled together 500 people and the Saint Patrick’s Peace Parade, the Alternative People’s Parade for Peace, Equality, Jobs, Environmental Stewardship, Economic and Social Justice was born. Twenty years ago the LGBT community wanted to walk in the parade and were denied which resulted in a lawsuit that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court resulting in the Hurley Decision. The Smedleys immediately reached out to the LGBT community, inviting them to “walk in our parade” In 2013 we had close to 2,000 people, seven divisions (Veterans, Peace, LGBT, Labor, Political, Religious, Occupy Everywhere) two bands, bag pipers, drummers, a Duck Boat, two trollies etc. It was a grand success. We have an Environmental Stewardship Division this year. Our goal is to end this last vestige of institutionalized exclusion, prejudice, bigotry, and homophobia and make this parade inclusive and welcoming to all and bring the message of peace to South Boston on Saint Patrick’s Day. Please join us in South Boston on March 16. Be sure to bring your Chapter’s or Organization’s banners, signs and costumes and join us in our fabulous Fourth Annual Saint Patrick’s Peace Parade.

SIGN UP TO ATTEND - We Need to Know You will Be There! There are several DIVISIONS marching in the parade, as well as two marching bands, Duck Boats, bagpipers, and the Bread and Puppet Theater.. The DIVISIONS are: Veterans groups; Peace groups; LGBT groups; Faith groups; environmental groups; social and economic justice groups; labor groups; political groups. Please invite your group(s) to come! Contact: Veterans for Peace, Pat Scanlon, info (at), 978-475-1776; Massachusetts Peace Action, Cole Harrison,info (at), 617-354-2169; faith groups contact Lara Hoke, minister (at) Please join us for our Fourth Annual Saint Patrick’s Peace Parade, the Alternative People’s Parade for Peace, Equality, Jobs, Environmental Stewardship, Social and Economic Justice.


The parade route is 4.5 miles and ends at Andrew Station. Rides along the parade route are available for those who need them, but please let us know ahead of time that you may need a ride. Come by T if at all possible as the area will be very congested. Broadway is the closest MBTA subway station. Parking is available for participants in the St. Patrick’s Peace Parade. Vehicles must enter from the north from Summer Street onto D Street; the parking lot is at 383 D Street. Look for the lot with 40 foot white truck trailers. Allow extra time for traffic. From the North Route I-93 to South Station exit (20 A). Merge onto Purchase Street to light (100 feet). Make a left onto Summer Street (will pass South Station on right). Go approx. 1 mile to Convention Center. Turn right onto D Street, parking lot .2 mile up on left, (look for VFP Flag) From South Route I-93 – Take exit 20 toward South Station. Follow signs for Chinatown, continue straight onto Lincoln Street, turn right onto Kneeland Street, turn left onto Atlantic, south Station will be up on your right. Take a right onto Summer Street. Go approx. 1 mile to Convention Center. Turn right onto D Street, parking lot .2 mile up on left, (look for VFP Flag)

On behalf of the Saint Patrick’s Peace Parade Organizing Committee. Thank you, Pat Scanlon (VN '69) Coordinator, VFP Chapter 9, Smedley Butler Brigade

Veterans for Peace, Chapter 9, Smedley D. Butler Brigade

P.O. Box 1604, Andover, MA 01810
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Re: Join the St. Patrick's Peace Parade! Sunday, March 16
23 Feb 2014
A St. Patrick's Day parade for all of us

Sandy Boyer, co-host of Radio Free Eireann on WBAI in New York City and a veteran organizer for Irish political prisoners, describes this year's St. Pat's for All Parade.

March 17, 2010

THE ORGANIZERS of the St. Patrick's Day Parade that goes up New York's Fifth Avenue every year have sworn under oath that it is not an Irish parade.

In order to exclude the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization from the parade, they had to tell a New York court that it is a Catholic, not an Irish, event. Ironically, this would exclude not just lesbians and gay men, but some of Ireland's greatest heroes, like Wolfe Tone, Henry Joy McCracken, Robert Emmett and Charles Stewart Parnell--none of whom was Catholic.

Fortunately, New York also has an all-inclusive St Patrick's Day parade in Queens. It's called "St. Pat's for All," and its motto, taken from the proclamation issued by the Irish rebels in Easter 1916, is "Cherishing all the children of the nation equally."

On March 7, I thoroughly enjoyed participating in the eleventh annual St. Pat's for All Parade.

I was walking (no one really marches in this parade) between a group of Irish human rights lawyers and a Brooklyn group named after O'Donovan Rossa, a great Irish rebel who spent most of his life in exile in New York. Behind us was an Irish step dancing troupe made up exclusively of African-American students from a local elementary school. Behind them, we could hear the music of a Haitian drumming group.

As we moved down Skillman Avenue, the sidewalks were full of people who had come out for the parade. Most waved or applauded. A few carried signs like "sodomy." Some people playfully called out "Are you for it or against it?"

When the parade reached the end, we were able to see its amazing diversity. I remember a group from 1199SEIU (New York's hospital union), several lesbian and gay organizations, an Irish language group, and a large, spirited Mexican contingent. The Queens Kennel Club, compete with their dogs, brought up the rear.

As we made our way to the pub, I couldn't help wishing that the spirit of Queens could make it to Fifth Avenue. But I won't be holding my breath. I'll just make sure to make it to the St. Pat's for All Parade next year.

See Vimeo - "Come Back to Erin" - 1914 - Gene Gauntier -
Re: Join the St. Patrick's Peace Parade! Sunday, March 16
25 Feb 2014
St. Patrick's Day Brunch to benefit Brett Food Pantry
Sat, 03/15/2014 - 10:00am

The eighth annual Dorchester St. Patrick's Day Brunch will be held at Blessed Mother Teresa Parish Hall, 800 Columbia Rd., from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Special guest: Mayor Martin J. Walsh. Three people will be inducted into the Dorchester Hall of Fame at the event: FR. Richard 'Doc' Conway, Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry and Superintendent-in-Chief Willie Gross, BPD. All proceeds will benefit the Mary Ann Brett Food Pantry at Blessed Mother Teresa Parish. Seats: $100 per person, reservations will be held at the door.
800 Columbia Rd.
Dorchester, MA 02125
Re: Join the St. Patrick's Peace Parade! Sunday, March 16
27 Feb 2014
Marty Walsh 2.jpg
Mayor Walsh Wants Gay Groups In St. Patrick’s Day Parade By The Associated Press February 27, 2014

BOSTON — Boston’s mayor says he will boycott the city’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade unless gay groups are allowed to participate. Mayor Martin Walsh said Wednesday that he trying to broker a deal with organizers of the parade in Southie that draws an estimated one million spectators every year to allow a group of gay military veterans to march. Walsh, the son of Irish immigrants, says that in 2014 allowing gay groups to participate is “long overdue.”

Parade organizers, however, appear unwilling to budge. John “Wacko” Hurley said “it’s final” that gay groups will continue to be excluded, pointing to a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1995 that allowed organizers to exclude gay and lesbian groups. Hurley says Walsh “is not in a position” to overturn the court’s decision.
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Re: Join the St. Patrick's Peace Parade! Sunday, March 16
28 Feb 2014
Evacuation Day Lecture at Shirley-Eustis House
Mon, 03/17/2014 - 12:30pm

The Shirley-Eustis House, 33 Shirley Street, a National Historic Landmark house museum and carriage house in Roxbury, Massachusetts, announces an Evacuation Day lecture on Monday, March 17, 2014 at 12:30 p.m. with Nathaniel Philbrick, award-wining author.

At 12:30 p.m., following the historic Evacuation Day exercises at Dorchester Heights and Fort Hill, Nathaniel Philbrick will present a short lecture about his latest book, Bunker Hill, at the Shirley-Eustis House.

Barnes & Nobles will be on hand for book purchases and Mr Philbrick will be available for book signings. This lecture is free and open to the public; however, donations are always encouraged. Off-street parking at the Shirley-Eustis House is available at the Dudley Street Neighborhood Charter School located directly across the street. Dress is comfortable and casual. For more information, please contact the Shirley-Eustis House at 617-442-2275 or email governorshirley (at)

The Shirley-Eustis House, 33 Shirley Street, Roxbury, MA, built in 1747 for Royal Governor William Shirley, was once a sprawling estate of 33 acres. It continues to sit majestically in Roxbury surrounded by beautiful gardens and historic fruit orchards and remains the most imposing and best preserved of the four remaining royal governors' homes in the United States.
33 Shirley St.
Roxbury, MA
Re: Join the St. Patrick's Peace Parade! Sunday, March 16
03 Mar 2014
Gay rights group gets OK to join Boston St. Patrick's Day parade

A gay rights group will be allowed to march in Boston's St. Patrick's Day parade, event organizers said on Saturday, reversing a 20-year-long stance after the city's new mayor intervened. It was unclear, however, if marchers from MassEquality, one of the largest gay rights advocacy groups in Massachusetts, would be permitted to carry signs or use slogans identifying themselves as gay men and women, which may yet prove a sticking point.

"We don't ban gays, we just want to keep the parade an Irish parade," Tim Duross, the lead organizer of the parade that celebrates the city's Irish heritage and honors military veterans, said in a telephone interview on Saturday. He cited parade rules banning political protest and references to sexual orientation, suggesting that MassEquality was established enough not to have to explain who they are.

"Everyone knows who they are," he said. "They're a good organization, they help LGBT veterans, and if they help veterans they're OK with us," he added, using an abbreviation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. MassEquality's application to participate in the March 15 parade - the group's fourth try in four years - was denied at first, said Kara Coredini, the group's executive director, in a telephone interview. But the Allied War Veterans Council, also an organizer, reconsidered after Mayor Martin Walsh, the son of Irish immigrants, threatened to boycott the parade over the exclusion and began attempts to broker an agreement.

"That there is a conversation happening around allowing openly LGBT people to march in this parade is historic," Coredini said. She and Duross will meet this week to see if they can agree on how MassEquality's marchers can identify themselves in the parade through South Boston. Coredini said the invitation would be meaningful only if their unit could march "openly." "It's not political to want to be equal. It's not political to want to be visible and welcomed by your community," she said.


Duross said he was open to a discussion. When asked if the rainbow flag, the unofficial symbol of the gay rights movement, might be allowed, he hesitated. "If they put a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and a leprechaun, then I think everyone would be happy," he finally responded.

A spokeswoman for Walsh said the mayor and U.S. Congressman Stephen Lynch, both Democrats, had another meeting with organizers on Saturday. "It was a very positive meeting, and they remain optimistic that a solution can be reached that will work for all parties involved," the spokeswoman said in a statement.

Unsuccessful efforts by gay rights groups to join the parade began in the 1990s, and reached the Supreme Court in 1995. The court ruled in favor of the organizers, saying a privately organized parade was free to exclude groups, if they disagreed with their message.

In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council have said they will boycott the city's largest St. Patrick's Day parade this year because it bans gay pride signs. De Blasio, who, like Walsh, took office as mayor in January, called the practice "discriminatory" and is the first mayor to take such a stance since David Dinkins, the city's last Democratic mayor, did the same in 1993.

See Vimeo - "Come Back to Erin" - 1914 - Gene Gauntier -
Re: Join the St. Patrick's Peace Parade! Sunday, March 16
03 Mar 2014
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Why the world is talking about this Irish drag queen
By Shawn Pogatchnik,

UBLIN—Ireland's top drag queen, Miss Panti Bliss, has driven a stiletto heel through this nation's long-running debate on gay rights. Panti has riled up conservative Catholics and won global admirers in a social media tour de force that is dominating Irish water-cooler talk.

How and why has Panti — a.k.a. 45-year-old Rory O'Neill — become a YouTube sensation in a dozen languages, thanks to a single, celebrated speech on anti-gay prejudice in Ireland? AP explains.

Gay pioneer

O'Neill has been Ireland's best-known drag performer for more than a decade, leading Dublin's annual Gay Pride parades and the Alternative Miss Ireland pageant, performing in nightclubs and, since 2007, in his own pub named the Pantibar. It's one of only four gay bars in Dublin — but that's four more than existed a generation ago in this predominantly Catholic land.

Homosexuality was outlawed in Ireland until 1993, but attitudes have softened in the two decades since, as Catholic authority crumbled under the weight of child abuse scandals. Civil partnerships were legalized in 2010, and a national referendum to permit gay marriage looms next year. All political parties back the move.

Accidental activist

On Jan. 11, O'Neill went on a late-night Saturday talk show on Ireland's state-owned RTE network, and stumbled into a freedom-of-speech furore.

When asked for his assessment of anti-gay attitudes in Ireland, O'Neill said a few Irish newspaper columnists were “horrible and mean about gays.” The host asked him to name names. He identified Irish Times columnists John Waters and Breda O'Brien and a small Catholic lobbying group called the Iona Institute.

O'Neill says he thought he was stating the obvious, since all are leading voices against gay marriage. But Waters, O'Brien and four Iona officials threatened to sue RTE for defamation, arguing they had been unfairly branded as haters of homosexuals.

RTE climbdown

RTE quickly issued an apology and paid 85,000 euros ($115,000) in damages, mostly to Waters, a board member of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland overseeing RTE. It said fighting the lawsuit would have cost far more.

Waters, who has described gays' demand for marriage rights as “a deliberate sabotage of the culture” motivated by envy, resigned his post shortly before the settlement became public knowledge.

Public reaction was swift and critical. Twitter exploded with messages of support for O'Neill under the hashtag TeamPanti.

Panti pushes back

Ireland's national theater, the Abbey, invited O'Neill to deliver a surprise speech at the end of the evening performance Feb. 1. He came dressed as Panti, but spoke as O'Neill, for 10 minutes (there is one instance of profanity in this full speech).

With a mixture of humor and indignation, he relayed how he found himself bracing for hurled insults or drink containers when standing at Dublin street corners; sought to appear and sound heterosexual when not performing to avoid harassment; and felt ashamed whenever a friend behaved in an attention-courting camp manner on a crowded train.

“I do, it is true, believe that almost all of you are probably homophobes,” he told the Abbey Theatre audience. “But I'm a homophobe. I mean, it would be incredible if we weren't. To grow up in a society that is overwhelmingly and stiflingly homophobic and to escape unscathed would be miraculous. ...

“But I do sometimes hate myself ... and sometimes I hate you for doing that to me.”

Video of his oration has spent the past 10 days atop the YouTube Ireland channel with more than 450,000 viewings, and continues to spread worldwide through social media platforms.

Ireland responds

“I'm on Team Panti” T-shirts soon appeared for sale in Dublin clothes shop windows. Celebrities tweeted links to O'Neill's speech to their millions of followers.

Fintan O'Toole, one of Ireland's most prominent left-wing commentators, called it the most eloquent speech in Ireland since the days of Daniel O'Connell, who in the early 19th century won the right of Irish Catholics to vote.

Catholic sympathy

The Catholic Church's senior official in Dublin, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, conceded that the church did harbor people with hostile and un-Christian attitudes toward gays.

“Anybody who doesn't show love towards gay and lesbian people is insulting God,” Martin said. “They are not just homophobic if they do that. They are actually God-ophobic, because God loves every one of those people.”

O'Neill, as is his style, had a quip to capture the absurdity of his situation. “I love the fact that the archbishop has essentially come out for Team Panti,” he told the AP.

See Vimeo - Panti's Noble Call at the Abbey Theatre -
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