Burlington protests the F-35
SOME 150 protesters gathered in Burlington, Vt., July 19 to tell Vermont Democrats to stop their support for basing Air Force F-35s in the city.
The planned basing of the stealth bombers is a contentious issue in Vermont, where people are coming together out of concern for the potential damage to the environment, effects of an increased noise level (including on home values and health) and the devastation of continued wars abroad.
Although many Vermont Democratic Party leaders claim to be "antiwar," they have overwhelmingly supported the basing, either through votes in city council meetings or voicing support in public. Their support is based on the excuses of "job creation" and "patriotism"--but many Vermonters see through these lame excuses.
That is why the Stop The F-35 Coalition mobilized to confront Vermont Democrats at a fundraising barbeque on July 19. While the Democrats tried to raise money for their party, protesters made it clear that in funding Democrats, one is funding support for the F-35.
Signs and banners read "Stop the F-35" and "Money for Jobs and Education, not $1,450,000,000 for Bombers." A speak-out was held 40 yards from the barbecue, and protesters took turns expressing their concerns about the bombers.
Though apologists describe the plane as a defensive air-to-air combat jet, it was pointed out at the rally that the F-35 is designed to carry nuclear bombs, evade radar and decimate ground targets. The targeting of the Democrats for their support of the bombers is a key step in keeping the warplanes from being based in Burlington, and may set an example for other communities battling the F-35 or other aspects of U.S. empire.