Statehouse Headliners: Climate protest causes car accident in Montpelier

By Guy Page

Yesterday’s Extinction Rebellion climate change protest led to a car accident on Main Street, Montpelier police said Wednesday.

Yesterday, Headliners reported that a climate change protest blocking State Street in Montpelier resulted in idled cars and heavy traffic as motorists were forced to find alternate routes to their destinations.  Headliners left at 10:45 AM. On Wednesday, Headliners learned from two city police officers that the protest disbanded at 11:30, after blocking traffic for about two hours and ignoring requests by police to get out of the road. The police officers also said that heavier-than-usual traffic on Main Street necessitated by the unavailability of State Street caused a car accident on Main Street. The officers did not say whether anyone was injured in the accident.

Guy Page

Simon Bennett (in green skirt) reads Extinction Rebellion climate change demands Tuesday morning on State Street in Montpelier while lines of cars, unable to turn onto State Street, idle at a nearby stop light.

The police officers noted that at one time three police cruisers and a fire truck (presumably dispatched for the car accident) were all idling on city streets as a result of the protest. The carbon emissions from these public safety vehicles were slight compared to the hundreds of cars whose drivers were deprived of access to State Street and were therefore idling at long lines on Main, Taylor, and other crossing streets.

Coverage of the protest on Headliners and the City of Montpelier Police Department Facebook Page drew strong reader interest and comments. For example, the Montpelier PD Facebook page recorded 61 comments and 55 shares to the 11:30 pm post that State Street had re-opened. Vermont media covered the protest in context with a Public Utilities hearing about the merger of Green Mountain Power with a natural gas company and its implications for Vermont. However, the effects of the blocked traffic – idling, the accident – went almost unnoticed in the Vermont media, except by WPTZ’s Stewart Ledbetter who noted that “at 11 a.m. [Montpelier Police Chief Anthony] Facos said he was unaware of complaints from city businesses about the disruption, which left half of downtown unusually quiet for a weekday morning.”

This observation may have disappointed at least one protester interviewed by Vermont Public Radio said she didn’t care whether people were upset or not. “This is probably going to make some people in Montpelier and surrounding areas very upset with us,” she said as commuters detoured around the blocked intersection. “But the idea is that they should be upset. The Earth is dying. People are still building fossil fuel infrastructure. And nobody is talking about it.”

No reference to the Montpelier protest has yet appeared on the Extinction Rebellion of the Upper Valley Facebook Page, although it does have a post about ER compatriots who superglued themselves to a public building in Washington D.C.. It also offers an interesting religious theory: “A predominant theme in myths and sagas handed down to us from Neolithic times is the ascendancy of a patriarchal god over the ancient tradition… It has been asserted that the catalyst for this shift was the invention of the cattle-drawn plow.”

Statehouse Headliners is intended primarily to educate, not advocate. It is e-mailed to an ever-growing list of interested Vermonters, public officials and media. Guy Page is affiliated with the Vermont Energy Partnership; the Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare; and Physicians, Families and Friends for a Better Vermont.

Images courtesy of Michael Bielawski/TNR and Guy Page

10 thoughts on “Statehouse Headliners: Climate protest causes car accident in Montpelier

  1. So where were the police? Impeding traffic is against the law period. People have jobs, people have appointments, employers are paying people while these jerks play their little games.

    I’m surprised somebody doesn’t get put of their car and spank their asses.

  2. These juveniles’ behavior is a direct reflection of their parents and the liberal controlled education system in VT. People in this age group are the last group of people who anyone should listen too as they have the shortest record of time on earth and have no real life experience. Their behavior is a reflection of the political lies they are taught in school. It will be a sad day in the history of the world when we let the brainwashed opinions of youth make decisions that will effect humanity for generations.

  3. After watching this “problem” for more than 25 years and initially being very concerned, I have stopped being concerned at all. 5,000 or 6,000 articles, 25 books, and “confronting” the people who write this junk, politicians who regurgitate the nonsense, and the so-called “scientists” who look for funding for their preconceived bias, I am distressed at the lack of work, research, and plain laziness of the bobble headed minions who need to educate themselves much better before they spread the hysteria around the world over not very much at all. We all want clean air, water, soil, etc. but have an open mind, do some real work on the subject and then go pick up plastic on the beach and do real environmental work for the creatures on this planet.

      • Thanks Matt, yep it’s as simple as doing a little work and not being lazy. Once you look hard and deep as I have; called, written, and challenged these people, (newspaper reporters, scientists, mayors, etc.) directly and called them out on the outlandish stuff that common sense tells you is absurd, they relent. I appreciate your comment very much, hopefully there is more common sense than we think!

  4. In my imagination I can see them now, gathered in someone’s home sitting around the coffee table, smoking some good weed and maybe dropping a peyote button or two before they meet the day’s challenges of banging the drum. Ah yes, Vermont’s best days are just around the next bend.

  5. ” The Earth is dying. People are still building fossil fuel infrastructure. And nobody is talking about it.” “Nobody is talking about it?” In what dim corner of the universe does she dwell? It’s a fanatic religion whose proselytizers have preached it since the impending ice age of the seventies and demonize anyone who disagrees with them. Nobody’s talking about it? Maybe it’s just that people are going deaf to it after forty years of impending Armageddon.

  6. These protesters need to get a grip, stop whining, maybe do something productive and positive for a change and stop telling others how they should live their lives.

    If you want change then lead by example that others will want to emulate, don’t presume you can change others by force without meeting resistance.

    Perhaps you give yourself too much credit for having all the right answers but I can assure you no one appreciates a dictator and activism 101 will not carry as you far in life as you might think if you are just starting out.

    Embrace and understand Liberty and our Free Market system before you lose the opportunity to participate in them along with your right to choose.

    As a member of a free society you have an obligation to contribute not confiscate!

  7. Go EXXON, go CHEVRON, go natural gas, boo on wind mills and solar. Now we’ve fixed the nonexistant problem.

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