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.

March Against KKK

About 85 people marched through downtown Brattleboro November 5 chanting, “Hey hey, ho, ho, the KKK has got to go.” On October 29, someone put KKK literature in the mailboxes of two African American women in Burlington, Vermont, that city's police chief said. The KKK, whose membership is limited to white people, is responsible for the murder by lynching of hundreds, and possibly thousands, of African Americans in the USA between 1877 and 1950. The KKK still has thousands of members.

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Photo: Rally for Planned Parenthood

Dozens of people attended a rally in Brattleboro on September 29 to support Planned Parenthood. Republicans in Congress are trying to cut funding for the group. Planned Parenthood provides reproductive health care and education to millions of women, men, and young people worldwide. It has a web site at www.PlannedParenthood.org.

In the year 1700, there were about 600 million people on earth. By 1800, there were about 900 million. In 1900, there were about 1.6 billion. In 2000, there were about 6 billion. That's according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Land Trust on Verge of Saving Farmland

Almost all the money needed to save 57 acres of farmland from development has been raised by a local land trust. The land is in New Hampshire, less than a mile from Massachusetts and Vermont. “We have raised a little over $250,000,” David Kotker told the Valley Post on August 20. “We still need to raise about $4,000.” Kotker works for the Mount Grace land trust, which has a web site at www.MountGrace.org.

Two Marches on May 1

On May 1, there will be marches for immigrant rights and for raising taxes on the rich to help the poor. The marches will be in Amherst, Massachusetts and Montpelier, Vermont. People will be carpooling to the Montpelier event from Brattleboro. To join the carpool, e-mail spoonagave@yahoo.com or call the phone number at the rally organizers' web site: www.WorkersCenter.org.

The Amherst event is being promoted by the western Massachusetts chapter of the group Jobs With Justice: www.jwj.org. At the event's Facebook page, more than 250 people had RSVP'd by the morning of April 30:

Photo: Farm Field Comes to Life

This photo was taken on April 17 in Brattleboro. It shows a cover crop growing on a farm field in the foreground and New Hampshire in the background. People plant cover crops to prevent rain from washing soil away and to prevent wind from blowing dry soil away. The plants' roots loosen the soil. There are other benefits to cover crops. To enlarge the photo, click on it, then scroll down and click "see full size image." photo by Eesha Williams

Rally for Peace

In Brattleboro, there will be a rally for global peace on April 15 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., outside the food co-op at 2 Main Street. “There will be live music,” 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.

"The USA is planning to spend $348 billion on nuclear weapons in the next 10 years," Sicken said.

Photo: Melting River

This photo was taken on April 2. It shows downtown Brattleboro and the Connecticut river. It was taken from Mount Wantastiquet state forest in New Hampshire. To enlarge the photo, click on it, then scroll down and click "see full size image." photo by Eesha Williams

Towns Vote to Fight Pipeline

Four New Hampshire towns near Keene are opposing plans to build a fracked gas pipeline through their towns. The towns border Massachusetts. At annual town meeting day votes on March 10 and March 11, residents of Fitzwilliam, Rindge, Troy and Winchester voted to direct their towns' select boards to lobby state and federal regulators to fight the proposal by Texas-based Kinder Morgan Corporation. The pipeline would carry gas that is mined using a process called “fracking,” which poisons drinking water.