Building a Human Rights Movement – Truthout Cites NESRI/Vermont Workers’ Center

The Vermont Workers' Center, along with NESRI's Anja Rudiger and Phil Wider, took part in a large protest action in Burlington, VT, on Sunday, July 29, against the austerity and environmental destruction agenda of the Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers. A report in Truthout emphasizes the emerging human rights movement.

[…] The 500-person turnout and smartly choreographed "human oil spill" made Vermont the latest staging ground in what is quickly developing as a green summer of activism and resistance across America. […]

If government were to consider seriously the outrage taking hold across the country right now – to actually listen to people demanding an end to the corporate pillaging of resources at the cost of human health, communities and environment – it might respond legislatively rather than militarily.

But the people are not waiting – for either response. A group with perhaps the largest presence in Burlington on Sunday, the Vermont Workers' Center,  launched a grassroots movement last year called Put People First, dedicated to improving health, education, housing, environment and jobs throughout the state. Its initial victory: last year Vermont became the first state to adopt universal health care. And earlier this year, a People's Budget passed in the statehouse. Now, the group is preparing to host a People's Convention for Human Rights to take place September 1-2 in Burlington with the goal of producing a new human rights declaration.

"It's not experts; it's not corporations; it's not money: it's human needs and human rights," said member Anja Rudiger. "Occupy created wonderful momentum for demonstrating that the moment is ripe. As we build power, then we'll make demands on people in power." […]

Download the full article below.

Watch the video coverage of the event, showing the Vermont Workers' Center's large contingent (at minute 3:48).