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Not the Vermont way  

Credit:  Written by Ruth Whiteway | Burlington Free Press | Nov 9, 2012 | www.burlingtonfreepress.com ~~

I am sure many Vermonters are sharing the same uneasy feeling I am still experiencing, reading about how the state’s attorney, in her infinite wisdom, is unwilling to drop the charges against the Lowell Six.

Sara Baker’s overly aggressive attitude is not the way we normally do things in Vermont. She won her point on a technicality. Wasn’t that enough? Certainly GMP doesn’t need to generate more resentment and alienation by going too far with an attitude of, “I’ll show you.”

Citizens’ tax dollars are paying to prosecute these upstanding citizens and Vermonters will further pay, to have the criminal charges brought against the Lowell Six, to prosecute these citizens, whose only crime was demonstrating their love for our cherished mountains. I am sure many of us see this as an injustice. Does one have to live in the Northeast Kingdom to know the feeling?

How hard would it have been for the attorney to show compassion? Do they intend to go all the way and in the end, put the six people in prison for this act of demonstrating their love and concerns for the Northeast Kingdom mountains? Criminal records? Give me a break!

In some places, such as Tianamen Square, and other acts of protest here and in other countries, the protestors were revered for standing up for how they felt. Don’t we all have that right in America? It is not as though these six adults pillaged, raped, assaulted, murdered or any of those acts most of us view as criminal. It simply had to do with where they placed their feet. How can that be viewed or considered criminal? I would think just out of good faith GMP would not have even brought charges against these Vermonters and now, not willing to drop the charges against them. The state lawyers would be better served if they use the taxpayers’ monies prosecuting real criminals.

For those who think, well the law is the law, I ask: what happened to the law that protects endangered species? The fact the turbine group will get a permit to kill endangered bats after knowing we have lost millions of bats is also viewed by me as criminal. They wonder why there are so many mosquitoes now. Well, bats each consume up to five hundred or thousands of insects a day. In the future, more taxpayer monies will be spent on spraying, rather than doing the right thing, resorting to killing the rest of the pollinators, butterflies and bees. It would also cause farmers to use more pesticides on their crops. How they can make light of the bird kill is outrageous.

I won’t pretend I know the law and how it works, but I do know that at my age of 82, I have gained some wisdom and common sense. It is sad when Vermonters feel as though they have been reduced to peons.

Ruth Whiteway lives in Craftsbury.

Source:  Written by Ruth Whiteway | Burlington Free Press | Nov 9, 2012 | www.burlingtonfreepress.com

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