Opinion: Protestors did the right thing
I am writing to respectfully disagree with Rep. Warren Van Wyck’s assessment of the protests in the Statehouse on Jan. 8.
So, here we are in a nation that had its beginnings with the likes of Sam Adams and the Sons of Liberty, and in a state that had its foundations laid by the outlaw Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys, and some of us are insulted and concerned that the Statehouse might witness further scenes of “ill-behaved protesters?”
Far from “(hiding) behind their supposed rights of free speech,” the Statehouse protesters made the concept of the People’s House a reality. They were not hiding at all, but rather they were boldly asserting the cause of the people at a time when it appears that our leaders can rationalize abandoning the basic wellbeing of the people of Vermont. Our nation and our state were born out of protest against the abuse and benign neglect of government that acts in the interest of the privileged and powerful over the needs of the common people. It is my opinion that the protest was mild considering the provocation.
Consider the time, money, energy and effort that was put into Act 48, and consider the consequences: that we will continue now to pay extortion to the insurance companies in order to receive our basic right of health care; that we will continue to be gouged with exorbitant charges for treatment and medication for the benefit of vastly wealthy and powerful corporations.
What happened in the State House on that Thursday was inherently American; it was the quintessential spirit of Vermont in action. I am grateful for and proud of what the protesters did, and if the message did not get through to our representatives in Montpelier, it is this: In continuing to support the current profit-driven, corporate-controlled, inequitable and incredibly costly health care system that is being forced on the people, the state government loses its legitimacy as representative of the public will, and continued “uncivility, disrespect and defiance” should be expected.
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