365 Rally

About 100 people attended a Brattleboro rally calling for democracy. The rally was on November 4, 2020 at 5 p.m at the town common. “It was beautiful,” Abby Mnookin told the Valley Post on November 5. She lives in Brattleboro, is on the staff of the group 350 Vermont, and she helped organize the rally. “We sang – masked and distanced -- the songs 'Labor of Love,' 'Lead with Love,' 'Phoenix Song,' and 'We Are Together,'” Mnookin said. More information is at www.350Vermont.org.

A similar rally in Northampton at the same time and date outside city hall drew about 250 people, organizer Debby Pastrich-Klemer told the Valley Post. “Dr. Shirley Jackson Whitaker sang 'There’s a Man Telling Lies.' The speakers were Jo Comerford, Lindsay Sabadosa, Mindy Domb, four young people (representing) youth groups, Tanisha Arena of Arise for Social Justice, and Javier Luengo-Garrido from the ACLU.”

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The town of Chesterfield, Massachusetts borders Westhampton, which borders Northampton. On November 14, 2020 the town of Chesterfield is set to auction off 80 acres of land so it can be paved. Activists are fighting to keep the land as a wilderness park, as land to be logged and allowed to re-grow, or as farmland. The activists have a web site at www.HillTownLandTrust.org.

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In Holyoke on November 1, 2020, a cold, rainy day, 14 people attended a rally, Gia Neswald told the Valley Post. The rally was to protest Trump's Bureau of Land Management. The Bureau is in the process of leasing to oil companies land that is sacred to the Gwich'in and Iñupiat Native Americans.

Rhonda Anderson organized the Holyoke event.

Last year, Anderson told the Valley Post, “I am Iñupiaq- Athabaskan from Alaska. I have lived in New England most of my life, and currently call Colrain my home.” Colrain, Massachusetts borders Greenfield.

On November 3, 2020, Anderson said people who want to help can contact her at rhonda@ohketeau.org.

Neswald is working with Anderson to organize upcoming events about this issue in Holyoke and Greenfield. Neswald can be reached at gneswald@gmail.com and 802-585-1608. She recommended this web site for more information: www.DefendTheSacredAlaska.org

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The town of Warwick, Massachusetts borders Northfield, which borders Gill, which borders Greenfield. Janice and Steven Kurkoski live in Warwick. For a year or so, they have been organizing climate rallies in Warwick. About 10 or 15 people usually show up. The rallies are Saturdays at 11:30 a.m. in the middle of town. If the weather is much worse than usual the rallies are held the next day. The goal is to get politicians to deal with climate change, which the world's leading scientists say is a major threat to earth's ability to support human life. Among the things local, state, and federal politicians can do is raise taxes on rich people and use the money to install rooftop solar, and fix Amtrak. More information about the rallies is available by calling Janice and Steven Kurkoski on their home phone, which they gave the Valley Post permission to publish: 978-544-3419.

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Vermont's Republican race-car driving governor banned Amtrak from the state when the virus began and has failed to allow Amtrak back in, even as Burlington's busy airport has remained open, and as Amtrak in the Valley and to New York City has never stopped. Info on how to get the Vermont governor to see the light is at www.RailVermont.org. Amtrak normally stops in Brattleboro, Greenfield, Northampton, Holyoke, Springfield, New York City, and many other towns and cities. More information is at www.TrainsInTheValley.org.

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