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October 21, 2008

Board Critics to March on Burton

Burton After failing to get a response from Burton Snowboards, citizens and anti-violence groups intend to express their displeasure with two controversial product lines by taking their complaints to the company’s front door.

Critics of Burton’s “Love” and “Primo” boards have planned a protest rally for Thursday, October 23, at noon. Participants will meet at 11:30 a.m. at Red Rocks Park, on Central Avenue in South Burlington, before marching on Burton headquarters at 80 Industrial Parkway.

One of the rally's organizers, Lezlee Sprenger, of Essex Junction, said Burton has ignored the community’s growing anger over the boards.“No one to date, and I mean no one, has received any response from Burton, other than the initial response emailed out almost a month ago,” Sprenger said.

Nearly a dozen organizations will participate in Thursday’s march, including the Vermont Network, the White Ribbon Campaign, the Center for Media and Democracy, the Feminist Peace Network and the Vermont Federation of Business and Professional Women.

A website set up to promote the rally had received more than 700 hits as of Tuesday morning, Sprenger said.

"That does not mean that all these people are coming,” she said, “but there is obviously huge interest and we are expecting a large turn out from students, local clergy, and many local organizations and individuals."

Find more Blurt Burton coverage: "Burton's Offensive New Boards," "Burton Controversy Update and Op-Ed."

If you check out Burton’s website- there are 40 models of men’s snowboards to choose from. There are 15 women’s models to choose from. Sounds about right considering that right now, about 1/3 of snowboarders are female. There are models, excuse me, works of ridable art, for every type of rider. Let’s be aware that we are focusing on 2 styles (Love & Primo) out of 40, one of which is a limited edition board. That means the chances of seeing the Love or Primo out on the Hill are slim to none. These boards constitute less than 5% of the men’s line and less then 4% including the women's line. Let's not forget that art and images can be interpreted in infinite ways. Teach your children to understand the issues and understand that the images are not going to dictate their actions. They have the power to choose and to understand. There are plenty of wholesome boards to ride that Burton makes. Rock on Burton!

As a result of the panties of a few people getting twisted, the kids serviced by Spectrum and the Howard Center will no longer participate in the CHILL program.

Chill is the arm of Burton that sponsors FREE snowboarding sessions of kids who would ordinarily not have the means to go. It teaches them to ride, but also about perseverance and dedication. This isn't a one and done thing for these kids, they spend one day a week throughout the winter riding. Chill outfits these kids from head to toe and much of the clothing and equipment comes from donations by employees of Burton.

These kids probably would never have even heard about the LOVE or PRIMO boards if it weren't for this stupid protest. Now they'll spend their free time either plopped in front of a TV (where they'll see NO images of sex or violence, right?) or doing things other than exercising their minds and bodies.

Nice job ladies. Burton isn't going to stop selling these boards, you'll have another 2 minutes of the news and in the end everyone will go back to doing whatever it was they were doing a month ago. Now the only difference is the local kids won't be riding this winter. Hope you're proud of yourselves now.

At least SPECTRUM made room for other organizations, who have been waiting for an opportunity to participate in CHILL.

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