‘Liberty and Justice for All’ decision delayed by Montpelier, proposed mural criticized by city councilor

MONTPELIER — Due to a decision by the city of Montpelier, there will be no “Liberty and Justice for All” street mural painting party Friday, July 3, organizer and Republican gubernatorial candidate John Klar said Wednesday.

“They just rejected as too short notice,” Klar said in a July 1 email to Vermont Daily. “We have reapplied for soonest available date.” The next City Council meeting is scheduled for July 8.

Klar submitted the special event request to the city Monday, June 29. In the application, he said he wants to “reaffirm the founding principle in our Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal.” Klar says his mural “seeks to unify Vermont’s shared goals of racial comity with a slogan that merely reaffirms founding principles that are now more essential to mutual harmony and respect than ever.”

Wikimedia Commons/John Phelan

Montpelier City Hall

Klar had applied to paint the new mural Friday, July 3, on State Street between Bailey Avenue and Taylor Street, adjacent and due west of the Black Lives Matter mural painted on State Street Saturday, June 13.

The BLM mural request was approved unanimously at a Friday, June 12 special meeting of the City Council. Volunteers painted the lengthy street mural the next day. “It’s a quick turnaround here, but with any organizing campaign, you’ve got to feed off the momentum,” City Councilor Conor Casey said. Casey also noted that Gov. Phil Scott had given explicit consent to the BLM mural.

Vermont Daily emailed Montpelier mayor Anne Watson and city councilors Dan Richardson and Conor Casey to corroborate Klar’s account. This comment from Casey, a former Vermont Democratic Party senior official who on June 12 urged the prompt approval for the Black Lives Matter street mural, was received today:

I haven’t heard anything from City Hall, but personally speaking, the timing is irrelevant. I would oppose this mural as it detracts from the ‘Black Lives Matter’ message at a time where it is more important than ever to affirm this basic values statement. Unlike the BLM mural, I have yet to receive a single constituent request for Mr. Klar’s proposal and would equate the messaging to ‘all lives matter’ — an inappropriate response to the systemic racism that exists in Vermont and across the country. ‘Liberty and justice for all’ might be a laudable goal, but one we’re very far from achieving. We can’t even paint ‘black lives matter’ on the street without it being routinely vandalized.

My only hesitancy in opposing this mural is that it will likely give Mr. Klar the headline he is likely looking for. I’ve found his VT Digger commentary pieces on race to be offensive and unrepresentative of the values of our community.

Gov. Scott, against whom Klar is running for governor in the Aug. 11 primary, said yesterday he supports the “Liberty and Justice for All” mural as “patriotic” and having a similar message to “Black Lives Matter.”

VTGOP to celebrate Fourth

On Saturday, July 4, Vermont Republicans will hold an Independence Day celebration from 10 a.m. till noon on the State House lawn. The event will feature music, readings, and talks by candidates.

Read more of Guy Page’s reports. Vermont Daily is sponsored by True North Media.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/John Phelan

14 thoughts on “‘Liberty and Justice for All’ decision delayed by Montpelier, proposed mural criticized by city councilor

  1. Montpelier to review GOP gubernatorial candidate’s State Street painting request
    By Sawyer Loftus Jul 3 2020, 12:39 PM
    “A Republican gubernatorial candidate’s request this week to have the words “Liberty and Justice for All” painted next to “Black Lives Matter” on State Street in Montpelier was denied by city officials.”

    It’s now under ‘review’ lol

  2. Casey’s dad was prez of Burlington College when they were busted selling degrees online to Israeli students back in 99 or 00. He quietly resigned when the scandal broke. Mickey Hirten, editor of the Free Press, was canned when the Freeps published the story.

    • Haaretz.com
      Burlington Boss Clueless’ About Fake Degrees
      The president of Burlington College in Vermont said this week he had “absolutely no idea” of any wrongdoing at the Israeli branch of his institution, one of the two foreign universities linked to the fake degree scandal.
      Charlotte Hallé  |  SendSend me email alerts
      Jan 18, 2002 12:00 AM

  3. I thought it was crazy to go down this road- literally.
    I fear the road is not long enough actually- for everyone in Vermont to have their Murals painted.
    Will there be enough tar in the state for all the viewpoints?

  4. Seems our educational system may be lacking in civics, along with general vocabulary!

    Our school system needs an entire revamping aside from the school funding debacle we keep proving up, every year. We might be wise to see how we could get off the federal teet and go our own way. Perhaps the quality of discussion within Vermont would also rise.

  5. Montpelier, get rid of the socialists, liberal scum that makes unpatriotic decisions for your city. All democrats should feel guilty about their historical past by wanting to keep slavery as part of their lives. It took dedicated Republicans and a great leader to end this terrible enslavement of humans.

  6. Liberals in charge, this is what you get roadblocks !!

    If the Cities & Towns refuse to paint patriotic displays on the streets than any
    and all painting should be removed ASAP.

    Not sure why that city official stated a short notice, I think the BLM boondoggle
    was done on short notice, like no notice just hype and proceed.

    Wake up people, we deserve better in Montpelier

    I believe every street needs a thin blue line painted on it as they patrol every
    street !!

  7. The pledge I grew up with!

    I pledge Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation, under God, Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All.

    The pledge of today!

    I pledge no Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America or to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation, under siege, Divided, with Liberty and Justice for Some.

    What is to happening America?

  8. It’s not up to Casey to decide – they opened the barn door and *all* murals are now fair game unless willing to face constitutional challenges and lawsuits – hopefully class action.

    This *does not* diminish BLM – it supports it and all ppl of all races and genders.

  9. So much for All Americans Matter (AMM)
    and the first Amendment unless one is “properly” politically correct of course. If the BLM mural had been denied for the same stupid reason, there would have a national media outcry and probably riots in Montpelier. Happy 4th of July everyone! Enjoy it while we still have one!

  10. Conor Casey obviously doesn’t understand the concept of Liberty and certainly doesn’t support Justice For All.

    Hardly surprising, given his former position as a ‘senior official’ in the VT Democrat party.

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