3/1/2022, Cabot Vermont – Today is Town Meeting Day here in our Vermont. While a community may have many Town Meetings throughout the year, the first Tuesday in March is, for the most part, when all our communities come together to make important decisions for the coming year. From Town budgets to School budgets, from local ordinances to expressing views on a range of topics, Town Meeting is where Vermonters debate and decide on the issues of the day.
And traditionally it is at such Town Meetings that ALL the citizens of a community act as the legislative branch of local government, with the power to publicly debate, make motions, propose amendments, and ultimately vote from the floor on those issues set before them.
Brattleboro Representative Town Meeting members should try an experiment. The body should form a Warrant Committee for a trial period of one year and see how it goes.
What’s a Warrant Committee?
When Bob Gannett brought Representative Town Meeting to Brattleboro, his experience with it began in Milton, MA. And in Milton, Town Meeting Representatives have a much bigger role in setting the agenda and budget to be voted on. Representatives elect a 15 person Warrant Committee to decide what articles will be warned.
As the second Trump impeachment trial comes to an end it is clear that the Republican party has put the final nail in the coffin of democracy. The Democrats share a lot of the blame, but it is the Republicans who have made it clear that the pursuit of truth is no longer a guiding principle of the American form of government and that justice is an ideal that is not attainable.
Politics has always been a dirty business and most people have been willing to accept a high level of bullshit, lying and corruption over the decades and centuries. But we are now at a point where it has become clear that this country has not dealt with what is wrong with the way government works for far too long. The political process is beyond repair.
When a president is allowed to break the law at will and openly trash the constitution then it is impossible for our form of government to have any credibility in the eyes of fair-minded people in this country and around the world.
Nick Biddle PhD. will offer brief comments assessing the nature of the Trump presidency and its consequences. In light of those consequences, how might Democrats repair democracy’s damage as they face pandemic, economic turmoil, un-civil cultural war and raging climate crisis? Democratic leaders compare this moment to World War II. What bold steps will work to repair ourselves and our world? General discussion will follow.
Please join the conversation.
Nick has lived in Brattleboro since 2013. He is a retired professor of Latin American History.
*Trump Vacates Whitehouse;
*Democratic Joe Biden Assumes Presidency;
*Threat of Fascist Violence Remains;
*The Left Must Now Advance a Progressive Agenda;
*Labor Must Continue To Defend Democracy!
Today, as the American voters directed, Democratic Joe Biden took the oath of office for United States President. Joe Biden was endorsed in the November election by the National AFL-CIO, received seven million more votes than Trump, won in key battleground States, and claimed an overwhelming victory in the Electoral College. Despite Trumps treasonous claims to the contrary, there were ZERO examples of significant voter fraud (or evidence of such) concerning the November election.
On November 3rd Trump lost the Presidential election in Vermont by a wider margin than in any other State in the union. But that did not prevent a couple dozen (peaceful) pro-Trump supporter from demonstrating in front of the Statehouse on January 6th. It was also feared that Trump’s lack of support in the Green Mountains would not prevent a minority of armed extremists from committing acts of violence today [1/17/21] in our Capital.
Warnings that fascists, those who supported the Trump coup, were planning armed actions in all 50 State Capitals in the U.S. were taken seriously here in rural Vermont. Throughout this morning and into the afternoon police in bullet proof vests, military grade helmets, and with automatic rifles in hand patrolled the streets of our Capital City of Montpelier (population: 7,800). The Mayor and City Council issued prior warnings encouraging residents to stay home. Many businesses were closed. And despite the threat of rightwing violence 100 anti-fascists converged on City Hall to demonstrate their support for democracy and unwillingness to concede to fascist threats. And the armed fascists? They were nowhere to be seen.
When Ben Franklin exited the room where the future of the United States was being decided, he was asked what kind of government we would have. He answered “a Republic, if you can keep it.” More than 200 years later, Just days ago, we witnessed a challenge to that democratic Republic. Fascists, at the direction of Donald Trump, attempted to subvert our Republic by legislative process and by violence in the streets and in the halls of Congress. That coup was defeated.
In the aftermath, our Vermont Governor, Republican Phil Scott, denounced the coup, defended democracy, and called for the immediate removal of Donald Trump from the office of Presidency. So too did our Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy and our Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders. In the VT General Assembly, a tri-partisan resolution overwhelmingly passed in the House and Senate (supported by Republicans, Democrats, and Progressives) demanding Trump to be removed from office. Further, Vermont’s Attorney General, TJ Donovan, demanded the immediate termination of a VT State Trooper who publicly voiced support for the coup. As President of the 10,000 member Vermont AFL-CIO I also denounced the failed rightwing insurrection (and our State Labor Council again confirmed our commitment to a General Strike in the event that a transfer of power does not take place on January 20th). And unlike in Washington DC and various State Capitals around the nation, demonstrations of support for the coup have been near nonexistent in the Green Mountains. In brief, Vermonters, regardless of party affiliation or political differences, remain united in our support for democracy. I am proud to call these Green Hills my home.
Today [1/6/21] thousands of neo-fascist Trump loyalists converged on Washington with the aim of forcing the annulment of the November election (which Democrat Joe Biden won by seven million votes). There they were met by Donald Trump himself who addressed the mob, falsely claiming that he won, that he would never concede defeat, and encouraging them to fight to keep him in power.
Meanwhile, Inside Congress Republican Representatives and Senators from the extreme right issued formal challenges to the Electoral College vote (which also spelled overwhelming defeat for Trump). Like their neo-fascist counterparts outside the Capital Building, these anti-democratic, anti-union law makers were actively seeking to carry out a coup against the majority will of the American people.
Vermont AFL-CIO Empowered To Call For General Strike If Trump Seeks To Carry Out Political Coup – Vote Overwhelmingly In Support!
At today’s Vermont AFL-CIO Convention (held over zoom due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Non 21), aprx 100 Delegates, rank & File union members, and select allies converged to consider the defense of democracy should there be a Trump coup. After much discussion, the assembled delegates overwhelmingly voted to authorize their elected Executive Board to call for a Vermont General Strike if democracy comes into crisis.
This historic authorization vote makes the Vermont AFL-CIO the first State Federation in the country to be on record ready to carry out a General Strike to defend democracy if Trump refuses to leave office.
An election night meeting of the Brattleboro Selectboard was held to discuss democracy and a summary overview of the FY22 budget. They finished after Vermont had been called for Biden, but before 8pm, and members prepared to watch results as they adjourned.
The Brattleboro Selectboard will hold a limited regular meeting on Election Night. They’ll issue a statement in support of American democracy, consider and reject a request to relax mask-wearing rules in local businesses, hear an overview of the FY22 budget, and set a schedule to discuss it in detail. You can bring up other items not on the agenda during public participation.
The Brattleboro Selectboard discussed affordable housing at length Tuesday evening. A new affordable housing project downtown on Flat Street, a town-wide zoning change to create more rentable units, and a discussion of an ordinance to limit what landlords can collect up front from tenants all indicated difficulties for the 60% of residents who rent in Brattleboro.
The DPW also shared a bit of the spotlight, with road grants and a new mower attachment.
My understanding of President of the WSESD Board David Shoales response at the Public Ballot Information Meeting about boycotting passing the budget was that recovering from COVID was his exclusive priority, separate from and against this opportunity to motion with prison abolition, labor union empowerment, and enslavement reparations.
Civil Rights for All Banner Raising for Indigenous Peoples Day
week: 8am-9am, Sunday, October 7th, 2018, at the corner of Main Street and High Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301.
The Fire Company will raise the “We Celebrate Democracy / Civil Rights For All” banner over Main Street on Sunday the seventh of October at 8 am. The eighth is Brattleboro’s Indigenous People’s Day.
Democracy is our problem, and the answer to our problems. You can stand up for democracy on the 5 occasions each year when the banner goes up over Main Street.
The “We Celebrate Democracy/Civil Rights For All” banner will be raised over Main Street in Brattleboro by the Fire Department for one week on Sunday the 24th of June at 8 a.m. or a little later. This is the 7th time the banner has flown over Main Street. You are invited.
Light A Candle For Democracy vigil
At 8 to 9 a.m. On the morning of Sunday, April 8th the Brattleboro fire department will hang the We Celebrate Democracy / Civil Rights For All main street banner over Main St. at High St. in downtown Brattleboro.
On the night of the 8th at 7 pm we have organized a “Light A Candle For Democracy” candlelight vigil for democracy under the banner (rain date the 9th).
Democracy is the light of the world, but the Dark Force is trying to put it out. Stand up for Democracy. Bring yourself and friends and family with candles to light for Democracy. We will light our candles at 7:25 (sunset). Pliny Park has been reserved for this event. Best parking is in the High Grove Lot. Bring a candle to light, bring a song to sing, bring words to speak, for Democracy. We need more people who want to speak up for Democracy. Please contact us.