Text Via Smedleyvfp.org:
Saint Patrick’s Peace Parade
Peoples Parade for Peace, Equality, Jobs, Social and Economic Justice
Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland was a man of peace. Saint Patrick’s Day should be a day to celebrate Saint Patrick and the Irish heritage of Boston and the contributions of the Irish throughout American history. In Boston the parade should be a day to celebrate the changes in our culture, the ethnic and religious diversity, all points of view and the lively politics of our great City of Boston. For on Saint Patrick’s Day we are all Irish.
Saint Patrick’s Day parades have been held in Bostonsince 1737 (unofficial parades). In 1901 Evacuation Day was declared a holiday in the City of Boston. Because of the coincidence of the proximity of the two holidays, and in order to save a little money. Mayor Curley combined the celebrations and handed organization of the parade off to the Allied War Veterans Council. For the past forty years, one man (Wacko Hurley of the Allied War Veterans Council) has been organizing the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, turning what should be the celebration of Saint Patrick, the Irish heritage and history into a military parade.
In 2011, the local chapter of Veterans For Peace, the Smedley D. Butler Brigade, submitted an application to march in the traditional Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. Veterans For Peace is a national veterans organization with 130 chapters across the country. The Smedley D. Butler Brigade has more than200 members locally. Its members range from veterans from WW II, Korea,Vietnam, Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. All Veterans For Peace wanted to do was to march in the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade and carry their flags and banners. Their application was denied by the Allied War Veterans Council. When the organizer of the parade, Phil Wuschke, was asked why their application was denied, he stated, “Because they did not want to have the word Peace associated with the word Veteran.” They were also told that they were too political, as if the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade and other activities surrounding the parade are not political.
Veterans For Peace subsequently filed for their own permit for the Saint Patrick’s Peace Parade. Seventeen years ago, the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community (GLBT) had also applied to march in the parade and like the veterans were denied. GBLT sued the Allied War Veterans Council and the case went all the way to the US Supreme Court, resulting in the Hurley Decision, named after Wacko Hurley, the ruler supreme of the parade. This decision states that whoever is organizing the parade has the right to say who is in and who can be excluded from the parade, no questions asked. Even though the City of Boston will spend in excess of $300,000 in support of this parade, they have no say in who can be in the parade. The Saint Patrick’s Day Parade should be sponsored by the City of Boston and not a private group, who have secretive, private meetings, not open to the public and who practice discrimination and exclusion.
In the case of Veterans For Peace, if you are carrying a gun or drive a tank you can be in the parade, if you are a veteran of the US Military and carrying a peace symbol, you are excluded. Once Veterans For Peace had their parade permit in hand, the first group they reached out to was the GLBT community in Boston. “You were not allowed to walk in their parade seventeen years ago, how would you like to walk in our parade?” The response was immediate, and Join the Impact, one of many GLBT organizations in theBoston area enthusiastically joined the Saint Patrick’s Peace Parade, the alternative peoples parade. Because of another Massachusetts Court decision, the Saint Patrick’s Peace Parade had to walk one mile behind the traditional parade. With only three weeks to organize the parade when it stepped off this little parade had over 500 participants, grand marshals, a Duck Boat, a band, veterans, peace groups, church groups, GBLT groups, labor groups and more. It was a wonderful parade and was very warmly welcomed by the residents of South Boston.
This year, once again, Veterans For Peace submitted an application to the Allied War Veterans Council for the inclusion of the small “Saint Patrick’s Peace Parade” into the larger parade. Once again the Veterans were denied:
“Your application has been reviewed, we refer you to the Supreme Court ruling on June 19, 1995 your application to participate in the March 18, 2012 Saint Patrick’s Day Parade had been denied.”
No reason given as to why, just denied. This should be unacceptable to every citizen of Boston, especially the politicians who will be flocking to the Breakfast and Roast on March 18th. This kind of exclusion should not be condoned nor supported by anyone in the City of Boston, especially our elected political leaders.
Just in case the Allied War Veterans Council has not noticed, South Boston is no longer a strictly Irish Catholic community. In fact the Irish are no longer a majority in South Boston. The community is much more diverse in 2012 in ethnicity, life styles, religion, points of view and politics then it was forty years ago. Times have changed, the City has changed, the population has changed, social norms have changed. People are much more accepting of those that may be different, have a different religion, customs or ideas. We are a much more inclusive society, everyone that is except the antiquated Allied War Veterans Council.
It is time for the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade to be inclusive of these differing groups. It is time for the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade to be reflective of the changes in our culture. It is time for this parade to include groups of differing life styles, points of views and politics or the City of Boston should take back this parade. There is no place in Boston or anywhere in this country for bigotry, hatred, censorship, discrimination and exclusion. This should be a day of celebration, for all the peoples of the great City of Boston to come together, to celebrate Saint Patrick and our Irish history and heritage. In 2012 this parade should be inclusive and also celebrate what makes us Americans, what makes this country great, our multi-ethnic diversity, differing life-styles, religious affiliations, differing politics and points of views. All of us should wear the green, no one should be excluded, since on Saint Patrick’s Day we are all Irish.
In a bold and unprecedented move, representatives of the Lakota Freedom Delegation recently declared the Lakota Nation is formally and unilaterally withdrawing from all agreements and treaties with the government of the United States.
“We are no longer citizens of the United States,” said longtime indigenous rights activist Russell Means at a press conference at Plymouth Congregational Church in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 19. “We offer citizenship to anyone provided they renounce their U.S. citizenship,” said Mr. Means.
The Lakota delegation delivered signed documents to the U.S. State Department informing officials of the decision to formally declare sovereignty from the United States as a result of its genocidal assault on the political, cultural and economic freedom of the Lakota Nation. The geographic area making up what will be called the Republic of Lakota covers portions of northern Nebraska, half of South Dakota, one-quarter of North Dakota, 20 percent of Montana and 20 percent of Wyoming. Mr. Means used the term “apartheid” to describe the dire conditions facing the Lakota Nation.
The life expectancy of Lakota men is less than 44 years; 97 percent of the Lakota people live below the poverty line. The Lakota infant mortality rate is 300 percent higher than the national average. The tuberculosis rate on Lakota reservations is 800 percent higher than the national average; cervical cancer is 500 percent higher than the national average; the rate of diabetes is 800 percent higher than the national average
The unemployment rate on reservations is over 85 percent with the median income between $2,600 to $3,500 per year. One-third of the homes on reservations lack clean water and 40 percent of the homes lack electricity. In addition, alcoholism affects 8 in 10 Lakota families with rates of drug abuse and suicide increasing.
Naomi Archer, communications liaison for the Lakota Freedom Delegation, said many other indigenous nations and political independence movements in North America, South America, Europe and Africa have reached out in solidarity and support. A portion of the document delivered to the State Department read, “Should the United States and its subordinate governments choose not to act in good faith concerning the rebirth of our nation, we hereby advise the United States Government that Lakota will begin to administer liens against real estate transactions” within the five state area of what will be called the Republic of Lakota.
A history of broken treaties
The first contacts between the Lakota and the United States began after what is commonly known as the “Louisiana Purchase” in 1803. It is estimated that the United States bought 530 million acres of land from France for $15 million. Part of this sale included land already inhabited by the Lakota. They never consented to the sale of any of their land.
So Obama recently passed a very inflammatory and controversial part of the NDAA, section 1022, which allows for indefinite military detention of US citizens on the grounds of “we don’t like you very much”. It was at this point that I truly lost hope in Barack, for real this time. You can blame congress for many of the failed or lackluster policies which have come out of his administration, but when he signed NDAA 1022 into law on New Year’s day while no one was looking, we were being stabbed in the back.
This article however talks about how Obama has adjusted the law to basically undo this. Under the new rule, section 1022 would no longer apply to lawful permanent US residents, which means US citizens, and lawful resident aliens. Through this we have narrowly avoided the Orwellian future which the educated electorate has been trying to beat back. This only remains true however, for as long as Barack is in office. So, whether or not this is some veiled threat to “encourage” us to keep him in office is yet to be determined. It does help us clearly define who the real enemies of freedom are, those people being Senators Mccain, Graham, and Ayotte who say that this new regulation does not give the military enough sweeping power to unlawfully detain anyone they fucking choose based on no evidence or law. If Mccain had his way, he’d be detaining people left and right for knowing how to program their VCRs.
Is it ironic to say thank God?
It feels foreign and awkward to say “thank the Senate” so….
Every year, thousands of Americans are diagnosed with conservativism. Symptoms include tin foil hat wearing, listening to Rush Limbaugh, religious intolerance, fear of anyone unlike themselves, and a blindness to the fact that time does in fact move forward. If you or someone you know has been afflicted with this debilitating condition, here are some tips for you to take action:
1- Keep them away from Bibles at all times
2- Do not under any circumstances allow them near a polling station during either the general election or primaries.
3- Give them a list of “to-do” goals for each week. Include goals like “say hello to a person of color”, and “read and understand a constitutional amendment”, or “learn one fact about a presidential candidate from a source that is not owned by the Murdoch family”. Use a colorful checklist to keep track of these to-dos, and when they achieve one of these goals, give them a gold star!
4- Correct their “scowling reflex”, usually triggered when they hear things like “equality”, and “civil liberties”.
5- Replace their Reagan posters with quotes from the constitution like “congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”.
6- Have them spend at least one hour outside of their place of residence/retirement home/jesus camp/florida and have a conversation with a person who makes less money than they do.
7- Inform them of who runs the medicare program they most likely depend upon.
…………..When Romney gets the nomination, I sincerely hope he drops the act and becomes the rational fucking person that my state voted in as governor.
Cuba’s first horror movie, Juan of the Dead, is apparently really fucking exciting according to my Cuban roommate. This lead to a deep discussion on Cuban humor and cinema, which made me all the more interested in seeing this movie. In this discussion and in many with awolfinthecity, it’s become apparent to me that Cuban cinema is both highly developed and beautifully critical considering the island’s political climate (see: Lista de Espera). This of course is lost on most audiences which saw the premieres of movies like Shaun of the Dead -a close relative of Juan of the Dead- due to the sanctions and embargoes against Cuba. I’m hoping that this film, once it makes it to our shores, can offer us a lesson in horror, subtle political dissent, and also zombie survival tactics.
High Speed Rail? Bike Lanes? Don’t you mean COMMUNISM!?!?. This New York times article, featuring a picture of a room full of disgruntled elderly folks in various states of cognitive decay, showcases exactly why we can’t have nice things like responsible urban development and intelligent power grids. Teabaggers (more on why I refuse to call the Tea Party by that name later) like the decrepit “patriots” in the photo have been showing up at town hall meetings across the country, denouncing these progressive development ideas as a United Nations conspiracy against individual freedoms. This conspiracy is called Agenda 21, a UN non-binding agenda to preserve rural land and concentrate development on making urban areas more livable.
The article makes mention of things like this:
“In Maine, the Tea Party-backed Republican governor canceled a project to ease congestion along the Route 1 corridor after protesters complained it was part of the United Nations plot. Similar opposition helped doom a high-speed train line in Florida.”
I’m trying to follow the train of logic here, this is how I imagine the town hall must have gone:
“Hey guys so we noticed that Route 1 makes for a tough commute with all the congestion, so we have this idea to alleviate that.”
“Will it create jobs?”
“Will it make people’s lives easier?”
“Will it help preserve rural land by providing better access to already developed urban areas?”
“…uhm…why not, exactly?”
“IT’S A GOVERNMENT CONSPIRACY HOW DARE YOU PROVIDE PUBLIC SERVICES WITH TAXPAYER MONEY BLARGHGHGHG.”
“HOLD ON I NEED TO GO PICK UP MY MEDICARE CHECK.”
Yes, this happened. There’s a bunch more of these cited; another case is the argument over the installation of smart meters, and this one is my favorite. Smart meters communicate via power lines data on household power consumption and appliance use. The mechanism is in alignment with the “smart grid” idea, one of the many progressive ideas which Obama campaigned on, and was, you know, elected to fucking enact. According to the Teabaggers, this equates to some sort of insidious surveillance. I can’t even mold this slough of stupid into a written thought so just read:
“Echoing other protesters, Ms. McCoy identified smart meters, devices being installed by utility companies to collect information on energy use, as part of the conspiracy. ‘The real job of smart meters is to spy on you and control you — when you can and cannot use electrical appliances,’ she said.”
Do you realize what you are fucking suggesting? Have you actually thought about what this would look like? Here’s what you’re afraid of. You’re afraid of your fucking toaster oven listening in on you as you pleasure yourself to your archived recordings of Reagan speeches. You’re afraid of some utility company intern hearing this happen back at NSTAR headquarters and going “whelp, no microwave for this one”, and flipping a switch to cut off your only source of food. You die alone because your Wal-Mart™ Brand™ frozen cheese burritos won’t thaw fast enough.
This logic has somehow drawn enough support to actually affect public policy. Most teabaggers, according to a recent Bloomberg National Poll, were born in the days when we all had “iceboxes” in our houses; these are the kinds of people who still think digital watches are really neat. They identify as conservative, with 44% of them identifying as “born-again christians”. They don’t understand the internet, climate change, or urbanization, and worst of all, do not seek to understand. Out of my respect for progressive conflict, I cannot fault these people. That’s fine if you want to live that way. What I do fault them for is inflicting their backwards, myopic, and diluted opinions on the people who will have to live with these policy decisions for the rest of their lives in a world where this kind of thinking is just not useful.
Somehow, the teabaggers are regarded as a “movement”, and somehow, their policy of disregarding facts in favor of sensationalism is helping them get their way. But somehow, the people who protest against SOPA, PIPA, NDAA, or the fucking Patriot Act are terrorist commies who deserve to be pepper sprayed.