March Plan Coming Soon

In the Valley every January for the past four years hundreds – and in most cases, thousands – of people attended the Women's March, first in Northampton then Springfield. “We are having conversations about what and how we might do it considering the pandemic but nothing is set in stone yet,” Gladys Franco told the Valley Post on November 28. She is the board chair at the Resistance Center, which is the “fiscal sponsor” of the Pioneer Valley Women's March. “I should be able to share more in a couple of weeks,” Franco said.

The relevant web sites are:

www.TheResistanceCenter.org

and

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.

Workers' Strike Shuts Down Cafe

About a dozen workers at a coffee shop in Brattleboro are on strike. Mocha Joe's is closed due to the strike. The strike began on October 24. “We are not making a livable wage,” Lu Racine told the Valley Post in an in-person interview on the picket line. Racine has worked at Mocha Joe's for about 18 months.

Nel McNeill has worked at Mocha Joe's for about a year. “One of our co-workers was fired over something small,” McNeill said.

The workers can be reached at mj.coworkers@gmail.com. They are asking the public to sign their petition at:

Forest Victory

The biggest cause of climate change is overpopulation. One of the best ways to fight climate change is to guarantee the right to safe, legal, affordable abortions. That's one of the demands of the Women's March, according to www.WomensMarch.com. The Women's March in Northampton was set to start on October 17, 2020 at noon at the corner of Main and Pleasant streets.

The Amherst Women's March was set to start on October 17, 2020 at 1 p.m. outside 4 Boltwood Avenue.

The Brattleboro Women's March was set to start at the town Common on October 17, 2020 at 1 p.m.

Photos: March for Justice

A union rally on October 2 in Northampton drew about 50 people. “It went great,” Risa Silverman told the Valley Post. She was one of the speakers at the rally. “People asked us why we were out. It was good to be able to talk with them.” The goal was to get politicians to cancel plans to cut funding for public colleges and universities. More information is at www.MassTeacher.org.

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235 Rally

On September 19, a rally inspired by the life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg drew 150 or so people in Northampton, Debby Pastrich-Klemer told the Valley Post. Pastrich-Klemer was one of the speakers at the rally. She is a leader of a group that has a web page at:

www.facebook.com/NorthamptonDems

A similar rally in Brattleboro on the same date drew 60 or so people. Ginsburg's death means abortion could be banned. One way to stop that from happening is a general strike and massive marches.

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

To Protest, 330 Rally, 14 Quit Jobs

About 250 people marched for Black Lives Matter in Northampton on September 5. They also attended a rally. The Pioneer Valley Workers Center promoted the event. According to the group's web site, “The Pioneer Valley prides itself on being a hub of the local food movement which values sustainability, buying local, and fair trade, yet the jobs of those who serve food in its restaurants are characterized by low wages, few benefits, discrimination, no voice at work, and little opportunity for advancement.

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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100 Rally

About 70 people attended a Black Lives Matter rally in Keene on July 4. It was organized by Conor Hill and two other people. Hill did not immediately reply to a request for comment. The Valley Post has interviewed him in the past and will post his comment in the “comments” section at the bottom of this article.

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Until now, no news outlet has covered a July 1 Code Pink rally in Northampton. Dozens of people attended the rally. The rally was to protest Trump's support of Israel’s annexation of the West Bank in Palestine. More information is at www.CodePink.org.