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Vermont Governor Interrupted by Climate Change Protesters – For Almost 20 Minutes

January 11, 2020

Red-T-shirt-clad. rhythmically chanting climate change protesters interrupted Vermont Governor Phil Scott’s annual State of the State address at the Vermont State House and delayed it by 19 minutes 40 seconds on Thursday.

Scott had just said, “We meet at a time in our nation’s history when too many elected officials, on both sides, are choosing confrontation and partisan politics over collaboration and progress” – 56 seconds into the speech – when a leader of the protest by a group called Extinction Rebellion shouted “Listen to the people!” followed by followers repeating “Listen to the people!”

The protesters continued a call-and-response, including:

“We are here because climate collapse is an emergency.”

“We are here because climate collapse is an emergency.”

 Later, they said:

“Everyone must tell the truth”

“Everyone must tell the truth”

“About the climate emergency”

About the climate emergency

“Based on real science”

Based on real science

Scott listened to the protest for 3 minutes 19 seconds before saying:  “O.K., thank you very much. We appreciate that.”

“Listen to the people!” a protester cried out.

“We just did,” Scott said.

Scott and the lieutenant governor, David Zuckerman – a Democrat who is Scott’s likely general election opponent in November 2020 – conferred on what to do, and the Zuckerman eventually declared the General Assembly to be in recess and directed the sergeant-at-arms to remove the protesters.

Some protesters wouldn’t leave voluntarily, and were ejected by police.

As the protesters left, some public officials taunted them.

“Way to turn the public against you. Good job,” said the president of the Burlington City Council, according to VTDigger.

“I’d like to smack one of them,” a Republican state legislator said, according to VTDigger.

Only one protester was arrested for disorderly conduct, according to VTDigger.

Vermont Public Radio published an audio recording of the governor’s speech, including the protests that disrupted it.

The protest occurred Thursday, January 9 at the Vermont State House in Montpelier.

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