Op-Ed: Veterans for Peace Left Out of St. Patrick’s Day Parade Again

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The Allied War Veterans Council (AWVC), the organizers of the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, has voted to disallow the application of the Smedley D. Butler Brigade Veterans for Peace to march in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. They also voted to rescind Boston Pride‘s accepted application to march, but caved under political pressure from the city and backed off that vote. This is political pressure that is not being used to make the AWVC run an inclusive parade. In what world does the Smedley D. Butler Brigade Veterans for Peace message of inclusion and peace not fit into the narrative around St. Patrick? [pullquote]They also voted to rescind Boston Pride’s accepted application to march, but caved under political pressure from the city and backed off that vote.This is political pressure that is not being used to make the AWVC run an inclusive parade.[/pullquote]

The AWVC does not represent the people of South Boston. In an effort to have the Veterans For Peace, VFP, walk honorably on March 20th, it was proposed that a small unit of VFP march in front of the traditional parade. The Mayor does not want us to march in front of the parade because of political considerations, but we refuse to march behind this parade again. In reality it is too late for us to organize a respectable 2nd parade at this point anyways. The Smedley D. Butler Brigade finds the AWVC to be disrespectful of our message of peace and inclusion. Since when has this message ever been something not to celebrate on St. Patrick’s Day. Aren’t we all Irish on this day? Isn’t that the message? We are all one people!

We agreed to and met all of AWVC’s requirements to be included in this parade and hashed out an agreement with them and Police Commissioner Bill Evans. VFP’s application clearly states that we would abide by all the parade’s rules and regulations. The Commissioner has been very supportive of this process and to help create an inclusive parade for the inclusive people of Boston. The Smedley D. Butler Brigade would like to thank him for this support and express our gratitude that he understands our underlying message of Peace and Inclusion. [pullquote]The Mayor does not want us to march in front of the parade because of political considerations, but we refuse to march behind this parade again. In reality it is too late for us to organize a respectable 2nd parade at this point anyways.[/pullquote]

The Smedley D. Butler Brigade will continue our work to support Peace and Inclusion in all areas of our civilian, military, and international life as a people of Peace and Inclusion we are Americans, Veterans, and human beings above all else.

To further this message, the Smedley D. Butler Brigade is sponsoring a “Muslims Are Not the Enemy” event this Saturday, February 27 at the Islamic Society Boston Cultural Center, 100 Malcolm x Blvd., Roxbury, MA at 11:00 a.m.

Sincerely,

The Smedley D. Butler Brigade Veterans for Peace – Chapter 9

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1 Comment on "Op-Ed: Veterans for Peace Left Out of St. Patrick’s Day Parade Again"

  1. As coordinator of VFP Chapt. 9, the Smedley Butler Bde, I’d like to congratulate you on your inclusion in the St. Pat’s parade. Slowly but surely, the AWVC is realizing it cannot survive without accepting all aspects of society. I will state that the AWVC reneged on their word by bringing individuals from a seperate unit to sway the vote against us. This prompted Brian Mahoney to resign his post in the AWVC. Regardless of his past decisions, I have to say that his resignation gained my respect. I wish Boston Pride well, and congratulations on being in the parade! Have a great time, and don’t forget, we at VFP will always be there pressing home the need for equal rights for all individuals. Join us at the ISBCC on 2-27, 100 Malcolm X Blvd from 11-1 as we stand up against bigotry against our Muslim brothers and sisters.

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