On Monday October 17, residents of the Sears Lane Camp appealed to the Superior Court of Chittenden County for a stay of the closure of their community. Yesterday, Wednesday Oct 19, the court scheduled an emergency hearing to consider whether to issue a temporary injunction against the closure of the camp. Were it to issue said injunction, then the court would later consider whether to prohibit the closure of the camp entirely.
That emergency hearing is scheduled for October 28, two days after the announced closure of the camp by the Weinberger administration. It is presumed that the City will not act until after the hearing, and a ruling on the temporary stay is issued. If the court issues the temporary stay, the City will be unable to close the camp until after the court issues a final decision, if that decision is favorable to the city.
Members of the camp welcome their day in court. “Yea, let’s do this!” was the sentiment. Grey explains “We look forward to this opportunity to be heard within this construct, and need the court to interrupt the violence that is being committed against us.”
Police harassment of the camp has escalated. When a resident of the camp was investigating rock throwing, Police arrested him. They have also taken to circling the camp at night with their lights off. If the police would like to protect the community, they could do it openly and with conversations with the camp members. Failure to engage camp members in open dialog perpetuates the one-sided argument that supposes hostility or malice from the camp. This is easily dissolved when both parties engage with each other.
Members ask that they be allowed to live their lives. Members of the camp are inspired by the love and solidarity that has been shown to them by the greater Burlington community, are starting a daily check-in, and have been inspired by the acceleration of the cleanup.
City officials were expected today in camp, to discuss the moveout with campers, but instead brought in trucks and personnel, without consultation or permission of community members, in an overbearing show of authority and power, demonstrating their contempt for and the invisibility of the campers. They are expected to return tomorrow with dump-trucks to begin “cleaning”. This assaultive and disruptive display escalates the subjugation of the members of this community. Cleanup should begin only after the community members have left or another agreement has been reached with the community. The original notice to the camp did not indicate that this work would begin before the eviction date. The City is showing that it intends to clear the camp before campers have been allowed due process in the Chittenden County Court.
The camp has chosen spokespersons. They are Grey Barreda, Alexus Grundy, and Noah Lincoln. Press are asked to look for these persons when they visit the camp.
For more information, please contact Grey Barreda at firstname.lastname@example.org or Stephen Marshall at 802- 922-1446, please use text messages before calling, press inquiries only. You can also write to Stephen at Vermont.email@example.com.