Union Rally is Oct. 2

As of September 30, more than 38 people had RSVP'd via Facebook to a union rally set for October 2 in Northampton. The rally starts at 4:30 p.m. at the corner of King and Main streets. The goal is to get politicians to cancel plans to cut funding for public colleges and universities. More information is at:

www.facebook.com/events/378032383198593

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Bellows Falls, Vermont is about 20 minutes from Brattleboro by car. On October 3 there will be a march in Bellows Falls for Medicaid for All. The march starts at noon at 1 Hospital Court. As of September 30, more than 28 people had RSVP'd via Facebook. Details are at:

www.facebook.com/events/939761249861078

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On September 26, dozens of people attended rallies against nuclear weapons in Greenfield and Northampton, organizers told the Valley Post. The organizers have web sites at www.TheResistanceCenter.org and www.traprock.org

“The UN General Assembly commemorates September 26 as the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. This day provides an occasion for the world community to reaffirm its commitment to global nuclear disarmament as a priority,” Patricia Hynes of the Greenfield-based Traprock Center for Peace and Justice told the Valley Post.

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Native Americans led a protest rally near Greenfield in September 2019 following a corporate acid spill that killed thousands of big and small fish in a river. The September 1, 2019 spill into the North river in Colrain, Massachusetts was from a factory owned by Barnhardt Corporation of North Carolina.

“We prayed for the water, the wildlife, and those who work at Barnhardt -- they need prayers too. We are all connected to this watershed, and we are all connected through water. Water has memory and is considered a living being -- a sacred being, in Indigenous spirituality,” protest organizer Rhonda Anderson told the Valley Post in 2019. “I am Iñupiaq- Athabaskan from Alaska. I have lived in New England most of my life, and currently call Colrain my home. I want to recognize this land we are standing on, this land that we are all benefiting from, was and still is Wabenaki territory, land lovingly inhabited by Sokoki Abenaki, Pocumtuck, Mohican, and Nipmuc people.... Sokoki means 'people who go their own way' and they are still in southern Vermont."

Anderson continued, “We're in the watershed of the Kwenitekw river, or Connecticut river. While this river has known several names by many different groups of people along along its flowing path, Kwenitekw has stuck. It is important to remember that this area has been an integral place for Indigenous people to reside, gather, farm, hunt and fish for millennia.... This action is a statement to Barnhardt: This kind of pollution is not acceptable and will not be tolerated. We are sending a message to (state regulators): hold industry accountable for such devastating pollution.” The regulators she referred to are appointed by – and serve at the pleasure of – Republican governor Charlie Baker.

On September 25, 2020, Anderson told the Valley Post, "I am very disappointed that a solid year later, this is still under investigation by MassWildlife and Mass DEP. Clearly there was a significant loss of wildlife both in and on the watershed, due to this spill."

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On September 25, 2020 Ben Heckscher of the Northampton-based group Trains in the Valley told the Valley Post, "We applaud our state legislators' active efforts to protect the Commonwealth's interest, in both the existing freight service and any future passenger service along the Route 2 rail corridor, should Pan Am Railways be sold." This would allow fast passenger train service between Greenfield and Boston. More information is at www.TrainsInTheValley.org.

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A facility proposed for Brattleboro would convert trees to electricity. It would be worse for climate change than a coal power plant that would produce the same amount of electricity, according to the Center for Biological Diversity. The Brattleboro facility would cause lung cancer, according to the American Lung Association. Search these groups' web sites for "biomass."

The Brattleboro facility would be allowed to burn the wood equivalent of 131,000 fifty-year-old trees per year. This is worse than was originally reported by news outlets. The new data comes from a Freedom of Information Act request to the federal government.

To protest the planned facility, there will be a march in Brattleboro on November 15 at 1 p.m. People who are able to walk a mile in 15 minutes should meet outside 161 Wellington Road, the site of the proposed facility. If you drive there, you can leave your car at the state Park and Ride at 15 Browne Court. The march will go first to the Brattleboro Town Common, where people who walk more slowly should meet at 2 p.m.

The march will then go past the offices of the local decision-makers for this scheme: the Brattleboro select board and the Windham Regional Commission, both of whom have legally-enforceable influence over the state agency that will decide whether to issue a building permit. The march will end at the Brattleboro food co-op. In case of heavy rain or snow, the march will be re-scheduled.

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Kestrel Land Trust on September 29 announced it had saved 583 acres of forestland and farmland in the neighboring towns of Amherst, Hadley and South Hadley.

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