Pat Scanlon patscanlonmusic at yahoo.com
Wed Mar 14 18:46:36 PDT 2012

Peace Activists,

This just went out to all the press we have.
Please circulate to all your contacts and friends
Please be sure to come and bring your friends
Thank you,
Veterans For Peace
Smedley D. Butler Brigade

Press Advisory
Contact: Pat
Scanlonat978-590-4248 or email PatScanlonMusic at yahoo.com
Why are there two Parades in South
Boston on Sunday March 18?
This is a question all Bostonians should
be asking themselves
This is the question all politicians who
participate in the morning roast 
or will march in the 1st parade should be asking themselves
The press should ask all politicians and
City of Boston leaders 
Everyone associated with or watching
should be asking themselves
Well over a hundred years ago the Irish walked through
the streets of Boston protesting “discrimination” against the Irish. Today, the
organizers of the “traditional Saint Patrick’s Day Parade are discriminating
against two groups who only wanted to walk in the first parade. 
First, Veterans For Peace, a group of veterans of the
U.S. military, who have dutifully served this country, many in time of war from
WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. These veterans, who have received
numerous decorations for valiant service to this country, who know all too well
the consequences of war, it’s violence, it’s brutality, the pain to veterans
and their families.  These veterans who
now stand for and advocate peace have been denied to walk in the traditional parade
and carry flags and banners some of which read: “Bring the Troops Home and Take
Care of Them When the Get Here”, “Cut Military Spending, Save Jobs, Police,
Fireman, Teachers”, “Peace is Patriotic”. For these sentiments their application
to walk in the traditional parade were denied?
For Join the Impact a gay, lesbian,
bisexual and transgender (GLBT) group of young Bostonians who just want to walk
in this parade and are denied because of who they are? In a time (2012) when
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is history, when Gay Marriage is now law in the State of
Massachusetts, when there is a large gay and lesbian population living in South
Boston, yet are denied to walk as a group in the traditional parade.
Discrimination against any group is a disgrace and should be unacceptable and an
affront to all Americans, yet this exclusion continues as the politicians, the
press, parade participants and residents of South Boston look the other way. It
is easy to walk in a parade, it is fun to watch and hear all the pageantry of a
parade.  Sometimes it is difficult and
uncomfortable to stand up and support what is right, even when the opportunity
is staring you in the face as it marches by. 
Several decades ago, Mayor Curley, the
famous and flamboyant Mayor of the Great City of Boston turned over the operation
of the Saint Patrick’s Parade to the Allied War Veterans Council. Given that
Evacuation Day and Saint Patrick’s Day fell in the same time frame. It seemed
to make sense, at that time, to have this group run the Saint Patrick’s Day
Parade. This move took the responsibility of organizing and running the
traditional parade out of the hands of the city. This seemed like a good idea,
but what was lost in the bargain? There are two parts to this parade, yet only
one side is in total control of who can be in the first parade.  This first part of the parade, the celebration
of Saint Patrick, should be decided by the City of Boston, in partnership with
the residents of South Boston. Saint Patrick was a man of peace, the patron
Saint of Ireland. This part of the parade should be to honor the legacy and
heritage of the Irish people and their contributions to this wonderful city; it
should be open and welcoming to all groups, for we are all Irish on St. Pats
The second side is the celebration of
the British being run out of town, hence, Evacuation Day. The sad part is that
only one side makes all the decisions as to who can be in the parade. Only, and
exclusively, the Allied War Council has a say in who is in and who is out, no
questions asked. Even though the City of Boston will contribute in excess of
$300,000.00 in tax payer money in support of this parade, for security, safety
and clean up. Not Mayor Menino, local South Boston groups nor local residents,
not the police, no one has a say in who can be in the parade other than this
small group of white men (no women or minorities are listed in the literature)
have a say in who is allowed into the parade. This small group has all their
meetings regarding the parade in private, in a secluded and secret location.
Community representatives are not invited nor allowed to participate in the
selection process.
In a world-class city, such as the City
of Boston, this last vestige of institutional bigotry, prejudice and exclusion
should be an embarrassment to all our citizens, especially the politicians and
our city and state leaders. South Boston has had a long painful and
embarrassing history of racism, bigotry, prejudice and exclusion. A lot has
changed in South Boston over the past twenty years. The neighborhood has
changed, the residents have changed, it is much more integrated and
multi-cultural. The attitudes have all changed, it is a much more welcoming and
accepting community. The only thing that has not changed are the attitudes of
this small group of men running the traditional parade.
In their one sentence denial to both
Veterans For Peace and Join the Impact there was no reason given as to why
their applications were denied. When John (Wacko) Hurley was directly asked by
Kay Walsh, the chair of the community organizing meeting as to why Veterans For
Peace were denied, he only repeated, as if pleading the fifth, “I can only
refer you to the decision” referring to the 1995 decision of the U.S. Supreme
court brought about because of their denial of the Gay and Lesbian group
seventeen years ago. When directly asked by Kay to allow Veterans For Peace to
walk in the parade, once again, he only repeated, “I refer you to the decision”.
“Make no mistake about it, this is a
very militaristic parade hiding behind the robes of Saint Patrick. We
understand the legality the Allied War Council hide behind” said Pat Scanlon
the Coordinator of Veterans For Peace, “we do not understand the morality”. “We
have some highly decorated veterans, who have put their lives on the line for
this country and are not allowed, nor welcomed in the first parade because they
now stand for peace? Shame on the Allied War Council for promoting division,
exclusion and prejudice. Shame on the City of Boston for allowing such blatant
discrimination to continue. Shame on any politician who participates in the
first parade, knowing such flagrant narrow-minded bigotry against veterans and
the GLBT community continues. The City of Boston should take back the running
of the first parade. This type of exclusion is just not acceptable in 2012”.
On March 18 there will be two parades
marching through the Streets of South Boston. The second parade, Saint Patrick’s
Peace Parade will be walking for peace, equality, jobs, social and economic
justice and will follow one mile behind the first parade. We are walking in the
proud tradition that our Irish ancestors demonstrated over a century ago
against discrimination. There are seven divisions, bands, small floats, a Duck
Boat, trollies and a lot of positive energy. It looks like a wonderful day weather-wise,
just a fantastic and magnificent day for a parade. Please join us.
Assemble: 1:00 pm, D Street, between 1st and 3rd Streets. 
Directions: From the Broadway T Stop in
South Boston, this location is just a few blocks east on West Broadway (Look
for Veterans For Peace White Flags)
Parade: Scheduled to start at 2:00 pm
(it may be a little later)
FROM points
North via I-93: 
Take I-93 South
to Exit 20A “South Station.” At the end of the ramp, take a left at signal,
onto Summer Street at South Station. Follow Summer St. for approximately 1
mile, the Boston Convention Center will be on your right, D Street is just past
the Convention Center. Make a right. go up to Louis Street. The parking lot will
be on your left, look for parked truck trailers.
FROM points
South via I-93: 
Take I-93 North
to Exit 20 "South Boston". Follow the signs to "I-90 East".
Take the first tunnel exit to "South Boston". At the first set of
lights, take a right onto Congress Street. Take the second right onto D Street.
Continue on D Street, past the Convention on your right. Drive up D Street to
Louis Street. The parking lot will be on your left, dirt lot with parked
truck trailers.
The Smedley D.
Butler Brigade Chapter 9 of Veterans For Peace was established in the mid-1980s
and includes more than 200 Veterans from the Boston area who are involved in
peace activities.  The local chapter is
part of the national Veterans For Peace and is named in honor of Marine Gen.
Smedley D. Butler, the most decorated Marine in U.S. history, who turned
against war and famously said “War is a racket. 
A few profit, the many pay.”
The website of
the Smedley D. Butler Brigade of Veterans For Peace is www.SmedleyVFP.org. The
national Veterans For Peace website is www.VeteransForPeace.org.
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