NYC Veterans Incensed: Parade Permit Nixed by City While Pot-Smokers March Granted

A lot of NYC Veterans are incensed after Mayor De Blasio’s “Covid Restrictions” caused the NYPD to nix a parade permit on Staten Island for 16 Veterans’ organizations on Memorial Day. Veterans were nixed, while the “Cannabis Parade” was allowed to march down Broadway last week. The annual Veteran’s parade has been held for 102 years. This year’s parade was to honor Gulf War Veterans, but De Blasio’s decision to stop the parade has a lot of veterans angry.

Screenshot from the Staten Island Memorial Day Parade 2019

It’s a slap in the face. For many of us, a parade is a form of closure. We gather together and support each other.

Jamie Gonzalez, Marine Combat veteran to the New York Post

The NYC veterans groups filed for the permit on February 27, as they have done every year in the past. But this year, the NYPD said no and cited De Blasio’s Covid restrictions as the reason. A legal parade permit is essential for insurance coverage for the veterans who participate in case of injury. Never mind that a plethora of other marches and parades have gone on for the last year. New York may have ticked off the wrong group.

The brush-off came despite myriad marches in the last year that have been recognized by the city, officially escorted by cops, and often featured elected officials in the line of march. They included a slimmed-down St. Patrick’s Day Parade in March, when de Blasio participated; countless Black Lives Matters protest marches; and the cannabis rally and parade May 1, when revelers hoisted a huge inflatable spliff along a 17-block route and heard speeches from Sen. Chuck Schumer among others…

…”Look, have any parade you want, I have no problem with that,” said Volker Heyde, 78, the commandant of Staten Island’s Marine Corps League. “But for the city to put dopeheads over vets is just dishonoring us.”


An attorney for the NYC veterans organizations sent a “good faith” letter to the NYPD demanding a permit by Monday. If they don’t receive one, they will file a lawsuit under the Equal Protection Clause of the US Constitution.

No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Excerpt from 14th Amendment

The Cannabis folks got their parade permit from the Parks Department; the veterans asked for theirs from the NYPD. Yet the NYPD provided escort for the Cannabis Parade and even shut down traffic for them. Is that a stealth process? The permit process in for NYC veterans is the same as it has been for over a hundred years – and they aren’t happy that “potheads” were allowed a parade while they were denied.

Stay tuned – we’ll update this when we have a decision.


Featured photo: Screenshot from the Staten Island Memorial Day Parade, 2019

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