Mass murder in this country will continue unabated no matter what happens next. More dead children. More grieving families. More meaningless words spoken by politicians of all viewpoints.
If we are ever going to have any hope of diminishing the level of gun violence in this country we have to stop looking to politicians as our only hope for change. Guns kill people and no matter how you twist it, mass murder would be difficult without access to automatic weapons as well as guns of any kind.
The issue is about guns. Those who don’t think so will never change their minds and we have to accept that reality if we are ever going to change anything. That means moving away from the political arena into the court of public opinion. Mass protests and demonstrations can make a difference and that is the only way we will ever slow the death rate from gun violence in this country.
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.
American protestors have forced the world to examine racism and the issues that contribute to it. It is a monumental milestone in American history but these protests, fueled by the death of George Floyd, will hopefully be the opening round of the battle for systemic social reform that has been needed in this country for too many decades.
The length and breadth of the protests show that there are significant numbers of Americans who are willing to use their voices to promote short and long-term change. The big question hanging over all of this is whether or not politicians and policymakers will listen thoughtfully and work to implement meaningful systemic change.
“Protests have been an important part of our democracy, driving change throughout our history. The peaceful protests we’ve seen in Vermont are an important outlet for our communities to express their sadness, anger and frustrations, and to call for change. This is a critical moment in our history, and it is our responsibility, as public servants, to listen and allow for these protests to safely continue. I thank Vermonters for their commitment to protecting each other, both through the change we are trying to seek and how we are seeking it.” – Governor Phil Scott
Another black man is murdered by American police. People are outraged and they take to the streets. Their protests help to ease the pain of injustice every black person has to endure every day while trying to enjoy the privileges and rights of citizenship that the rest of us take for granted.
Those in power will sit back and do nothing to change the root causes of injustice that have led to yet another horrific moment in American history. They will engineer sound bites and they will pick out easy political memes to try to ease their base of the brain-dead followers who also are in the same political camp as the rich and privileged. They will even go so far as tear-gassing crowds of people near their home so they can take a walk whose purpose is to use the Bible as a prop in a culture war of their own creation.
Hundreds of protestors in Brattleboro on Sunday joined in the nationwide protests over the killing of George Floyd.
Lining Main Street from one end to the other on both sides of the streets, were social-distanced people with masks and signs, chanting and singing. This crowd was probably as big if not bigger than the Iraq War protests in 2003.
A sampling of signs:
Black Lives matter
Justice for Floyd
The American form of government is in an advanced state of decay. An argument might even be made that we are witnessing the final gasps of a failed centuries-long experiment. On the other hand, one might say that what we now have is just a logical evolution of a country created by slaveowners and an elite corps of wealthy white men. There are always many ways to look at events.
When the majority of people in a society are being used as pawns by a privileged few then I believe that the government has failed to uphold basic human values. If we want to nurture a democracy then we have to promote what is best for most of us.
The Climate Strike. What an incredible outpouring of commitment, community, passion and determination.
Hundreds of people-( some counts are as many as 1000!) many of them elementary and high school students took to the streets to voice their fears and anger about the mess adults have made of this earth and the terrible legacy they are left with.
Before the Brattleboro Selectboard could get to regular business, they heard from many agitated citizens on issues such as the homeless, flowers, and librarians getting paid less than homeless day work program employees. This was interrupted by a climate emergency protest, adding to the list of grievances.
Eventually the board got tho their scheduled business of updates on the DBA and Project CARE, approving of contracts, a short discussion of childcare at public meetings, and more. It was quite an outpouring of interest in local government, from many angles.
Why Are We Picketing?
We are staff at the Brattleboro Retreat and we are here to let the community know what is happening. In a time of crisis the administration has consistently chosen to make life for the direct patient care staff more difficult. According to the administration there is a staffing crisis at the Retreat which has led to a financial crisis. Staff have been leaving, and hiring has been challenging. There is a shortage of nurses, mental health workers, social workers and doctors.
Anyone know why the Brattleboro Retreat employees were out protesting today?
BRATTLEBORO: An opening reception for the exhibit, “Raised Voices: Local Artists Resist” will take place from 5:30 to 8 p.m. May 4 at the Robert H. Gibson River Garden at 157 Main St.
“Raised Voices” will be on exhibit at the River Garden until May 26, featuring the work of area artists who responded to an open call to stand up and express your hopes, your outrage, your vision in the face of the current political climate in our country today.
Protest U.S. Bombing of Syria
Protest in Greenfield, MA
Saturday, April 14 at noon
at Town Commons
More information: firstname.lastname@example.org