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St. Patrick's Peace Parade, South Boston

Appologies...I had meant to post this sooner and totally lost track of time.

The United Justice for Peace is one of the organizing groups for the St. Patrick's Day Peace Parade this Sunday.  Details below.

I've already spoken with a member of the UJP and our group is welcome to walk in the parade.  If we participate, there should be at least 5 or 6 of us.  Please rsvp as soon as possible so we can coordinate.

We have a good size ( 6ft. ) banner that Sarah and Sherry made last year that we can carry as we march in the parade!   


St. Patrick's Peace Parade

 When: Sunday, March 17, 2013, 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Where: D Street & West Broadway • Look for white "Vets for Peace" Flags • South Boston

People's Parade for Peace, Equality, Jobs, Environmental Stewardship, Social & Economic Justice Unite, Participate, Celebrate


Please join us for our Third Annual Saint Patrick’s Peace Parade, the Alternative People’s Parade for Peace, Equality, Jobs, Environmental Stewardship, Social and Economic Justice. Assemble: 2pm. Parade start: 3pm

Contact: Veterans for Peace, Pat Scanlon, [masked],[masked]; Massachusetts Peace Action, Cole Harrison, [masked],[masked]

Web: Twitter: @SmedleyVFP   Facebook:

Why are there two parades on Saint Patrick’s Day?

For the past three years Veterans For Peace have been denied to walk in the historic Saint Patrick’s Parade in South Boston. This is the largest parade of its kind in the country with over 700,000 people viewing the parade. The parade has a dual purpose; the celebration of Saint Patrick and the Irish traditions and heritage and a celebration of Evacuation Day, the day the British were run out of Boston. Both days fall on March 17th, so the City of Boston thought it a good idea to have the Allied War Veterans Council (AWVC) organize the parade. The problem is that one side of the equation, St. Patrick, a man of peace, is second fiddle to a military parade. AWVC has the exclusive say in who gets to walk in this historical parade. The City of Boston, South Boston Community Groups, the Boston Police have absolutely no say in who walks the streets of South Boston in the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade.

In 2011 Veterans For Peace’s application was denied, when asked why and were told, “They did not want to have the word Peace associated with the word Veteran”. Well they did not know the Smedleys very well. We pulled our own permit and with only three weeks to go before the parade pulled together 500 people and the Saint Patrick’s Peace Parade, the Alternative People’s Parade for Peace, Equality, Jobs, Environmental Stewardship, Economic and Social Justice was born. 

Twenty years ago the LGBT community wanted to walk in the parade and were denied which resulted in a lawsuit that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court resulting in the Hurley Decision. The Smedleys immediately reached out to the LGBT community, inviting them to “walk in our parade”

In 2012 we had close to 2,000 people, seven divisions (Veterans, Peace, LGBT, Labor, Political, Religious, Occupy Everywhere) two bands, bag pipers, drummers, a Duck Boat, two trollies etc. It was a grand success. We have an Environmental Stewardship Division this year. Our goal is to end this last vestige of institutionalized exclusion, prejudice, bigotry, and homophobia and make this parade inclusive and welcoming to all and bring the message of peace to South Boston on Saint Patrick’s Day.

Please join us in South Boston on March 17. Be sure to bring your Chapter’s or Organization’s banners, signs and costumes and join us in our fabulous Third Annual Saint Patrick’s Peace Parade. 

On behalf of the Saint Patrick’s Peace Parade Organizing Committee.

Thank you,

Pat Scanlon (VN '69)

Coordinator, VFP Chapter 9, Smedley Butler Brigade

[masked]     Phone:[masked]


Background Info:


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  • Steve

    Pluses: Good people and great cause. It was a sunny day. Excellent free convenient parking. The other participants from other groups were all very nice.
    Minuses: Long delay before starting the parade, lead to much smaller and probably much drunker audience. It was cold, which was only improved on by the sun and lack of much wind most of the time. Not sure I would do this next year.

    March 17, 2013

    • Victoria M.

      If people want to do it again next year, we should arrive later and have a banner something along the lines of "Peace Begins on Your Plate". I think it was really worth it. Dozens of people got a picture of the banner. Next year it could be around 60 degrees!

      1 · March 18, 2013

    • Steve

      I love that slogan Victoria. I think a simple leaflet to hand out would be good too. we can begin to visualize 60 degrees starting today.

      March 18, 2013

  • Victoria M.

    Kristen I would like to carpool in. I will email Carol, one of the organizers next. She lives in Natick so we could maybe even car pool in with her and meet Alex and Lisa and Company in town since they are closer to the Boston area. How does that sound to everyone? Steve I guess it depends on how last minute you can handle it if you miss the "carpool bus".

    March 15, 2013

    • Steve

      Kristen, if you wasn't to carpool from Ashland to Starbucks, let me know.

      March 17, 2013

    • Kristen

      Yes I want to carpool! Where can I meet you Steve? Text me at[masked] 3975. I'm texting from church (shh!) so my phone is on silent.

      March 17, 2013

  • Steve

    Probably. In for a Penny.. .

    March 17, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Change of plans on our end. Sorry to miss it...

    March 17, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm now just a maybe.

    March 15, 2013

  • Steve

    If the landscape of the weekend changes AND the weather looks good (ie: not too cold or wet) I'll try to make it.

    March 11, 2013

    • Kristen

      If you go, let me know! We both live in Ashland and I'd love to carpool and get there together! Probably need to park along the green-line/red-line somewhere and then take the red-line to Broadway.

      March 14, 2013

    • Steve

      How last minute can you handle? :-)

      March 15, 2013

  • Steve

    Probably not. Too much stuff in one weekend. There is laundry to do and other crap :-)

    March 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Chase and Leo and I will be there!

    March 11, 2013

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