Parade officials in Beverly banned an anti-war group from marching in the Memorial Day parade.
The group is Southsiders for Peace. On Friday, the group learned they are not allowed to march in the parade. The organization said they have marched in the parade for nearly a decade.
The Beverly Area Planning Association said they don’t oppose the organizers message and that the group is welcome to come. However, they do have a problem with the way the group spreads its message, calling it graphic and distracting.
The BAPA says they wants to keep the focus on the true meaning of the holiday, and try to keep politics out.
However, Southsiders For Peace say even though they oppose war, they have always upheld the spirit of the holiday and the parade in supporting veterans. Some group members are also war veterans.
Despite being banned, group members still showed up to spread their message along the parade route and pass out leaflets to supporters.
“Overwhelmingly people said to us, ‘thank you for being here, thank you for your message,'” said Southsiders For Peace member, Mike Wolf.
The group formed after the U.S. went to war in Iraq.