Hundreds to Gather for the People’s Convention for Human Rights in Burlington, VT


Date: August 16, 2012

Contact: Matt McGrath (, 802-373-0133); Joy Hopkins (, 802-343-1492)

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Hundreds to Gather for the People’s Convention
for Human Rights in Burlington, VT

Burlington, VT- Over this Labor Day weekend, hundreds of people from across Vermont, the US and Canada will come to the three day People’s Convention for Human Rights at Burlington High School.  The convention is a project of over 11 Vermont grassroots organizations that currently work in a wide array of areas, such as climate justice, disability rights, workers’ rights, and immigrant rights.  The People’s Convention stands in contrast to the recent closed-door Governor’s conference in Burlington, and will focus on creating a common vision of a state and nation that fulfills every person’s human rights and ensures a healthy environment.  The culmination of the convention will be a new human rights declaration for the state of Vermont.

“This convention is truly unique,” said Vermont Workers’ Center president Peg Franzen.  “For too long, our democracy has focused on the interests of the 1% and corporations, but Vermont can lead the way in changing that.  This convention represents a powerful next step in building a movement for dignity, democracy, and a sustainable future by looking at what are the root causes of this crisis and how we must organize together to institute root solutions.”

On Saturday September 1st, the Convention will include a free concert in Battery Park in Burlington from 6-9pm to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Toward Freedom (see below).  The concert will feature Salsa Norteña (salsa and latin jazz), Joe Hanzsum of AZI Fellas (hip hop) and AFRI-VT (African drum and dance).

Members of the People’s Convention host committee are available for interview: 350 Vermont, Migrant Justice, Vermont Workers’ Center, Vermont Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals, United Professions of Vermont/AFT, Vermont Center of Independent Living (VCIL), Green Mountain Self-Advocates, Voices For Vermont’s Children, Red Clover Climate Justice, Toward Freedom, Vermont Sierra Club.

Toward Freedom Celebrates Its 60th Anniversary
with a September 1 Free Concert in Battery Park

Toward Freedom, a Burlington-based progressive perspective on world events since 1952, is pleased to announce a collaboration with the Vermont Worker’s Center in sponsoring a People’s Convention for Human Rights on Labor Day weekend (Friday, August 31 through Sunday, Sept 2, 2012).

2012 is Toward Freedom’s 60th anniversary of independent and progressive global journalism. We will celebrate this anniversary on Saturday, September 1st, at Battery Park, with a line up of multi-ethnic bands, from 6  to 9 pm as part of the People’s Convention.

* Rick Davies and Salsa Norteña offer a bright, colorful and irresistible collection of Latin grooves with a mix of upbeat Latin jazz and “salsa dura”, hard-core salsa rhythms. Singer Alejandro Torrens of Grupo Sabor will infuse with this 7-piece ensemble with the infectious beat of traditional Afro-Dominican rhythms.

* Joe Hanzsum, of Azi Fellas, progressive hip-hop group from Philadelphia, shares their Wu-Tang Clan-style conscientious music. Rooted in their urban experiences as well as their dramatic family histories, the AZI Fellas lyrics speak of a common disenfranchisement, backed by a beat that makes you want to bounce.

* AfriVT a compilation of African and Vermont musicians coming together to bring you music from the African diaspora, led by William Noel and Thiokho Diagne from Senegal. High energy drum and dance ensemble for everyone.

The concert is free and open to the public . For more information call: Joy
at 802-343-1492, or Natalia at  802-497-7027 or visit