Brattleboro BLM Rally is July 17 at 5 p.m.

In Brattleboro on July 17 at 5 p.m., there will be a Black Lives Matter rally at Pliny Park at the corner of Main and High streets. More information is at:

www.facebook.com/events/1206897952976729

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Bud Williams is a state legislator from Springfield. A photo of Williams from his web page is below. In a July 15 telephone interview, Williams told the Valley Post, “The time has come for us to have a person of color as mayor of Springfield.” The city is home to 154,000 people, 68 percent of whom are people of color. The mayor, a white man, appoints the person who runs the police department.

On July 8, the federal justice department released a report that said cops in Springfield routinely punch people in the face for no good reason. The cops are never punished for doing this, the report said. Williams told the Valley Post, “We need a civilian review board that has the power to hire and fire police officers in Springfield.”

The city of Berkeley, California, population 122,000, is in the process of cutting its police budget in half.

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Native Americans in Canada are asking people in Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire to help them stop plans by Boston and New York City to buy electricity from dams in Canada. The electricity would pass through power lines that would be built in Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire. The dams would flood the forests where the Native Americans live. In a phone interview on July 14, Rachel Atkins told the Valley Post one of the power lines could pass through Ludlow, Vermont. Ludlow is about 45 minutes by car from Brattleboro. Atkins lives in Vermont, near Burlington, and works for a group that has a web site at:

www.NorthEastMegaDamResistance.org

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The daily newspaper in Northampton is laying off 29 workers, almost all of whom are union members. Craig Aaron runs a Northampton-based group that has 70,000 “likes” on Facebook and has a web site at www.FreePress.net. On July 15, he told the Valley Post, "Hedge funds and distant owners are killing local journalism -- and using the pandemic as an excuse to crush unions and dismiss essential workers when their communities need them most. The biggest media companies have shown themselves time and again to be unfit stewards for the local news and information communities need. We need to support these workers and start building the policies and incentives that could actually return ownership of vital institutions into local hands and support noncommercial alternatives with public dollars so our local needs aren't held hostage by the whims of Wall Street."

More information about how to help the Northampton workers is available from Aaron's group.

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In Springfield, Tanisha Arena runs the group Arise for Social Justice. It has a web site at www.AriseSpringfield.org. The CEO of MGM Corporation makes $13 million a year. He's asking Springfield's mayor and city council for a tax cut. On July 12, Arena told the Valley Post, “I do not think that the city should agree to renegotiate this (tax) contract and (let MGM) pay less, especially considering there are citizens in Springfield struggling to pay their rents and mortgages because of Covid-19 and there has been no real relief. There is a moratorium on evictions but there was no cancellation of payments so those monies are considered due and payable. If the citizens cannot get relief from payments, why should a business? MGM is a giant corporation. Why does our society expect the average citizen to have a rainy day fund but not giant corporations for emergencies or the unexpected events of life?”

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As solar panels are installed on acres of prime farmland in Vermont, activists there are asking politicians to also put solar panels on the roofs of big box stores, factories, apartment buildings, and warehouses. “Also, they should go above parking lots,” Ben Edgerly Walsh told the Valley Post on July 12. A photo of solar panels above a parking lot are on this web page, which is owned by the group Walsh works for:

www.vpirg.org/issues/clean-energy/solar-power/solar-faq/#_g

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The town of Shelburne, Massachusetts borders Greenfield. Activists in Shelburne are fighting to save 67 acres of forestland from development. They have a web site at www.MassAudubon.org.

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