LONDONDERRY -- Today, Saturday, the Vermont Freedom and Unity Festival will bring together a large group of like-minded persons to Magic Mountain Ski Area in Londonderry, put together by the Vermonters for Liberty nonprofit organization.
Speakers and musicians will gather to discuss a variety of topics in the categories of politics, sustainability, and Vermont life. There will be camping on the ski area grounds, with all of the events taking place within the ski lodge and on its outdoor deck.
According to the Vermonters for Liberty website, they "work for the change [they] see through community activism, education, citizen lobbying, supporting liberty candidates, and working with other groups and organizations to accomplish specific goals."
They consider themselves to possess five core issues of importance: food sovereignty, healthcare freedom, home schooling, opposing the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act), and the war on drugs, through support of marijuana decriminalization.
The event kicks off at 9:30 a.m. and costs $10 in admission for entrants 12 years old and older.
"At some point, political action just isn’t enough," said Jessica Bernier, one of the lead organizers of the festival. "Libertarianism isn’t necessarily just political ... it is also more cultural, so we wanted to pay attention to more cultural issues."
The first speaker at the event is Joel Salatin, farmer, author, activist and owner of Polyface farms; he has been featured in documentaries and books on the topic of food and sustainability such as Michael Polan’s 2006 book "The Omnivore’s Dilemma."
"Joel shares a lot of the same foundation ideas as we do," said Bernier. "People in Vermont appreciate him. ... He really empowers people."
Salatin will be holding two workshops, one on Relationship Marketing and another on Part Time to Full Time Farming. These workshops will cost $30 to attend each, or $50 if attending both. While pre-registration is not required, Bernier mentioned that the room can only hold so many people, and that they have already seen a number of preregistrations. Those who purchase entry to both workshops do not need to purchase the $10 entrance ticket. Michael Boudin, founder of the Tenth Amendment Center, will also be present to speak about his organization surrounding the 10th amendment and its applications.
The 10th amendment to the U.S. Constitution stipulates that all powers not granted to the federal government are reserved for the people or their state governments.
A candidate for the U.S. Congress from the Green Party, and leader of the Vermont effort to impeach President Obama for war crimes, Bruce Marshall will be appearing on the "Big Freedom Deck" Saturday night.
Also appearing will be New Hampshire’s Free State Project President Carla Gericke, as well as Vermonters for Liberty members Steven Howard, Moe Kinney, and Dexter Lefavour.
The music throughout the festival will be what they describe as Liberty Music; Jordan Page, Rich Angell, and Mindfully Discontent will all be performing at different points on stages around the festival.
In addition to individual speakers, there will be group panel discussions on topics that include composte-powered hot water, Unschooling -- a form of homeschooling that "allows children to learn and grow by the simple act of living" -- and journalism as a check-and-balance function against systems of power.
There will be more workshops in addition to Salatin’s on farming, including Digital Self-Defense.
Camping is encouraged on the Magic Mountain site, as events in the festival take place from 9:30 a.m. until 8 p.m. The fee for a campsite is by donation only, and there are RV sites as well. Hotel rooms are available at a discounted rate from The Upper Pass Lodge.