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How Ralph Nader launched a movement in Vermont – Brospar Daily News

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Ralph Nader is America’s foremost consumer advocate. He is a ruthless critic of corporate corruption and a former presidential candidate.

Nader, 88, made his debut in 1965 with his book ” No speed is safe, he exposed the automotive safety issues of American cars. He then became one of the main leaders of the anti-nuclear forces movement. He ran for president several times, including in 2000, when critics accused him of soliciting Vice President Al Gore to elect George W. Bush.

Nader’s impact on Vermont can be found in the Vermont Public Interest Study Group, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this month. The VPIRG grew out of a meeting with student activists at the University of Vermont in October 1971. Nader’s senior lieutenant, Don Ross, urged students to form an on-campus chapter of a national action movement civic led by Nader. Ross promises the new group “can investigate and lobby in areas such as the environment, auto laws, equal employment opportunity for minorities – whatever interests you.” The VPIRG was launched the following year. There are now over 25 state PIRGs.

We spent an hour chatting with Ralph Nader about the civil action movement he inspired and his views on politics today. We also interviewed Paul Burns, who was executive director of VPIRG for 22 years.

Nader said his legacy will be measured by “the number of oak trees planted. That is, the oaks of the democratic forest. We can’t get enough. Considering the corporate supremacists and corporate control that our nation’s history has never had, there are so few. So we can look back with pleasure on what has been accomplished. But we must look to the future and feel how much still remains in the minds of constitutions, statutes and people everywhere to place corporate power under dissatisfied civil power.

Nader said the preamble to the constitution “does not say ‘we are corporations’. It is not ‘we the Congress’. It is ‘we the people.’

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