"It's hard to get accurate information; Seven Days has been shut down; two editors have been replaced at the [Burlington Free Press]; Shay Totten has suffered a questionable bicycle accident trying to cover the situation at the checkpoints... Life is hard in occupied Burlington."
And so begins the "unimaginable dystopian fantasy" of an Israeli occupation of Vermont, as someone imagined for a new pamphlet being circulated by Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel (VTJP). In an effort to bring the Palestinian issue home — literally — the local nonprofit, which supports ending Israel's occupation of Palestine, describes bulldozed homes, razor wire surrounding the Old North End, a shutdown of the Peace and Justice Center and Mayor Kiss targeted for assassination. (Neither the hardline Kurt Wrightists nor the pro-Israel Montrollians are claiming responsibility.) There's even a map showing Israel's "eastern fence" to "cement its hold on the Connecticut River Valley" and Israeli-controlled "Bennington Strip," where one-third of Vermonters live in poverty. Click here to read it.
First the Art Hop and now this? C'mon people, can't we all just get along?
Clearly, sympathy for the Palestinians' plight runs high in Burlington, as indicated by last weekend's march on Church Street to end the occupation in Gaza. Approximately 170 people braved the sphincter-clenching cold to demand an end to all the bloodshed and misery. (Thankfully, by this morning, both Israel and Hamas had declared unilateral ceasefires.) Sadly, the march's message was slightly marred by the presence of Steve Ekberg and his inexplicably confrontational "Obama is a motherfucker" sign. Guess every village needs an idiot.
For the record, Seven Days remains open for business, Mayor Kiss is still in power (at least until March 3) and Shay Totten's "questionable" cycling accident occurred when he got his pant leg stuck in the bike chain. D'oh!