By Ellie French
September 19, 2019
BURLINGTON — Two retired Air Force officers arrested outside Sen. Patrick Leahy’s office last week for protesting the Burlington basing of the F-35 fighter jets have had their cases referred to the restorative justice program.
Retired Col. Rosanne Greco and retired Lt. Col. Roger Bourassa, both of whom have volunteered at the Community Justice Center in the past, said they expect this means they’ll do some community service, though they couldn’t say for sure.
The two found out the their cases had been diverted when they arrived for their scheduled arraignment. Their hearing was set for hours before the first F-35s were scheduled to land at the Burlington International Airport. Greco noted the irony of the timing.
“How ironic that the day that people are going to be over there welcoming a weapon of mass destruction that is designed to harm people in other countries and will harm close to 7,000 Vermonters is a clear indication that we have our priorities very, very wrong,” Greco said.
Greco said she and her fellow protesters were not planning to go to airport to watch the planes land, nor should anyone else.
“I know a lot about military hardware,” Greco said. “I don’t know why you would go to welcome a piece of hardware into your community. Would you want to be there and see that monster coming to town? I don’t want to see it.”