Protest should be expected

January 20, 2015

 Rutland Herald: 

Regarding the Jan. 8 State House protests:

We are in a nation that began with the likes of Sam Adams and the Sons of Liberty, and in a state established by the outlaw Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys, and some of us are concerned that the State House might witness further scenes of confrontational protesters? In publicly exercising their rights to speak freely, assemble peacefully and petition the government, the State House protesters made the concept of the People’s House a reality. They were boldly asserting the cause of the people at a time when our leaders rationalize abandoning the basic well-being of the citizens 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.

My opinion is that the protest was mild considering the provocation. Consider the time, money, energy and effort that were put into Act 48, and consider its failure: We will continue to pay extortion to the insurance companies in order to receive our basic right of health care; we will continue to be gouged with exorbitant charges for treatment and medication for the benefit of 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: By supporting the current profit-driven, corporate-controlled, inequitable and costly health care system being forced on the people, the state government loses its legitimacy as representative of the public will, and continued protest should be expected.