John Klar: What happened to rule of law?

By John Klar

Not content with disrupting the business of the Vermont House, climate change protesters popped up again to disrupt another much-loved public event. On June 8, Brattleboro hosted its annual celebration of local agriculture, the “Strolling of the Heifers” Parade.  A small group of climate change protesters obstructed the Parade for about fifteen minutes, refusing to disperse.  Two of the youngsters were carried off the roadway on backboards by authorities – but no arrests were made.

The public event’s co-announcer, Progressive Lt. Gov. and climate warrior David Zuckerman, praised the protesters from the reviewing stand for their civil disobedience. They were allowed to dominate the event and were not charged with any crime (their banner was returned to them). Said a local police officer: “What they did could have gotten them arrested…. but it was short and nonviolent.”

Had the protesters been conservative youth wearing MAGA hats in support of veterans, would the crowd, the police, and the lieutenant governor have been so accepting? Would those protesters be permitted fifteen minutes of “short and nonviolent” disruption?

Consider the implications: the police and a high government official placed their firm imprimatur on one side of a political issue. As the protesters halted the parade, the announcers praised them for their “great point,” and then announced over the microphone the protesters’ demand that towns implement climate change policies.

Zuckerman went much further, beginning: “I think that’s something that towns can do locally, and the state can do more as well and obviously even nationally and internationally.  Thank you to the folks for bringing attention… You know it’s great, honestly, seeing young people getting involved as well you know I think a lot of us would like to see more of every age group get involved in our community and our political process making our voices heard, so kudos to young folks for getting involved as well.”

One (invariably liberal) media report observed that Zuckerman said that “Activism is a good thing,”… But after five minutes of watching protesters writhe on the pavement while a lineup of more than forty community groups and thousands of spectators sat stymied in the hot sun, the Progressive Party politician turned his microphone into a negotiating tool.”

Another media report described how the lieutenant governor “tried to convince the protesters to move since they were holding up the parade….,” and quoted a lead protester saying that “the climate change activists thought the heifer parade was too much of an opportunity to pass up.”  Since Zuckerman is a strong proponent in Vermont of a slew of climate initiatives, including a carbon tax, he enhanced and magnified that opportunity for the protesters, endorsed their message, and did nothing to revive the parade.

Parade organizer Orly Munzing stated: “It’s not respectful of our farmers…. to hold things up – not just for the people and animals in the parade, but many of the people and young children on the sidewalk, waiting in the hot sun.” But the media and liberals applauded how reasonably Zuckerman handled it — but he didn’t handle anything at all. Why won’t the protesters be back next year to disrupt the parade again?

Zuckerman has been in government for many years. His website is “Vision With Vermont Values,” but he has yet to discover the value of maintaining civil order. Ironically, when the parade resumed a banner soon appeared reading “Civil Rights For All,” followed by a voice: “Standing up for the climate… is critically important.”

The concept of the rule of law eludes the practitioners of modern liberalism, many of whom actually embrace the belief (“critical theory”) that free speech and other protections must be removed in order for power to be transferred from dominant to powerless groups.

Today in Vermont, the media is all too often an unquestioning enthusiast for liberal propaganda. In lieu of personal responsibility, they embrace collective rights, and turn a blind eye to suppression of the rights of those with whom they disagree.  (After all, they argue, we must save the climate (whatever that means), so those who disagree be silenced.)

In Vermont, as in many parts of our nation today, liberals seize upon “freedom of  speech” to disrupt public events, and deny conservatives any right to offer contrary views. Liberal teenagers display Black Lives Matter flags at numerous public schools; conservatives display nothing at any schools. At times, police refuse to protect conservatives, and/or arrest liberals who openly and deliberately defy the law.

This year’s Strolling of the Heifers Parade again showed the face of disfigured liberalism, endorsed by Vermont’s Progressive lieutenant governor. With this welcome from state and local officialdom, we can expect to see the ranks of the climate protesters grow at next year’s event.

John Klar is an attorney and farmer residing in Brookfield, and pastor of the First Congregational Church of Westfield.

Image courtesy of Bruce Parker/TNR
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20 thoughts on “John Klar: What happened to rule of law?

  1. Thank you Mr Klar for another fine op-ed exposing the Marxist mob rule in our once proud state of conservatives – mostly Libertarians. And the jackassery of our poney-tailed formerly trustfunded gentleman-farmer financed by wealthy dad from the land-of-the-flats who has managed to inject himself into our body politic.

    This example comes following the takeover of the VT statehouse floor by same belligerent mobrulers from the fascistic climate alarmists. Not content to use the ballot box, public discourse in print, online and open meeting the same bullies have become a human monkey wrench or hand grenade tossed into our civil events w/o warning,

    That a local event could be coopted and commandeered by and for a political viewpoint coming from a state office-holder and member of the Marxist wing of the Dem party aka Progressives of whom – might be added – have a sordid history in our state going back centuries, but I digress, aided and abetted by public officials including those sworn to keep the peace, uphold and protect our laws our very own law enforcement officers should disturb us all. When public officials inc those duly elected to uphold rule of law and our constitution, and LE caves to mob rule who’s left to protect us? Short answer: No one.

  2. I appreciate that this was written about. But I find it interesting that the author declined to further extrapolate how I also stated that the protest was counter to what they were pushing for as cars in the parade were sitting idling while waiting for the protesters to move. And, how after my “negotiating” most of the protesters did get up and leave so the police only had to remove 2 of them, thus saving quite a bit of time instead of removing many more, 1 at a time.

    Yes, I did speak to the crowd to also keep the situation calm. Events can quickly get out of hand if either protestors, or those observing start to get agitated. The whole episode was over in about 15 minutes with no harm done. I also spoke to the protestors pointing out that their efforts may have had a good message, but if they stayed longer, they would lose the support of many in the crowd who agreed with them on the issue, but would lose support for it by their interrupting the event.

    Most people who were there or who reported on it gave a far more balanced presentation of what happened. It was not all a one sided set of remarks as has been presented.

    • Thank you Lt. Gov. for handling the situation with respect and calm. It is refreshing to finally hear from someone who respects freedom of speech and activism but also understands when things need to be moved on to keep peace.

  3. Nice job with your article John Klar. Thanks for calling it like we see it. To the rest of you: Stay and help us put this scourge back in the box! Don’t leave the state because of the progressives. That’s exactly what they want you to do. Stay and deal with it!

  4. Zuckerman is such an entitled parasitic worm. He probably invited the petulant pukes.

  5. Thanks to all of you for your poignant, colorful comments, especially DBean who gladdens my heart with his corruption of the English language. Keep it up Folks; this is entertainment in its highest form.

  6. So if I decide to block Zuckermans driveway because I want to protest his political position on something that’s okay? After about 2 minutes they should have been arrested and locked up. They made their statement now get the he’ll out of the road.

  7. Civil disobedience? BS!!!! Their just a bunch of hecklers looking for attention using a most ridiculous excuse as a platform. Vermont in the vanguard of stemming global warming is a joke.Once again it’s the vocal minority that gets all the attention.

    • ” vocal minority that gets all the attention.”

      Eh yah squeaky wheel gets the grease..The Heifers got outpaced by the leftist sheep,
      or is it leftist loons..The little brats should just be thankful they weren’t aborted from
      leftist fascist birth control.

  8. This is a prime example displaying ignorance with regard to business.

    How many people were there? 2,000? Average wage $20. 15 minutes……

    20 x .25 x 2000 = $10,000, send’em a bill.

    We need to call them on their b.s., they aren’t even slightly interested or concerned about the environment, if they were they would be allowing all sorts of great, inexpensive ways for Vermonters to be frugal, reduce pollution…but they don’t do they? Haven’t been working towards it for decades have they? Nope.

    Some how a tax is always the answer, funny how that works.

  9. Very well stated and true. The Z man is setting himself up for the Governorship. That should never happen unless you feel that Vermont needs to slide further into the liberal Utopian abyss. If he is Governor with a liberal super majority, I will leave Vermont. Every normal thinking person who does not get off their ass and vote these people out deserve all the misery in store for them. I can only hope that people have had enough. After 6 decades plus of living in my birth state and watching the decline, I will not be able to withstand any more. Freedom is just a short drive away!!!

    • If there were some way for us to leave Vermont (other than dying), we’d be on the road, but unfortunately we don’t have that option. We do vote for conservatives, if there are any running for office, however, Windham County has no conservative representation in the Vermont Legislature. Liberals used to be called “bleeding hearts” liberals, but now they only “bleed” for abortionists, protesters, environmentalists, and alternate lifestyles. No “bleeding” for those who are on fixed incomes who have worked all their lives and are at a point where they have to choose between heat and/or food and medications. And now Mr. Sanders not only wants to tax the rich, he has moved on to taxing the middle income. Sad, Sad, Sad

  10. So much for “true north” reporting. Funny what rights and freedoms conservatives like to uphold; only what benefits them. Peaceful protests and freedom of speech MUST be protected at all costs for EVERYONE.

    • Yeah, but not everything in life has to be political or slanted toward a group of activists. Liberal protests are out of hand. No one here is capable of affecting the weather or the planet by laying down in the road making an ass of themselves. Especially the ring leader is 17 years old and the daughter of another well known activist. Freedom isn’t for you to decide, the laws are for all of us. They should have been cited to court.

    • They can go protest anywhere they want. Keeping people from putting on an event isn’t protesting, they could have plead their case on the side lines no?

      Want to know a similar comparison?

      It would be akin to people keeping others from entering planned parenthood by force for 15 minutes, bet that wouldn’t go over too well would it? That would be comparable. Would people be arrested to doing that, you bet!

      No, the plan, if you read the play book is clear. Disruption, turmoil, hatred and division. These people are just cogs in the social justice wheel looking to disrupt a perfectly great republic. Too bad most think we’re a democracy, which is a testament to how absolutely putrid our educational system has become.

      They’ve got people believing this is about saving the planet and the environment and it couldn’t be further from the truth. Propaganda and indoctrination is a power tool.

    • Except the ones you disagree with, right? You’ve revealed much about yourself in a short amount of time. Whose staff are you working for Biskit?

  11. Mindless Liberals, they’ll protest anything as they really have a cause they just want to
    disrupt the ” Norm ” ………………

    This article shows just how biased things are if you want to stop the foolishness then
    head to the ballot box

    Take Back Vermont, before it’s too late send the flatlanders home they have ruined
    our state.

  12. These so called idiots of climate change need to go get a job………….let Vermonters keep the few traditional things that used to make this a great agricultural state. Typical flatlanders, come to Vermont and try to make it New Jersey……….and I am not a native Vermonter but I came here to live and to respect the culture of the folks in this lovely state.

    These protestors need to go protest China or India and see where their disobedience gets them………..jailed or killed!

  13. I’d go a step further and state that law enforcement in Vermont deliberately targets conservatives. When I left VT in 1984 to serve on active duty until 2010, I had nothing but respect for our LE officers. In the relatively short time I’ve been back, I’ve done a complete 180. They’ll no longer enjoy either my support or my cooperation.

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