Veterans for Speech

Thursday, July 11, 2013
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The Santa Barbara chapter of Veterans for Peace was excluded from participating in this year’s Fourth of July parade. This is the same group of dedicated volunteers that have been setting up crosses on the beach (Arlington West) next to Sterns Wharf for close to 10 years to demonstrate the true cost of war. Has the idea of peace become somehow unpatriotic? In past parades, the Vets for Peace have consistently received some of the largest applause from spectators.

Isn’t the Fourth of July a celebration of our independence and our freedoms, including our freedom of speech? In an age where whistle-blowers are considered terrorists, and drones kill with the push of a button, it is apparently asking too much for our Independence Day parade to actually embrace the diversity of American values. – Rod Edwards and Carolyn Rice, S.B.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Maybe the City should take the parade over to ensure equality, kinda like imminent domain.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 11, 2013 at 1:56 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Why does the Independent staff keep allowing these daft, uninformed letters to be placed into the paper? Is it because they are fair and balanced politically or because the Independent is a left-wing mouthpiece? I wonder.

Dear letter writer: the Veterans for Peace group was excluded because they violated the terms and conditions of the parade organizers by handing out leaflets and fliers, which no parade entrant is allowed to do.

They are welcome to be in the parade if they do not violate the rules, like all the other parade entrants have shown the self control to do. Until they can convince the parade organizers that they can be trusted to follow the rules, they will be excluded.

I hope this clears up your confusion and wouldn't it be nice if the Independent staff, which is WELL AWARE of the reason Veteran's for Peace was excluded, would stop publishing letters that are effectively unintended (by their writers) propaganda?

willy88 (anonymous profile)
July 11, 2013 at 2:52 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Willy - they violated the rules in THE PAST. So, why are they excluded from the PRESENT parade (well the recent one)?

I wholeheartedly agree with the letter writer. Does supporting the 1st Amendment make me a left-wing nut? If so, what does that make you?

sacjon (anonymous profile)
July 11, 2013 at 3:13 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Why don't they publish just any psychobabble calling itself an opinion?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 11, 2013 at 4:47 p.m. (Suggest removal)

After I finish this post! I am going to contact Veterans for Peace S.B. chapter and ask them to weigh in . We need to hear from them.
Many of us don't understand Paul Lamberton ( Spirit of 76 honcho/ parade " decider") and his decision to exclude VFPSB from the parade . That disrespectful snub contrasted with Lambertons inclusion of the show offs of the local Tea Party contingent reeks of political favoritism.

geeber (anonymous profile)
July 11, 2013 at 6:42 p.m. (Suggest removal)

no geebs, it reeks of your own silly inability to understand the difference between having a political point of view AND following the rules.
There was a similar case in Marin County a few years back where a Vet's for Peace group was excluded from the Memorial Day Parade, they made a big stink, and then a couple of years later decided to not violate the rules and were let back in without any fanfare. One of my buddies headed that group.

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
July 12, 2013 at 6:51 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Glad Italian knows the whole story ( not) . I , on the other hand , have asked a VFPSB officer for an inside take. Since I was not authorized to quote this person , I will not include a name .-
" Over the years, we have routinely had a problem having our application for inclusion in 4th of July celebration parade by the Spirit of 76 Foundation approved.

The strong impression I get from them is that we are not welcome due to our mission of teaching peace and demonstrating the cost of war in terms of human lives shattered or lost.

Their complaint is paraphrased thusly, “VFP is too political.”

Believed or not, this is a judgment call and the truth is mostly in the eye of the beholder. [Just about anything can be political]...

I have noted the “Tea Party” float in past parades and I think it is safe to assume that many people would think that they are somewhat political.

Also worth mentioning is the fact that the "Tea Party" of Arizona and of Wisconsin are among their primary donors.

Why would these folks from other states be so interested in our local activities?"
So , as many of us suspected , the excuses given by Lamberton and his Tea Party cohorts are politically motivated and there has been an inexcusable disrespect shown to this group of patriotic veterans. I will be posting a contact for Lamberton in hopes many of you will email him to show your unhappiness with VFPSB being excluded from Fourth of July festivities.

geeber (anonymous profile)
July 12, 2013 at 6:54 p.m. (Suggest removal)

While the video on the foundations website is very well done, it is also very militaristic and all the promotional materiualss associated with the parade seem overly militaristic.. I thought July 4th was supposed to be about celebrating all of America, not just a few Tea Partiers.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 12, 2013 at 6:59 p.m. (Suggest removal)

For those wishing to write respectful (please) letters of support for Veterans for Peace Santa Barbara and asking for their inclusion in next years parade , this is the contact for Mr. Paul Lamberton who is the top dude at Spirit of 1776 . Please be respectful and just note your unhappiness with past exclusion and wishes for them to be allowed to march as proud vets next year . Thanks , G
ps I have no affiliation with any group and merely want to see a wrong righted.

geeber (anonymous profile)
July 12, 2013 at 7:04 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Dear Sacjon -

I have to admit that your logic above makes a lot of sense.

You should try that when you are pulled over for a speeding ticket. Just tell the cop that you broke the speed limit in "THE PAST" but now you are pulled over by the side of the road, far below the speed limit (because you are stopped) they should not write you a ticket.

Are you kidding me?

willy88 (anonymous profile)
July 13, 2013 at 1:41 p.m. (Suggest removal)

If the rationalization for denying the VFP group participation in the parade was indeed pamphleteering, then I hope the Veterans for Peace call Lamberton's bluff and do without flyers next year.

We'll see if Lamberton comes up with another excuse then.

That said, I don't see anything in the City's Municipal Code barring pamphleteering in parades (Section 9 covers parades). There are many restrictions, but pamphlets don't seem to be one of them. And ... the Municipal Code is careful to define parades as expressions of speech allowed under the Constitution. So that begs the question ... is Lamberton's rule appropriate and enforceable?

Thomas Paine might be disappointed.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
July 13, 2013 at 2:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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