Protesters gather outside city councilor’s home in Burlington

Published: Oct. 9, 2020 at 12:00 AM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Protesters fighting against what they have called racial injustice and excessive force by police, returned to the streets of Burlington Thursday night, this time taking over a road in a South End neighborhood.

The group, which recently wrapped up a month-long occupation of Battery Park, gathered at 6:30 p.m. in Lakeside Park. Around 200 people showed up for the demonstration and then marched from the park to the nearby home of City Councilor Joan Shannon on Central Avenue. One of the leaders of the group claims the Democrat spoke out against racial justice actions the City Council has voted on in recent months.

Demonstrators stood in the street outside of the Councilwoman’s home, chanting, making speeches, reading poems, and all laid in the street at one point to hold a die-in. Many neighbors in the area voiced their frustration at the noise and disruption the protest caused.

“I think it was ignorance honestly., I do. I don’t think they stood for anything. I don’t think this neighborhood was ever racist, I don’t think Joan Shannon was ever racist. There’s kids trying to go to sleep down here, there’s a lot of families that live down here, and I think [protesters] are just disrespecting the whole city of Burlington right now,” said Justin Ellerby, who’s family lives on the same street as the demonstration.

“I don’t take Councilwoman Shannon seriously because I have seen her voting record. She has all kinds of things to say against the racial justice resolution in June, the reparations resolution that was passing,” said one of the protest organizers who refused to give her name.

The group told WCAX News they still are not speaking to the media. Neighbors say some protesters told them they will be holding more demonstrations outside of homes of other Burlington City Council members.

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