Social justice movement turns on Seven Days reporter and a former BLM organizer

Social justice demonstrators in Burlington who are demanding the removal of police officers involved in use-of-force incidents have turned against the liberal-leaning publication Seven Days and are demanding the firing of one of its reporters.

Last week, the independent alt-weekly paper ran the story “Battery Power: How Black Lives Matter Protesters Occupied a Park, Captivated a City — and Got Some of What They Wanted” on its cover. Since then, hundreds of copies have been taken from newsstands and burned in protest by BLM demonstrators. The story was written by staff writer Chelsea Edgar.

The issue of contention involved an interview with Anthony Marques, a former Black Lives Matter organizer who also goes by the name Anthony Bathalon. Marques, one of the few people associated with the movement willing to talk to media over the past month, told Seven Days the Burlington protest organizers are taking advantage of people.

Anthony Marques/Facebook

Anthony Marques (aka Anthony Bathalon)

“See, what’s happening is a cult,” he told Edgar. “They think it’s OK to exploit white people, is what’s happening. It’s an exploitation of white people that show up on Tuesdays and Thursdays, wearing black, because those are the big days to show up and pretend that you’re not racist. It’s just a s— show. It’s sickening.”

A group within the movement called Black femme is at the forefront of the backlash against the publication. As they burned the papers, protesters chanted “Chelsea about to lose her job” and “F— Seven Days.” After the fires finished, they demanded that all the white men in their movement pick up the mess.

It’s not the first time the social justice movement has targeted a local news employee. In 2018, Burlington Free Press editor Denis Finley was fired after social justice activists targeted him for expressing his view that a third gender option should not be included on DMV applications.

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger called the burning of Seven Days newspapers “uncomfortable to see.” Seven Days publisher Paula Routly issued a statement defending her paper and affirming the importance of free speech. “People should be able to pick up a copy themselves and decide what they think,” she said.

The paper has vowed to keep newsstands stocked until the next issue comes out on Wednesday.

Marques partially retracted his comments to the paper, but he still maintains that he “did the right thing” by expressing his views.

“I spoke with this journalist yesterday to personally tell them how I felt and did the right thing by expressing not only my disgust but now I have to do the right thing and respect those who don’t even respect me and apologize,” he wrote on Facebook.

On social media a debate has stirred over whether Marques was correct or just offensive in his characterization of the protests. Mike Carriveau, of Plainfield, commented that Marques was right in his criticism of the movement.

“Apparently there’s dissension amongst the provocateurs!” he wrote in the comment section on a Facebook post by state Rep. Marianna Gamache, R-Swanton. “When elected officials succumb to political correctness to appease those who’ve caught the spotlight for their moment in the sun, a righteous member comes forth and spells out the forbidden truth of their narrative. The consequent retaliation from this hate group clearly defines where the racism actually lies, and makes mockery of Vermont’s supposed systemic racism.

“We should all be thanking this man for his courageous actions, and understand Vermonters bear no ill will towards others and wish only to have it reciprocated.”

Some of the comments directed against Edgar online were distasteful.

Edgar, who also has written for BuzzFeed and Philadelphia Magazine, did not respond to TNR’s request for comment.

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North. Send him news tips at and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

Images courtesy of Lou Varrichio/TNR and Anthony Marques/Facebook

9 thoughts on “Social justice movement turns on Seven Days reporter and a former BLM organizer

  1. As i was walking in to vote on walnut st. nov 07 2006 a man bun wearing freak, was holding a green progressive sign. he asked me who i was voting for, which is highly Illegal And to top it all off, The Racist Idiot Says to me” You Should Vote Progressive We Help Black People”. I Am Not Thin Skinned, But I Remember Walking Home After Voting Pissed Off Beyond Belief. To Be Patronized By Some Farmer. The Left Always Accuse Conservatives Of Being Intolerant. What The Hell Do You Call That? That Man Insulted Not Just Me But Every Black Person In Vermont! To Insinuate That Black Folks Were Not Capable Of Independent Thought. Progressives Are Always Labeling White Conservatives As Racists I Have Seen No Proof Of This In The 21 Years Of Living In Vermont.But I Have Seen Plenty Of Proof Of Racist Leftists. This Man Is None Other Than Lt. Governor David Zuckerman. Now Running For Governor, Do Not Waste Your Vote On This Loser. Mr. Ruel Peterson, South Hero, Vermont.

  2. Lately I’ve come to think these protesters (and all the liberals who agree with them) are actually demanding that everyone else think like they do in public, professional and private life, and if you don’t you’re their enemy. And they want those people removed. — And I’m trying to figure out if that is any different from mob rule and what becomes of our society if we allow it.

  3. “As they burned the papers, protesters chanted “Chelsea about to lose her job” and “F— Seven Days.” After the fires finished, they demanded that all the white men in their movement pick up the mess.” No racism there.

  4. Aren’t they just such nice little nazi’s and the leftist 7 days who also bans comments thought

    the little Marxist group would eat them last.. ha ha ha ha,,,,unlike thieves there’s no honor

    among Rioters….(mostly peaceful)

    • have you noticed that “VtDigger and the Commons also don’t allow comments either???

      I have stopped read these “newspaper” because of this…

  5. What a crock, these fools wouldn’t know justice if it bit them !!

    What a good laugh drive by Battery Park and see this class of fools,
    most aren’t even from Burlington and most don’t even know what they
    are protesting ( ask one ) Idiots and they want the locals to support them.

    This gaggle of fools and now Burlingtons homeless have joined the free
    camping and parking at the park, that the city deemed could not be allowed
    for it tax paying citizens for years, more than I can remember.

    Burlington’s mayor is useless for allowing this ” squatters village ” to happen,
    it appears the there is no ” Leadership ” in city hall as from what I have seen
    this is a safety & health issue to say the least

    Maybe the taxpayers should sue the City and get a refund on there taxes as the
    Park is ruined ….. why !!……….. NO Leadership.

    Burlington use to be a real thriving community, then Sanders can to town and it’s
    been in a down hill spiral ever sense ……….Liberals !!

    Wake up people vote these fools out, a useless Mayor and a complacent city
    counsel…….what a shame !!

  6. At what point will we clear the streets of these low class, low intelligence, violent terrorists?

    Is there nobody with the gonads to say ‘Enough’? Are you jelly-spined politicians waiting for for ‘We The People’ to do the job you’re collecting a paycheck to do?

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