Police fired pepper balls and sting balls at protesters outside the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers Conference in Burlington yesterday.
Activists from New England and Quebec converged on the Queen City for a day of protests outside the conference, which took place at the Hilton Burlington. The protests centered on Canada's mining of tar sands oil and what environmentalists believe is
a plan to ship tar sands oil through the Northeast Kingdom. Protesters also rallied in solidarity with Quebec's student demonstrations and representatives from the Innu First Nation denounced Hydro Quebec.
The rallies were peaceful and non-violent all day long, with protesters numbering in the hundreds. But late in the afternoon, a small group of protesters attempted to block buses believed to be carrying the governors and premiers from leaving the Hilton's side driveway on College Street. It was then that protesters and police clashed and some protesters were shot with "less-lethal" munitions.
From a Burlington Police Department press release:
[Protesters] were warned several more times before a crowd control team of officers with plastic shields and helmets was deployed to walk ahead of the bus following standard procedure to ensure that protestors were not struck and to assist the bus in leaving. As the officers walked forward they were physically confronted by the crowd. Some began pushing back toward the officers, others sat on the ground while at least two others laid down locking arms.
Click here to read the full account of the incident from the police department.
Below are some videos and photos shot by protesters and onlookers.
[ View the story "Police Shoot Less-Lethal Munitions At Protesters Outside Governors Conference" on Storify] Police Shoot Less-Lethal Munitions At Protesters Outside Governors Conference
Storified by Tyler Machado � Mon, Jul 30 2012 08:22:49This video is a little over nine minutes long. With buses ready to leave the driveway, the mood seems tense but mellow, with one officer smiling and joking with the assembled crowd. Protesters sing the Imperial March theme from "Star Wars" as police dressed in riot gear walk in front of the buses. During a quiet pause in the action, you can hear pops as the police discharge non-lethal munitions. Then protesters scatter, with cops hastily chasing after them and forming a gap to let the buses pass. VIDEO0033flyingmonkeyskinThis video posted by documentary filmmaker Sam Mayfield shows what happened on the west side of the driveway, closer to the lake. Cops chase protesters down the street with non-lethal weapons drawn.rubber bullets in vtmayfieldlikesvideoThis video (without sound) comes via Twitter user @beerlington, showing the incident has it unfolded on the east side of the driveway.Burlington, VT protest gets violento5w8NeWSTvYIZGWjXLOAWgVideo from the Burlington Free Press, linked below, shows a woman getting shot at with sting balls. This appears to be after the initial incident as the bus is now entering College Street. Afterwards an officer continues to point his gun at the woman.undefinedundefinedHere are a dozen photos from photographer Dylan Kelley.Dylan Kelley Photography: Bloody Sunday in BurlingtonOn the afternoon of July 29th, Burlington Police opened fire on unarmed civilians with rubber bullets, pepperspray, and other projectiles...Below are photos from Twitter users from throughout the day.Protest has begun at city hall park in #btv. Focus is governors and premieres conference and energy http://pic.twitter.com/blCzBtcKDavid Hodgesyeah, it's like that at the #btvconvergence. http://twitpic.com/ad7aeekludgeGreat turnout today for the Convergence on the NE Governors' Conference. #btv #occupy http://pic.twitter.com/9WzkPENQVermont ISOLeave the oil in the soil. #btvconvergence http://pic.twitter.com/XHExh3UCVermont ISOQuebec student strikers sent representatives. #solidarity #btvconvergence http://pic.twitter.com/rEpOKchNVermont ISOYou're sexy! You're cute! Take off your rioy suit! #btvconverge #usrevolution http://pic.twitter.com/qsyovtJVOccupy New EnglandSeems like a whole lot of cops for peaceful demonstration #BTVConverge http://pic.twitter.com/tU1VHM15Team VermontFour people reportedly shot with rubber bullets by police in Burlington #btv #vt #occupybtv. During protest College St http://pic.twitter.com/NLTqzA3mDonna IversenRubber bullets fired into peaceful protesters in #Burlington #J29 #btvconvergence http://pic.twitter.com/AgwKDZayJoe Scully#btvconvergence riot cops fired rubber bullets at demonstrators blocking delegates' busses http://pic.twitter.com/i8OhWEnERobertNot every day you see police in riot gear in Burlington, VT. http://yfrog.com/oeru8xtj Protest on College St. #BTVKate MessnerProtesters collect rubber bullets shot at them by police during #btvconverge. #btv #vt. #occupybtv http://pic.twitter.com/6LEelmYwDonna IversenVideo of police in riot gear & protesters on College St. Burlington, VT http://yfrog.com/h0eitdwj #BTVKate Messner@caulkthewagon #Occupy, #NoTarSands protesters fired upon with less-lethal rounds in #Burlington #btvconvergence #j29 http://pic.twitter.com/2eVrWwvbJoe ScullyMore fun w/ pepper pellets! #btvconvergence #RETWEET http://pic.twitter.com/HnlV4vuZOccupy New EnglandSeriously, is it common practice for police to remove their nametags before roughing up civilians? #btvconvergence #j29 http://pic.twitter.com/iiip7clTJoe ScullyAnother one of the #Burlington police who removed his nametag during the attack on protesters. #btvconvergence http://pic.twitter.com/jRwake2qJoe Scully
Other reports on the protests:
If you've got photos, videos or anecdotes from yesterday's protests, post them in the comments below.
Photo courtesy of Elliot DeBruyn/Burlington Free Press