Archbishop Oscar Romero, Archbishop Romero, arms makers, Burlington weapons plant, Castro, Central America, civilians, contras, Cuba, death squads, El Salvador, Gatling, Gatling Guns, GE, GE plant Burlington, India, M61A1, Mayor, Nicaragua, Ortega, Peace activists, Ro Khanna, Salvadorean death squads, Soviet Union, US Air Force, USSR, Vetting Bernie, Vulcan cannon
Vermont makes more than cheese. Burlington makes big lethal guns, that were used to kill Salvadorean civilians in a dirty war that Bernie claimed to oppose. Meanwhile, as Mayor, he oversaw the arrest of Burlington peace protestors. Bernie served as Burlington’s Mayor from April 6, 1981 to April 4, 1989. M61A1 20mm Vulcan Cannon at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo) “The M61A1 Vulcan cannon is a six-barrel 20mm weapon capable of firing 6,000 rounds per minute. Incorporating the same basic principle invented by Richard J. Gatling in the 1860s, the M61A1 multiple gun barrels rotate rapidly to allow a high rate of fire https“://archive.li/ZoiF
This is just totally mind-blowing and mind-bending. In the same period (1980s) that Bernie Sanders was kissing up to Soviet aligned Cuba, Ortega in Nicaragua, and honeymooning in the Soviet Union, as Mayor of Burlington, he oversaw the arrest of antiwar activists who “blocked the entrance to the local General Electric plant because it was manufacturing Gatling guns“, which were being used to massacre poor peasants in El Salvador. This makes no sense at all, unless the FMLN was an independent peasant national liberation group, opposed by both his Soviet-Cuban heroes and his nominal country of the United States (the Reagan Admin). In other parts of the United States, throughout the 1980s, people were able to peacefully protest these policies without arrest. There is an interesting sermon, online, that recounts this period, which we need to look for – about the trauma of these poor peasants in El Salvador.
At the end of April 1981, when Bernie was already Mayor, the workers at the GE Burlington weapons plant had gone on strike over pay https://archive.li/aRefh, but Bernie didn’t want peace activists striking.
We don’t believe Bernie’s rationalizations at all. It’s pure and patent BS excuses. If he wanted to save lives in Central America, he would have wanted the gun manufacture blocked or stopped. It would be the quickest way. His excuses aren’t serious-minded. This whole case is simply strange. Will his FBI file offer clarification or was the FBI equally befuddled?
To put into context, in 1980 Salvadorean death squads were behind the assassination of Archbishop Romero and the murder and rape of nuns, among other murders.
Excerpt from a related lawsuit:
“The harm defendant was trying to avert was the killing of civilians by the El Salvadoran military. Killing was taking place in the city of San Salvador on the day defendant entered the Underhill facility, as well as on the days immediately preceding and following. Much of the killing was being committed with gatling guns. The gatling guns used by the El Salvadoran military were manufactured solely at the General Electric plant in Burlington. Every gun, gun barrel, and component that General Electric produces in Burlington is tested at the Underhill facility. The testing is intermittent. The El Salvadoran government had asked for additional arms from the United States government, and the United States government had agreed to send such arms.” Excerpted from: State of Vermont v. Stepen Cram, Supreme Court, On Appeal from v. District Court of Vermont, Unit No. 2, Chittenden Circuit, April Term, 1991 https://archive.li/qF5L7
Then Bernie campaign co-chair, rolling in the money Ro Khanna, says we have to take in more Salvadoreans, because of these historic policies: https://archive.li/quqz9 Well, why doesn’t he exercise right of return to India and make a few more spots in the United States for Salvadorean migrants? Then he can uplift his indigenous home of India, if he really cares. However, he doesn’t appear to care, because he’s here and not in India. There’s no other way around it. If he cared he would try to help his homeland and build it up.
From Daily Kos (2016): “Vetting The Bern: Putting Corporate Gun Manufacturers Like GE Over People blakblog Community (This content is not subject to review by Daily Kos staff prior to publication.) 2016/04/07 · 10:26
Bernie Sanders has a long record. It ain’t all pretty. It seems at every turn, he prioritizes Corporate Gun Manufacturers, like GE (The General Electric Company), over people.
Even as he took criticism from his right for spending too much time on global issues, Sanders was occasionally the target of leftists who felt he didn’t go far enough. That was the case in the summer of 1983, when protesters targeted Burlington’s General Electric plant, which produced Gatling machine guns supplied by the U.S. to its proxies in Central America. Sanders resisted their calls to shut down the plant, arguing that it was unfair to punish workers for corporate policies influenced by Washington. “I’m not going to throw 3,000 people out of their jobs at union wages and create a depression,” he said in an interview at the time.” In another interview he argued that “you cannot spilt the movement and push workers to one side and have peace activists on the other side.”
Here is how The New York Times described things.https://archive.li/4416t
“When Bernie Sanders, a self-declared socialist, served as mayor here in the 1980s, he often complained that the United States had its priorities wrong, that it should be diverting money from the military to domestic needs like housing and health care. So when dozens of antiwar activists blocked the entrance to the local General Electric plant because it was manufacturing Gatling guns to fight the socialists in Central America, the protesters expected the mayor’s full support.
Instead, he lined up with union officials and watched as the police made arrests, saying later that in blocking the plant, the activists were keeping workers from their jobs….”
BERNIE SUPPORTED GE MANUFACTURING GATLING GUNS TO KILL BROWN-SKINNED PEOPLE
So, General Electric — one of the world’s Big Businesses and War Profiteers — was manufacturing Gatling Guns in Burlington and shipping them to Central America where they would be used to GUN DOWN BROWN-SKINNED PEOPLE.
Peace Activists appealed to then-Mayor Bernie Sanders. When that didn’t work, they blocked the entrance to the GE Gatling gun manufacturing plant.
Bernie didn’t join the activists. He didn’t stand up for peace or use his position of power to help the little guy. To the contrary, he watched as cops arrested the protesters!!!
Bernie was wrong then.
BERNIE STILL SUPPORTS IMMUNITY FOR GUN MANUFACTURERS LIKE CORPORATE GIANT GENERAL ELECTRIC
Bernie is still wrong in his unwaivering defense of Big Businesses who manufacture guns.
During an interview with the New York Daily News editorial board, Bernie was asked about his position in favor of immunity for gun manufacturers and in opposition to allowing victims of gun violence to sue gun manufacturers. https://archive.li/DDeMq
Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.), former Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Jillian Soto, the sister of Victoria Soto, a Sandy Hook Elementary School first-grade teacher who died in the December 2012 massacre, all ripped Sanders for the comments he made to The News’ Editorial Board last week opposing allowing victims of gun violence to sue gun manufacturers.
HOW WILL BERNIE BREAK UP THE BANKS WITHOUT CAUSING JOB LOSS
Several others have written about the position Bernie took on the GE Gatling gun manufacturing plant. One that caught my eye was from diarist HumanOfEarth. Here’s a link. https://archive.li/wamqQ … it exemplifies a typical defense of Bernie’s positions, no matter how wrong they are… [and it asks] “Why should 3,000 individuals lose their pay because of the federal government’s foreign policy? ”
Bernie is campaigning in New York. He has said: “We must break up too-big-to-fail financial institutions.” (source https://archive.li/iVgZj )
Won’t breaking up the Big Banks cause individuals to lose their pay? Of course it will.
HOW CAN ANYONE TRUST BERNIE SINCE HE HASN’T BEEN PROPERLY VETTED
How can anyone believe Bernie will do anything he promises after examining his public record.
1. He claims he’s for world peace, but he put a few union jobs and his love of corporate gun manufacturers over the people of Central America.
2. Gun violence has ravaged the country, especially poor Black communities. Bernie is more concerned about the gun manufacturers than the victims of gun violence.
3. If Bernie wouldn’t break up GE’s Gatling gun plant because doing so would cause job losses (there’s no proof that the plant couldn’t have been re-purposed for another use) why would anyone believe he’ll break up the Big Banks when doing so would most certainly cause job losses?
4. Bernie says he’s against mass incarceration, and he’s appalled that African Americans and Latinos comprised 57% of all prisoners in 2014. But Bernie VOTED for the 1994 Crime Bill that led to hundreds of thousands of Blacks and Latinos being tossed in prison.
5. Some people don’t like this truth, but it is the truth. Bernie co-sponsored legislation to give reparations to Jews, but he flat out refuses to support legislation to study reparations for slavery.
Anytime any member of this community questions Bernie, they can expect a bunch of angry responses. Bernie’s folks love to shout down critics, silence debate, and use one of their favorite lame slurs “you’re a troll”.
If Kos wasn’t founder of this site, I’m sure they would’ve worked to get him suspended or banned for his diary “Successful movements are about more than one person<”.
They complained in the comments. Others wrote separate diaries to attack the man for speaking his truth.
I fully expect people to complain about this diary and call me a bunch of names. It’s really all Bernie’s people have to offer — there’s a reason they’re called “BernieBots”. But for the good of the Democratic Party and the progressive movement, Bernie needs to be vetted before it’s too late!!! He’s already looking like a fool now that he’s being aggressively questioned by the New York media.
Sidenote: Why doesn’t Bernie ever hold press conferences? Even Donald Trump is expected to take questions from the press now. Why is Bernie given a free pass? Why do some in this movement expect so little from those who seek to lead us? See original here, including some excerpted sections: https://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/4/7/1511892/-Vetting-The-Bern-Putting-Corporate-Gun-Manufacturers-Like-GE-Over-People
This suggests eventual outside backing of the FMLN:
“The Red Affair: FMLN–Cuban relations during the Salvadoran Civil War, 1981–92
Andrea Oñate Pages 133-154 | Published online: 15 Apr 2011