Photo Gallery 2014 Memorial Day Peace Parade
Rochester's Memorial Day Peace Parade kicked off May 26 2014. It was sponsored by Metro Justice of Rochester, Genesee Valley Citizens for Peace, The Flying Squirrel Community Space, The M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, Rochester Against War and Rochester Friends Meeting (Quakers).
The event marks the 30th anniversary of the first Peace Parade in 1984 when a dispute developed between Veterans' organizations and the Rochester Women's Action for Peace. The veterans threatened to cancel tha 1984 parade rather than allow the women to march. The situation was resolved by allowing the peace activists to have a second parade, 500 feet back from the end of the first one. That solution persists to today. The organizers of the 2014 parade purchased a separate permit and were separated from the veterans' event by a 500 foot space.
In 1984 veterans argued that the Women's Action for Peace was making "political statements." The 2014 parade was filled with political campaigning by various candidates. This year a third group, Feminists For Non Violent Choice followed the Peace Parade separated again by a 500 foot space.
This was not a protest. Banners called attention to the roots of war and its causes such as racism, greed, environmental destruction and inequality.
In what can only be described as a deliberate act of disrespect and defiance, the parade reviewers stationed at the west end of the Main St. bridge walked off the stage just as the Peace Parade was approaching. By the time the feminist group got there even the tables and chairs had been cleared off of the mobile stage. They missed what was perhaps the best prop of the day, a large angel-like white dove.
There are lots more photos in the gallery!