July 4: We need a new revolution now
A revolution was declared on July 4, 1776 but the slaves did not benefit. Nor did the indigenous tribes. Nor did most workers and farmers. Nor did women.
191 years later, Martin Luther King called for a new revolution, “a revolution of values” to abolish racism, militarism, poverty, and materialism. He identified the US government as “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world.” His murder 55 years ago denied us leadership. Today, that revolution is still needed. Now, more than ever.
Millions were killed in US regime-change wars in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, and Nicaragua. All of them wars based on lies. Trillions of dollars were wasted. Mass suicide continues for our returning veterans.
Now we are again asked to sacrifice for a new war. A US proxy war using Ukraine for regime change in Russia. Yet another war based on lies. A senseless US proxy war that keeps escalating month after month, and that risks nuclear war.
Instead of seeking international cooperation to halt climate catastrophe, leading US politicians diverted to a proxy war with Russia and are seeking to confront China, too.
Instead of focusing on the intense problems at home, this war makes the problems worse. Inflation spikes to a 40-year high. Recession is looming. Mass student debt. Extreme and growing income inequality. Half a million Americans unhoused. Labor law still tilted far against union organizing. Unequal pay for equal work. Cops still killing. Mass incarceration and rampant racism prevail. A failed healthcare-for-profit system. Senseless gun-violence. Money-corrupted elections. Both parties responsive only to their big donors. A woman’s right to control her own body abolished.
Here in Vermont, working-class Winooski and the Chamberlin and Chase Street neighborhoods are being targeted with illegal and immoral state-sponsored F-35 violence. The rule of law ignored. Town-meeting votes disparaged. A system of “law” that grants impunity to military and police violence, while working-class people are criminalized and brutalized by the state.
A system so unhinged it practically begs for revolution.
We need a better revolution
July 4 is the day to plan and organize for a revolution to abolish the class war against working people. A revolution to abolish the US regime-change wars. A revolution to end government-sponsored police and military violence and mass incarceration.
We need that revolution to defund the military. And to use those trillions of tax dollars for public good. For planetary good.
We need that revolution to bring all our soldiers and airmen home from the endless wars. And keep them home. And fully provide for the needs of our veterans.
We need that revolution to abolish climate catastrophe.
We need that revolution to abolish nuclear weapons.
To abolish money in elections.
To reverse the tax cuts for the rich.
To abolish all obstacles to union organizing. To implement card check. To require all government contractors to be fully unionized. To implement workplace democracy.
To abolish student debt. To make education tuition free from child care all the way through college.
To abolish mass surveillance.
We need that revolution to expand Medicare so it covers everyone. So healthcare and prescriptions are totally free at the point of receiving them—just like our K-12 public schools, libraries, fire departments, and roads and bridges are free when we use them.
We need that revolution to build homes for the unhoused.
We need that revolution to have a government that, if it bails out anyone, it bails out working class people, and never bails out banks and corporations.
We need that revolution to abolish rule by the self-serving militarists, corporatists, capitalists, and the 1% who rule both political parties.
We need that revolution to abolish money in elections and to remove all the politicians who maintain or go along with the money-drenched system.
We need that revolution to remove each and every corrupt elected official who is complicit with the military-industrial complex or who takes funding from them.
We need that revolution to provide a government of, by, and for the people, not the corporations.
We need that revolution to abolish F-35 flights amidst Vermont’s most densely populated cities where the Air Force itself admitted that its 115-decibel noise damages hearing and impairs the learning of more than a thousand children.
We need that revolution to implement democracy right here in Vermont so the will of the people of Burlington and Winooski, who voted at town meeting to halt or cancel the F-35 training in a populated area, is respected.
The F-35 cannot protect us
The F-35 cannot protect us from climate change, hurricanes, wild fires, floods, and pandemics. The F-35 cannot protect us from racism. Or from killer cops. Or from a failed criminal injustice system. Or from corrupt Vermont politicians serving the military industrial complex as their first priority. Nor can it protect us from income inequality, job loss, or eviction.
The F-35 cannot protect women, African Americans, immigrants, refugees, LGBTQ, or veterans.
The F-35 drains $1.4 trillion from health care, education, and affordable housing.
The F-35 does not fight the billionaire class. Or the fossil fuel industry. Or white nationalists. It does not drive money out of politics. Or abolish tuition or student debt.
The F-35 does not organize workers into unions.
We don’t need the F-35.
We need that revolution to protect the 3,000 affordable homes in the F-35 target zone in South Burlington, Winooski, Williston, and Burlington that the US Air Force says are unlivable because of 115-decibel F-35 training flights hundreds of times a month.
We need that revolution to cancel the F-35 so desperately needed housing can be restored on the 44 acres of now-vacant land facing the airport, where hundreds of affordable homes were demolished because of military jet noise.
Rule of Law
We need that revolution to require the military to comply with its own regulations and with federal law, both blatantly violated by F-35 training in Vermont cities: Air Force Policy Directive 51-4, “Operations and International Law,” requires the Air Force and its personnel to “comply with the law of war at all times.” It states, “The law of war arises from civilized nations’ humanitarian desire to lessen the effects of conflicts. It protects combatants from unnecessary suffering, and safeguards the basic rights of non-combatants and civilians.” This directive further requires the Air Force to ensure that “its personnel understand, observe, report, and enforce the law of war, and abide by US Government law of war obligations in all military operations.”
That means that assaulting cities full of civilians for training with F-35 jets is forbidden. Intermingling military forces with populated areas is illegal. Using Vermont cities as human shields for the F-35 is criminal. Using a weapon in a manner for which it was not designed, like training with the F-35 hundreds of times a month in cities full of children, is not permitted. Targeting cities full of civilians with the 115-decibel noise of the F-35 is a crime.
In its Environmental Impact Statement, the US Air Force admitted that the F-35 basing in Vermont amounted to environmental racism: It wrote that the F-35 would “disproportionately impact” black, brown and low income communities.
We need the revolution to abolish F-35 training flights in any populated area. Starting right here in Vermont.
We need that revolution to investigate, prosecute, and incarcerate the political and military leaders who committed the war crimes. Who got us into the illegal, immoral, and unjust wars of aggression. And who are responsible for targeting Winooski, Burlington, and the Chamberlin neighborhood with the F-35 training flights in Vermont cities.
July 4 is Revolution Day
July 4 is not just Independence Day. It is also Revolution Day. Revolt-against-tyranny Day. July 4 initiated a successful revolution against brutal colonialism in 1776. It inspired revolutions to abolish colonial rule in Asia, Africa, and Latin America for the next 240 years.
Here in America the revolution never actually stopped. Abolitionists declared and led a second revolution in 1860 that ultimately expropriated a million slaves and abolished slavery. Gains slowly continued as workers organized. As BIPOC, students, women, LGBTQ, disabled, veterans, renters, and more organized and fought for improvements. But so much more still needs to be done to free Americans from demonic and violent monopoly-capitalist rule.
July 4 is the perfect day to declare a third revolution. A revolution necessary to abolish the continuing state-sponsored violence and class-war.
Building solidarity among working people of all races and genders is how we can build a new world based on justice and equality. Building solidarity is how we can organize to win victories large and small. Victories are possible when we come together and act together.
A decaying capitalist system is no longer able and no longer willing to provide even the basics. Instead, it lashes out against civilians here in Vermont, while promoting an endless series of wars abroad. All, while an accelerating climate catastrophe looms.
So let’s build solidarity and unity. Let’s challenge the twin parties of war. Let’s work to make the revolution we all so desperately need.
Write or call your public servants and demand an immediate halt to F-35 training in cities.
Governor Phil Scott 802-828-3333 Chief of Staff <Jason.Gibbs@vermont.gov>
Vermont National Guard's Complaint Line: 802-660-5379 (Note: the Vermont Guard told a reporter that it received over 1400 noise complaints. But the Guard won’t release what people said).
Submit your report & complaint to the still-active online F-35 Fall 2021-Winter 2022 Report & Complaint Form: https://tinyurl.com/5d89ckj9
See all the graphs and in-your-own words statements on the F-35 Spring-Summer 2021 Report & Complaint Form (513 responses): https://tinyurl.com/3svacfvx.
See links to the graphs and in-your-own words statements on all four versions of the F-35 Report & Complaint Form since Spring 2020, with a total of 1670 responses from 658 different people plus 70 more on the still-active form.
Senator Patrick Leahy 800-642-3193 Chief of Staff <email@example.com>
Senator Bernie Sanders 800-339-9834 <Senator@sanders.senate.gov>
Congressman Peter Welch 888-605-7270 Chief of Staff <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Burlington City Council <email@example.com>
Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Winooski Mayor Kristine Lott <email@example.com>
S. Burlington City Council Chair Helen Riehle <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Williston Selectboard Chair Terry Macaig <email@example.com>
VT Senate President Becca Balint <firstname.lastname@example.org>
VT House Speaker Jill Krowinski <email@example.com>
Attorney General TJ Donavan <DonovanTJ@gmail.com>
States Attorney Sarah George <Sarah.firstname.lastname@example.org>
Vermont’s Federal Prosecutor <email@example.com>
Adjutant General Brig Gen Gregory C Knight <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Major J Scott Detweiler <email@example.com>
Wing Commander Col David Shevchik firstname.lastname@example.org
Vermont National Guard Inspector General Lt. Col. Edward J Soychak <email@example.com>
US Air Force Inspector General Lt. Col. Pamela D. Koppelmann <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall <Frank.Kendall@us.af.mil>