While many thrill to the rockets' red glare of fireworks this Independence Day, some on campus will instead pause to remember bombs bursting in air over Iraq earlier this year. Members of the groups said Monday that the event was planned because they are "appalled" by what they consider to be blind patriotism fueled by victory in the Gulf war. "We felt that people are missing the point here," said Travis Parchman, a member of the Delaware Valley Student group and Youth Act for Peace and Justice. "The day that we celebrate our independence on July 4 shouldn't just be the day to celebrate that we kicked butt." David Gibson, staff coordinator for the event and a member of Act for Peace in the Middle East, said there is another reason for the event. "It should be fun," he said. Calling the event "the only true alternative to military victory parades" televised nationally recently, Gibson said he hopes over 500 participants to turn out for the festival. He added that everyone is welcome regardless of their political opinions on the Gulf war or "whatever side you came down on on the military," but indicated the event would include some of the lingering debate over the war and its effects. "We feel that either way, there should be more attention given to the victims," Gibson said. "And a victory parade is sort of in bad taste." "We have to temper our celebrations with the injustice that we have foisted on other people in the world," Parchman said. But Parchman also indicated he expects the event to receive a warm reception at the University. "It seems like an appropriate place to create an alternative celebration," he explained. Scheduled performers at the event include Neo Pseudo, Joseph Parsons with Karen Lynn, Soweto Soul, Weasel Stick and Beth Williams. Organizers said they are planning a barbecue as well as providing vegetarian entrees. The festival will run from 10 a.m. to 12 midnight Thursday on College Green. 'The day that we celebrate our independence on July 4 shouldn't just be the day to celebrate that we kicked butt.' Travis Parchman Member of Delaware Valley Student and Youth Act for Peace and JusticeComments powered by Disqus
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