Although the majority of Portlanders oppose the current war of occupation in Iraq, a display of military power during Rose Festival places the whole region at risk. Navy ships, including two guided missile cruisers, a guided missile frigate, and a guided missile destroyer, will dock at the waterfront. Eleven military marching units, a troop carrier and a tank will participate in the Grand Floral Parade June 9. The military presence in the Parade provides an opportunity for people to object to turning a parade honoring flowers into a glorification of war.
There are two opportunities to protest the military presence in Portland:
1. Come to the Waterfront or to the Broadway or Steele bridges on Thursday, June 7 from 2-4:30 PM with peace signs. Let them know that that war ships in our harbor place us at risk and imply that Portland supports the war. We want Peace, not battle ships. You can say goodbye to he ships on Monday morning, June 11.
2. Take your peace sign to the Grand Floral Parade on June 9. Eleven military marching units, a troop carrier and a tank will be entries 47-60 (out of 132) in the parade. It brings to mind the song, "Where have All the Flowers gone" Most floats in the parade will be covered with flowers. Perhaps the tank will be covered with blood-red roses. Wherever you are watching the parade, let those around you know that you object to a tank and troop carrier parading down the streets of Portland. If we don't use the free speech we have, we're going to lose it.