Three Rallies on May 1

On May 1 there will be car rallies in Brattleboro at 12:30 p.m., in Holyoke at 2 p.m., and in Springfield at 4 p.m. The rallies are for workers' rights. All three are caravans. A similar rally in Greenfield on April 24 drew more than 100 people. The Brattleboro rally starts at the high school parking lot and will pass grocery stores and hospitals. It's being organized by the Vermont Workers' Center and other groups.

Northampton Rally is April 17 at 2:15 p.m.

There will be a car rally in Northampton on April 17 at 2:15 p.m. The main goal is to get politicians to listen to workers who are calling for face masks and other safety gear. The car rally will be a caravan that will stop outside the hospital, a supermarket, and another location to-be-announced. It starts at the lower parking lot at the high school, 380 Elm Street. Organizers are asking people to bring signs saying things like, “Masks for staff and customers.” More information is at:

www.facebook.com/events/2532565650316125

Farmland Saved

On April 9, a land trust in Keene announced it had permanently protected 37 acres of farmland in Chesterfield, New Hampshire from development. Chesterfield borders Brattleboro. The land trust is the Monadnock Conservancy. The below photo shows the land with Lucky Evans and his daughter Ingrid. photo by Monadnock Conservancy

Fight for the Trees

Unless activists stop the plan, thousands of acres of Green Mountain National Forest will be logged soon. The forest is about 10 miles from Brattleboro. “They are coming hard with the chainsaws to Green Mountain National Forest,” Chris Matera told the Valley Post. “What a sorry sight it will be to look down from the top of Mount Snow and see clear-cuts instead of that beautiful intact forest we see now.”

Some Valley Prisoners Freed Due to Coronavirus

No nation keeps such a high percentage of its people in prison as the USA. Europe's rate is a third of ours. Due to the coronavirus, the prosecutors in the counties that are home to Northampton and Brattleboro are releasing some prisoners. “I have released some due to coronavirus,” Tracy Shriver told the Valley Post in a phone interview on March 26. She is the prosecutor for Windham county, which includes Brattleboro. Shriver said she has freed “more than one and fewer than 100” people due to the epidemic.

Peace Rally Planned

Unless it's postponed due to coronavirus, there be a peace rally in Brattleboro on April 15. The rally will be outside 2 Main Street from 10 a.m. until 3 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 $1.6 trillion on war. That's 47 percent of the federal budget, meaning about half your income taxes go to war. This data is from:

www.warresisters.org/sites/default/files/fy2021piechart.pdf

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

Local News Round-up

In Holyoke on February 21 at 4 p.m. there will be a rally in solidarity with Native Americans in Canada who are fighting construction of a fracked gas pipeline. The rally will be at 12-6 Mt. Park Road. More information about the rally is available by calling Gia at (413) 512-1192. More information about the pipeline is on the web site of the tribe that's leading the fight to stop it:

www.wetsuweten.com/territory/pipelines

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For 12 Years Home Depot Has Sat Vacant

The Brattleboro Home Depot and its vast parking lot have been vacant for 12 years. On December 30, 2019 Home Depot spokeswoman Margaret Watters Smith told the Valley Post her company would like to find someone to rent the building and parking lot. Years ago, another Home Depot spokeswoman told the Valley Post the same thing.

On January 2, 2020, Brattleboro town manager Peter Elwell told the Valley Post he will not try to find a use for the building or parking lot.

Workers Win

Thanks to the labor movement, on January 1 the minimum wage will go up to $12.75 an hour in Massachusetts and $10.96 an hour in Vermont. The New Hampshire minimum wage will remain at $7.25. In the 1930s workers went on strike around the nation, forcing politicians to pass the first minimum wage laws. To this day, unions lobby to raise the minimum wage. One of the most active unions in the Pioneer Valley and Brattleboro has a web site at www.ufcw1459.com. New Hampshire unions have a web site at www.nhaflcio.org.

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Local News Round-up

On December 6 there will be two climate rallies. One is in Springfield at noon outside city hall. The other will be at 3:30 p.m. at the main entrance to Mount Holyoke College. The organizers of both rallies can be reached via www.facebook.com/SunriseSouthHadley.

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On December 1 in Keene there was a rally to impeach Trump. “There were around 30 people there,” Jim Murphy told the Valley Post. Pat Brady Martin told the Valley Post, “The music at the rally was great.”

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