Arlington West

Paul Wellman

Arlington West

Fourth of July Organizers Deny Veterans for Peace Float

Activist Claims Rejection Is Based On Conflicting Politics

Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Article Tools
Print friendly
E-mail story
Tip Us Off
iPod friendly
Share Article

Organizers of this year’s Fourth of July parade have rejected an application by Veterans for Peace to participate in the festivities.

Veterans for Peace activists have marched in several prior Fourth of July parades, but for the first time, the group was sponsoring an actual float — anti-war in theme — featuring 28 crosses with names, medals, rosaries, and flowers that would be hauled by a flat-bed truck. The organization is responsible for the Arlington West display of crosses at the base of Stearns Wharf memorializing those slain in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Veterans for Peace activist Ron Dexter said little explanation had been given for the rejection other than vague reference to an alleged confrontations that took place between the peace activists and event volunteers. When pressed for detail, parade organizer Paul Lamberton said Veterans for Peace activists have distributed handbills and flyers in years past despite a parade policy against doing so. Lamberton said the parade spends nearly a $1,000 a year on clean-up costs, and suggested if the vets group wanted to absorb that expense then perhaps an exception could be made.

Dexter acknowledged there had been a confrontational exchange between a peace activist and a parade volunteer, but said that activist would not be involved this year. He countered that the real issue has to do with politics and has little to do with litter.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

This happens typically every year with ACLU, and the trailer display "sneaks" into the parade anyway. Lamberton seems to want to be celebrating freedom by denying it.

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
June 25, 2013 at 1:41 p.m. (Suggest removal)

This reeks. Its a public parade on a public street. How do they have any right to restrict any org from participating, especially veterans?

Or worse, what gives these men the right to assert their political beliefs and restrict any group from exercising their first amendment rights on a public street?

I sense that this decision will come back to bite them...hard. As it should. War mongering veterans are no more valuable than anti war veterans. Lamberton is about to learn the hard lessons of being a woefully naive idiot...

iamsomeguyinsb (anonymous profile)
June 25, 2013 at 1:42 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Maybe ALL parade entrants should pay a 'litter fee' to help off-set the cost to the City, but denying only one entrant based on their alleged littering is carrying Parade Politics a little too far.
I may not agree with Veterans for Peace, but no one should deny them their right to voice their opinion.

Tubo (anonymous profile)
June 25, 2013 at 1:54 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Are we then to assume it's a Pro-War Parade and we should protest? And if so how many of the parade's organizers have actually fought in a war?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
June 25, 2013 at 1:55 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ken, you're absolutely right! Sounds like this is supposed to be a pro-war, anti-1st Amendment parade. Yay for freedom!

sacjon (anonymous profile)
June 25, 2013 at 2 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Maybe there should not be a parade if the very people who fought for our Freedom are excluded from it....

Byrd (anonymous profile)
June 25, 2013 at 2:18 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Why, of course Veterans for Peace should be banned from the parade - the 4th of July is all about patriotic stuff like blowin' things up! Who wants a bunch of peacenicks around to spoil the fun?

spiritwalker (anonymous profile)
June 25, 2013 at 2:39 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I checked out Lamberton's non-profit website - - and it claims that politics are not allowed in the parade. However, I remember seeing the Tea Party in his parade more than once. Also, I noticed that the Tea Party is a funder of the non-profit. Is it legal for political parties to fund non-profits? Also, after the parade there is a free concert in the courthouse with patriotic music, during which time Lamberton takes advantage of the situation and lathers praise on the Tea Party. This is definitely a one-sided affair.

residentsb (anonymous profile)
June 25, 2013 at 4:14 p.m. (Suggest removal)

He's a Tea Bagger huh? Will at least he's good for something.

Byrd (anonymous profile)
June 25, 2013 at 4:22 p.m. (Suggest removal)

If it's Tea Party be sure to wear a brown shirt.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
June 25, 2013 at 5:20 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Wow, sounds like the parade's organizer is setting himself and/or the organization he represents up for a major lawsuit. Earlier this year the Walt Disney company tried unsuccessfully to trademark "Dia de los Muertos" and now it appears Paul Lamberton's Spirit of 76 Foundation thinks it can lay claim to "4th of July." Who initiated past confrontations between parade volunteers and VFP supporters? Probably not the anti-war folk. Will the parade's sponsor have to pay a clean up fee whether VFP participates or not? Probably so. All one can really assume is that Lamberton and company are in disagreement with Veterans for Peace over the proper way to express one's patriotism. Denying VFP the right to participate in a parade celebrating freedom of expression is the ultimate irony, contrary to everything the Founders stood for.

jonkwilliams (anonymous profile)
June 25, 2013 at 5:31 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The Veterans For Peace must be granted permission to march in the parade.

tomgriffith (anonymous profile)
June 26, 2013 at 6:26 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Quote of the day from the article:
"Dexter acknowledged there had been a confrontational exchange between a peace activist and a parade volunteer".

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
June 26, 2013 at 7:04 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Anyone who does not allow veterans to march in a parade that celebrates our Independence weather or SNOT the veterans are for Peace or whatever are unAmerican themselves. These people served.

Byrd (anonymous profile)
June 26, 2013 at 7:13 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Here is yet another indication that freedom of speech and expression - the core value of America - alongside many other integral aspects of civilization in the US enabled by the Bill of Rights, is being gradually whittled away.

This process of devolution of liberty is gradual enough not to notice on a day-by-day basis, but if allowed to continue without "appropriate intervention by we the people", America will, in the not so distant future, end up somewhere up the creek of totalitarianism, and without the proverbial paddle.

bloggulator (anonymous profile)
June 26, 2013 at 10:21 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I thought the Fourth of July was all about celebrating our freedoms, those who fought for and continue to fight to defend them. Whether you lean on the Left or the Right doesn't matter here. Our liberties in this great Nation are at stake and it appears the organizers of the SB Fourth of July Parade are assisting in that slippery slope to the loss of our Republic, its values and sinking into disarray.

theawayteam (anonymous profile)
June 26, 2013 at 10:31 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I love Santa Barbara so. But, alas, is this life to look back at historical Julys? This VFP potential parade marcher whose Vietnam War vet’s army unit can be traced back to one of the new nation’s first established army units, the 3rd infantry, in which George Washington’s veterans were found, looks upon the three cornered hat worn by 3rd infantry soldiers today doing ceremonial duty in all of Washington D.C. Still on duty. Grieve then, oh mortal coil.

peaceful (anonymous profile)
June 26, 2013 at 10:35 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I served with the 12th Infantry in Vietnam, walked point, night or day. I incurred a near fatal TBI when my squad was ambushed. Now I must deal with a psycho drama yearly simply to walk with Veterans for Peace on the 4th of July. We had a saying in combat when the inexplicable happened so very often; "It don't mean nothin" and this seems to apply to some people's attitude regarding the rights of others.

Redcatcher (anonymous profile)
June 26, 2013 at 11:42 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Shame on the parade organizers! If not to celebrate the freedom that our soldiers have fought (and died) for, then what is the parade about?

Nockamixon (anonymous profile)
June 26, 2013 at 3:52 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Paul Lamberton replies:
"We do ask that participants be respectful of our rules and volunteers. This should not be an thought of as an argumentative combat zone. Many of our volunteers join you in their Pledge of Allegiance. I have aways prided myself on respecting the rights of others.So if we have made a decision contrary to your wishes, there must be just cause. It is your right to assemble and protest. It is not your right to be disrespectful and/or disruptive to the happiness of others."

....go figure...

Redcatcher (anonymous profile)
June 27, 2013 at 4:43 a.m. (Suggest removal)

As I see it, 4th of July celebrates the day we declared our inalienable right to freedom. We have other days dedicated to celebrating soldiers and fighting and victories.

jonkwilliams (anonymous profile)
June 27, 2013 at 6:14 p.m. (Suggest removal)

event calendar sponsored by: