Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Back from the Brink
The 20-minute meeting with the Town Manager went well. He confirmed that he would allow Police and Fire personnel to march in the Amherst July 4'th Parade (So I assume that means in their official town uniforms) and that he would march as well (as he did last year).
Mr. Shaffer wants to see in writing the new policy that the Gazette mistakenly headlined as “loosening”.” The policy to allow any group to carry ONE banner or sign designating the legal name of the group is not really relaxing anything--it is more of a “clarification.”
He also said he was not going to do anything—like pull police and fire equipment--due to “hypotheticals”. As in the last two years when we did this kind of meeting, he wants us to be as “inclusive” as possible.
So we will be, up to a point. An anti-war group can march as long as the legal name of the group contains that sentiment. Abortion groups—pro or con, Gay rights groups—pro or con, and Nuclear War groups—pro or con, probably will not gain entry.
And if the Amherst Town Democratic Committee wants to boycott as they did last year that’s fine. It did not seem to keep Congressman John Olver, State Senator Stan Rosenberg or State Representative Ellen Story from marching.