Local vigil casts light on social justice issue

MIDDLEBURY — A group of Addison County residents gathered at Middlebury’s Triangle Park this past Thursday evening to express dismay at recent grand jury decisions not to indict police officers for killing unarmed black men. The event, billed as a candlelight “Black Lives Matter” vigil, was one of many nationwide events urging greater police accountability and more justice for communities of color.
The triangle green was filled with a hundred or so people of all ages holding candles and signs that read “End Racism” and “Black Lives Matter.” Organizers used Facebook and email to spread the word around town and to the campus community. Dozens of Middlebury College students walked from campus down Main Street to join the vigil, where the songs “We Shall Overcome,” “This Little Light of Mine” and “Peace Like a River” were sung.
At the close of the event, many students and community members walked back up to campus to continue to discuss ways to work together for a more just society.
One passerby chastised the group for calling attention to racial injustice in the United States, which she insisted does not exist. But vigil organizers said that for the approximately 100 people gathered on the green on a chilly December evening, the recent killings of black people, even children, by police officers, is a grave reminder that we have a long way to go before we have “Liberty and Justice for All.”

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