SOUTH BURLINGTON,VT – Opponents of the F-35 basing in Burlington say they aren’t giving up their fight against the fighter jets.
“So now that they have arrived, our campaign is moving from prevention to abolition,” said Jim Marc Leas.
Hours before the fighter jets landed, activists who were arrested last week at Senator Patrick Leahy’s Burlington office were set to be arraigned.
The group in court included retired Air Force Col. Roseanne Greco. She said their case ended up being diverted to restorative justice.
“How ironic that the day people are going to be welcoming a weapon of mass destruction that is designed to harm people in other countries and in Vermont. It is a clear indication that we have our priorities very wrong,” said Greco.
Greco said she didn’t want to see the planes land because she didn’t want to support this type of military hardware.
Others who have steadfastly opposed the jets were inside Burlington International Airport, passing out anti-F-35 flyers.
Leas said the flyers were a warning to travelers.
“Warning them that their hearing is in danger the moment they step outside the terminal to go to their car, or the moment they leave their car to go to the terminal, or when they step on the tarmac to get on the plane. They could be hit with a blast of an F-35 taking off,” he said.
Lees was among a group that attended a previously scheduled airport commission meeting Thursday afternoon asking airport officials to do more.
“Why isn’t the airport commission mobilizing the public to stop the F-35?” he said. “Isn’t it their job to protect the public?”