Peace Rallies, Workers' Strikes

Eighty-five or so people attended peace rallies in the Valley November 12 and 13. About 50 people were at the November 12 rally in Northampton. Sanctions against nations like Cuba, Palestine, and Venezuela “have become a new type of warfare,” a spokesperson for one of the groups that organized the rally told the Valley Post. One of the group's web site is https://MassPeaceAction.org.

About 35 people were at the Greenfield rally on November 13, organizer Emily Greene told the Valley Post. The goal was to end all wars, she said.

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The land trust Mass Audubon helped save 53 acres in Warwick, Massachusetts, a spokesperson told the Valley Post on November 16. Warwick borders Northfield, which borders Gill, which borders Greenfield.

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In Springfield on November 21 there will be a rally for bike-ped rights. It will be outside the main library at 2 p.m. More info: Betsy Johnson 413-250-9622 WalkBikeSpringfield@gmail.com.

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In the Hartford area 149 workers are on strike. They are asking the public to join them on the picket line:

www.seiu1199ne.org/2021/10/18/the-strike-at-sunrise-continues

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In 2009, the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission did a study of the biggest employers in the Valley. It appears that the study has not been updated since 2009. The study found that the biggest industry was health care. The next biggest was colleges. As of 2021, UMass employs roughly 10,000 people in Amherst. According to the 2021 book “Power Despite Precarity” (precarity is “the state of being precarious or uncertain”) Andrew Carnegie oversaw the “violent crushing of the Homestead Steel strike of 1892. In 1905 he set up the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.” Carnegie's reforms ultimately led to the creation of the accreditation process under which UMass and all colleges operate.

According to “Power Despite Precarity” from around 1945 until around 1970 in the USA anyone who had a PhD was virtually guaranteed a professor job. As of 2010 in the USA, it was so hard to get a professor job, even if you had a PhD, that the Economist magazine concluded that “a PhD may offer no financial benefit over a master's degree. It can even reduce earnings.”

The authors of “Power Despite Precarity,” Joe Berry and Helena Worthen, urge people who work for colleges – especially low-wage college teachers -- to join a union. If they already have a union they should work to make the union more powerful. The most powerful thing a union can do is go on strike.

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