Cheney’s Breakfast in Burlington

by Ron Jacobs

 

Burlington, VT. In what local Democrats perceive to be a serious attempt to effect a regime change in Vermont, where their party has owned the Governor’s office since 1991, Dick Cheney flew into town this morning.

The reason for his most honored visit was to help the current GOP candidate for governor-a weaselly man named Jim Douglas-raise some campaign funds via the time-honored tradition of the $5000 a plate meal. To this end, the Vermont Republicans arranged to have a breakfast in a building right at the Burlington Airport.

This meant the Vice President would never have to leave the secure fences of this federally-controlled facility. Obviously, this also meant fewer headaches for his security team. Add to this the fact that the GOP was quite secretive about when and where their great leader would be and one has to wonder how popular this guy and his government’s war really is.

The antiwar forces were not to be outfoxed. After a bit of research, we determined when and where Dick and the Republicans would be dining and put out the call.

As if Providence were on our side, there was even a vacant parking lot nearby where protestors from around the state could park their cars and gather before the march and noisemaking event. So, the stage was set. People began gathering at the parking lot around 9:15 Thursday morning. Signs came out of trunks and folks poured out of cars. By 10 AM, close to 300 people (which is a lot of people in Vermont, where the biggest town is only around 40,000 strong) stood along the road, in the parking lot, and on the sidewalk waiting for the word to move.

The group included identifiable organizations like the local branch of the International Socialist Organization, Women in Black, and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), and members of other organized groups like ACERCA the Vermont Progressive Party, and the local Peace & Justice Center. In addition, there were dozens of individuals who belong to no organization or group, but wanted to give Cheney an earful of their opposition.

Ages ranged from young to old, including several white-haired men and women, along with high school students and several dozen folks from the local colleges. Many of the veterans mentioned to me how many new faces were in the crowd.

Finally, we headed up the road towards the newest restaurant in town, where brunch cost a mere $5000 a plate and only those with proper politics can dine. As we walked, several folks in various vehicles-personal and work-honked their horns and flashed peace signs in support. Occasionally, an individual with a face twisted by anger and an upraised middle finger drove by yelling some obscenity or the other at our entourage.

So intent on getting their message to us, these drivers barely missed causing several traffic accidents on the well-traveled stretch of road we marched along.

After thirty minutes, the entire march reached the part of the airport wherein Mr. Cheney was anointing his minions. The crowd grew even larger and more boisterous as diners filtered into the security zone. They dined behind two lines of police and secret service, a twelve-foot high chain link fence with barbed wire on the top, and three tractor-trailer trucks lined up end-to-end.

I hope they enjoyed their breakfast. Although I can’t speak for everyone, it seemed like those of us in opposition enjoyed disrupting it.

After two hours, I remembered I had to get back to work and left the scene, which was still just as raucous and almost as large.

Ron Jacobs lives in Burlington, VT.

He can be reached at: rjacobs@zoo.uvm.edu

 

Ron Jacobs is the author of Daydream Sunset: Sixties Counterculture in the Seventies published by CounterPunch Books. He lives in Vermont. He can be reached at: ronj1955@gmail.com.

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
September 01, 2015
Mike Whitney
Return to Crisis: Things Keep Getting Worse
Michael Schwalbe
The Moral Hazards of Capitalism
Eric Mann
Inside the Civil Rights Movement: a Conversation With Julian Bond
Pam Martens
How Wall Street Parasites Have Devoured Their Hosts, Your Retirement Plan and the U.S. Economy
Jonathan Latham
Growing Doubt: a Scientist’s Experience of GMOs
Fran Shor
Occupy Wall Street and the Sanders Campaign: a Case of Historical Amnesia?
Joe Paff
The Big Trees: Cockburn, Marx and Shostakovich
Randy Blazak
University Administrators Allow Fraternities to Turn Colleges Into Rape Factories
Robert Hunziker
The IPCC Caught in a Pressure Cooker
George Wuerthner
Myths of the Anthropocene Boosters: Truthout’s Misguided Attack on Wilderness and National Park Ideals
Robert Koehler
Sending Your Children Off to Safe Spaces in College
Jesse Jackson
Season of the Insurgents: From Trump to Sanders
August 31, 2015
Michael Hudson
Whitewashing the IMF’s Destructive Role in Greece
Conn Hallinan
Europe’s New Barbarians
Lawrence Ware
George Bush (Still) Doesn’t Care About Black People
Joseph Natoli
Plutocracy, Gentrification and Racial Violence
Franklin Spinney
One Presidential Debate You Won’t Hear: Why It is Time to Adopt a Sensible Grand Strategy
Dave Lindorff
What’s Wrong with Police in America
Louis Proyect
Jacobin and “The War on Syria”
Lawrence Wittner
Militarism Run Amok: How Russians and Americans are Preparing Their Children for War
Binoy Kampmark
Tales of Darkness: Europe’s Refugee Woes
Ralph Nader
Lo, the Poor Enlightened Billionaire!
Peter Koenig
Greece: a New Beginning? A New Hope?
Dean Baker
America Needs an “Idiot-Proof” Retirement System
Vijay Prashad
Why the Iran Deal is Essential
Tom Clifford
The Marco Polo Bridge Incident: a History That Continues to Resonate
Peter Belmont
The Salaita Affair: a Scandal That Never Should Have Happened
Weekend Edition
August 28-30, 2015
Randy Blazak
Donald Trump is the New Face of White Supremacy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Long Time Coming, Long Time Gone
Mike Whitney
Looting Made Easy: the $2 Trillion Buyback Binge
Alan Nasser
The Myth of the Middle Class: Have Most Americans Always Been Poor?
Rob Urie
Wall Street and the Cycle of Crises
Andrew Levine
Viva Trump?
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
Behind the Congressional Disagreements Over the Iran Nuclear Deal
Lawrence Ware – Marcus T. McCullough
I Won’t Say Amen: Three Black Christian Clichés That Must Go
Evan Jones
Zionism in Britain: a Neglected Chronicle
John Wight
Learning About the Migration Crisis From Ancient Rome
Andre Vltchek
Lebanon – What if it Fell?
Charles Pierson
How the US and the WTO Crushed India’s Subsidies for Solar Energy
Robert Fantina
Hillary Clinton, Palestine and the Long View
Ben Burgis
Gore Vidal Was Right: What Best of Enemies Leaves Out
Suzanne Gordon
How Vets May Suffer From McCain’s Latest Captivity
Robert Sandels - Nelson P. Valdés
The Cuban Adjustment Act: the Other Immigration Mess
Uri Avnery
The Molten Three: Israel’s Aborted Strike on Iran
John Stanton
Israel’s JINSA Earns Return on Investment: 190 Americans Admirals and Generals Oppose Iran Deal