Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Live from Northampton!

A few of you asked if I was being “set up” by Bill Dwight during my appearance on his news radio talk show this morning (“Progressive” station WHMP) to discuss the July 4’th Parade policy of restricting political messages immediately after an earnest representative of the “Iraq Veterans Against The War’. Hmmm…

Well what the Hell am I, a warmonger?

Bill was sick so Chris Collins—wayyyyy closer to my brand of politics but also as misunderstood as yours truly—ran the show.

During my interview's first commercial break I mentioned how much I respected the previous guest, a man who stood in harms way to serve his country and now invokes his most cherished right as an American to question the policy of our government.

Yeah, and maybe if Mr. Dwight were controlling the microphone he would have directly challenged me as to why they, Iraq Veterans Against The War couldn’t march. Or Viet Nam Veterans Against The War, a group founded in 1967 and still active today.

After all the Parade mission is to honor public servants—police, fire and military.

Interestingly when I returned to my Athletic Club an hour later Kevin Joy, Parade chair was waiting for me. And we talked about it. This Friday the committee will discuss allowing any group to carry ONE sign identifying who they are. And if the name of the group happens to have the words “against the war” as part of their official name, so be it.

If, however, their name has the initials KKK, NAMBLA or reads “Citizens in favor of 9/11” they need not apply.

Gotta love their waiting room art.

Thanks for the great intro Chris!


O'Reilly said...

I respectfully disagree with the decision you and Joy are deliberating. Your charter/mission statement is to conduct an apolitcal July 4 Family Parade.

Allowing "favorable" forms of politcal protest and not others is the camel's nose. If you do this, you may still be on the right side of the law but you will clearly be violating your own standard.

Their name is not your problem. It's their's because you want them to march but not with a political sign, even if it's simply in the form of their organization's name.

izzy said...

I have to rain on your parade, and say I agree with O'Reilly.

The old "Free Speech for me (Or those I agree with) but not for thee" argument ... sticky, no?

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, sticky indeed.

IF the 7/4 Parade Committee approves this, the ONLY two groups I can think of who could slip their nose under the tent are "Viet Nam Veterans against the war" and "Iraq Veterans against the war."

And both have paid a high price for the admission ticket.

The Viet Nam group has never asked to march but the Iraq Veterans just formed an Amherst chapter, so they may ask.

We will still not allow the League of Women Voters or the Green Party or the Amherst Town Democratic Committee or SAGE to march with any signs other than ONE designating their group.