Veterans group challenge ban from Auburn parade

Nov 5, 2012

A veterans group is suing over its exclusion from a local Veteran’s Day parade.  Veterans for Peace says the city of Auburn unfairly denied its application to march in the parade this year on November 10.

Auburn's parade is one of the largest Veteran's Day parades west of the Mississippi. For the past 6 years, Veterans for Peace has participated. 

Doug Honig, with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), says the city of Auburn is violating the veterans free speech rights. He says other groups that have far less to do with the mission of the parade are being allowed to march.

"They have a motorcycle club, a Corvette club, the Optimists, the Sons of Italy, and yet Veterans for Peace is not and we think it’s because the city is unfairly discriminating against them because of their viewpoint," Honig said.

The ACLU has filed a federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Seattle claiming violation of the free speech rights of Veterans for Peace.  A spokeswoman for the city of Auburn had no comment saying only that the city’s legal department is reviewing the lawsuit.

Veterans for Peace is a national group that works to decrease U.S. military involvement in foreign wars. The local chapter includes 90 year olds who served in World War II as well as veterans who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan.