Activists in Brattleboro are planning to use civil disobedience to protest TD Bank, which is funding the Dakota Access Pipeline to move oil, which causes climate change. The action is set for February 22 at 3:30 p.m. at the TD Bank at 215 Main Street in Brattleboro. The activists are asking people to come and support them, without risking arrest. The Brattleboro chapter of 350.org is promoting the event.
Here in the Valley, solar is replacing coal and nuclear, and bicyle paths and sidewalks are being built. In related news, six people from the Valley recently traveled to North Dakota, where they helped Native Americans who are fighting a proposed oil pipeline.
The Dirty Dozen Brass Band will play at Gateway City Arts in Holyoke on Saturday, September 10 at 7 p.m. The venue has a dance floor. You can hear the band's music at:
In the next few months, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band will perform in New York City, Chicago, and Hawaii.
Tickets for the Holyoke concert are $25 in advance. They are available at www.signaturesoundspresents.com.
photo by www.vancouverwinejazz.com
With Labor Day right around the corner, the Valley Post spoke with a worker at a Springfield-based union for an update. Grocery workers are negotiating their first union contract at Wild Oats Market in Williamstown, Massachusetts, Matt Szulborski told the Valley Post in a telephone interview on August 12. He works for United Food and Commercial Workers union Local 1459. In February, the 42 workers at Wild Oats joined the union, which has a web site at www.ufcw1459.com.
On March 24 at 4 p.m. in Holyoke, there will be a two-hour rally for justice. Workers at Stop & Shop throughout New England are asking the billion dollar company for fair wages and benefits. Stop & Shop workers in the Valley are union members. They have a web site at www.ufcw1459.com.
The rally will be at 28 Lincoln Street. The public is invited. Details are at:
On January 1, the Massachusetts minimum wage went from $9 an hour to $10 an hour. About 280,000 people got a raise. This happened because thousands of people volunteered to gather signatures on petitions. That effort was coordinated by Raise Up Massachusetts. The same group last month submitted to the Massachusetts Secretary of State about 157,000 pen-on-paper signatures intended to raise taxes on people who make more than $1 million a year. About 13,000 people in Massachusetts made over $1 million in 2013, the most recent year for which data is available.
Unions in the Massachusetts cities of Springfield and Holyoke are asking the public to attend rallies for justice in Springfield and in the nearby towns of Amherst, Chicopee, Westfield, and West Springfield. On Labor Day, September 7, from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m., there will be a rally in Amherst for workers' rights. The public is welcome for all or part of that time. For more information, contact Jocelyn Silverlight by phone at (908) 601-6342 or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
There will be a march in Holyoke April 27 to protest plans by governor Charlie Baker to take away control of the city's schools from people who live there. The march will start at 3 p.m. at Salsarengue Restaurant, 392 High Street.
Eduardo Melendez is a teacher at Holyoke public schools, a position he has held for 20 years. “In Puerto Rico, we do rallies with live music,” he told the Valley Post on April 24. “That's what we'll do on Monday. We will have a whole bunch of musicians.”
Recent rallies in Holyoke and Boston for better education were attended by Valley residents. On September 8 in Holyoke, activists held a rally in support of a public school teacher who the teachers' union says was fired for his union activism. Until he was fired, Gus Morales was a full-time English teacher in Holyoke, and part-time president of the Holyoke teachers' union, which is part of www.MassTeacher.org.
Free round-trip bus tickets from Holyoke to a September 21 climate march in New York City are available. President Obama and the leaders of other nations will be in New York City that day to try to come up with an agreement to reduce pollution. The march is being organized by the Service Employees International Union, the Sierra Club, and other organizations. More information about the march, including how to get bus tickets from the Valley, is at www.PeoplesClimate.org. The Sunday march starts at 11:30 a.m.