Valley Nuke Fight is On

A risky procedure is planned for this spring at a nuclear waste dump in Vermont that's three miles from Massachusetts and a stone's throw from New Hampshire. If the operation goes wrong, thousands of people could be killed.

Civil Disobedience Planned

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.

Environmental Victories

Thanks to the work of the environmental movement, solar power plants and bicycle paths are being built. New Hampshire's biggest solar power facility will likely soon be built in Hinsdale, which borders Brattleboro. In Keene, the government is set to spend $412,000 to extend an existing bike path by four miles. Pedestrians are allowed to walk on the path. The only motorized vehicles allowed on it are snowmobiles. More information about the path is at:

www.keenepaths.com/trails/cheshire-rail-trail

The city held a public hearing about the planned improvements to the path on February 13.

Activists: 'Healthcare is a Human Right'

About 400 people attended rallies in Amherst and Keene on January 15, declaring, “Healthcare is a human right.” President-elect Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress are planning major cuts to programs that provide free or reduced-price health care to poor people. The Amherst rally was also intended to protest plans to cut Social Security.

About 200 people were at the Keene rally and about 200 attended the rally in Amherst. The rally in Keene was organized by the Monadnock Progressive Alliance, which has a web page at:

www.facebook.com/groups/MonadnockProgressiveAlliance

Labor Rally in New Hampshire

On January 4 in New Hampshire, the day before a new, anti-union governor was sworn in, labor activists held a rally at the state capitol. The Republican governor-elect wants to make it harder for unions to exist. “The next few years are bound to be incredibly difficult, especially if these changes happen along with changes to voting rights,” Kim Schmidl-Gagne told the Valley Post on January 2. She works at Keene State College and was a leader of the successful union organizing drive among 300 or so workers there in April 2016. The college fought the workers' effort to form a union.

Environmental Victories

Activists in the Valley who have fought to save the environment are seeing their work pay off. Government money that exists because of their work is being used to protect land near Keene, Northampton, and Brattleboro. “It's 182 acres of land along and around the West Cliff trail,” Emily McAdoo told the Valley Post in a telephone interview on December 28. She is on the board of the Putney Mountain Association, which “recently signed purchase and sale agreements” for the land in Brookline, Vermont, near Brattleboro, according to a letter from the group's president to its members.

Environmental Victories

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.

139 Acres Saved

Activists on August 24 permanently protected 139 acres of forestland in Royalston, Massachusetts. Royalston is near Greenfield and Keene. The land includes several ponds. “Canoeing across this sheltered wetland is a dramatic experience,” said David Kotker. He works for the land trust that saved the land. It has a web site at www.MountGrace.org. “No signs of human habitation are visible.” Among the animals that live there are beavers, a breeding pair of bald eagles, and a rare juvenile golden eagle. A photo of the land is below.

March for Campaign Finance Reform

This photo shows a march for campaign finance reform August 13 near Keene. To enlarge the photo, click on it, then scroll down and click "see full size image." Members of Congress take millions of dollars from rich people to pay for TV commercials for the politicians' election campaigns. Most of these rich “donors” want something in return. If they have employees they often want to prevent increases in the minimum wage (the richest family in the world, the Waltons, own Wal-Mart).

Activists Rally at Exxon Gas Station

Activists held a rally outside an Exxon Mobil gas station on August 4 in Keene. They were protesting the company's efforts to persuade the public that climate change isn't a problem. The world's leading scientists say climate change is a major threat to earth's ability to support human life. It is caused mainly by people driving cars and trucks, and by using fossil fuels to generate electricity and to heat buildings.