I was assigned to write this piece for the INDY "Your Turn" section by unanimous consent of all present at a meeting at the J&P. I worked on it for hours that weekend while everyone else played in the sun, and edited it with the editors of the INDY on Monday. An enormous favor asked of me by those present which I was happy to oblige. It was finalized and ready to go, signed "St. Paddy's Seven" with a photo I sent. Then the paper comes out on Thursday and some weak piece of shit is in it's place. Another knife in the back with J&P fingerprints all over it! I have not gotten one word of explanation. It is published here for your edification in spite of those that would keep you from reading it.

Much has been written and stated inaccurately about the events at the St. Patrick's Day Parade on March 17. The photos, videotape, and witnesses are all the proof we need that we had a permit, no people or signs were hidden, we did not block to parade, that illegal choke holds were used, a taser was fired, police brutality like dragging elderly ladies across the street were taken, etc., so we will not waste ink here to rebut what we've already proven.

The issue to us is that nothing taking place on a public street in America, subsidized with tax payer money, services, and support is a "private" event. If a private event on private property, with private security, wants to say a military squad is not a social statement for war, that peace signs are offensive, that political parties and candidates are not a political statement, but an antiwar sign is, then that's their business. We would disagree and point out their obvious hypocrisy, but that's their private business.

This is not.

This our public street. These are our public services, paid for with our public money. This is our parade!

This our constitution, and in no place does it say just disregard the provisions for peaceful assembly, redress of grievances, and free speech, if you feel like it some Saturday afternoon. The first amendment isn't a guideline, suggestion, or alternative, it's the law. Our law.

Our best law!

In America "we, the people" are the deciders. We'll clap for this float and not for that one. We'll clap for this candidate and not for that one. We'll clap for those in uniform, even if we abhor the disastrous foreign policy that exploits their fierce loyalty to our defense. But we are the deciders, and "we, the people" have decided that the first amendment is our best protection. With it's help, we can handle the responsibilities and complexities of a democratic system and all it's many choices. When our tax money is subsidizing the display of those choices, we alone have the right to decide.

We aren't afraid of a different view. We aren't afraid of some other party. We aren't afraid of another option. We have the constitution to protect us and we're not afraid. Half the entrants in the parade had a social message, issue, or content to their entry, and so what? We're that last people on earth that would have a problem with that. We met with the Mayor and Chief of Police on Wednesday to discuss city subsidies, "private" parades, choke hold policy, taser policy, and brutal.

There is little in the political history of the 20th century that should lead anyone to think that people that sit down quietly and take whatever violation of these principals some self assigned authority visit upon them, are the ones who have made the political advancements of our time. They have never defined the road forward or defended the wisdom of the past. What did Jefferson and Madison say to King George?

When it became apparent that we were to be brutalized for marching for peace, that the first amendment had been discarded, and our possession of a permit "paid in full" meant nothing, we resisted as the Germans should have done in 1938; as the Bolsheviks should have done when Stalin took over, and as many others, like Jesus, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King did when it became apparent that truth and justice were being dragged through the mud. The founding fathers said all people are created equal, but the suffragettes found a nation not yet living up to the equal protection under the law provided by the constitution. Did they sit down. Did they shut up? Did they go away?

Hell no!

Some have not learned the political lessons of the past, but we have the wisdom of a document born in 1789 to guide us, so we swear by the same oath as the others sworn to protect her: "to defend the constitution of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and (unfortunately) domestic."

"St. Paddy's Seven"