Peace Rally

There be a peace rally in Brattleboro on May 17. The rally will be outside 2 Main Street from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. With 4 percent of the world's population, the USA spends as much money on war as the rest of the world combined. This year the USA will spend $1.7 trillion on war. That's 48 percent of the federal budget, meaning about half your income taxes go to war. This data is from:

https://www.warresisters.org/sites/default/files/fy2022pie_chart-low_res...

More information on the Brattleboro rally will be posted soon at:

https://nwtrcc.org/tax-day-actions-2021

2,000 Acres Near Amherst Protected from Development

Two thousand acres of forestland in three towns, all of which border Amherst, has been protected from development. Kristin DeBoer confirmed the 2,038 acre deal in a December 30 interview with the Valley Post. She runs an Amherst-based land trust that has a web site at www.kestreltrust.org. The USA is losing 6,000 acres of open space to development every day. Local, state, and federal politicians decide how much to tax rich people, and how much money to give to land trusts.

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The out-of-state corporate chain owner of the Daily Hampshire

Workers Win

In a victory for workers in Amherst, hundreds of people will get to keep their jobs. The workers used rallies and a petition to beat back their boss's layoff plans. They work at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The workers are union members. They have a web site at www.MassTeacher.org. The victory came on September 15.

By going on strike, workers created the middle class in the 1930s. As the percentage of workers who had a union grew, equality increased. That's according to:

www.epi.org/blog/union-decline-rising-inequality-charts

Taking it to the Streets

About 250 people attended a Black Lives Matter rally in Putney, Vermont on July 22. Putney is about 10 minutes from Brattleboro by car. Vermont has the nation's most racist prison system, which may help explain why it is one of the whitest states. Vermont sends prisoners to a private prison in Mississippi.

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16 More Protesters Arrested

Sixteen people were arrested for non-violent civil disobedience between August 22 and August 27 at Wendell Massachusetts State Forest near Greenfield, bringing the total number of arrests to 25 since August 6. The goal was to stop planned logging of 80 acres of 110 year old oak trees on publicly owned land.

The USA is losing 6,000 acres of open space to development every day. Stopping logging on publicly owned land forces logging companies to buy their own land. If the loggers want to grow new trees after logging, the land can't be paved.

Local News Round-up

In Springfield, pedestrian rights activists had a win May 30 when construction started on a $4 million project. “It's hard to imagine an intersection that is less friendly to pedestrians,” Stacey Beuttell told the Valley Post on June 3. She works for Walk Boston, a group that, despite its name, works statewide to make walking safer. Beuttell said the Springfield project is a victory. The intersection that will be fixed is at the corner of Alden, Walnut, Hancock, and Ashley streets. The mayor says it will be done by the end of next year.

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Workers Win

Hundreds of Stop and Shop workers in the Pioneer Valley went on strike and won. The strike started on April 11. On April 22, the strikers went back to work, victorious. One of the main reasons for the strike was low wages. The workers have a web site at www.ufcw1459.com.

Rally: Tax the Rich

On April 11 at 7 a.m., a bus will leave Springfield to bring people to a rally in Boston to call for raising taxes on rich people to help poor people and the environment. The bus will leave from 1381 Liberty Street. The Fair Share amendment is a proposal to amend the Massachusetts constitution. It would create a tax of an extra 4 percent on the part of a person’s annual income above $1 million. The new revenue, approximately $2 billion a year, would be spent on public schools, public colleges and universities, and public transportation, among other things.

Wins for Nature

On March 23 Brattleboro's annual budget for fighting climate change went from $10,000 to $100,000. Brattleboro is home to about 11,000 people. Once a year the town holds a meeting where 155 elected representatives can overrule anything the select board does. The select board is the equivalent of a city council. Brattleboro doesn't have a mayor.

Hundreds March

On March 15 in Springfield about 50 people attended a rally calling on politicians to pass stronger gun control laws. The first photo, below, shows the rally. James Debney is CEO of gun maker Smith & Wesson, which is based in Springfield. The photo is by Liz Steinhauser. To enlarge the photo, click on it, then scroll down and click “see full size image.” The two groups that organized the rally have web sites at www.bPeaceForJorge.net and www.PioneerValleyProject.org.