St. Patrick’s Day Parade peace infiltration

Photos by Mike Colleta of NewsBlab
(Sarah, Mimi, Amy, Evie, Lara, Ryan, Devon, Marie, David, Peter, Diann, Amber)
Our peaceful infiltration of the Old Colorado City St. Patricks Day Parade was great fun. We had to scale back our original plans for using the Peace Snake and the Blue Lady in favor of giving more visibility to our green peace t-shirts. Turnout for our peace contingent was affected by the cold and more specifically by a flu going around which hampered a number of families.

We were also handicapped by having to gather participants by word of mouth only. Our fear was that had any fliers been brought to the attention of parade organizers, we might have been thrown out of the parade before it even began. As it was, we waited to the last minute to don our t-shirts and to unfurl the banners. To the parade marshall’s credit, no one found our message objectionable, least of all the crowd.

The Old Colorado City crowd in attendance was very receptive to our march for peace. We carried two messages, the first in keeping with the bookmobile cover: “Education is the key to peace.” Lest that message have been thought too radical, we brought up the rear with a sentiment meant to sound familiar: “Peace on earth, good will to men.”

Photos by Mike Colleta of NewsBlab
(Eric, Mark, Pattie, Amy F., Pallas)

Why were we so cautious with our message? The terms of the contract for participating in the parade read: ABSOLUTELY NO PROMOTION OF SOCIAL ISSUES. Stated in two places, the second time underlined. The final condition made clear that all decisions by the parade organizers would be final.

The parade was full of politicians, candidates, military recruiters and veterans groups. In fact this year there was more red white and blue than there was green. We did not anticipate that they would dare to take issue with advocates for peace, but we were taking no chances. An effort days earlier to solicit participants from a local elementary school met with resistance. Our intention to wear peace signs was deemed too political. On that basis we were not allowed to distribute fliers there about the event.

Photos by Mike Colleta of NewsBlab
(Dennis, Steve, Amy and Hannah)

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Eric Verlo

About Eric Verlo

On sabbatical
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