UVM activists block rush-hour traffic, delay ambulances

Nikita Vladimirov
Investigative Reporter

  • Social justice activists at the University of Vermont escalated their latest round of protests Thursday by blocking a major Burlington intersection at rush hour, causing extensive congestion that delayed ambulances by 15 minutes.
  • The students had previously held a "Done with Bulls---" rally on Tuesday in support of a staff member who is on a hunger strike to demand that the school acquiesce to an ever-growing list of demands.
  • Activists at the University of Vermont have intensified their protest against the school this week, blocking rush-hour traffic on Thursday while demanding social justice-related reforms.

    According to the Burlington Free Press, the student demonstrators took their protest to the streets, gathering near the Dudley H. Davis Center and blocking traffic at a busy intersection in hopes of compelling an audience with UVM President Tom Sullivan to discuss racism on campus.

    "The University does not condone any activity that can result in serious unintended consequences...[such as] taking over a major intersection in the city of Burlington."   

    "We’re standing in the streets until Tom comes to meet," the protesters chanted, interspersing the refrain with cries of “Black lives matter!”

    [RELATED: Protesters storm UVM president's office with list of demands]

    The protesters remained in place for about three hours, even after Burlington Police informed them that Sullivan was not available that evening, causing traffic congestion that eventually began to impact neighboring towns, and even caused problems for the UVM Medical Center, creating 15-minute delays for ambulances that were headed to the hospital.

    Vice Provost Annie Stevens eventually addressed the demonstrators around 7:30 p.m., at which point the students relocated to an administrative building on campus.

    As previously reported by Campus Reform, the social justice activists at UVM have also engaged in a number of other recent demonstrations on campus, including a “Done with the Bulls— Rally” on Tuesday in support of a staff member who began a hunger strike last Friday in an effort to force the implementation of diversity-related demands.

    [RELATED: UVM staffer launches hunger strike for diversity demands]

    Earlier this week, the UVM President reiterated the university’s “strong, visible, and ongoing commitment to diversity, racial equality, and inclusion” and vowed that the administration “consistently [speaks] out against racism, injustice, and bigotry on our campus… ”

    A university spokesperson told the Burlington Free Press on Thursday that Sullivan remains committed to reaching the school’s diversity and inclusion goals and that he will also reach out to discuss arrangements for a potential meeting with the demonstrators on Friday.

    "The University does not condone any activity that can result in serious unintended consequences," the spokesperson stressed. "Taking over a major intersection in the city of Burlington, and impacting the lives of thousands of individuals and families is such an activity."

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    Nikita Vladimirov

    Nikita Vladimirov

    Investigative Reporter
    Nikita Vladimirov is an Investigative Reporter for Campus Reform. Prior to joining Campus Reform, he wrote for The Hill, where he extensively covered the latest political developments in U.S. and around the world. Vladimirov's work has appeared on the front pages of The Drudge Report and The Hill, and has been featured by several media organizations including Fox News, MSN, Real Clear Politics and others. He has also appeared as a political commentator on numerous programs, including BBC radio.
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