Shut It Down 4 Palestine protesters block traffic in downtown Brattleboro on Dec. 23.
Addie Mahdavi/Courtesy photo
Shut It Down 4 Palestine protesters block traffic in downtown Brattleboro on Dec. 23.

Action opposing military support of Gaza war shut down ‘business as usual’

Protesters chanting, "Ceasefire now," "Shut it down," and "No more money for Israel's crimes," closed off Brattleboro's Main Street for more than an hour on Saturday, Dec. 23, one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

After a brief rally in a small downtown square, the group moved into Main Street, where about a dozen activists blocked traffic with signs and images of babies killed in Gaza, while some 50 people lined the sidewalk chanting and singing in support of an end to Israel's assault on Gaza.

They called on Vermont's congressional delegation to support a resolution introduced by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders that would require the U.S. government to investigate human rights abuses conducted with weapons supplied by the United States. They also called for all three of Vermont's members of Congress to actively support an immediate and enduring ceasefire.

"When we stand by the side of the road with our signs, the system just continues along, paying no attention," said Dan DeWalt, one of the action's organizers.

"Today's protest is stopping traffic because a great crime is being committed in our name, and business as usual cannot continue," DeWalt said. "Our own laws demand that we cannot supply weapons that violate international law. At this moment, our weapons are participating in what is becoming a genocide.

"If we are a nation that can turn a blind eye to horrific violence done with our weapons, then we are a nation that has lost its soul."

Normally packed with traffic at midday on a Saturday, a full block of Main Street was emptied of cars as the protesters strung yellow tape across the road and displayed banners reading "Not my tax $ for genocide," "Permanent ceasefire," "Shut it down," "Not in our name," "No more U.S. $ for Israel's war crimes."

The event was part of a national effort, Shut It Down 4 Palestine, which calls for no business as usual as long as the U.S. supports Israel's ethnic cleansing of Gaza, where more than 20,000 people have been killed in the past 2{1/2} months, more than half of them women and children.

Addie Mahdavi


This letter to the editor was submitted to The Commons.

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