State followed guidelines removing vaccine protest banner

by Guy Page

A banner raised Sunday morning to protest liability exemption for the Covid-19 vaccine was removed by state workers this afternoon in accordance with state guidelines.

The removal of the banner raised by Health Choice Vermont was not in violation of a state policy adopted in June to permit more written speech on state highways, a state official said yesterday. The policy was adopted after Black Lives Matters supporters complained their graffiti had been erased by state highway workers.

Vermont Agency of Transportation spokesperson Amy Tatko defended the banner removal in an email yesterday afternoon to Vermont Daily:

“At no point has AOT allowed banners or signs to hang over Interstate Highways or Limited Access Roads, or rail lines, at all, for safety reasons. Permits can be applied for, under VT Statute, for banners to hang over state roadways. The Agency never changed its practice regarding interstate highways, limited access highways, and rail lines. Any banners hanging over thoroughfares such as those pose a significant danger should they fall and are not allowed. In this particular case, we were informed of the banner and removed it per a long-standing practice of the agency surrounding public safety.  All banners and signs removed by AOT are stored in our garages so the owners may retrieve them. That is the case with this banner as well.”

Vermont Daily yesterday reviewed the guidelines published in June. While they allow signs, they prohibit (as Tatko says) signs that in the judgement of VTrans present a threat to traffic.

Health Choice Vermont raised this banner on the Rte. 2 overpass over I-89 in Montpelier Sunday morning. About four hours later, after a HCV press release went out, state highway workers removed the banner, HCV spokesperson Jennifer Stella said.

The banner was part of an international demonstration by “V is for Vaccine” to raise awareness of risks regarding COVID-19 vaccines. The demonstration involves the display of large banners along highway overpasses throughout all 50 states in the USA, Canada, the UK and Australia on November 29th, with the message: “Covid-19 Vaccine Manufacturers are Exempt From Liability.”

According to a Health Choice Vermont press release issued Sunday, pharmaceutical companies are already exempt from liability for the majority of currently marketed vaccines under the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act. Now, all “covered persons” are have also been exempted from liability for any COVID-19 “countermeasure” under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act).

V is for Vaccine co-founder Joshua Coleman says the aim of the global demo is to shine a spotlight on the lack of manufacturer liability for injuries and death.

“All medical procedures require informed consent,” Coleman said. “Vaccination is no different, but the reality is vaccines are routinely administered without informing the recipient of severe and acknowledged risks. A fast-tracked COVID-19 vaccine means no long term and limited safety studies. With the potential for severe adverse reactions and widespread vaccine mandates, it is critical that people understand their rights, the true scope of risk involved in vaccinating and the lack of adequate recourse if they suffer an adverse reaction.”