Photos: Black Lives Matter March

About 400 people marched in Brattleboro July 13. They chanted, "Black lives matter," and, "No justice, no peace, no racist police!" To enlarge a photo, click on it, then scroll down and click "see full size image." More information about the march is at:

www.valleypost.org/node/1198

photos by Eesha Williams

Environmental Victory

Activists saved 65 acres of land in Amherst and 45 acres in Belchertown, Massachusetts. Belchertown borders Amherst. Protecting land from development is one of the best ways to stop climate change, which the world's leading scientists say is a major threat to earth's ability to support human life. Most of the money for protecting land comes from the government; politicians decide how much to invest in saving land, versus tax breaks for billionaires, war, and prison for non-violent people.

688 Acres Saved

Activists saved 688 acres of forestland in Keene and the New Hampshire towns of Chesterfield and Swanzey. Chesterfield borders Brattleboro and Keene. Swanzey borders Keene and is about five miles from Massachusetts. Protecting land from development is one of the best ways to stop climate change, which the world's leading scientists say is a major threat to earth's ability to support human life. Most of the money for protecting land comes from the government; politicians decide how much to invest in saving land, versus tax breaks for billionaires, war, and prison for non-violent people.

Family of Wrongfully Convicted Man Gets $1.5 Million

In Brattleboro, a court case against police officers whose errors sent a man to prison for 18 years for a crime he probably did not commit has ended. The state will pay $1.5 million to the family of John Grega, who died after he was released from prison. “The Grega family is very happy,” Ian Carleton told the Valley Post in a telephone interview on April 27. He is the family's lawyer. “They fought for justice and they got it.” The deal was announced April 22.

Rally for Peace

In Brattleboro, there will be a rally for global peace on April 18 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., outside the food co-op at 2 Main Street. “The Obama administration has committed to renewing the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile at a cost of $1 trillion over the next 30 years,” Brattleboro rally organizer Daniel Sicken (pronounced SEE-kin) told the Valley Post. For more information, contact him at dhsicken@yahoo.com or by phone at (802) 387-2798. The event is sponsored by www.nwtrcc.org.

April 22 Concert to Aid Cameroon

Derrik Jordan will perform a concert with other musicians in Putney, Vermont, near Brattleboro on April 22 at 8 p.m. Jordan is the lead singer and guitar player in Simba, probably the most popular band in the Brattleboro area. Simba plays reggae and highlife, among other kinds of music. Their concerts usually attract about 100 people, almost all of whom dance for almost the whole concert.

Local News Roundup

On March 7 at 1:30 p.m. in Springfield activists will hold a rally to stop a bank that wants to evict a low-income family from its home while the bank's CEO makes millions of dollars a year. The rally will be at 139 Maebeth Street. Details are available from rally organizers, who have a web site at www.SpringfieldNoOneLeaves.org. They have had a number of recent victories. Details, and photos, are at:

www.valleypost.org/node/1101

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Photos: Fast Moving River, Streams

These photos were taken on February 25 in Brattleboro following a night of heavy rain and melting snow. Black Mountain Road had a large hole in the middle of the road. Ice floated down a fast moving Connecticut river. Whetstone Brook was full. To enlarge a photo, click on it, then scroll down and click "see full size image." photos by Eesha Williams

Workers Unite

How can democracy exist in a nation shared by millions of workers making minimum wage and billionaires? History shows an effective way to spread the wealth is for workers to join unions. Earlier this month, workers in Brattleboro had a victory, and workers in the Springfield area held rallies.

On January 20 in Springfield, Chicopee, Westfield and West Springfield, there were rallies outside Price Rite stores that are paying workers low wages while the chain's owner gets rich.  The rallies were organized by the local chapter of a union-backed group that has a web site at www.jwj.org.

Progress in Case of Man Imprisoned for Crime He Did Not Commit

In Brattleboro on January 12 a judge set the schedule for a case involving a man who was kept in prison for 18 years for a crime he probably did not commit. In 2012, a judge ordered John Grega released from prison in Springfield, Vermont, near Brattleboro, after 18 years in prison for a murder that he probably did not commit. The murder happened in 1994 in Dover, Vermont, which is also near Brattleboro. Grega died in a car crash on January 23, 2015. His family is seeking to hold government officials accountable for the 18 years Grega spent in prison.