Veterans Blast De Blasio for Blocking Memorial Day Parade, Allowing Cannabis Parade
'A slap in the face' for veterans
Veterans in New York City have expressed anger after NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio blocked a permit for Staten Island’s 102nd annual Memorial Day parade.
The news comes just over a week after de Blasio permitted demonstrators to march in the Cannabis Parade on May 1.
Jamie Gonzalez, 57, a Marine infantryman who saw combat during Operation Desert Storm, called the move "a slap in the face."
“For many of us, a parade is a form of closure,” he added.
“We gather together and support each other.”
The city denied a permit to the United Staten Island Veterans Organization, where veterans were slated to receive special recognition.
The organizers of the parade were told by The New York Police Department the march had to be restricted under de Blasio’s emergency executive order.
“I’m incensed,” Ted Cohen, 82, an Air Force reservist during the Cuban Missile Crisis, told the New York Post.
But other outdoor marches took place during the pandemic such as the Black Lives Matter protests, which de Blasio even joined.
De Blasio even joined the “East Harlem Pray and Protest" following the death of George Floyd.
Councilman Robert Holden (D-Queens) told the New York Daily News:
De Blasio "wrote the book on hypocrisy.
"During his six years as mayor, he’s been nothing but a hypocrite on most things, and this is a great example.”
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and New York Attorney General Letitia James also participated in the May 1 Cannabis Parade which saw an enormous blunt down the street that said “Biden, c’mon man!” among other things.
“Look, have any parade you want, I have no problem with that,” said Volker Heyde, 78, who is the commandant of Staten Island’s Marine Corps League.
“But for the city to put dopeheads over vets is just dishonoring us.”
An unnamed official told the New York Post:
“People are just marching. That’s the new normal. The Staten Island people had the decorum and respect to go the proper way [and] they are suffering for their civic-mindedness. No one else is even asking permission.”
Attorney Brendan Lantry demanded in a letter to the NYPD that the parade permit is issued by Monday.
“Under the equal protection clause, it’s unconstitutional for the city to pick and choose between groups like this,” Lantry wrote in part.
“There’s a clear double standard going on here."