The July 4’th Parade Committee has made it crystal clear from inception that we are a non-profit, non-political, family-oriented event with a Mission Statement to honor our Guardian Angels—Police/Fire/EMT and yes, Military.
The Supreme Court decided unanimously (overturning a Massachusetts Court)--precisely because of the First Amendment--we can exclude marchers carrying signs that circumvent our Mission Statement.
If The People’s Republic of Amherst steals the July 4'th Parade then they would have to allow the KKK, NAMBLA, and the Hells Angels to march, or ride as the case may be.
If I purchase a full-page ad in the local newspaper to say “Happy Birthday America” on July 4’th, I don’t expect somebody to demand part of my ad-space for their anti-war statement. They can buy their own ad.
And if war protesters (or supporters for that matter) want to march, they can finance their own Parade. Only in Amherst would government nationalize something private citizens have worked hard to build.
Maybe Fidel Castro should retire to Amherst.
UPDATE: 4:222 PM So, yeah the Town Manager has called Kevin since this post went up and left a very short message to call him back. But I do have on my Mac another recording from yesterday when he left a second message (apparently not knowing that it is perfectly legal to post messages left on answering machines), so stay tuned.
UPDATE: 7:17 PM Well, the Crusty Gazette is on it! Kevin and I both did interviews late this afternoon and we could tell from the reporter's questions (after interviewing Shaffer) that he's not overly pleased (Shaffer not the reporter) and is trying to portray us as the troublemakers who love to pick a fight.
But this came out of the blue, whereby a fringe group of malcontents banded together and finagled a meeting with Shaffer to purposely and with malice sabotage the Parade. And we were not invited to the meeting.
So in the next few days the Parade Committee will get a formal request in the mail to allow Mary Wentworth to march in the Parade carrying a "F_ck Bush" sign and we will deny the request and the town will pull their equipment. Only in Amherst.