The 4th of July Parade That Isn’t

For some reason. Patrick Ouimet, the former chairman of the McHenry County Democratic Central Committee, had trouble posting a comment under my story yesterday about the Democrats boycott of the Crystal Lake Gala’s 4th of July Parade.

Unfortunately, others have, too. When Google updated its Blogger program, for some reason it got harder for some people to post comments.

With the Northwest Herald’s having run a story written by Jocelyn Allison today in which Gala Parade Co-Chair Louise Steinbach commented on the banning of the McHenry County Peace Group because it wanted to express its members’ views.

She denies the group is being banned, but, as commenters under the story point out, if you can’t be somewhere, “banned” is an appropriate word.

More strangely, Steinbach denies that it is a 4th of July Parade.
Here’s what she told the Herald:

“This is not an Independence Day parade; This is a Gala Parade.”

Could have fooled me.

Ouimet’s comment is below:

Congratulations to the McHenry County Democratic Party for actually standing up and defending the rights of all individuals, other political parties, and private service organizations to freely think and speak.

The words of Mr. Justice Brandeis still remain the classic exposition on the principle of free speech in a free society:

“Those who won our independence believed…

  • that freedom to think as you will and to speak as you think are means indispensable to the discovery and spread of political truth;
  • that without free speech and assembly discussion would be futile;
  • that with them, discussion affords ordinarily adequate protection against the dissemination of noxious doctrine;
  • that the greatest menace to freedom is an inert people;
  • that political discussion is a political duty; and
  • that this should be a fundamental principle of the American government.

They recognized the risks to which all human institutions are subject. But they knew

  • that order cannot secured merely through fear of punishment for its infraction;
  • that it is hazardous to discourage thought, hope and imagination;
  • that fear breeds repression;
  • that repression breeds hate;
  • that hate menaces stable government;
  • that the path to safety lies in the opportunity to discuss freely supposed grievances and proposed remedies; and
  • that the fitting remedy for evil counsels is good ones.

Believing in the power of reason as applied through public discussion, they eschewed silence coerced by law-the argument of force in its worst form.”

Whitney v. California,
274 U.S. 357 (1927)(Brandeis, J., concurring).

Silencing those with whom you disagree is never the answer.

Therefore, I urge the Gala Committee to reconsider their decision to silence those with whom they disgaree and celebrate our nation’s independence in a manner truly befitting those who fought for and won our independence. “

Patrick M. Ouimet, Esq.

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The McHenry County Peace Group is shown marching in a Gala 4th of July parade, compliments of “Heretic, Rebel, a Thing to Flout” blog, written by Crystal Laker Patrick Murfin. He has several stories about the Freedom of Speech issues involved in the Gala Committee’s attempt to control the content of the parade.

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