The Pride Center of Vermont staff unequivocally supports the Black Lives Matter movement and stands in solidarity with the protest encampment outside the Burlington Police Department.

We call on the Burlington Police Department, Mayor Miro Weinberger, and Burlington City Council to listen to and meet the demands of the protesters: Terminate officers Cory Campbell, Jason Bellavance, and Joseph Corrow. These officers have demonstrated violent tendencies within our communities, especially toward Black men, and this behavior should not be tolerated in our city, state, or nation.

We also call on our community to show up and out in support of The Black Perspective. Our history of Pride celebrations are rooted in an uprising led by two trans women of color, Marsha P. Johnson & Sylvia Rivera, against blatant police brutality and excessive force. May we hold this history as we stand in solidarity with our Black, Brown, and Indigenous community members. Here are some ways to support:

Reach out to Burlington City Counselors (especially if you are a Burlington resident)

[from Amanda & The Organizing Team at VT Racial Justice Alliance]

The following city counselors have not yet publicly supported the demand to fire the cops.  We are prioritizing reaching out to Councilors Carpenter, Paulino & Paul who have signaled their support, but have also shown some reluctance to remove these officers. Make an emotional appeal (not an alienating one) to these Councilors. With them and the progressive caucus, we can have a veto-proof majority. *If you would like additional support on how to best conduct these conversations, please reach back out and a member of our team would be happy to go over any questions you may have.

  • Ward 4 – Sarah E Carpenter – scarpenter@burlingtonvt.gov – (802) 658-0474

  • Ward 5 – William “Chip” Mason – cmason@burlingtonvt.gov – (802) 373-8545

  • Ward 6 – Karen Paul – kpaul@burlingtonvt.gov – (802) 863-3817

  • Ward 7 – Ali N Dieng – adieng@burlingtonvt.gov  – (802) 318-2527

  • North – Franklin Paulino – fpaulino@burlingtonvt.gov – (802) 448-2293

  • South – Joan Shannon – jshannon@burlingtonvt.gov – (802) 860-7489


Talking Points:

  1. Call for violent officers Corrow, Bellavance and Campbell to step down from the department to ensure the safety of our community, and to allow the City of Burlington and the Burlington Police Department (BPD) to move forward in tackling the Racial Justice Resolution
  2. Call on the City Council to execute a separation agreement for the violent officers, Corrow, Bellavance and Campbell  
  3. Call on the Council to use every tool at their disposal to ensure that justifiable release of these three officers does not distract from the bigger task at hand: dismantling systems of racism in our City as outlined in the Racial Justice Resolution
  4. Call on the council to remove these officers no matter the cost. The lives and safety of BIPOC Vermonters are worth the risk of lawsuit, because Black lives matter more than money. The monetization of Black lives is the root of systemic racism in our country, and we must eradicate this in our city immediately.
  5. Call on the council to begin the work of creating a Charter Change, to allow the role of firing Police Officers to be a duty that is not under the sole authority of the Police Chief, but that is also within the authority of the City Council. We demand that while this process must begin, it must also not be taken as a compromise for the immediate need to remove these officers. Any action to correct this statute for future events cannot be seen as a remedy for the current employment of these violent officers.  
  6. Call on the department to ensure transparency and trust, to cause no additional harm to Black bodies, and to ensure equal protection under the law for all.

Bring Hot Meals

Contact bpd05401@gmail.com to schedule a time to bring a hot meal and snacks for those staying at the encampment site.

March

Every night at 6:30pm The Black Perspective hosts a march in downtown Burlington that starts at Battery Park and goes to City Hall for a speak out. The marches are very well organized with safety at the forefront: masks are required, traffic control volunteers are present, a de-escalation team is present for any potential counter-protestors, and medics are available for any and all health needs. Please be safe, and show up in solidarity if you are able to do so.

Donate

You can Venmo @BlackperspectiveVT, please reference ‘Encampment’ in the description of your donation.  You can also go to their Instagram @bpdaccountability, where they post daily donation needs via their story.

Taylor Small | Justin Marsh | Mike Bensel | Anne Moyerbrailean | Gustavo Mercado Muñiz | 

Skylar Wolfe | Reginald Condra | Richard Elliott