BURLINGTON, Vt. – Dozens of protestors gathered outside the home of Burlington City Councilor Joan Shannon on Thursday, and were met with frustration from nearby residents of the Lakeside Park neighborhood.
“We have real stuff on the table with city council, and I hope Councilor Shannon is listening,” one speaker said. “She has had all kinds of things to say against the racial justice resolution in June, the reparations resolution that was passing. She has had too many things to say.”
The protest was organized as a ‘pop up/rally’ event, and demonstrators were encouraged to arrive with a sign cut like a tombstone, bearing the name of a Black revolutionary.
“We started a revolution and you best believe we gotta finish what we’ve started,” Zanevia Wilcox, a key organizer of the Battery Park protests, posted on Instagram.
Black Perspective, the social justice group behind the Battery Park encampment that recently disbanded, had signaled that more events were being planned.
In addition to criticizing Shannon, protestors called on city leaders to fire Officers Joseph Corrow and Cory Campbell over use-of-force incidents. Sgt. Jason Bellavance, whom protestors also urged the city to fire, recently agreed to a separation agreement.
Weinberger said that Bellavance’s case differs from those of Corrow and Campbell. The mayor said Bellavance’s actions didn’t follow expectations in place at the time, and his leadership position requires that he be held to a higher standard.
“I support a separation agreement with Sgt. Bellavance, both because his actions and position within the Department were significantly different than those of the other two officers,” Weinberger said. “I am announcing my final decision not to support separation agreements with officers (Joseph) Corrow and (Cory) Campbell.”