[act-ma] 3/05 Peace Parade Planning Meeting and Press Release

Charlie Welch cwelch at tecschange.org
Mon Mar 3 06:02:12 PST 2014

Passing this along...

Hello Everyone,
Below is the press release sent out last night.
Please circulate this to all your contacts and members.
Please send this to your local newspaper, let them know you are 
participating and see if you can get a story.
If you know of a group or organization that you think would like to 
participate - PLEASE INVITE THEM.
We have 13 days to go. - We need help and volunteers - if you would like 
to volunteer for a job on March 16 please let me know.

Our next parade organizing meeting is this Wednesday
Arlington Street Church, 351 Boyleston Street (corner of Arlington & 
Boyleston Streets, Boston, across from the public gardens)
Time: 7:00 pm - Please come and help - bring a friend or two
*Veterans For Peace*
*For Immediate Release*
*Contact: *Pat Scanlon, Office: 978-475-1776, Cell: 978-590-4248, 
email:*Vets4PeaceChapter9 at gmail.com* <mailto:Vets4PeaceChapter9 at gmail.com>**
*Attached: Press Release, Parade Flyer, Open Letter to Residents of Boston*
Boston, Mass. – March 3, 2014 – Carlos Arredondo and his wife Melida 
will be the Grand Marshalls for the Saint Patrick Peace Parade, the 
alternative parade, in South Boston on Sunday, March 16. Carlos is well 
known as one of the heroes of the Boston Marathon bombing. He was 
captured in a now famous AP photo wearing his white cowboy hat as he 
rushed bombing victim Jeff Bauman to a waiting ambulance.Carlos and 
Melida have been long time members of Veterans For Peace, having joined 
the organization shortly after Carlos’ son Alex was killed in Najaf Iraq 
by a sniper in 2004. Their only other son Brian, who never recovered 
from the loss of his beloved big brother, committed suicide in 2011 at 
age 24. Carlos and Melida have committed themselves to helping veterans 
families and working for peace as members of the Boston chapter of 
Veterans For Peace.
Carlos is honored to be the Grand Marshall of the Saint Patrick’s Peace 
Parade with his wife Melida. “Boston Strong means all of us uniting 
together whether at a tragedy or against bigotry and exclusion, or the 
need for peace”, stated Carlos. “There is a lot of controversy 
surrounding these parades,” Carlos said. “We should all come together, 
combine the two parades into one big parade and allow everyone, 
straight, gay, peace, old and young to all participate together 
celebrating Saint Patrick.”
Melida Arrendondo, Carlo’s wife, also a Grand Marshall of the parade 
added,“After this year where a bombing took place in Boston, inclusion 
of the LGBT community and Veterans For Peace is an important part of 
keeping Boston Strong.” “We are a diverse community,” added Melida, “and 
we should be proud to march together as one. Our diversity is what makes 
us different and is our strength as a city and a nation.”
Veterans For Peace will once again march one mile behind the traditional 
parade. There are eight separate divisions in the Peace Parade, each 
division is essentially their own parade with very distinct messages. 
The eight division are: Veterans For Peace, Peace, Religious, LGBT, 
Environmental Stewardship, Political, Labor, Social and Economic 
Justice. Last year the parade had six bands, floats, vehicles, Bread and 
Puppet Theatre and 2,500 participants.
“Some have called the Saint Patrick’s Peace Parade a protest parade,” 
said Pat Scanlon, Coordinator of Veterans For Peace and the lead 
organizer for the Peace Parade. “It is not! It is an /alternative 
parade/ brought about because of the discriminatory and exclusionary 
practices of the organizers of the first parade.” Some people refer to 
the second parade as the gay parade. Scanlon emphasizes, “It is a Peace 
Parade, in fact the only Peace Parade in the entire country. Our parade 
is welcoming and inclusive. The LGBT community is free to celebrate who 
they are as people and as gay members of our community. There is an LGBT 
Division where all are welcome to carry rainbow flags, signs, and 
banners and wear T-shirts with such messages as “I’m Irish, Gay and Proud”.
The parade organizers invite individuals and groups to join their 
parade. “People and groups are welcome to come and join one of the eight 
divisions,” added Scanlon. The Saint Patrick’s Peace Parade will 
assemble at 1:00 pm on D Street, just off West Broadway in South Boston. 
Look for the black and white Veterans For Peace Flags. Erin Go Bragh.
Web: smedleyvfp.orgTwitter: @smedleyVFP Facebook: facebook.com/smedleyvfp

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