Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Reactions and a New Development (UPDATES at bottom)

The initial reaction to the revelations here and at other blogs that white supremacists, anti-labor forces and representatives from a neo-Confederate think-tank are serving in an prominent advisory capacity [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] to Second Vermont Republic and its sister organization, "Vermont Commons" was not unexpected.  Vermonters are objecting to the influence of such outside advisers that seem to come from only one end of the spectrum - that of white supremacy.  Comments on this and other blogs reflect that concern. [8] [9]

The response from SVR members and supporters has run the gamut from outrage, smears and denials [10] [11], to this downright silly rant.

One new development comes from a group, the Green Mountain Collective, that had previously worked with members of SVR in opposition to anti-immigrant elements that had come to Vermont. They now call on SVR to do the following:
"1. The immediate dismissal from SRV’s advisory board of Thomas Dirolenzo (for extreme anti-worker, anti-union views) & Marco Basani (for his connections to the extremist, anti-immigrant, Northern League of Italy).

2. The official cutting of relations between SRV and the neo-Confederate League of the South, as well as any other organizations with ties to right-wing extremists, racists, and/or neo-fascists. The weblink on the SVR website must be deleted.

3. A statement from the SVR recognizing a workers’ right to form unions and the historical necessity for workers to do such insofar as democracy and economic equality are goals which are socially desirable.

4. A statement from the SVR that reaffirms their complete opposition to racism, fascism, bigotry and discrimination.

5. These statements should be posted on the SVR website, and should be printed in the Vermont Commons (which is a sister organization of SVR)"
About two hours before this statement first appeared at Green Mountain Daily, there was another statement issued on the Vermont Commons blog by their publication's Subscriptions Manager, J. Arthur Loose.  He posted Outside the Box yesterday as a follow-up piece to his initial reaction blog post this past Saturday, Republicratic Death Rattles, and it appears to confirm and endorse an earlier statement of position issued by SVR Co-chair, Rob Williams.  Williams doesn't seem to feel much concern about associating with or working in concert with racist, neo-Confederate, white supremacist operatives.
"Is (Donald Livingston) a racist? I don't know. And frankly, it is none of my damn business, at a personal level. But I DO know that I've learned more about secession globally and historically from reading his work and talking with him than I have from anyone else I've ever met - and we will continue to publish his work as long as I am editor of Vermont Commons." [13]
- Rob Williams, Vermont Commons blog, 2.11.07
Loose takes that position and expands on it to include others who would oppose full civil rights for all Vermonters, the old Take Back Vermont crowd.  Unless I'm mistaken, he doesn't feel that, in fairness, those who would deny basic rights and liberties provided for under Vermont's constitution to their neighbors should necessarily be considered "malicious."  He would now even "trust" them.  Does he really think that Vermont's lesbian and gay community will share in that sort of naiveté and trust that the Take Back Vermont crowd won't attempt to advance their agenda in such a new Vermont?  Does he really expect that anyone would be willing to contemplate "compromise" on their civil liberties, or anyone else's for that matter, for the sake of secession?
If we're ever to succeed in seceeding (sic), we are going to have to get past this psychotic, neurotic, black and white thinking and really compromise. We're going to have to understand that secession isn't about creating the government that you want, or the government that I want, but the government that we ALL want. Together. We're going to have to consciously resist those who would divide and conquer us, and they most certainly will try.

That's frightening, even for me. But I trust Vermonters. Even the ones who want to take it back.
- J. Arthur Loose, Vermont Commons blog, 2.13.07
It's now seems now that instead of finding a way out of the hole that it's gotten itself into, the SVR leadership has decided to dig down a little bit deeper.

UPDATE: (1)  There is a one hour interview (11-12) of John Odum on this whole matter scheduled for this morning with Steve West & Gorty Baldwin on WKVT in Brattleboro.  I'll put the link up to it should it become available.

(2)  Podcast of WKVT Brattleboro Live and Local program interview of John Odum this morning is now available via Green Mountain Daily.

(3)  Even more still from JDRyan at FBC where he really lays down his cards.


At Wednesday, June 6, 2007 at 11:00:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Dan said...

This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Remeber Texas or how about the CSA. A single country operating inside the USA will never work. Honestly, all of you "so-called" intellectuals do not have it that bad. If it really seems that bad and you do not like the great freedoms that are offered to us by our great country then you can afford the plain ticket to leave. I'm sure our founding fathers would feel it is a great thing to leave the union. Or hold on maybe one of our great minds in Abe Lincoln, I wander how he would feel about this sort of thing. Find something else to focus your efforts on and understand that you do not have it at all that bad!


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