Activists rally at Statehouse on May DayBy WILSON RING
The Associated Press | May 02,2013Mark Collier / Staff Photo
Hundreds of people turned out for the annual May Day march and rally organized by the Vermont Workers Center. Marchers represented causes ranging from worker rights to the environment and energy policy.MONTPELIER — More than 1,000 activists highlighted their visions of social justice Wednesday at a May Day march through the city and rally on the Statehouse lawn that featured lived music, speeches and lots of red T-shirts.
Speakers at the event labeled Put People First promoted the rights of immigrant farmworkers, the need for universal access to health care and other topics.
Traditionally, May 1 is celebrated internationally as the day of the worker.
“We are trying to build the community we would all like to live in, where peoples’ needs are all being met, whether that be housing, whether that be food, access to transportation,” said Sandra Schlosser, a volunteer with the Vermont Workers Center who helped organize the rally.
Organizers also called on Vermont legislators, who met inside the Statehouse while people rallied on the lawn, to take action on various issues.
The Workers Center asked that lawmakers pass a budget that “meets the needs of the people.” Some of their criticisms of the Legislature include proposals to cap the welfare-to-work program, inadequate citizen participation in the state budget process and what they see as a too-slow process to implement the first-in-the-nation single-payer health care system.
Schlosser recognized that Vermont is far ahead of many states on social issues but said residents need to support similar efforts elsewhere.
“Even though Vermont probably is leading the way in a lot of those areas it’s something that isn’t just happening here, it’s something that’s happening all over the United States,” she said. “And it is really exciting.”
About 1,500 people attended the rally, Schlosser estimated. Montpelier police did not have an independent estimate of the crowd size.
Others at the rally included Alberto Madrigal, 22, from Tabasco, Mexico, who has been working on a Vermont dairy farm for the past 18 months.
He spoke in favor of an effort by a group called Migrant Justice to legalize driver’s licenses for farmworkers in the country illegally. An estimated 1,500 immigrants work on Vermont’s dairy farms.MORE IN Vermont NewsMONTPELIER — An executive with the owner of the mothballed Vermont Yankee nuclear plant sought to... Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1843, British Naval officer GEORGE LORD PAULET obtains provisional cession of Hawaiian Islands; 1866, miners claim Calaveras skull found found in goldmine is remains of 5 million-year-old Pliocene man.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day 1739, 'Richard Palmer' identified in prison at York Castle as the notorious outlaw DICK TURPIN; IN 1836, Battle of the Alamo begins near San Antonio de Bexar, Texas; 1896, the Tootsie Roll invented by LEO HIRSCHFELD.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1472, Orkney, Shetland islands put up as collateral by Norway to Scotland in lieu of dowry for MARGARET OF DENMARK on her marriage with JAMES III, king of Scotland; 1962, JOHN GLENN first American to orbit Earth.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: City mayoral candidates debate campaign issues; Hartford, Conn., woman still missing; Neal Goswami reports attempts to legislate suicide; local woman loses 100 pounds through TOPS program.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1878, JOHN TUNSTALL murdered near Lincoln, New Mexico, by the outlaw JESSE EVANS; in 1930, ELM FARM OLLIE first cow to fly in aircraft, first to be milked airborne; 1955, nuke test WASP; '79, snow in Sahara.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Rutland Herald News Editor Alan J. Keays and staff writer Gordon Dritschilo discuss stories planned for the February 18, 2015, edition of the newspaper: Winter budgets maxed, legal marijuana, Springfield bank job, USPS slowdown