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Anti-Iraq War Vets Pulled From Parade

Iraq Anti-War Vets Parade

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#1 Guest-2112st-Guest

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Posted 16 November 2003 - 10:50 AM

http://www.jacksonvi..._14020003.shtml

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The Florida Times-Union

November 12, 2003

Anti-Iraq war veterans pulled from parade

By J. TAYLOR RUSHING
Capital Bureau Chief

TALLAHASSEE -- A group of 30 military veterans critical of the war in Iraq hoped to use Tuesday's Veterans Day parade to call attention to the increasingly deadly conflict but instead found themselves fighting for something much more fundamental.

Members of Veterans For Peace and Vietnam Veterans Against the War were yanked off a downtown Tallahassee street, directly in front of the Old Capitol, while marching in the holiday parade they had legitimately registered in.

As organizers allowed the parade to roll on -- including veterans from various wars, several high school marching bands and even a group of young women from the local Hooters restaurant -- the anti-war veterans were ordered onto sidewalks where they passed out leaflets and displayed a banner reading, "Honor the Warrior, Not the War."

"There's a war going on that's based on lies, just like Vietnam," said veteran Tom Baxter, an Army equipment maintenance officer in Vietnam for 16 months in 1967-69. "They were lying then, and they're lying now."

Parade chairman Ken Conroy, a Korean War veteran, said he ejected the anti-war veterans because they were offensive and because Tallahassee police also wanted them removed. He offered to refund their $10 registration fee and said he was not suppressing the group's free speech rights.

"They can have their free speech, just not in the parade," Conroy said. "They belong on the sidewalk."

So much for free speech in the U.S. huh??

:sarcasm:  :glare:

#2 tennyson

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Posted 16 November 2003 - 10:52 AM

So somehow something that happens in a moderate-sized Florida city now applies to the entire US? hmmmm.
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Posted 16 November 2003 - 10:55 AM

tennyson, on Nov 16 2003, 03:52 PM, said:

So somehow something that happens in a moderate-sized Florida city now applies to the entire US? hmmmm.
Let's just say that to think this sort of thing happens only in Florida would be INCREDIBLY naive.

#4 tennyson

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Posted 16 November 2003 - 11:01 AM

Not that naive, I'm just wondering how something that happens at one place and time due to the actions of one parade chairman's choice could say something beyond the state of freedom of speech in that one time and place. Now, if there were multiple incidents, or the actions of someone with more power than a parade chairman were involved then I would think you were on to something. For example, if a judge had ordered them off the street, or thier was a preemtive strike against the group from the town council or mayor in some extralegal fashion then I would take this more seriously. But in the context of the given situation I don't see how it can really say much beyond itself.

edited because my spelling while I type is bad.

Edited by tennyson, 16 November 2003 - 11:02 AM.

"Only an idiot would fight a war on two fronts. Only the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Idiots would fight a war on twelve fronts."

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Posted 16 November 2003 - 11:11 AM

tennyson, on Nov 16 2003, 04:01 PM, said:

Not that naive, I'm just wondering how something that happens at one place and time due to the actions of one parade chairman's choice could say something beyond the state of freedom of speech in that one time and place. Now, if there were multiple incidents, or the actions of someone with more power than a parade chairman were involved then I would think you were on to something. For example, if a judge had ordered them off the start, or thier was a preemtive strike against the group from the town council of mayor then I would take this more seriously. But in the context of the given situation I don't see how it can really say much beyond itself.
I understand what you are saying. Perhaps it's just my own pessemisitic attitude about people coming through.

IMO, I don't think the opinions the parade organizer are unique in any way. Remember the Dixie Chicks.

So far, over 400 American soldiers have died. No WMDs have been found. Dubya has commited $87 billion towards the reconstruction in Iraq for next year, while the economic situation in the U.S. seems to be in a free-fall. I find it laughable that we are supposed to be rebuilding the economy of a country we blasted to pieces while we can't even get our own economic mess in order.

And I think folks who try speaking out against Dubya's policies will be seen by many other Americans as unpatriotic. Even if those dissenters are vets. I fully believe the kind of railing against such opinions-as is seen here towards those vets-IS happening in other parts of the U.S. We just haven't heard about it yet.

:eh:

(edited for clarity)

Edited by Vapor Trails, 16 November 2003 - 11:17 AM.


#6 G1223

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Posted 16 November 2003 - 11:16 AM

Well Tallahassee is the stepping stone tennyson first Tallahassee tomorrow the world.

So the organizer felt they were offensive was he a city/state/federal employee? By the article he wasn't,he was an organizer of a parade who paid the fees to march the parade through the streets. So he with the police dept thought they might cause trouble took them out of the parade and offered to refund the money.

Would it have been a better headline. "Anti-War crowd casues riot in Tallahassee hundreds injured or dead"
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#7 Guest-2112st-Guest

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Posted 16 November 2003 - 11:20 AM

You know, now that I think about it, let me toss out this bone for you folks to chew on. Since I brought up the Dixie Chicks...

How are they any different from these vets? It appears they angered many Americans with similar views, and were considered pariahs-at least for a while.

:unsure:

#8 Bad Wolf

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Posted 16 November 2003 - 11:25 AM

The difference between what happened in this parade (which is atrocious imnsho) and radio stations pulling the dixie chicks is that radio stations are businesses who can reasonably be expected to cater to their listenners.  Do I think it stinks?  Yeah.  In a perfect world would I like the radio stations to risk their livelihood and thumb their noses at idiots who equate opposing the war or Bush with a lack of patriotism?  You betcha.  But they ARE businesses.

What happened in Florida is a "state action" and I hope the mofos get their asses sued over it.

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Posted 16 November 2003 - 11:29 AM

Una Salus Lillius, on Nov 16 2003, 04:25 PM, said:

The difference between what happened in this parade (which is atrocious imnsho) and radio stations pulling the dixie chicks is that radio stations are businesses who can reasonably be expected to cater to their listenners.  Do I think it stinks?  Yeah.  In a perfect world would I like the radio stations to risk their livelihood and thumb their noses at idiots who equate opposing the war or Bush with a lack of patriotism?  You betcha.  But they ARE businesses.

What happened in Florida is a "state action" and I hope the mofos get their asses sued over it.

Lil
Good points Lil.

The thing tennyson and I were discussing is how far these attitudes go against dissenters of the Dubya policies. I think the Dixie Chicks controversy is an excellent example of anti-dissenter sentiment being much more widespread than just this city in Florida

:eh:

Edited by Vapor Trails, 16 November 2003 - 11:29 AM.


#10 tennyson

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Posted 16 November 2003 - 11:30 AM

Not having ever really paid any attention to them, even during the hoopla and having no hard evidence of how the radio stations who took them off the air or how many people might have stopped buying thier music due to that one expressed opinion I'm not sure what to say about it. The boycott or whatever it was wasn't anything supported by any national government agency so both incidents have that in common.
From an intellectual stand point,I do think the vets have a stronger case for having an informed opinion, having experienced war and what it can do to people while I have no idea how much the Dixie Chicks even pay attention to the world beyond thier music or how informed they might have been. I think I'll need to digest this question some more and give a more detailed answer later.

Edited by tennyson, 16 November 2003 - 11:31 AM.

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#11 Delvo

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Posted 16 November 2003 - 11:36 AM

Great jumpin' jamolies, people, why does someone on whichever side of the political spectrum have to yank out the old "censoring free speech" nonsense every time somebody refuses to be used by someone ELSE on whichever side of the political spectrum to further that OTHER person's speech (which, if it were forced upon someone or some organization, would violate THEIR free-speech right NOT to say what they don't want to say)? Have these free-speech-is-dead whiners no concept at all of how this really works, or do they just ignore it depending on which side of the political spectrum it's going?

This is really simple, folks...

Do you have the right to say what you want in public as long as it doesn't interfere with others' rights... and even to buy a bullhorn or radio/TV broadcasting equipment so that you will be heard by more people? Yes. Do you have the right to force other people with such equipment to let you use it? No.

Do you have the right to print your thoughts on paper and hand it out to people in person, including the right to buy mass-production printers/presses, or to publish it and sell it? Yes. Do you have the right to force someone else with such equipment to print and publish your stuff for you? No.

Do you have the right to use a public park to gather for a meeting or demonstration or presentation, within the conditions established by that park's policy? Yes. Do you have the right to violate that park's policy for such a meeting? No. Do you have the right to fasten your written materials to park buildings or post your signs on park grounds, making your words appear to be the park's words? No.

Do you have the right to organize a parade that espouses your ideas/philosophy? Yes. Do you have the right to use a parade organized by someone else to espouse your ideas/philosophy if the parade organizers don't want you to? No.

Why? Simple. Those other people/organizations/businesses also have their own rights, including the right to speak or not to speak as they see fit and not as you do, and you don't have the right to violate theirs.

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Posted 16 November 2003 - 11:36 AM

tennyson, on Nov 16 2003, 04:30 PM, said:

From an intellectual stand point,I do think the vets have a stronger case for having an informed opinion, having experienced war and what it can do to people while I have no idea how much the Dixie Chicks even pay attention to the world beyond thier music or how informed they might have been. I think I'll need to digest this question some more and give a more detailed answer later.
While you make a good point about the vets, I think that, unfortunately, this is irrelevant to many people. All that matters is that these folks spoke out against the war. Period. They are seen as traitors.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again-NEVER underestimate the stupidity of people.

:(

#13 Bad Wolf

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Posted 16 November 2003 - 11:38 AM

Vapor Trails, on Nov 16 2003, 08:29 AM, said:

I think the Dixie Chicks controversy is an excellent example of anti-dissenter sentiment being much more widespread than just this city in Florida

:eh:
Well I think you will find people who stupidly equate lack of Dubbaya Loving™ or support for the war to anti patriotism everywhere.  

And I seem to remember an outcry from the House speaker against one of the demo presidential hopeful's (was it Dean?  I don't remember but I know there was a thread about it in OT a long time ago) anti war sentiments, wherein it was suggested that anything less than unconditional support for the war or the president was tantamount to treason.  Then again, I think the fellow was rather roundly shouted down for that sentiment.

So I guess my sentiment is that while there may be a lot of that sentiment going around, even in the minds and hearts of some of our politicians, we're a long way away from it being any kind of national policy.  At least not officially.

How was that for a murky answer???  ;)
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#14 G1223

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Posted 16 November 2003 - 11:41 AM

Where is the state in this? The man is said in the story to be the organizer. they do not say he's a state employ or even a city employee.  The state places money into the vetran's parade fund becasue they wish to support veteran organizations (They have members of thier legislative bodies who are vetrans. Also Vets vote).

  The reason the city no longer organizes parades is so that offensive groups cannot push their agenda upon the viewers. The Homosexual group in Boston was allowed to march in the St.Patrick's Day Parade while the city organized it. Afterwards it was passed onto private organization which did have the powers to excluded groups.

Do you think folks in San Fransico would want a group of gay bashing skinheads in the Gay Pride parade? The sword has two edges for a reason it cuts both ways. This is why cities  made this move.
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#15 Bad Wolf

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Posted 16 November 2003 - 11:46 AM

^

Well the hundreds of free speech cases out there (all of which turn on state action) that involve the conduct of parade organizers lead me (perhaps, but not likely, incorrectly) to believe that they were working on behalf of the City (which in this context, is good enough to meet the "state action" requirement).;)

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#16 LittleRedhead

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Posted 16 November 2003 - 02:22 PM

G1223, on Nov 16 2003, 08:41 AM, said:

Do you think folks in San Fransico would want a group of gay bashing skinheads in the Gay Pride parade? The sword has two edges for a reason it cuts both ways. This is why cities  made this move.
While I personally support President Bush on the war in Iraq I would have to say that allowing anti Iraq war vets in a veterans parade is not the same as allowing an anti gay group into a gay pride parade. As The anti war vets are still veterans, while the skin heads are not neither gays nor lesbians.
I feel the group should be allowed to participate as long as they conduct themselves appropriately.
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#17 Bad Wolf

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Posted 16 November 2003 - 02:30 PM

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Do you think folks in San Fransico would want a group of gay bashing skinheads in the Gay Pride parade? The sword has two edges for a reason it cuts both ways. This is why cities made this move.

UNLESS it could be established that letting them march posed a safety threat (which it might) the answer is DAMN RIGHT.

I still agree with the Supreme Court in the Skokie case (where the court struck down a preemptive ban on allowing the KKK to march through a known to be Jewish neighborhood).

As you say, it works BOTH ways.

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#18 Kevin Street

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Posted 16 November 2003 - 03:25 PM

Delvo, on Nov 16 2003, 10:36 AM, said:

This is really simple, folks...

Do you have the right to say what you want in public as long as it doesn't interfere with others' rights... and even to buy a bullhorn or radio/TV broadcasting equipment so that you will be heard by more people? Yes. Do you have the right to force other people with such equipment to let you use it? No.

Do you have the right to print your thoughts on paper and hand it out to people in person, including the right to buy mass-production printers/presses, or to publish it and sell it? Yes. Do you have the right to force someone else with such equipment to print and publish your stuff for you? No.

Do you have the right to use a public park to gather for a meeting or demonstration or presentation, within the conditions established by that park's policy? Yes. Do you have the right to violate that park's policy for such a meeting? No. Do you have the right to fasten your written materials to park buildings or post your signs on park grounds, making your words appear to be the park's words? No.

Do you have the right to organize a parade that espouses your ideas/philosophy? Yes. Do you have the right to use a parade organized by someone else to espouse your ideas/philosophy if the parade organizers don't want you to? No.

Why? Simple. Those other people/organizations/businesses also have their own rights, including the right to speak or not to speak as they see fit and not as you do, and you don't have the right to violate theirs.
But there's a problem with that argument in this case, Delvo. This was a Veteran's Day parade, not a pro-Iraq war parade. It was organized to honour veterans and remind people of the sacrifices others make to keep them free, not promote a specific political agenda. Anybody honouring veterans could take part.

The anti-war veterans had every right to take part in the parade, just as a group of hypothetical pro-war veterans would. The only way to shut them up fairly would be to ban all groups with a specific agenda from the parade, and that would mean no more Hooters, Kiwanis Club, or anyone else trying to make a statement and/or raise money for any purpose - which would make the parade much smaller and far less interesting. All that would be left would be the marching bands, really

Its all or nothing. (Within the legal parameters of pornography and hate speech.) That's the way free speech works.
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#19 HubcapDave

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Posted 16 November 2003 - 06:13 PM

It looks to me like the free speech aspect of this issue hinges directly on whether or not the parade wasa organized by the city, or privately.


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Vapor Trails: So much for free speech in the U.S. huh??

Vapor, I have agree with others in that you are making much too broad a statement based on one incident which may or may not be a free speech violation.

Quote

Vapor Trails: So far, over 400 American soldiers have died. No WMDs have been found. Dubya has commited $87 billion towards the reconstruction in Iraq for next year, while the economic situation in the U.S. seems to be in a free-fall. I find it laughable that we are supposed to be rebuilding the economy of a country we blasted to pieces while we can't even get our own economic mess in order.

The weapons haven't been found yet, but there is ample evidence that the programs to make them were alive and kicking.
Only $20 billion of that is going towards the actual rebuilding of the country. The rest is for our military operations both in Iraq and Afghanistan.
And, it's funny, but I never thought that a 7% growth in our GDP meant our economy is in "free-fall".


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Lil:How was that for a murky answer??? [wink2.gif] 

Clear as the bottom of a mud puddle! Good job! :thumbs-up:  :thumbs-up:


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LittleRedhead: While I personally support President Bush on the war in Iraq I would have to say that allowing anti Iraq war vets in a veterans parade is not the same as allowing an anti gay group into a gay pride parade. As The anti war vets are still veterans, while the skin heads are not neither gays nor lesbians.
I feel the group should be allowed to participate as long as they conduct themselves appropriately.

Now, what does that have to do with the price of tea in China? If that were the standard being applied, groups like PFLAG wouldn't be allowed to march because they aren't gay or lesbian either!

#20 Norville

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Posted 16 November 2003 - 06:49 PM

Quote

All that matters is that these folks spoke out against the war. Period. They are seen as traitors.

I know a WW2 vet (not really personally, more a case of seeing him around a lot in a bookstore), a former pilot who must be in his 80s now, who's sick of the Bush administration (and tired of what's become of California, because it's his home state), and doesn't support the Iraq war... and the guy's no traitor, whatever some might think. He's very proud of having served his country; he just has a problem with where we're going now. I think he has the right to express that without being considered a traitor.

Quote

Well I think you will find people who stupidly equate lack of Dubbaya LovingŠ or support for the war to anti patriotism everywhere.

Certainly. You anti-American Saddam-lover, you! ;)
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