Mayor Sides with Veterans for Peace over Float Flap

Wednesday, July 3, 2013
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Mayor Helene Schneider weighed in on the debate over the exclusion of a Veterans for Peace float from the Independence Day parade. She wrote in a letter to parade organizer Paul Lamberton, “On a day when we are celebrating America’s independence and the Bill of Rights that includes our freedom of speech and freedom of peaceful assembly, I think it is quite unfortunate that a long-standing local veterans organization has been barred from participating.” Lamberton denied the Veterans for Peace application because he said the group had violated a parade rule by distributing handbills and flyers in years past.


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I hope there is some follow-up and clarification to this story. For now, it sounds like Mr. Lamberton's Spirit of '76 foundation has turned aside the Bill of Rights in favor of party discipline. Denying the Veterans for Peace a place on the 4th of July is nonsense. Unless there's a change, we won't be going to their parade this year.

anemonefish (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 9:15 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Anemone - I'm with you! I think it is a complete travesty to deny veterans (regardless of their beliefs) the right to parade on the 4th of July of all days!


sacjon (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 9:31 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Lamberton and friends can cut a deal right now for Vets for Peace to enter the parade. But the group also needs to suspend the pamphleteering as a gesture on their part, considering no other group in the parade does that.


John_Adams (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 11:34 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Most vets are for peace.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 11:42 a.m. (Suggest removal)

@John_Adams: I agree. Both sides needs to give a little. The parade should be a fun time. The float has banners saying, "Take Better Care of Our Vets" and "Peace Is Better Than War". While I agree with these setiments, they are political statements as much as anything.

Clearly the organziation has an opinion; one that I respect. Handing our phamplets asking me to take political action by contacting my member of congress detracts from the weekend.

Historically this city has gone more than far to support this organziation. If they want to participate in the parade, they need to take a break and maybe give us a break too.

goletaguy (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 1:05 p.m. (Suggest removal)

This deliberate omission is a disgrace - a flagrantly anti-American, anti-freedom attitude which clearly reflects the political, *not* patriotic, stance of the parade organizers.

The group of Veterans targeted in this arbitrary action have served their nation as honorably as any other group within the US military, whose job is to protect the United States and its Constitution. When I checked today, the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights remained a part of the US Constitution, regardless of the events of the last 12 years or so - and within its text, it prohibits "abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, and interfering with the right to peaceably assemble".

Perhaps by not supporting the glorification of war, death and destruction, and calling out those who profit from such, the Veterans for Peace have clearly been singled out and banned - using such phony "reasoning" including "handing out fliers", and "causing litter which costs the City to clean up". Members of the Tea Party and other groups have also handed out fliers during previous 4th July parades with no negative consequence.

How ironic that this parade, supposedly celebrating liberty, now has an indelible stamp of not only politically motivated duplicity, but also the violation of the constitutional rights of the Veterans for Peace to celebrate America's day of Independence, freely, and on a public street nonetheless.

bloggulator (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 8:45 p.m. (Suggest removal)

In a time when people want a fun parade, hot dogs, laughing children, etc (hey, I do too) I think the Veterans for Peace are couragous for reminding us how most of us got screwed for invading Iraw (well, maybe not Haliburton, Blackwater, etc).

I also remember how any dissenting voices were bullied into feeling anti-American and unpatriotic and how many media organizations fell in line with nary a bit of analysis (thank goodness for straight up folks like the McClatchy News organization). Again, thanks to the Vets for Peace for the reminder.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
July 3, 2013 at 10:46 p.m. (Suggest removal)

VFP Santa Barbara was not in the parade last year. Why anyone would want to carry a grudge for something that may have happened years ago is indicative of the Spirit of 76 Foundations' woefully mean spirited and extremely partisan behavior. In my opinion, this is the result of their politics not being able to withstand reasoned scrutiny much less any honest public debate.

Redcatcher (anonymous profile)
July 4, 2013 at 5:46 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Having missed a couple of years, I don't understand Mr. Lamberton's position. I thought we had a good relationship with him. When he put us behind all the horses we had a good laugh with him. It is my opinion that changes at the Veterans Memorial Building have led to this.

andersonlane47 (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2013 at 1:11 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Dude seems to be a little out of place.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2013 at 8:56 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I think it is very divisive and, to a certain degree, un-american to ban a well established group like Veterans For Peace from participation in the 4th of July parade.

I applaud these group's dedication to our Country and to fellow service members as demonstrated by the crosses at West Beach. It was a very touching and pointed reminder that wars are not always glorious, and never cheap. That is their message, and this message should not be banned, especially on the 4th of July.

neighbor (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2013 at 9:56 a.m. (Suggest removal)

No politics right Lamberton ? I guess it's ok when the group is one whose ideology you support. I wanted to barf when I saw the Tea Party group marching , while thinking that a group of veterans had been denied their due respect . Lets get Lamberton out of the position of playing God and denying vets a spot in the parade that they earned by serving our country.

geeber (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2013 at 6:21 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I agree with Geeber.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2013 at 6:27 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I'll bet the percentage of Tea Party military veterans is pretty damn high geeber; so why do you want to barf? Because they are conservative?
No KV-I'll bet nearly 100% of veterans are for peace. Same percentage of the rest of us. The only issue here is that our local group with the sympathetic name wanted to be overtly political beyond the rest of the marchers. The Tea Party marchers did nothing political, they just marched.

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
July 6, 2013 at 8:26 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I'll bet the majority of Tea Party members are Bush/Cheney types who like starting wars but not serving in the armed forces. Also no denying that Michelle Bachman , darling of the Tea Party , supports legislation to slash veterans healthcare benefits. No Italian , the Tea Party is no friend of veterans.

geeber (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2013 at 12:52 p.m. (Suggest removal)

All the vets I know, and I know a good many - despise the Tea Party for the reasons Geeber states and more, including the Tea Party's frequent attempts to create a theocracy (to bolster the aristocracy they wish to be part of but are only pawns for.)

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2013 at 12:58 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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