I would never advocate taking united action against a private citizen, of course, so you are admonished to ignore the information which is provided here for purely historical purposes.
Anti-war vets banned from Long Beach Veteran's Day parade
The Associated Press
Article Launched: 11/08/2007 10:50:52 AM PST
LONG BEACH, Calif.—Anti-war vets have been banned from marching in the 11th Veterans Day Parade in Long Beach. (Because, you know, they were just "phony" soldiers, I guess?)The City quite clearly gives its imprimatur to the parade. Theat they
A participation application filed by Iraq Veterans Against the War, Veterans for Peace and Military Families Speak Out was turned down because organizers want Saturday's parade free from politics. (And supporting the war is not a political position, right?)
"They do not fit the spirit of the parade, the spirit being one of gratitude for what the veterans have done," said Martha Thuente, coordinator for the nonprofit Veterans Day Parade Committee. (This person needs to get a few phone calls, imho. She's NOT just "any citizen/organizer, but rather a relatively well-placed and powerful member of the Long Beach 'elite,' to the extent that that is NOT a raving oxymoron.)
"We do not want groups of a political nature, advocating the troops' withdrawal from Iraq," she added. (Like the American Legion, which once tried to foment a coup against FDR, is "non-political?)
Some veterans and anti-war groups were unhappy. (That'd probably qualify for some award for understatement, I 'magine!)
"It's a violation of Democracy, the whole concept which we are allegedly dying for," said Adrian Novotny, a Vietnam vet and local president of Veterans for Peace. He said it was particularly frustrating because the group was allowed to march in the parade last year.
Iraq veteran Jason Lemieux, a Marine who served three tours of duty in Iraq and is now against the war, said he had planned to march as a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War.
"I wanted to march like the rest of the Iraq veterans," Lemieux said. "I served my country. I'm a veteran of a foreign war. I think I deserve that respect."
The anti-war groups complained to the City Council this week, but City Attorney Bob Shannon said Wednesday that the parade committee was a private, nonprofit organization that had a right to choose its participants. (I recall a similar argument being used to prevent gay groups from marching in Colombus Day parades. The reasoning is STILL specious.)
"These veterans groups certainly have First Amendment rights," Shannon said. "But the parade committee also has the First Amendment right to exclude whoever they wish if (the entry) does not keep within the theme." (BULLSHIT!)
The city provides the staffing, flags, banners, utilities and police protection, Shannon said, but does not play any role in the approval of parade participants. (Then the fucking CITY should withdraw any andf all of its participation, including the permits.)