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LOCAL News :: Civil & Human Rights

Aptos Parade Entry Causes Controversy

Art & Revolution along with Media Watch had an entry in the July 4th Aptos Parade that some didn't appreciate!
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An energetic group of over 10 people performed a simple yet powerful street theater piece that focused on the environment, consumption of resources, exploitation of labor and the media.

Six or 7 people pushed along the parade route a VERY LARGE new American truck with George and Laura Bush enjoying the ride. Of course, George was driving. The slaves and workers were kept in line by Uncle Sam and a man from Halliburton who had a whip and knew how to snap it. The corporate flag flew high and a very shapely missle adorned the cab as George Bush shouted out, "Our Economy is moving forward--Push Harder." The worker/slaves who pushed this gas guzzling vehicle included two young wounded soldier boys in camouflage, three farmworkers, a symbol of Justicia, a woman in a burqua holding her bloody baby, and a few chained men in torn and tattered clothing. As they pushed the behemoth forward towards a false paradise the woman with her dead baby insisted on crying and showing Mrs. Bush this horrible sight. Well Laura wouldn't stand for that and was busy telling the crowd, "Everything is fine--Go Shopping!" More than once Mrs. Bush was forced to use her bloody flag to push this woman and her baby out of the way. Uncle Sam and Mr. Halliburton man tried to shield the sight but she moved all over the place. The onlookers felt compelled to yell that this entry was not appropriate and some mothers sheilded the eyes of their children when confronted with the woman and her dead baby. Laura encourged them NOT to look and to watch Fox News and that she was happy and rich! Rest assured no slaves were hurt in the making of this statement but were EXHAUSTED after the shortest parade in the world ended and staged a mini-die-in (see photos).

We seized the chance to re-make and re-define this hollow flag-waving nationalistic holiday with some prime provocative political prodding and play.

Thanks to all who particpated and below is a letter in today's Santa Cruz Sentinel from one viewer who was so upset they wants rules for entries in the future. Please write the organizers and the Sentinel to keep the Shortest Parade in the World open to the scant few political messages amid a mostly conservative and commercial parade aimed at businesses to advertise.

From Santa Cruz Sentinel, July 6th, 2005
The Fourth of July Aptos Smallest Parade has a great history. However, it was very upsetting to the 3 and 5-year-old children who we brought with us to see adults at the end of the parade make their gross political statements concerning their opposition to the war and the Bush administration.

Unfortunately, the older child was the first to notice the "bloody lady with the bloody baby," and this is what both children remember most. There were other controversial participants, like the pro-choice folks, but at least they were discreet. We did not see any pro-lifers carrying around bloody aborted fetuses for children to view. When the Aptos Parade originated, regulation wasn’t necessary. Obviously, now there is a need. It would be sad to see the Aptos Parade evolve into political grandstanding instead of its original family- focused entertainment.


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