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This reply was never published by the Rocky Mountain News nor the Denver Post.


The Sons of Italy (SOI) are apparently attempting to generate a controversy where none exists, when they claim that Nita Gonzales received special treatment in obtaining a permit. Last year the SOI falsely claimed to have been coerced into an agreement and now it seems as if they are again trying to falsely claim that their rights have been violated. These baseless accusations are divisive and only serve to breed resentment in our communities. The rights of the SOI have not been violated and they should not be issuing allegations of special treatment since the proper procedures were followed by Ms Gonzales.

The permit policy grants permits to those whom are first in line 90 days from their event. After camping outside of the Traffic Division Office, for 37 days, the SOI were able to begin processing their request for a parade permit on October 8th 2001. There were no other organizations competing to get the permit for October 8th. Since there were no other organizations who wanted to secure a permit on October 8th, there was no strategic reason for the SOI to have camped out. In that light, it could be concluded that the camp out was simply a publicity stunt.

The parade organizers are now upset that a permit was granted to Nita Gonzales, on behalf of the All Nations Four Directions March. Ms Gonzales was granted the permit for October 6th, which is 2 days before the Columbus Day Parade. Had Ms Gonzales been granted a permit for October 8th, then the SOI would have reason to be upset but that was not the case. Had the Sons of Italy wanted to obtain a permit for October 6th, they were first in line to do so. They did not, and thus Ms Gonzales was able to secure the permit. The procedures were followed and the permits were issued accordingly.

If those that CHOSE to camp out for 37 days are angry, that is their choice. But the source of that anger should not lie with city officials, the traffic division, or even Nita Gonzales. If blame is to be laid, it should be placed at the feet of the Parade organizers themselves. For it is the parade organizers who created a pseudo crisis that led to the 37 day camp out. The parade organizers have demonstrated a pattern of creating disputes to garner publicity-a pattern that undoubtedly will continue into October.

TCD Alliance Member



2004 Transform Columbus Day Alliance