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Alternative parade draws few spectators

About a half-hour after the main phalanxes of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade dispersed at Andrew Square on Sunday, marchers in the Saint Patrick’s Peace Parade walked down a mostly empty Dorchester Street under the banners of a number of social and political causes.

Led by Veterans for Peace, those in the second procession included volunteers with the LGBTQ equality group Boston Pride, as well as activists against nuclear weapons. The Peace Parade was co-marshaled by Marathon hero Carlos Arredondo.

Organizers of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade have long rejected groups who wish to march under political causes. The alternative parade has marched separately, a mile behind the initial parade, for four years.

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Pat Scanlon of the local branch of Veterans for Peace said the marchers would be glad to march in the main parade, if they were allowed to. “We didn’t want to be in this struggle,” he said. “All we wanted to do was walk in the parade and hold our flags and banners.”

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