The undersigned members of the coordinating committee of the Vermont Progressive Party want to express our disdain against any form of racial profiling in Vermont. Article D, Civil Rights, of the Vermont Progressive Party platform articulates that we support Vermonters’ “right to personal privacy, as guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution” and “a Zero-Tolerance standard state-wide toward all forms of discrimination and harassment.”
On Sept. 13, Danilo, a leader in fighting for the rights of Vermont’s migrant farm workers, and co-worker Antonio were passengers in a car pulled over for speeding on I-89. Although the two did nothing wrong themselves, the trooper who pulled them over almost immediately began questioning them about where they were from and what their immigration status was. The two were then placed under arrest and later given into the custody of border patrol agents.
This is in clear violation of the rights of Danilo and Antonio, as well as of the state police’s own “bias-free-policing” policy. Vermont Progressives join with the Vermont Migrant Farmworker Solidarity Project, the Vermont Workers’ Center and many others in condemning the actions that led to the arrest of Danilo and Antonio.
We are, however, glad to see that Gov. Shumlin responded quickly to this clear violation of the rights of Danilo and Antonio by asking for a full investigation of the incident and hopeful that the investigation will be as thorough and complete as possible.
Vermont has a long history of being at the forefront of the fight for human rights. We must always be unwavering in our efforts to strengthen and enforce Vermont’s human rights laws for the betterment of our communities and society at large. The alternative is unacceptable.
Martha Abbott, Underhill
Michael Bayer, Rutland
Meg Brook, Burlington
Richard Kemp, Burlington
Traven Leyshon, Montpelier
Lee Madden, Brattleboro
Robert Millar, Winooski
Cindy Humiston Weed, Enosburg
Eli Yoder, Plainfield
David Zuckerman, Hinesburg
And Progressive Party member Vince Brennan, Burlington