Below are two items from Joseph Gainza of Vermont Action for Peace concerning possible responses to Trump visiting Vermont this week. For those that don’t know, Joseph was the VT American Friends Service Committee Program Director for many years. One suggestion relates to a monetary protest that will support those here in Vermont being attacked by Trump. I’ve seen one post pledging 10 cents a minute. I’m sure we cannot all be so generous, and many of us maybe able to send something.
The other is about what sort of direct action to take. A totally silent vigil is being suggested. Food for thought for those who feel a need to do something to push back against hate.
In the Light of Love,
Northwest Quarterly Meeting
Paul Erlbaum, president of Vermont Action for Peace, has a suggestion I think has merit. What If we each pledge some money for every minute Trump is in Vermont and sent it to Migrant Justice, a great group of migrant farm workers in Vermont organizing for social and economic justice for migrants and immigrants. Trump would love that.
You can send your contribution to Migrant Justice, 294 N. Winooski Ave. Burlington, VT 05401, or donate online at:www.migrantjustice.org.
I agree, a peaceful vigil is the best response. It is far more preferable than a “direct action” intended to shut down Trump as I understand some have spoken about. In addition to the First Amendment issues, any disruption of Trump speaking may well play into his hands. Several people have asked why would he come to Vermont. One response has been that Trump wants to tweak Bernie’s nose on his home turf. That may be a factor, but I think it is more likely that he is in Vermont to get the most disruptive response we are capable of giving him. The national press would eat that up and Trump could then point to Vermont as the place where people disregard the First Amendment and break the law to stop “democratic” discourse. He could then say: “See Bernie is from Vermont, Bernie points to Vermont as a model for the rest of the nation, and look how Vermonters behave. Do we want a president who thinks this kind of behavior is OK?” Whether or not you support Bernie’s candidacy, do you want to hand Trump this prize? As the old organizer saying goes: “If you do not have a strategy, you are part of someone else’s strategy.” Let’s not be part of Trumps strategy of using anything to get publicity and, in this case, to score points against Bernie..
A silent vigil makes Trump part of our strategy.
Vermont Action for Peace
Producer & Host – Gathering Peace
WGDR 91.1 FM WGDH 91.7 FM
Thank you for this message. You might be interested to know that there are currently over 700 people signed on to some version of silent presence outside the Flynn Theater, starting at 5:00 p.m. in the park. Many of us will wear black or dark clothing with a white paper rose pinned over our hearts.
A few days ago, I started organizing this event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1551016875218954/
In collaboration with two other events with similar missions, it seems we have arrived at a consensus that a silent, compassionate presence rooted in love is our preferred method. I cannot, of course, control the outcome, but it currently seems that there will be at least 700 people gathered silently in the park, to be joined by another 100 walking out from within the theater. We are also to be joined by members of the Vermont Interfaith Action group.
The other two Facebook events are listed here:
I cannot tell you how inspired I am that this may in fact come to pass. Thank you, Joseph, for your wise words. You are not alone: their sentiment has taken root, and is shared by many.
In the Light,
(South Starksboro Meeting)