Hello Folks,Michael posted more on his Broadsides today:
Mission accomplished. At Governor Douglas' State of the State speech today eight of us managed to unfurl three banners and ask "what about the war?" Four MMU students (Emily, Phoebe, and -- oops, forgot the names) got the ball rolling and then Boots, Dottye, Matt and I followed up with two more. It was surprising how supportive everyone was -- even telling us "good job" as we were being led out of the room. We'll see how the media responds. I know the students, Dottye and Matt gave extensive interviews to the Free Press, the Vermont Press Bureau and Vermont Public Radio.
It was good to remind the Governor and the Legislature that we are a nation at war. His speech, of course, didn't mention the war at all -- nor did the rebuttal speech by House Speaker Gaye Symington. I guess that's our job.
Below is the "communique" that we made available to the media after the action.
Thanks to my seven colleagues who made today a short, fun and powerful action.
But we accomplished our goals yesterday. We wanted to make sure the war was mentioned in the State House yesterday. And we wanted to ask the Governor and the legislature to do whatever they can to help put an end to it.
Vermont Troops Home Now.
Today, in the Vermont People’s State House, a group of students, veterans and citizens decided it was time to put the issue of the War on Iraq on Vermont’s legislative agenda. And so we’ve come to Governor Jim Douglas’ State of the State address to remind him, the Legislature and all Vermonters that we are a nation waging an illegal war against Iraq – a war that has left tens of thousands dead, cost nearly $500 billion, and diverted our nation’s attention from other pressing issues that deserve our attention. This war must end now. And every elected official – indeed, every citizen – must take action now to end the Iraq War and re-focus our national and state priorities.
The Governor’s State of the State address is traditionally a time to set the state’s agenda. It is a time to assess our past and look toward the future. But the “elephant in the room” that will probably go unmentioned is the war and its impact on all of our lives. So, we ask the Governor and members of the Legislature to consider these facts:
· 26 Vermonters have lost their lives in the Iraq War.
· It has been estimated that Vermont’s share of the cost of the Iraq War is over $660 million (see reverse).
· Vermont’s National Guard is participating in the occupation of a sovereign nation.
· U.S. Military and National Guard recruiters are actively preying on Vermont high school students and others to join the armed services and serve in this illegal war.
· More than 70% of Vermonters oppose the Iraq War.
Therefore, we ask that the Governor and the Vermont Legislature listen to the people and begin to take immediate action to help end the Iraq War and/or Vermont’s role in it, including:
· A call for an immediate end to the war directed at the President, Congress, and Vermont’s Congressional delegation.
· A demand that all Vermont troops come home now.
· An end to military recruitment in Vermont’s high schools.
Out of Iraq, Out of Our Schools.