While they pine for your shopping dollars during peak consumer spending season, it’s clear these business owners still can’t help themselves and wish to continue playing the victim, never acknowledging the role they’ve played in creating a narrative of an unsafe downtown Burlington, one that trades in crime wave fearmongering and a disdain for vulnerable populations in the city.

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Political life in the city of Burlington leaves a lot to be desired. The forces of big money are laying siege to our homes, schools, hospitals, public spaces, and social expression. Like vampires, the insular cliques of entrepreneur groups intrude into our communities and suck out the social surplus. They monopolize every aspect of our lives and raise the rent. They attack us with their ideology to sanctify their exploitation.

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Almost a hundred gathered at a vigil in front of Burlington City Hall late afternoon on Friday, November 25th to commemorate the lives lost in Israel’s wave of military and settler violence brought on Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. Speakers and attendees called for a true ceasefire, not a humanitarian pause, as the first step to ending decades of bloodshed and apartheid.

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Watching local Vermont Jewish organizations react to the crisis in Gaza and pro-Palestinian protests in Burlington with victimization, dehumanizing language, and even the outright rejection of anti-Zionist Jews as members of the broader Vermont Jewish community, has affirmed to me, an anti-Zionist trans woman and Jewish Vermonter, that Zionism has completely hollowed out generations of Jewish values, even in Vermont.

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A dozen protesters have disrupted a fundraising event for Vermont U.S. Representative Becca Balint in Burlington. The action, organized by Jewish Voice for Peace of Vermont and New Hampshire, is part of an international day of action calling for a ceasefire to end the bombing, siege, and invasion of Gaza by Israeli forces.

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As Israel continues its ongoing siege and bombing of Palestinians in Gaza, and the death toll passes a grim 10,000, Vermont U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders continues to refuse to call for a ceasefire. To many inspired by Sanders’ 2016 and 2020 presidential bids, it has been a legacy-tarnishing moment for someone who stood as the key figurehead of a growing left movement in the United States.

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