Social activists are heroes, not villains

MARLBORO — The Nov. 29 Brattleboro Reformer editorial lambasting six elderly nuke protesters for irresponsible behavior represented a dogmatic thinking process so narrow and mean as to have no place in the here and now.

Had this smug soulless writer been extant to witness the capture of escaped slaves during the antebellum era, would he have been pleased to see the law upheld? Would he have gone against a person of sympathy who broke the law by attempting to aid the escapees? Hearing the cries of tortured plundered people chained in coffle to be dragged back to rapist masters, might he have said, “This is not a question of slavery, but of respect for law?”

From the genesis of social order the founded reason for law - either democratically or dictatorially promulgated - has been to protect wealth, property, and privilege for the most powerful at the hierarchal top, with a trickle-down benefit potential for those below, diminishing in correlation to position.

Law also lubricates and provides leverage to expedite agendas of manipulation, a process perfectly exemplified by the continued existence of Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee in Vermont.

In this capacity, law is not for the benefit of society, but to allow the plunder of society. It puts a cloak of propriety on greed and becomes the force that maintains the status quo.

The laws that empowered Jim Crow furthered entrenchment of ancient wrongs morphing into accepted protocol. If not for protesters - people of committed ethics and conscience - Jim Crow would still be frozen in place by law. New law that disenfranchised Jim Crow came in the wake of social protest; law was never in the vanguard.

The six elderly ladies so scorned by our Reformer editor are my heroes. Social activists acting with commitment against greed and cruelty have always been the hub upon which society turns to the light.

The town of Vernon and, indeed, an entire portion of New England is occupied by an entity corrupted by greed, motivated by profit, and willing to sell land and people down river to fatten a bottom line.

For 40 years, our regulators, judiciary, and law enforcement have been the willing sycophantic enablers of this wrong.

If we are ever to be saved or are to save ourselves, it will be thanks to the dedicated old ladies, not canting editors.

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