Tag Archives: Parade

Red White and Brave Welcome Home

Colorado Springs will be hosting a parade on August 29 to welcome troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Its predecessor was a 2004 victory parade, this one is billed as a Red White and Brave Welcome Home. You might shy from holding an antagonistic banner like “I DON’T WORSHIP WAR,” but imagine a message draped from a balcony along Tejon Ave! WELCOME HOME, NOW STAY HOME or WHAT HAPPENS IN IRAQ, STAYS IN IRAQ or my favorite, addressed to the 50,000-plus expected to attend: WE’RE CELEBRATING THE MURDER OF HOW MANY CIVILIANS?

This isn’t a Veterans’ Day parade right? It’s one thing to be honoring troops. This parade is an appreciation, a “go get’em” to soldiers returned from Iraq to be redeployed to Afghanistan.

This parade is about recruiting more soldiers. It’s to show prospective recruits that the community supports what they do and are thrilled to send them off again to Afghanistan.

Would protesting the event represent any significant population of Colorado Springs? Although the majority of even this city are against the continued conflicts, I’ve no doubt very few dare speak out against the wars.

That’s where to come out in protest of the glorification of militarism is not about a democratic representation. It’s about what’s right. If 99% of Pikes Peak area residents were just fine with blowing unfortunate Afghan and Iraqi children to bits, I would still object to their wanting to hold a public parade to celebrate it. Let the world see that not every last one of us in Colorado Springs gets off on the carnage we’ve been perpetrating for going on eight years.

DC March on the Pentagon was fueled by a promising alternative energy: youth

Youth and Student ANSWER Coalition march on the Pentagon March 21
WASHINGTON DC- Speakers were still entertaining an impatient crowd, and coffin carriers were mobilizing for the March to the Pentagon, when from the west came the Black Bloc. Bicycle cops in royal blue lycra scrambled to shepherd the group’s healthy gallop as they appeared from over the hill to kick the parade to a sudden start. They virtually led the parade over the bridge, until organizers prevailed upon the interlopers to allow the veterans groups to resume the lead, as planned. But it would not be the last initiative from the Anarchists.

(Click on image for better quality, wider crop)

1. THE MARCH
ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009
Black Bloc gallops into lead position, abruptly starting parade.

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009
International Socialist Organization pass Lincoln Memorial

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009
Peace groups from Vermont to Georgia

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009
Youth and Student A.N.S.W.E.R.

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009
West from the Washington Monument

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009
Hezbollah crosses Arlington Memorial Bridge

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009
Campus Antiwar Network

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009
Across the Potomac

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009
To the Pentagon

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009
Code Pink paraded the parade

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009
To military industrial complex in Crystal City

2. INTERRUPTION
ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009
At a narrowing of the route at the Boeing building, several students blocked the march with a plastic barrier.

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009
Raising questions about the gentrified nature and self-policing demeanor of the event organizers and participants.

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009
The Black Bloc honored the picket line, thus the Campus Antiwar Network and following groups were brought to a halt.

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009
When the Black Bloc decided to move on to next actions, the march resumed.

2b. INTERRUPTION
ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

Marie Walden, March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

Eric Verlo, March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009
At the first hint of misbehavior, stocky 40-something “videographers” in undercover protest garb were pointing their cameras into the noses of the black-clad participants.

3. MESSAGE VARIETY
ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009
Why explain? You won’t listen.

4. COUNTER PROTEST
ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009
On the Pentagon lawn, near signs pointing to the “Pentagon Memorial,” white folk waited with the usual anti-antiwar slogans.

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009
Megaphone versus megaphone.

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009
That simple.

5. CONFRONTATION
ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009
Police in riot gear await march destination at KBR.

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

6. COLORADANS FOR PEACE
ANSWER March on the Pentagon 2009

ANSWER March on the Pentagon 2009

Eric Verlo, March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

Eric Verlo, March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

Eric Verlo, March on the Pentagon, Mar 21, 2009

(Still more photos to follow…)

Are you in any of the parade pictures?

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009 Tejon StreetCOLORADO SPRINGS- The Coloradans For Peace parade entry got good coverage this year, from KRDO13, FOX21, and the GAZETTE, which reported the full text of our banner. Reporter Lance Benzel interviewed a number of us, and I was hoping to see one of the responses he was tickled to get from Devon, aged 11. Asked whether she was fazed by sporadic negative responses, she replied “No. They’re just uninformed.”

Devon, by the way, wasn’t going to participate in the parade, owing to the events she witnessed two years ago when marchers were brutalized by the police. But the responsibility of taking pictures got the better of her, so she accompanied the large banner, sometimes running out ahead for artistic license.

Back to my question. No doubt too many of you notice that there are no photographs of you in the St Patrick’s Day Parade. We were a little short-handed, so perhaps if you have pictures of your own, please do share.

Although the action went without a hitch, we definitely could have used extra marchers for the flag waiving and the kazoos. Rita had plenty more shamrock shaped placards, some which honored Elizabeth Fineron, others which warned of the Intelligence Fusion Centers which are begining to dominate domestic law enforcement in the name of Homeland Security.

No really, where were you on Saturday? Maybe you see plentiful options for speaking out against war. If marching with a banner reminding thousands that OCCUPATION IS A CRIME seems too confrontational to you, perhaps you favor doing something else. And what is it? Because I wasn’t aware that doing nothing is an option for activists.

Are you against the wars and occupations a little bit? More than a little bit? A lot? Are you for peace, a little bit, or a lot?

Between doing something, and doing nothing, which best describes your effort?

By not supporting the local peace efforts, whatever they are, you are certainly giving silent consent to the war parties. And by sabotaging local peace efforts you are without a doubt supporting the war. What cowards you’ve become. Self-censoring cowards.

St Patricks Day Parade photos

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
COLORADO SPRINGS- Peace contingent in St Patrick’s Day parade.

(Click on images to see larger crop.)
St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Devon decorates last minute stand-in for the Bookmobile.

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Assembling at staging area, last position.

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Dancers, as MaryLynn and Dave look on.

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Layla and Andy

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Kat, Debbie and Lily

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Sarah, Dave and Jake on Kazoo.

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Friend of Ryan and Ryan.

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Amanda.

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Distributing the flags

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Mike looks back as we take off.

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
With motorcycle escort.

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Eric and Devon.

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Video grab from Mike Coletta.

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Lead banner. All subsequent photos by Devon.

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Dancers

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Tony leads drumming

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Drummers

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Drummers

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Pattie (three screen grabs from Loring’s video)

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Layla and Andy

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Looking down parade route

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Amanda

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Cheers

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Eric waves Iraq flag

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Amanda rides ahead

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Behind Amanda, are Jonathan, Rita, Loring and Marie.

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
More peace contingent two blocks back.

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Jonathan, tricked out bike, and Don’t Tread On Me.

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Flags of occupied lands.

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Reflection in Plaza of the Rockies.

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
At disbanding point, this police officer suddenly begins shouting MOVE MOVE MOVE!

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Patty triumphant.

Coloradans For Peace and Freedom: in Ireland and occupied lands everywhere

shamrock-exclamationUPDATE FROM COLORADANS FOR PEACE
about March 14 St Patrick’s Day Parade:
Drummers, Hats, Flags, Kazoos, and a great St Patrick’s theme! Come wave international flags for PEACE and FREEDOM!

Join COLORADANS FOR PEACE to represent the local peace community in this year’s St Patrick’s Day Parade. Saturday, March 14, on Tejon Avenue downtown. The parade starts at 12noon, and staging begins at 10am.

Peace participants are welcome to park in the TOONS parking lot, at 802 N. Nevada Ave, at the intersection of Nevada and Dale St. We’ll have food and drink as early as 9am for those who want to come early. We’ll have a canopy there where parade accessories will be distributed.

Bring your green peace shirts, if you have them. We’ll have fresh shirts available too. The green peace flags from last year are welcome as well.

No need to bring any other banners or posters, as parade signs are being limited. Our single, unified message will be pre-vetted. This year’s peace theme will tie into the St. Patrick’s celebration of Irish independence.

Irish Americans celebrate no longer being occupied by Great Britain. Given the current direction of US policy, COLORADANS FOR PEACE want to take this opportunity to call for a stop to all ongoing occupations, in which the US is complicit.

Our message is the national DC protest theme marking the 6th year of the Iraq War : OCCUPATION IS A CRIME.

More specifically:
(FROM IRELAND) TO IRAQ, AFGHANISTAN AND PALESTINE,
OCCUPATION IS A CRIME!

Behind our main banner, marchers will wave the flags of these four nations. PLUS, as a reminder to parade watchers, of America’s own struggle against British occupation, we will also feature the American Revolutionary War era flags which read “Don’t Tread On Me!”

This year our parade entry will be spearheaded by the superlative Manitou Drummers. The drummers have percussion instruments to share with any participant who wants to accompany them. We will also have a multitude of green kazoos and pipes. The kazoos are decorated with peace symbols.

Kevin Johnson of Elope Hats has donated a marching-band-sized portion of super tall leprechaun hats, which will be emblazoned with peace symbols. These hats will be worn by all the musical participants.

Other marchers are requested to wear the green peace shirts, or to wave the matching green peace flags.

International flag wavers will wear their traditional national costumes. Please contact us if you can lend any suitable apparel.

Wearing Kuffiyeh scarves would certainly be appropriate. White bandanas can do in a pinch. These will also be available beforehand.

We are also interested in any and all participants who would like to ride their bikes, or walk beside them. Bringing bikes serves as a not unsubtle ecological reminder, to counter the parade’s usual multitude of fossil-fuel guzzling vehicles.

For the latest updates, please check coloradansforpeace.org

Unsustainably powered lights on parade

Parade of Lights 2008
COLORADO SPRINGS- There used to be a float in the PARADE OF LIGHTS which set an example for energy conservation. The lights were generator-driven and the admittedly un-flashy vehicle moved along entirely under pedal power. Did it look out of place between the commercial affairs shellacked in Christmas light?

Coming out at the Manitou Carnivale

My favorite moment at this year’s Carnivale Parade in Manitou was a friend’s gay subversion of the spotlight. Did anyone get a picture?

We were watching the parade beside the flatbed truck upon which two radio jocks were announcing the entries. In between discussing their intentions to drink to excess, they’d describe each parade entry, egg on the participants, and whenever they deemed it appropriate, they’d suggest that ladies bare their breasts. The two seemed to think that the masked girls were supposed to both throw the beads and show their boobs instead of the reciprocal tat for tit.

The two hired jocks got plenty of beads thrown their way, and nothing more –it satisfies me to say– until my friend Larry came parading by.

Larry was not part of the parade, and was in fact walking the other direction along the sidewalk, but was showing off his Mardi Gras finery, a flowing silk cape decorated with a hand painted, life sized nude. It was a fully nude figure, androgynous from the backside, with long locks of hair and facial features in profile. The DJs may be forgiven, since they didn’t know Larry, nor had they maybe fully assessed his parading stride, for having mistaken all that skin for a woman’s. But they went on and on about “that’s what we’re talking about, hubba, hubba” etc, having Larry stop and pose repeatedly the better to acknowledge their construction worker catcalls.

Then one of the DJs thought to ask Larry to bend over, to which Larry obliged, and the bare backside bent with him, which left the DJ really pleased with himself. “I’ll bet you didn’t think of that” he chided Larry, as if the Jock had snuck an indiscretion past him. The crowd was presumed to be laughing along as Larry was being cuckolded by the clever jock’s too easy conquest of the “girl” on the cape. But Larry was eating it up.

Certain they could milk this for a bigger laugh, the DJs asked their mark to repeat his bow in the middle of the street and Larry ceremoniously complied. The figure on his back mooned us all, or beckoned us with its beguiling bare bottom, depending on how you saw it. Larry addressed all sides before standing erect, beaming. Read that as you will, it’s only conjecture. The Manitou crowd clapped and clapped, nothing lost on them. Then Larry gave us a wink before parading back whence he had come, all parties immensely pleased with the encounter.