Deja Vu For Tallahasse Anti-War Vets - IVAW Banned From California Veterans Parade

Submitted by tnjp on November 9, 2007 - 6:43pm.

This brings back memories of the Tallahassee Veterans Parade circa 2003 (see story below), when local anti-war veteran Tom Baxter and 30 others were kicked out of the Tallahassee parade...

Veterans and Military Families Barred From Marching in Veterans Day Parade

The L.A. chapter of Iraq Veterans Against the War was recently denied permission to march in the Long Beach Veterans Day Parade on the grounds that they do not "represent the spirit of the parade." On November 7 members of IVAW, Veterans For Peace and Military Families Speak Out (whose local contingents were also denied permission to march) spoke before a meeting of the Long Beach City Council and asked the Council to overturn the Parade Committee's decision to ban them from the march. The Council denied their request...

IVAW-LA and their MFSO and VFP counterparts are conducting a phone campaign to convince the Parade Commissioners and the Long Beach City Council to recognize IVAW's status as a veteran’s organization due the same respect as all others. If you'd like to help support IVAW's right to the free speech that our members served to protect, please call the following people and ask that the decision to bar IVAW, MFSO and VFP be overturned:

Martha Thuente, Parade Committee Chairperson: 562-422-6669
Debbie Harn of Pageantry Productions, the company producing the parade: 310-537-4240
Mayor Bob Foster: (562) 570-6801

Long Beach City Council members:

Val Lurch: 562-570-6137 (The parade is in his district.)
Tonia Reyes Uranga: 562-570-6596
Gary DeLong: 562-570-6186
Bonnie Lowenthal: (562) 570-6919
Suja Lowenthal: (562) 570-6684
Patrick O'Donnell: 562.570.6918
Gerrie Schipske: (562) 570-6932
Dee Andrews: (562) 570-6816
Rae Gabelich: (562) 570-6685

Read the story in the Long Beach Press Telegram here:

November 13, 2003
Talk About an Exit Strategy
Veterans for Peace Yanked from Vet Parade

In his bland story on the annual downtown Veterans Day parade, sponsored by Veterans of Foreign War, Tallahassee Democrat/Knight Ridder reporter Gerald Ensley, strives for the local Mayberry touch.

"On a warm November day, Tallahassee threw a Veterans Day parade celebration that produced smiles from all who attended."

Well, not quite everyone.

Take parade chairman, Korean war vet Ken Conroy. Please.

According to Florida Times Union reporter J. Taylor Rushing who witnessed this most dramatic un-Mayberry moment, the Tallahassee chapters of Veterans for Peace and the Vietnam Veterans Against the War, were literally "yanked" from the from the parade line by Tallahassee police.

Apparently at the behest of chairman Ken.

Talk about an exit strategy!

Adding even more old south Mayberry irony to the whole scene, the marching vets, who as the V- Day cant has it, "paid the price"-- and were supposedly the subject of the celebration-- were "yanked" for the subversive act of passing out leaflets explaining why they opposed the Iraq war.

Talk about helping Saddam and Bin Laden.

Cowardly Conroy took the low road and blamed the police. He also kindly offered to refund the dissenting vets their $10.00 registration fee.

Conroy, while admitting that he found the protesting vets "offensive" told Rushing, the "Tallahassee police wanted them removed."

(No wonder we lost the Korean war.)

TPD Sgt. David Folsom who was in charge of security at the parade denied it.

Conroy and the police, however, graciously allowed the banned vets to leaflets on the sidewalks.

"They can have their free speech, just not in the parade," parade czar Ken declared.

The day before the parade the Tallahassee Democrat reported that the Leon County Sheriffs office had announced the formation of a new, homeland security inspired "intelligence unit" which would monitor suspicious groups or individuals.

As PFC Gomer Pyle might put it, "Shazzam."

Jack McCarthy lives in Tallahassee, Florida. He can be reached at:

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Speaking of Deja Vu

Submitted by tnjp on November 14, 2007 - 11:14pm.

Check out TNJP's full coverage of the 2003 Tallahassee Veterans Day parade fiasco.

Hop aboard the way-back machine....

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