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Restlessness Occupies Burlington

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Restlessness Occupies Burlington

Occupy Vermont Spreads Across the State.

Occupy Burlington. Photo Courtesy VPRAs occupations persist around the country, Occupy Burlington has caused quite a stir in the Green Mountain State. I stopped by the bank yesterday only to see a clustering of tents in City Hall Park yesterday. The movement began as a response to the rally in Oakland, CA, which received national attention last week. The community of the University of Vermont has been concerned with budget cuts and layoffs for years now. With the recent scandal regarding ex-president Dan Fogel and his hefty pay-off for his “leave of absence” the UVM community continues to speak out for justice. Teachers and students gathered on the Mexican holiday Dia de Los Muertos on November 2, 2011 to rally support on the campus and held a march down Main Street to the park. The park has been occupied since October 28th.

This UVM demonstration comes just one day after Mayor Bob Kiss asked City Hall Park “occupants” to agree with the ordinances of the city of Burlington. Things on his list of violations include: bikes locked to trees and light posts, tents left unattended, tent stakes in the park grounds, public urination and noisiness. The letter was well received and some occupants noted that many of these things have gone on in the park on a regular basis long before the movement ever began. Officials have resisted confrontation and Occupy Burlington appears to continue in a peaceful and respectful manner. There are demonstrations throughout the state including Rutland and Brattleboro, and you can find more current info about Occupy Vermont on Twitter and Facebook.

Despite the early sunsets, chilly weather and political excitement through Burlington, it’s exciting to see the opening of a comedy club in town.  Levity has replaced the quiet café formerly known as Patra downtown. While the café still exists, the space has simply changed to accommodate more variety and an expanded menu, as well as nighttime comedy shows. The name change happened after local comedian Ryan Kriger bought the café, opened in its new glory on October 1st, 2011. Every Thursday is open mic night, for upcoming and professional comedians to give the stage a try and Friday nights feature showcase shows for the small fee of $5. The café menu remains and they now serve wine, beer and “laughs”, according to their website,  Be sure to check out Levity next time you need a cup of joe, an after work bevy or just want to crack a joke.

Burlington continues to generate serious movements alongside downright good times and these days it seems there’s enough to go around for everyone, at least as far as cozy cafes and exciting demonstrations go! Keep it fresh, Btown.

Chrissy Lefavour is a Contributor to The Free George.

The Free George is the online magazine and visitors’ guide of Upstate NY, covering things from Albany to Lake Placid, including Saratoga, the Lake George region and the Adirondacks. Check out our City Blogs section for our extended coverage areas as well.

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