Vermonters Think Globally, March Locally | Politics | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice
Pin It

Vermonters Think Globally, March Locally 

Local Matters

MONTPELIER -- Busloads of Vermonters will join activists from across the country this weekend in Washington, D.C., for what organizers are calling "three massive days of action" against the Iraq war. But Deb Van Dyke won't be with them. The Waitsfield nurse practitioner can't leave this weekend, so she's planning a march in Montpelier to help Vermonters speak out closer to home.

Van Dyke, who has traveled the globe with the aid group Doctors Without Borders, feels a need to register her opposition, especially now. She says Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iraq, galvanized the peace movement with her vigil outside President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas. "It just feels like the energy is picking up," Van Dyke says. "You know how sometimes you get a feeling, a buzz?"

A recent CBS News/New York Times poll offers a more quantitative reading of the national mood: It reports that fully 59 percent of American adults disapprove of "the way George Bush is handling the situation with Iraq." When asked if the U.S. should leave Iraq as soon as possible or stay as long as it takes, 52 percent chose departure ASAP.

In the email newsletters she receives from a group called PeaceVermont, Van Dyke noticed there weren't any Vermont actions scheduled for the weekend. "All the usual suspects," she notes, "are going to be in Washington." So she decided to organize one herself. Within two weeks, she and 10 volunteers had put together a short program of speakers and singers. They designed an ad and placed it in local newspapers, paying for it with Van Dyke's credit card.

The march begins at 10 a.m. this Saturday at City Hall in Montpelier, and at 10:30 moves to the Statehouse lawn for a rally. Sponsoring the event are PeaceVermont, the American Friends Service Committee, the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and Burlington's Peace and Justice Center -- though Van Dyke points out that her crew is unaffiliated with those organizations. Volunteer Marge Keough, also of Waitsfield, calls the group's members "just regular people."

Van Dyke says she's hoping people who don't normally attend marches will turn out for this one. And if some of them are motivated by anger that so many National Guard troops are in Iraq instead of responding to Hurricane Katrina, that's OK, too. "When you see people around you, people in wheelchairs, pushing baby carriages, you just realize that you're not alone," Van Dyke says. "It's very powerful."

Did you appreciate this story?

Show us your ❤️ by becoming a Seven Days Super Reader.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Pin It

More by Cathy Resmer

  • Social Sentinel, Burlington Code Academy and Maureen McElaney Win Awards at 12th Vermont Tech Jam
  • Vermont's Top Innovators Honored at Tech Jam 2018

    Social Sentinel, a Burlington-based company that identifies threatening content on social media, was among the winners of the 2018 Tech Jam awards, presented last Friday at the 12th Vermont Tech Jam. The prizes, given annually by the Vermont Technology Alliance, BTV Ignite and Seven Days, recognize leaders in the state's tech ecosystem. The awards ceremony was the culmination of a busy day at the free career and tech expo organized by Seven Days and presented by Vermont Works. Representatives from more than 50 companies and colleges talked with hundreds of attendees who walked the expo floor. Jeff Couture, executive director of the Vermont Technology Alliance, said he talked with job seekers from across Vermont and outside the state at the event, "including someone, suitcase in hand, who visited from North Carolina."
    • Oct 23, 2018
  • Inspiring Projects to See, Hear and Play With at the Vermont Tech Jam
  • Inspiring Projects to See, Hear and Play With at the Vermont Tech Jam

    • Oct 17, 2018
  • The Tech Issue — 2018
  • The Tech Issue — 2018

    • Oct 17, 2018
  • More »

About The Author

Cathy Resmer

Cathy Resmer

Deputy publisher Cathy Resmer is an organizer of the Vermont Tech Jam, and compiles a weekly tech e-newsletter every Monday. She also oversees HR, helps manage Seven Days' digital staff and oversees its parenting publication, Kids VT. In 2018, she designed and administered a statewide youth civics project, the... more


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Seven Days moderates comments in order to ensure a civil environment. Please treat the comments section as you would a town meeting, dinner party or classroom discussion. In other words, keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.

Recent Comments

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2019 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation