One year to the day before Rev. King received a bullet to his head, bold headlines in overseas newspapers all around the world read, KING CALLS US “GREATEST PURVEYOR OF VIOLENCE IN THE WORLD.” The same morning, in the United States of Wars, Wall St. owned, CIA controlled, TV and newspapers, which all defended and praised the war in Vietnam, vilified King as a traitor of his country and an embarrassment to the African-American community
I will be taking the banner down to the fire company today so they can hang it over Main Street on Sunday the 19th at 8 am.
It is being hung to honor Martin Luther King and the many, many other martyrs to our great cause.
I will have pro-democracy signs democracy and a song to sing: “We are singing for democracy, democracy, democracy, we are singing for democracy and civil rights for all”, sung to the tune of We Are Marching To Pretoria (popularized by the Smothers Brothers).
The murder of Iranian general Soleimani was a reminder that there are no moral or ethical boundaries that Trump will not cross. While politicians and the news media dance around the motive for the killing because they want to be fair until they have concrete proof, the rest of the world knows that the execution was a move calculated to divert attention away from impeachment.
As I was reading the New York Times last Sunday I could not find one story that had anything to do with impeachment. Trump successfully used murder to control the news cycle. He is not a complicated man. He acts impulsively and it was clear that he was becoming increasingly irritated at being trashed and constantly scrutinized for behavior that justified his impeachment by the U.S. House of Representatives.
It is not in the best interest of one’s mental health to take in too much news these days. It’s hard to get a clear perspective on national and world affairs because it is difficult to measure current events against past events and because of the proliferation of so many media forms.
Bad things have always happened in a lot of places around the world throughout human history but it seems that either a lot more bad things are happening now and/or we are more easily connected to the information that was not accessible only a few short years ago. Who knows?
When it comes to solving the irritating problems of daily life some of us are more persistent than others. I am one of those people who looks at all of the roadblocks to resolution as a challenge. Giving up is never an option. It means being labeled a pain in the ass, but it is a label I proudly embrace.
Recently, I was billed by Comcast for $108 in services I did not order. I don’t know how my account was compromised but, during the month of October, someone ordered on-demand movies and a streaming subscription.
Every so often we need to be reminded that the power brokers of the world are capable of
horrendous atrocities. The road to those atrocities is paved with unrestrained egotism, racism, misogyny, xenophobia and a disregard for the value of human life. World leaders become intoxicated with their power and as it goes unchecked they begin to believe that they can justify anything they do. Modern day examples are not hard to find.
As the U.S. impeachment process plays out it is important to realize that the current president has headed down a road that has led to the justification of the marginalization and torture of people not to his liking. This is the same road that was traveled by Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini and many others.
BRATTLEBORO, VT—Brattleboro’s Seasonal Overflow Shelter (SOS) will open Monday, November 18th. After a successful first and second season located at the upper dormitory on the Winston Prouty campus (formerly the Austine School for the Deaf), Groundworks’ staff and Board are grateful for the opportunity to return to the space for a third year.
This year’s shelter will operate the same as prior years at this location: anyone seeking shelter will have to register for a bed through Groundworks Drop-In Center (at 60 South Main Street) between 9am and noon. Access to the shelter will only be permitted through transportation provided by Groundworks.
It is possible that the Supreme Court may be poised to enable the Trump administration to decrease the U.S. population by 700,000 people and, in the process, ruin the lives of all of those Americans and their families.
The 700,000 are young people who were brought to this country at an early age by parents who were not American citizens. These innocents have been considered to be here illegally. President Obama realized the difficult situation these young people were in and in 2012 he established a policy labelled Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals that is referred to as DACA.
There is a new kind of camaraderie that has developed among people who feel that standards of justice, morality and fair play have been lowered to an unconscionable level by Donald Trump. Those lower standards have not only affected Americans but they have colored political activity throughout the world. Hopefully, once Trump is out of power, those standards will be somewhat restored.
The new comrades of the 21st century have created something akin to a massive support group because they feel the need to share their pain. Many have resorted to professional therapists, and if anecdotal evidence is close to statistical fact, the number of people who have sought therapy since Trump was elected has risen significantly.
Do you and your family rely on Medicaid (Green Mountain Care) or Dr. Dynasaur? Do you have to buy private insurance, and worry about the rising costs? Do you have health insurance but avoid getting care because your deductible is too high? Are you dealing with medical debt? Do you have difficulty finding a primary care doctor?
Join others from the community at a public forum on the fight to protect Medicaid, keep local hospitals and clinics open, and fulfill the promise of universal health care in Vermont.
The southeast corner of Vermont, that includes Brattleboro and Windham County, is a unique place. There is an abundance of people whose sense of fair play compels them to put their money where their mouth is when it comes to commitment to social, political and economic issues.
Although there are what some might consider too many non-profit organizations, local people are generous and give time and money freely when they see a need. Windham County has a reputation of being a very liberal area and that has most people characterizing it as a harbor for activists who consider themselves far to the left on the political spectrum.
Join us on September 25, 1-2:30 PM at Brooks Memorial Library Meeting Room, 224 Main St.
to learn more about the Workers’ Center, the Healthcare Is A Human Right campaign, and ways to be involved. We’ll share basic information about the Workers’ Center, a grassroots member-run organization that organizes for a more just and democratic (small ‘d’) Vermont.
As part of the week of climate action, the Vermont Workers’ Center and Extinction Rebellion of Southern VT are sponsoring a screening of the film, “Strength of the Storm,” directed by Rob Koier. The screening will take place on Thursday, September 26th, 2019 at 118 Elliot Gallery (118 Elliot Street, Brattleboro) from 7:30pm-9:30pm, and will be followed by a discussion.
This film shows Vermont residents who were directly impacted by climate change during the flooding from Tropical Storm Irene, as they realized that they were all in this together and organized after the destruction of much of their mobile home community.
The Fall 2019 Landmark College Academic Speaker Series opens with disability justice advocate Lydia X.Z. Brown on Tuesday, October 1 at 7 p.m. in the Brooks M. O’Brien Auditorium, located in the East Academic Building.
The talk, entitled “Cripping Intersectionality: Neurodiversity and Disability Justice” will focus on how disabled people’s cultural work, community building, and leadership offer necessary interventions for liberation work everywhere, from the streets to the ivory tower, grounded in intersectional theory and practice.
South Burlington, VT— This weekend, in its largest convention in two decades, the Vermont AFL-CIO elected a progressive reform leadership for its approximately 10,000 members statewide. The fourteen newly elected members of the slate aim to revitalize Vermont’s labor movement through organizing new unions, promoting activism among rank-and-file workers, and championing a Green New Deal to combat environmental crisis and economic inequality.
Said Liz Medina of UAW Local 2322 and new District Vice President for Washington/Orange Counties, “I am excited to be part of a rank-and-file slate that has a bold vision for the future of the labor movement.”
Asserting that they are not afraid of strikes, the newly elected members to the AFL-CIO state leadership pledge not to support political candidates in Montpelier who do not fight for union and social-justice interests.
This is an invitation to all in the community to participate in a conversation and exploration of solutions. I’ve included more details below.
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.
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.
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.
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).