We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident

A little over four years ago, my 7-yr-old and 13-yr-old daughters and I spent all day in Newport, VT’s county courthouse; their father was on trial with five others for criminal trespassing. The six defendants – self-named the Lowell Six – had been arrested in a dispute over constructing 21 enormous wind towers. Green Mountain Power claimed they had rights to the property. The Lowell Six claimed the property belonged to the Nelson family. The case’s details I wrote about in VTDigger.

The top floor of that beautifully built old courthouse had enormous windows with a view of Lake Memphramagog. Birds came and went about their avian business, all day. While the jury was out, the sun edged down.

In the end, the Lowell Six were found guilty. Five of them served some variation of community service for a crime none of them believed they had committed; the sixth was arrested for contempt of court and spent a weekend in jail, three years later. Green Mountain Power’s 21 wind towers were built, constructed out of sheer material greed and cloaked in a smokescreen of green energy. 

Like everyone else, I inherently believe in MLK’s arc of justice bending around. Yet, after all this, I see, instead, the complexity (and perhaps the length) of what justice might mean. Where is the bend of justice in this case? I don’t see it yet, but that doesn’t mean I’m not looking.

Some days, all day, days, it rains.

-– Janisse Ray

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About Brett Ann Stanciu

A writer and sugarmaker, Brett Ann lives with her two daughters in stony soil Vermont. Her novel HIDDEN VIEW was published by Green Writers Press in the fall of 2015. Let my writing speak for itself.
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