A Homeless Rebellion – Mission Statement/Press Release

Written by James Douglas, Matthew Vernon Whalan and homeless citizens of Brattleboro (reprinted from Counterpunch.org)

Brattleboro, Vermont — James Douglas, a homeless citizen of Brattleboro, was arrested on July 11, 2019, at 12:30 a.m. for sleeping in Plaza Park downtown. People who sleep there at night do so because they have no other safe place to go. Now that park is no longer safe.

We in the homeless community feel that the police enforce and threaten to enforce the trespassing ordinances randomly – not consistently – and on public property, which, for the homeless, is like being terrorized; you never know when they will show up.


And Now …

Prior to the election of Donald Trump there was discussion on i Brattleboro that Donald Trump was unlikely to win and that If he did win that Hilary would have been equally as wrong for the country.

I felt that, at least for people of color and those seen as different: That the difference between the effect of two candidates would be very different in degree.


Climate Emergency Declaration Begins at $50M School Board Meeting

After admonishing the school directors at the Windham South East School Union meeting Tuesday night June 25 for failing to educate students about climate change Kurt Daims of Brattleboro Common Sense (BCS) proposed an advisory resolution to include Climate Crisis in every regular meeting of the school directors. One person spoke against the resolution, and after an enthusiastic debate the resolution was approved.


500+ VT Union Members & Allies Picket Scott Walker

Burlington, Vermont, 5/30/19 –Today 500+ Union members and allies picketed the GOP fundraiser in Burlington which featured extremist Union-buster Scott Walker and Vermont Republican Governor Phil Scott. The picket was organized by AFSCME-VT, IBEW Local 300, The Vermont Buildings Trades, and dozens of other Unions & pro-Labor community/political organizations.  Labor appreciates the support received by U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders who reached out to supporters yesterday to express his backing of the picket and to encourage Vermonters to demonstrate alongside us.

The demonstration was electric! Speakers included AFSCME Local 1343 President Damion Gilbert, myself [VT AFL-CIO District Vice President/AFSCME Local 2413 member David Van Deusen], IBEW Organizer Danielle Bombardier, President of APWU-Vermont President Omar Fernandez, and many other Labor and community leaders (*see below for full list of speakers).


Civil Rights For All Banner Raising at the Brattleboro Food Coop

The Civil Rights For All main street banner will be hung under the Brattleboro Food Coop sign at 5 pm on May 21st (Rain date the 23rd).

Civil rights are the rights of the people, the heart of democracy. Stand up now at this “good time” event. Stand up together, in a positive way that will make friends, not enemies.


Community & Camaraderie – West River Wetland Tire Removal

In the Spring of 2017 I started alerting the Town of Brattleboro and related parties to the increasing tire accumulation  in the wetland just off the West River Trail . Last Fall Kathy Urffer , Steward of Connecticut River Conservancy , and a pirate  crew of volunteers ,  including  our local  Fire Dept , set out on a cold rainy  morning  in our first attempt of tire retrieval . I believe  we brought  in around 133 tires that day .

On May 4th this Spring , volunteers  from The West River Trail,  S.E.Vt Watershed ,  Conn River Conservancy , and  Brattleboro Fire Dept came  to help along with volunteers  from related area businesses , independent  individuals , and also , VERY ENCOURAGING , a young  man from our local school  system . We got over 138 tires  that day , this was more challenging then before  as the tires were more spread out and  in deeper water.


AFSCME-VT Calls For Picket Line Against Scott Walker 5/30/19

Rutland, Vermont, 2019 -The Vermont Republican Party has invited former Union-busting Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker to talk at a private fundraiser on May 30th, in Burlington at the Hilton Hotel on Battery Street. And while Vermonters are struggling to win a basic $15 an hour livable wage for all, wealthy VIP donors will be paying $1000 a seat to hear how Vermont too should follow his anti-Union lead. This is unacceptable.

Scott Walker is rabidly anti-Union. While Governor he rolled back foundational Union rights for workers in Wisconsin, making that state “right to work,” and essentially stripping all meaningful collective bargaining rights away from public sector workers.


Community Asylum Seekers To Receive Unsung Hero Award

BRATTLEBORO – The Community Asylum Seekers Project will receive the Unsung Hero of the Year award Friday in a ceremony at 6 p.m. at River Garden.

Stephen Crofter, one of the founders of CASP, will accept the award from Compassionate Brattleboro on behalf of the Brattleboro area volunteers of the organization he helped found in 2016 that provides material and moral support to those seeking asylum from violence and poverty in their home countries.


Join the Brattleboro Youth Climate Action Rallies on March 15th

On March 15th, youth across the world, youth will be gathering to focus the attention of local, state and national legislators on protecting our resources and environment. 

Join young people of southern Vermont to demand that our lawmakers work to steer us from climate disaster, and protect our frontline communities who are already suffering the consequences of it. Gather peacefully to share ideas and ensure that future generations can live to experience a healthy natural world. Bring signs, songs, and knowledge. Bring your stories and passions. Bring respectful arguments, and a willingness to listen.


Vermont Interview with American YPG Volunteer Concerning the Revolution in Rojava (Syria)

Waterbury Vermont, February, 2019 – Michael Alexander, a guest of the Green Mountain Central Labor Council AFL-CIO, recently spoke to Equal Time Radio (WDEV 550AM) about his experience serving as a volunteer soldier in the YPG. The YPG & YPJ are the military arm of the revolution in the northern Syria.  The revolution, which is ideologically influenced by the writings of the Vermont philosopher Murray Bookchin, is seeking to establish a secular Town Meeting-like direct democracy in Rojava (Syria).  Alexander, a native of Ohio USA, served as a heavy machine gunner on the Raqqa front. 


BlackKKKlansman to be Shown at All Souls Church Jan 27

WEST BRATTLEBORO — Enough with documentaries, this month All Souls Church will screen a full-length, commercial feature film on Sunday, Jan. 27, as the next offering in its series “Looking Inward at White Power and Privilege.”

“BlackKKKlansman,” the acclaimed 2018 film directed by Spike Lee and starring John David Washington and Adam Driver, will be shown for free starting at noon and will be followed by a discussion.


Youth Services Seeks Volunteers for 2019

Youth Services is offering a Volunteer Training on Monday, January 7 from 6-9 p.m. at their offices in Brattleboro for community members interested in becoming more involved with the nonprofit. Volunteer opportunities range from helping on an ad hoc basis with transportation, meal prep, sharing parenting and life skills to more formal roles such as volunteering as a mentor for a youth-led screen printing business, sitting on a once-a-month Diversion Panel, or serving as a temporary Host Home.


Take Action: Opposing the Criminalization of Poverty, Part II

Join us on Tuesday, November 27th at 5:30 pm, as Brattleboro Solidarity presents the second event geared towards helping the greater Brattleboro community to become more informed about surrounding poverty.

After an initial conversation, attendees will be able to learn about ways that several different local groups help those our town who are in need of support, and how to connect with them. The individual stations to visit will include the following:


Out in the Open Summit for Rural & Small Town LGBTQ Folks | Brattleboro | Nov. 9-11

Brattleboro, Vermont  – November 9-11th, an anticipated 75 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people living in small towns and rural communities from around the Northeast will gather for the fourth annual Out in the Open Summit for rural & small town LGBTQ folks.

Out in the Open is convened by Brattleboro, Vermont-based Green Mountain Crossroads (GMC), whose mission is to connect rural LGBTQ people to build community, visibility, knowledge, and power. Summit attendance is open to any LGBTQ-identified person of rural and/or small town experience. People attended the 2017 event from communities near and far including: California, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York.


Windham County Legislative Candidates’ Forum Tonight!

Windham County Legislative Candidates’ Forum on Health Care & Human Rights is happening tonight at the Centre Congregational Church parlor, 193 Main St., Brattleboro. Forum from 7-9 p.m. Doors open at 6:15. All Windham County legislative candidates have been invited & 10 have confirmed. Opportunity to meet the candidates and ask questions about issues of concern to you. Light refreshments. Handicap accessible.


Justice For Plow Drivers

UNION ACTION ALERT: Castleton DPW workers with AFSCME Local 1201 of the AFL-CIO (those that plow the roads and operate the wastewater plant) have been without a contract or raises for over two years.  While these Union members continue to fight for justice, we need to let the Castleton Select Board know THIS IS NOT OK and Local 1201 does not stand alone (and that Vermonters from all over the state stand with them).  Please contact the Castleton Select Board today and leave a message for Selectman Jim Leamy.  Tell Jim: “Jim Leamy, I am a working Vermonter too, and I stand with DPW Union employees.  Fair contract now!”


Indigenous Peoples Day “Civil Rights For All” Banner Raising

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.