Thanks to disagreements the annual Veterans’ Day activities may have to be cancelled. This may not sound unusual in a city known for its far left politics and anti-war protests during the Vietnam War, but the reasons behind the dispute may be.
The problems began when Vietnam veteran, anti-war activist and singer/songwriter Country Joe McDonald in his role as chairman of the volunteer committee planning the activities invited Bill Mitchell the co-founder of Gold Star Families for Peace to speak. Most people are more familiar with another co-founder of this group Cindy Sheehan.
McDonald’s invitation much to his surprise divided the committee right down the middle with half for Mitchell and half against. In Berkeley the disagreement borders on the heretical. maybe it’s not your father’s Berekely anymore. Linda Perry who is one of the committee members opposing Mitchell said that “The entire mission of Gold Star Families is to organize opposition to this particular (military) conflict,” and thought this would alienate some military families that the evebt was meant to honor. She added “It is not an anti-war or pro war rally, it is pro veteran.”
In the meantime McDonald has said that he would not participate unless there was a consensus about the speakers. That leaves the event up in the air for now. Hopefully the committee will forge ahead and hold the event and honor those that have served this country and continue to serve this country and leave the protests for another day.