by Guy Page
Less than 24 hours after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe V. Wade Friday morning, June 24, vandalism and threats took place at the Vermont State House in apparent protest to the decision.
Some opponents of the decision promised a national “Night of Rage.” Until the investigation is complete, the motives of the vandals will not be known, police say.
Capitol Police say that shortly after two a.m. this morning, an unknown person or persons vandalized the Vermont State House, breaking seven windows on the ground floor across the front of the building. Additionally, “if abortions aren’t safe you’re not either” was spray painted on the front portico of the State House.
Damage is estimated in excess of $25,000. The Vermont State House was expected to open today beginning the Summer Tour Schedule. However, the State House remained closed to facilitate emergency repairs and clean up. The State House reopened Monday morning at 7:45 a.m. on the normal schedule.
Anyone with information concerning this incident is requested to contact the Capitol Police at 802-828-2273.
In a Vermont Daily Chronicle interview this morning, Capitol Police Chief Matt Romei said the State House has surveillance video of the graffiti desecration of the front door portico, less than a yard from the Ethan Allen statue.
Vermont Building and Grounds staff have been able to remove much of the graffiti with a chemical graffiti remover and power washer. RK Miles is donating a more potent graffiti removing chemical to remove the remaining graffiti, a state worker on site said this morning.
The granite is original 1859 stone, laid down with the rest of the building. It is highly porous and thus resistant to graffiti removal. In addition to removal efforts, state workers have covered most of the graffiti with a heavy, black rubber outdoor “runner.”
Vermont Daily Chronicle knows of only one state-level official to publicly condemn the vandalism: Lt. Gov. Molly Gray, who decried the Dobbs decision but also the vandalism that followed. Gov. Phil Scott – a former member of the Senate whose windows were smashed – has said nothing on social media about the vandalism, but has called for Congress to legalize abortion nationwide. Senator Becca Balint, the Senate Pro Tem the leader of the Vermont Senate, has said nothing on her social media about the vandalism that broke windows in the Senate Government Operations, Judiciary and Appropriations committee rooms.
The Chronicle happened to meet Sen. Andrew Perchlik (D/P Washington) at the Montpelier Post Office and asked him to comment on the vandalism. He said it represents a “failure of the public civics education” because the vandal apparently didn’t realize the Vermont Legislature has been the most proactive state house in the nation to further “reproductive liberty.”
“They picked the wrong place,” Perchlik said.
Sid McLam works in the Sgt. of Arms office, where a window was broken. “It makes me sad,” he said. Like Perchlik, he said the lawmakers who work in the State House have done all they can to protect legal abortion.