An effort to change the world

Editor of the Reformer:

We, participants in the Brattleboro Solidarity with Palestine group, are writing in response to a recent letter ("How do you direct your concerns," Aug. 27).

We live in a world where human lives everywhere are at stake. The reasons for this are not disconnected. The people of Palestine are not only dying daily but have been imprisoned and impoverished in their own homeland for years. Focusing on this situation allows us to explore the fundamental reasons why there is oppression in the world. When we study Palestine, we seek to make connections between many issues and places, including occupation, militarization of the police, healthcare, and homelessness in Brattleboro.

The United States gives $8.6 million a day to fund the Israeli occupation of Palestine. We can all dream about where we would chose to allocate these three billion dollars a year, how we would address the much-neglected welfare of the American people. The reality is that with this money the Israeli government designs weapons that are used to oppress, evict and murder the Palestinian people. Those weapons are then sold to police forces around the world, including those in this country, to do the very things we have all seen recently on the news in Ferguson. While the U.S. happens to be the worlds largest arms dealer, Israel is not far behind. It markets its weapons as "field tested" and profits from training other countries’ police forces.


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In fact, police forces in the United States are traveling to Israel to receive training in order to effectively suppress protesters. Who benefits from the creation, sale, and use of these weapons? Why are the Palestinian people considered dangerous? Why the protesters in Ferguson?

Many of us in the Brattleboro Solidarity with Palestine group are actively involved in the intersecting issues that the letter writer names. We do not see our struggle for Palestine as separate from our work closer to home. We invite everyone to attend our events and meetings and take part in fighting against the genocide of the Palestinian people and analyzing the world we live in. Even more importantly, we encourage everyone to find common interests with their friends and neighbors and struggle together for the world they wish to see.

Christina Dejong and Cory Sorensen,

Brattleboro, Aug. 3

Enjoying our waters

Editor of the Reformer:

I would like to respond to a recent letter ("Parking and Pedestrian Safety," Aug. 27). The parking on Route 30 south of junction of Dover Road and Route 30 is greatly improved since the cooperative efforts of Vtrans, the towns of Newfane and Dummerston and interested landowners to confine the on-street parking to the southbound side and installing a caution light and reduced speed signs. I have traveled the road for many more years than three and the improvement is remarkable.

As to the water quality. The Southeastern Vermont Watershed Alliance conducts tests regularly throughout the summer and posts the results in public locations around the area. The only time the results are high for e.coli are after a heavy rain event. And river users are cautioned to wait 24 to 48 hours after a heavy rain before entering the water. While water levels are lower since Tropical Storm Irene, those levels do not create contamination. Nor does heavy human usage. Contamination is generally caused by run-off.

The cooperative spirit of the towns, SeVWA, Vtrans and river users has developed into a safe and respectful use of the river. And it is wonderful to see more and more families and young people on the river banks.

Cristine A. White,

Newfane, Sept. 2