802 Freedom Picnic 5/15/2021: My Thoughts

Updated: May 21

By: Mary Sheldon

I've been pondering for days how to write this, and finally, I decided to just go through the day, as I experienced it.

Firstly, I would like to extend a HUGE thank you to everyone who attended this event! From the planners, to the speakers to the audience; THANK YOU! Without you and your support, this would not have been possible.

At noon, John Klar of The Vermont Liberty Network held a rally on the statehouse steps - Covid vs Constitution. I can not speak on this event specifically, as I did not personally attend it, but I heard it was great and had a nice turn out.

When Eric and I arrived at 1:00pm, we were able to get a parking spot at the corner of Aiken & State. The street was nearly crawling with people out and about, enjoying a hot Saturday afternoon and quickly, I noticed many others that we knew. I saw the Health Choice VT tents set up on the left side of the walkway and folks spread out on the lawn.

We began setting up and almost instantly, the stream of people was constant. Speakers checked in, folks said hi and everyone rolled out their blankets and took a seat. Speakers began on schedule at 3:00pm, led by God Bless America and The Star Spangled Banner, sung a capella by the wonderful Bill. Just as he began, the World Wide Demo banner had been erected at the top of the steps.

Note: All of the speakers touched on much more than what is referenced below. Please see the live feed for their full speeches.

Claudia, of Cabin Talk, emceed the whole day, bless her! The first speaker, Rob guided us through a meditative breath exercise, followed by moving words from Amy of the VT Mask Survey and then Bradley who reminded us that everything is as it should be and that it is all about the frequency of love. Jim gave us a short history lesson about the deep state and their agenda and John touched on the importance of coming together. Brandon gave a great speech on an Examination of Epistemology, Eugenics, And (Social) Engineering and Allison spoke in memorial of two recently fallen Vermont patriots and gave us some encouraging word about standing up for ourselves.

We then had a quick intermission where This Land is Your Land played gently through the speakers while a few people danced and smiled happily.

After the break, comedian Suzan gave us some much needed comic relief and Gregory enlightened us about our constitutions and rights, followed by Sherri discussing the psychological effects of mask wearing. Matthew spoke about the World Wide Demo and the banner on the steps and then Mike of Newport, VT spoke about corruption and the need for term limits. Kevin talked about election fraud and corruption in Vermont and Chris put in a plug for natural law. Shylo shared her experiences with homeschooling in Vermont and encouraging us to build the life we want to see. Sally ended with another breathing exercise, leading a single group chant: I do not consent and left us with the words We, the people, have the power!

In closing, we formed a circle, held hands and reveled in the warm rays of the afternoon sun as Bill sang America the Beautiful and The Star Spangled Banner.

Photo Credit to Shylo B.

Throughout the afternoon, I was filled with such an overwhelming sense of peace and joy and gratitude for the hundreds of people who made this day possible. Humility in the face of the 17 incredible speakers who shared themselves on those steps and happy tears for the selfless volunteers who planned, organized and gave of their time to make this happen. From 50 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to handmade signs to bubbles and chalk for the kids. For all of the goodness and high vibrations, there were certainly some unpleasantries; some complained at 2:45ish that our speakers hadn’t started yet, others showed up and left because they didn’t see a certain group’s tent. My camera battery died halfway through and by the time I realized, I was already so mentally embroiled in the conflict I’m about mention that I got flustered and didn’t swap the cameras (the entire event is available here, on a live Facebook stream [speakers have my full permission to screen record their speeches which may take me some time to get to]).

Sometime between 430 and 500pm, I heard a commotion across the lawn. I could hear yelling and then saw people running towards Aiken Ave. Eric went over to see what was going on and I watched, perplexed and horrified, as a maroon Toyota truck nearly ran over at least two people who seemed to be attempting to stop it from leaving. The truck gunned it past them, and ultimately fled the scene.

With no idea what had occurred, I waited, watched and then realized I needed to grab the back up battery for the phone so that the live feed wouldn’t be interrupted. During this time, I noticed the security guards were over on Aiken and that the Montpelier police had shown up. I also needed to see what had happened on the other side of the lawn, because, at that point, I was unsure.

I asked Deb to watch the table and went back to the car. I noticed at least one person laying on the ground and a paramedic kneeling beside her. I saw two scared looking teenagers standing by the portable toilets and the security guard telling them they couldn’t leave until the police talked to them. I met Eric at the trunk of our car where he told me he had heard that three people had been pepper sprayed, one assaulted and the perpetrator took off in the truck. In September, 2020, we had a small Freedom Picnic on the statehouse lawn and there was a group of teenagers harassing our little kids; flipping them off and causing a general disturbance. In December of 2020, there was an incident where a teenage girl allegedly spit on someone at a rally at the statehouse. In March of 2021, seemingly the same group appeared at our commemorative rally.

On May 15th, I noticed two teenagers walk across the steps at approximately 4:22pm and I wondered if it was the same group, returned to disrupt things.

I quick realized that the teenagers who had walked past on the steps were the same two that were standing by the portable toilets and the same ones who appear in this video, below and were in front of the truck before it sped away.

Below is an interview I did with KC & Josh regarding their experience

This time, it was an adult woman who allegedly assaulted three people and fled the scene. I can't adequately express my feeling regarding how pissed off I actually am about people getting hurt or disrupted at these events. However, this ends here. Enough is enough. We are gathering peacefully and lawfully and have every right to be there.

I urge anyone who has any information or wants to make a statement to contact the Montpelier Police.

Still, in light of this, we all agree that it is important to hold these events and peacefully and lawfully stand our ground. Do no harm, take no shit is kinda how I look at it.

I extend my warmest thanks and appreciation for everyone who showed up to our 802 Freedom Picnic and shared their love and beautiful smiles! Stay tuned for our next event! Hope to see you there!

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