Flags across Vermont and the country are at half staff and will remain so through Monday in honor of Nelson Mandela. The 95-year-old passed away at his home in Johannesburg South Africa Thursday.
His fight against institutional racism led to his imprisonment in 1964. The battle reached the University of Vermont campus in the late 70's and continued through the early 90's.
"He was definitely an inspiration," said Charley MacMartin, who along with fellow student protesters, ultimately prevailed in convincing trustees not to invest in companies that did business in South Africa. "I and other people at UVM felt very fortunate to be a part of that," MacMartin said. "I think we felt like we had played a very small role in a very successful movement."
Then-Burlington mayor and current U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders recalls chants ringing through the city at that time. "'Free Mandela, Free Mandela,' and here in Burlington we divested I think $1.8 million of city pension funds from companies who were doing business in South Africa," Sanders said.
South Africa's government released Mandela in 1990. Sen. Sanders attended his presidential inauguration four years later. Mandela spent 26 years behind bars, but back-breaking manual labor did not break his political will. Vermont's Independent Senator says that taught him a powerful lesson. "One word -- determination. If there's one word you'd ascribe to Mandela it is unbelievable determination," Sanders said.
MacMartin says the lessons he and his peers learned -- political success itself is not a goal. "But to try to think about how that political success can translate into a better future. And a lot of people who were involved in the anti-apartheid movement at UVM were inspired to go on and do other things," he said.
The man known as Mandiba - or "father" - is gone, but his example will continue to guide those in search of peace and equality. Senator Sanders say the loss of Mandela is saddening, but given his age, the mourning period should also be a time to celebrate all that he accomplished with his life.
Sunday, March 9 2014 8:08 AM EDT2014-03-09 12:08:24 GMT
This morning, Channel 3 has learned there will NOT be a bus strike Monday morning in Chittenden County. CCTA officials told us in a statement that after 19 hours of negotiations that went into the morningMore >>
This morning, Channel 3 has learned there will NOT be a bus strike Monday morning in Chittenden County.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:49 PM EST2014-03-09 02:49:49 GMT
The Burlington Yoga Conference began Saturday at UVM's Davis Center. The event gives participants a chance to connect the mind body and soul through workshops they may not have access to on a daily basis.More >>
The Burlington Yoga Conference began 6 years ago and has become a staple in the community.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:29 PM EST2014-03-09 02:29:17 GMT
A warning for pet owners in our region. Coyotes are on the prowl. A biologist in New Hampshire says he has received more than 10 calls recently, in the Keene, New Hampshire area, for a deer that was takenMore >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:21 PM EST2014-03-09 02:21:44 GMT
As spring approaches, many Vermont homeowners prepare to work on their houses - so they head to the Burlington Home Show. And many Vermont small business owners - with their products and services on displayMore >>
Many business owners at the Burlington Home Show say the new health care system in Vermont is helpful, but some say it's causing a real headache.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 8:07 PM EST2014-03-09 01:07:08 GMT
A rally at the State House in Montpelier Saturday. A passionate group of dozens of women, and men, assembled in front of the State House Saturday for the Women's March for Dignity. They were demandingMore >>
Women's March for Dignity say they are demanding lawmakers support paid sick day policies for all workers.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:21 AM EST2014-03-08 15:21:27 GMT
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries. They were injured while fighting a at the Bennett Farm on Route 15 on the Johnson-Cambridge town line. The fire started in a shed around 7:30 FridayMore >>
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:20 AM EST2014-03-08 15:20:42 GMT
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury. They immediately took to Facebook after hearing about this fire and started planning to collectMore >>
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:20 AM EST2014-03-08 15:20:05 GMT
Reporter: "What are some of the most common burn injuries that we see with kids coming into the hospital?" Jim Esdon, Dartmouth Hitchcock Injury Prevention Center: "This time of year, the glass frontedMore >>
We've had another cold week that's left homeowners cranking the heat. But what does that mean for kids' safety?More >>