Vermont Bans the Bomb

In town meetings, citizens take a stand against nuclear arms

On the first Tuesday in March, Vermont citizens convene in their towns, pretty much as New Englanders have done for three centuries, to govern themselves. These town meetings are exemplars of grass-roots democracy, but they rarely deal with issues of national, much less international, significance. This year was different. On agendas throughout the state, tucked between routine budget matters and garbage-dump disputes, was a motion calling for a moratorium on the spread of nuclear weapons. In all but 31 of the 192 towns voting, the motion was approved. "The people of Vermont,"...

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