Win for Nature

About 200 people attended a workers' rights rally in Hadley, Massachusetts on July 23. Hadley borders Northampton. The rally was organized by workers at the Trader Joe's supermarket. More information is available via the workers' web site: https://TraderJoesUnited.org.

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In Springfield, on July 18 the city announced it had paid $345,000 to a man who was violently assaulted by Springfield police. The man, Jonathan Ramos, did nothing wrong, a lawyer for the city said. Police broke his skull. This is the latest is a long series of police brutality settlements in Springfield in recent years.

Tanisha Arena runs a group that has a web site at www.AriseSpringfield.org. On July 21 she told the Valley Post, “Defund the police. These are taxpayer dollars funding these settlements. So we are the recipients of brutality and then we are also bearing the burden of paying out settlements. How about we re-examine policing, their excess funding and find alternative ways of keeping people safe? The U.S. supreme court just handed down a decision stating that police do not have a duty to protect, nor do they have to read anyone their rights. Policing as we know it is the problem. Regardless of the infraction, noncompliance, etc it does not and should not give police the right or sense of entitlement to brutalize and/or kill people.”

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In Brattleboro on July 19, police shot and killed Matthew Davis, who was 34 years old. One Brattleboro police officer and two state troopers shot Davis. In 2018, the Valley Post conducted a special investigation. The results showed that, between 2001 and 2018, Brattleboro police killed people at a much higher rate than the national average, when compared to the number of murders in Brattleboro by people who were not police. That report is at:

http://valleypost.org/2018/07/17/brattleboro-police-kill-high-rate

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In Greenfield on July 20, the city council debated what to do about a jury verdict in May that found the police chief discriminated against the department's only African American officer. The council decided to continue the debate at a future meeting.

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In Southampton, Massachusetts a rail trail will be extended by 3.5 miles. City officials announced the news last month. Southampton borders Holyoke. Traveling by bicycle or walking, rather than by driving, reduces obesity and is good for the environment.

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