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Students rally in response to stolen Black Lives Matter flag

(WCAX)
Published: Jul. 7, 2020 at 5:06 PM EDT
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Students in Milton protested Tuesday in response to the theft of the school's Black Lives Matter flag. Our Ike Bendavid was there.

The rally kicked off at about 5 p.m. The goal-- to send a message of solidarity after that flag was stolen.

Surveillance video from last Wednesday showed a person dressed in black climbing up the high school's flag pole, cutting the rope and taking off with the flag.

Like several other Vermont schools, Milton High School began flying the flag at the beginning of the last school year.

The stolen flag was replaced a few days ago.

The rally was organized by members of the Milton Students for Social Justice Group. Organizers say it is a peaceful response to the flag being taken down and vandalized. They say the students wanted to do something.

"They organized this, they put together this anti-racism protest trying to show that Milton is not about this. We need to make changes ourselves, within our community and as a whole," said Ali Bergeron, a teacher organizer.

"It was so unacceptable to me that something happens that directly impacted the high school. I was like, I have to do something about this as soon as possible, get as many people in on it as possible," said Miriam Pakbaz, a senior.

"I have just seen an uptick in behavior on social media throughout the community trying to condemn these types of efforts. I think just trying to get out here and make it more well known is a good way to fight back against that," said Kaleb Wright, a senior.

The students held the rally on Route 7. I asked why they had the protest there and not at the school. They told me there would be more visibility on Route 7.

There were a lot of people honking in support of those at the rally but there were also some people yelling in opposition.

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