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Police violence precedes governor’s conference in Vermont

Credit: dylankelley.blogspot.com

New England governors and friends were on their way to a dinner party prior to a conference in Burlington, VT and found the way blocked by pedestrians and protesters. So they did what was only natural and called in the police, with police violence the predictable result.

This happened in Vermont, which is not a state known for big protests or huge overreaction response from police.  Yet that’s what happened. Something think Occupy has gone away. It sure hasn’t in Vermont, which is a state that has been libertarian since long before the word was invented.  Instead of negotiating with protesters the police arrived in gear more befitting a drug cartel raid than for dealing with peaceful protesters. The level of police violence continues to grow unabated. They apparently view the public as the enemy.

And yes, I have helped organize protests, some of which were huge, where police and organizers did negotiate. They key seems to be size. If there are 100 protesters, police won’t negotiate but they probably will if 100,00 are watching.

The Burlington protesters were perhaps invoking the spirit of the patron saint of Vermont, Ethan Allen.

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  • Interestingly, the organizers of the protests — BTV Convergence — went out of their way to identify themselves as NOT Occupy. But there were Occupy groups from various parts of New England taking part. Also interestingly, the riot cops were not, so far as the video is clear, the ones who got violent — rather those were a small number — ten?, plus/minus — of cops in regular uniforms. My theory, for the moment, is that the fracas came about in great part because no one on any side was real clear about the rules of non-violent direct action engagement.

    • That’s why protests need a lead group. Someone who can negotiate directly with police.

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