FRANKLIN, Vt. — The red brick house sits unassumingly on a sleepy back road where the lush farmlands of northern Vermont roll quietly into Canada. This is the Morses Line border crossing, a point of entry into the United States where more than three cars an hour constitute heavy traffic.
The bucolic setting of silos and sugar maples has become the focus of a bitter dispute that pits one of America’s most revered traditions — the family-owned farm — against the post-9/11 reality of terror attacks on US soil.
The Department of Homeland Security sees Morses Line as a weak link in the nation’s borders, attractive to terrorists trying to smuggle in lethal materials. The government is planning an estimated $8 million renovation here as part of a nationwide effort to secure border crossings.
It intends to acquire 4.9 acres of border land on a dairy farm owned for three generations by the Rainville family. Last month, the Rainvilles learned that if they refuse to sell the land for $39,500, the government intends to seize it by eminent domain.
The Rainvilles call this an unjustified land-grab by federal bullies.
by Cindy Sheehan
Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox Blog
Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox
first published in Islam Times
March 29, 2010
Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”
Henry David Thoreau
A week ago today, I was literally cooling my jets in a freezing cold DC jail for protesting the continuation of the illegal and immoral wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. For an offense (crossing a police line) that doesn’t even have any jail time associated with the penalty, if convicted, I stayed in jail for 50 hours. I was arrested with seven others and six of us had the similar fate of spending an unreasonable amount of time in jail for standing up for peace and justice.
After spending two nights in jail, we were taken to the court building where we spent another eight hours in a holding cell in leg shackles. When we were finally summoned to the traffic courtroom our wrists were shackled to chains wrapped around our waists.
During our unfortunate incarceration, two male members of the group had to go to the hospital for numbness in their hands and fingers because of the tightness of the handcuffs. After sleeping on cold concrete for 50 hours, Elaine Brower and I were cramping up in pain.
For minor infractions, we have to return to DC for a hearing on June 9th—since my charges don’t require jail time, and since I have already done 50 hours, I wonder what penalty will be imposed for my inevitable verdict of “guilty.”