Veterans For Peace Chapter 92 in Greater Seattle is represented by the ACLU of Washington in suing the city of Auburn for the right to participate in this year's Veterans Day Parade.
Veterans For Peace chapters are participating in events on or around this November 11th in over 50 U.S. cities , many of them honoring the tradition of Armistice Day, the earlier name for what is now called Veterans Day.
Veterans For Peace has participated in the Auburn parade every year since 2006.
Auburn rejected VFP's application to march in the parade this year, saying that other applicants more closely met the parade's goals and purpose. Among the applicants accepted are a motorcycle club, a Corvette club, the Optimists and Kiwanis International, the Sons of Italy, and a Daffodil Festival float.
The suit asserts that the City of Auburn is discriminating against Veterans For Peace because of the group’s viewpoint, and seeks a court order to allow VFP to march.
Michelle J. Kinnucan, President, Greater Seattle Veterans For Peace, said, "When VFP 92 asked for more information about why its application had initially been denied, the City explained in an email dated October 25, 2010, that ... 'staff reviewed [VFP 92’s] current website as well as photos and the parade video from 2009 and felt that [VFP 92’s] entry could be considered controversial and may not positively focus on honoring our country’s veterans and active military personnel.'"
"Look at the choice that Auburn is setting up for people who have seen war for themselves," said national VFP president Leah Bolger. "Either play along with the deadly lie that war is good and glorious, or be banished from the community and excluded from public events. Imagine the position that puts people in who know that, as Ben Franklin said, there has never been a good war or a bad peace. We should honor their courage in saying so, not deny them First Amendment rights that our highest courts now tell us even corporations can claim!"
Veterans For Peace is a national organization, founded in 1985 with approximately 5,000 members in 150 chapters located in every U.S. state and several countries. It is a 501(c)3 non-profit educational organization recognized as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) by the United Nations, and is the only national veterans' organization calling for the abolishment of war.
Read the legal complaint and news coverage: