From Rural Vermont –


In an eighty-four page decision issued late on Monday April 28th, Federal District Court Judge Christina Reiss denied the Grocery Manufacturers’ Association’s motion for an injunction to block Vermont’s GMO labeling law from being implemented. Although she also denied the State of Vermont’s motion to dismiss the GMA’s lawsuit entirely, her ruling did support many of the State’s key arguments in support of the law.

Vermont’s first in the nation GMO labeling law was passed overwhelmingly by the legislature last year, and signed by Governor Shumlin last May. Passage of the law was supported by the work of the Vermont Right to Know GMOs coalition spearheaded by Cedar Circle Farm, the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT), Rural Vermont, and VPIRG. .

Next steps in the case may include proceeding to trial to resolve outstanding claims, or an appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Though the Court found that Plaintiffs’ are not likely to succeed on blocking the disclosure requirement, the Court indicated that the prohibition on using the term “natural” will face an uphill battle. The law is set to go in to effect on July 1st 2016.

Please visit the VT Right to Know GMOs website for further updates as the court case continues.


Vermont Human Rights Activist Lays It Down – “The Struggle”

Published on Sep 3, 2012 by 

James Haslam at The People’s Convention in Burlington, Vermont on Sep. 1 recites a poem he wrote in 2002  – His Blog at the VT Workers Center Site – http://www.workerscenter.org/blogs/james

“… in this shower of injustice, this tidal wave of greed, when corporate profits come before human need, we can read the writing on the wall… ” 

Check out the VT Workers Center’s Blog post – People’s Convention – Day 1!

Vermonters Tell Congress to Restore Limits on Corporate Campaign Spending

On Town Meeting Day in Vermont, at least 60 towns urged Congress to pass a constitutional amendment to restore limits on corporate campaign spending.  In the Senate, Bernie has proposed the Saving American Democracy Amendment to undo the Supreme Court ruling in a case called Citizens United.  “The people of Vermont have seen the huge campaign contributions being made by billionaires and large corporations because of Citizens United, and they understand how horrendous this is for the future of American democracy,” Bernie said. “Vermont is helping to lead the nation on this important issue.”


Vermonters Say Corporations are NOT People!

Cartoon by Matt Wuerker

Vermont is leading the Revolution by declaring that Corporations are not Persons and don’t have the rights we Humans have, like electing our representatives. The unified efforts of Public Citizen, WILPF, VPIRG, Move to Amend, the Peace and Justice Center, Common Cause, Occupy Vermont and others can be followed at this web page “Vermonters Say Corporations are not People“. We are working together to support town meeting petition drives, and a state resolution led by Senator Ginny Lyons. To learn more about how to get involved visit their web site linked above and read more about the resolution here.

Citizens United Can be Overturned by a Simple Majority Vote by Congress

Video by on Dec 19, 2011

In this video starting at minute 01:38, Attorney James Leas shares his view on how to change the Citizens United Supreme Court decision. The Citizens United case gave corporations the right to spend unlimited funds on campaign contributions, effectively buying our electoral system. Congress has the Constitutional power to restrict the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court under Article 3.2.10:

In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.

This is James Leas’s (and our founding father’s) remedy, simply using the Constitutional power of Congress to remove this jurisdiction from the Supreme Court. James Leas goes further saying, that by passing a Constitutional Amendment we are actually legitimizing the Supreme Court’s involvement in this aspect of our policy making. This Constitutional solution is also easier to accomplish only needing a majority vote from congress, whereas a constitutional amendment needs a two thirds majority of congress and then three quarters of the states to ratify it.

De-Personhooding Corporations House Party

Corporate Personhood is the ideology that claims Corporations have the same Constitutional Rights as people and that their campagn contributions are considered freedom-of-speech protected under the First Amendment rights of these “Corporate-Persons”. Several movements have formed to reverse the supreme court ruling which guarantees corporations the right to contribute unlimited funding to political campaigns. More info.

The organization Move to Amend is teaming up with Public Citizen and People for the American Way initiating a Nation-wide citizens movement to reverse the Supreme Court Ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. The movement is using “house parties for democracy” to; inform the participants on the efforts Move to Amend has made to combat the impact to Corporate Personhood, help make community resolutions in support of an constitutional amendment, plan  local actions for January 21, 2012 (the second anniversary of the Citizens United ruling) and involve people in the growing national campaign to Amend. Senator Bernie Sanders will be a guest speaker for the national conference call to kick off these house parties on November 9. Here are the house parties scheduled for Vermont. (find a house party in your state)

Charlotte, VT

Host: Matthew Burke Address: Charlotte, VT (contact for address details) Time: 7:00-9:00pm Eastern RSVP info: burke00@yahoo.com

Essex Junction, VT

Host: Robert Kurth Address:  16 Ketcham Dr, Essex Junction, VT 05452 Time: 7:00-9:00pm Eastern RSVP info: acehybrid@gmail.com 845-876-7171

Hardwick, VT

Host: Zarina O’Hagin Address: St. John the Baptist Church, 39 W Church St, Hardwick, VT 05843 Time: 7:00-9:00pm Eastern RSVP info: zetso13@hughes.net

Marlboro, VT

Host: Edith Thomas, Address: Marlboro, Vt 05344 RSVP: ede@myfairpoint.net 802-257-7623

Wells, VT

Host: Anne Marie Hovel Address: 639 Saw Mill Hill Rd. Wells, VT 05774 RSVP info: amhavel@vermontel.net

more information – http://movetoamend.org/action/host-house-party-democracy-november-9th

The Corporate Personhood Resolution of Vermont

2011 Will be Known as the Year of Global Dissent

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This year will be known as the year of Global dissent. The year opened with the Arab Spring, when Civil Society took to the streets across the Arab World in peaceful protest to make their collective voice heard, calling for a Government of, by and for the people, Democracy. As the austerity measures in Europe began the European Summer ensued with protests and riots. The Civil Society in Spain used the model of non-violent civil-disobedience, occupying the Porta del Sol plaza in Madrid. The movement spread to towns across the country facing down many violent confrontations peacefully. They organized using consensus to find out what the people felt the top issues were, and how they would resolve them. The whole of Europe began to learn from the Spanish how to hold rallies and  organize.

To many people, the protests in Europe seem disconnected from that of the Arab Spring because European countries have democracy, whereas the arab world was fighting to over-through dictatorships. The protesters say that the situation isn’t that different, instead of presidential dictators they are fighting corporate dictators which includes the big banks. They say their representative democracy is not representing the will of the people, because of corporate campaign finance and lobbyists who line the pockets of elected officials to control regulation and legislation. The Spanish protesters had a vision of this becoming a global movement, a movement of participatory democracy, where the people are the steering committee in charge of creating the world they want to live in.

In September the European Summer bridged the divide of the Atlantic with the Occupy Wall Street movement, which opened the American Autumn. We are now one month into the American Autumn and this people’s movement for a participatory democracy has spread to more than 1500 cities and towns around the world. The people of this global movement refers to themselves as the 99% referring to the divide between themselves and the wealthiest 1% who own half of the wealth. As the Winter approaches the movement is being compromised by the mainstream news trying to fit them into their usual box of the Left/Right paradigm. They are being called Socialist, Marxist, Anti-Capitolist, Extreme Left and other labels. As the election tango begins, some are trying to co-opt and others extinguish the popular support of the Occupy Wall Street Movement. From Agent Provocateurs in Italy starting riots among peaceful protesters to mainstream media spins in the US  news, this movement is facing pressure on all sides. The protesters, who span all demographics, are clear in their stance; they are not a political platform, they want economic justice and they want the People’s voice to be The Voice leading our countries, not the Special Interests.

Many of the people critiquing the movement are trapped in the Left/Right paradigm, saying that if the protesters don’t take a specific side and become a political platform they won’t achieve anything. I disagree, as Einstein said,

No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.

The strategy of divide and concur is not only a geographical one, these Mega Corporation use their record levels of “free speech” $$$ to “speak up for” both the Blue and the Red candidates alike. For the People to engage in a proactive, non-partisan dialogue is a big step in the direction of solving our common systemic insecurities. The ones who created and profited off of these insecurities will not resolve the very systemic issues that have made them the top 1%.

A few links on the Occupation story –

Democracy Now – Oct 15 Day of Rage

 RT – Oct 15 From NYC to Everywhere

 VT Digger – Oct 15 Vermonters Occupy

Fox News – Oct 16 

CBC – Chris Hedges

To keep up on the VT Occupation Events – http://www.facebook.com/vermontworkerscenter?sk=wall

In Solidarity – VT4Evolution