Hundreds at Rallies: Tax the Rich, Stop Climate Change

President Trump wants to cut taxes for billionaires, and help fossil fuel companies make climate change worse. In the Valley on November 8 and November 10, hundreds of people attended rallies calling on politicians to fight Trump's agenda. Raising taxes on billionaires would make it possible for the government to cut taxes for everyone else, improve Amtrak, and help poor people in Africa, among other possibilities.

Workers Unite

Twenty-five workers formed a union in the town of Monson, Massachusetts, about four miles from Springfield. They drive school buses for a multinational corporation. “A worker needs to have a union,” Clifford Nurse told the Valley Post. He lives in Springfield and drives for the same company, First Student. “I work for a giant corporation. I can't fight them by myself. With the union, I can. First Student has tried to fire drivers because their bus got rear-ended.”

The below photo from his Facebook page shows Nurse.

Victories

A giant corporate bank wants to evict a low-income family from the family’s home in Springfield. The community is fighting back. On October 17 at 6 p.m. there will be a rally outside 91 Deepfield Road. The public is invited to attend. The event organizers have a web site at www.SpringfieldNoOneLeaves.org. They have had several victories in Springfield.

Local News Round-up

Thousands of people marched in Northampton for the Women's March in January 2017 and January 2018. Debby Pastrich-Klemer helped organize both marches. On October 1, 2018, she told the Valley Post that the next Northampton Women's March will be on January 19, 2019.

A Victory for the Environment

The USA is losing 6,000 or so acres of open space every day. But here in the Valley, about 640 acres of farmland and forestland were permanently protected from development. A land trust based in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, about 9 miles from Greenfield, announced the news on August 2.

1,000 Rally for Immigrants

In the Valley, more than 1,000 people attended rallies against president Trump's immigration policies June 30. The rallies were in Springfield, Greenfield, Brattleboro, and Keene. The same day in Boston, more than 15,000 people marched from city hall to the statehouse to protest Trump's immigration policies. People from the Valley were at the Boston march. “No borders, no nations, stop the deportations!” thousands of people chanted.

Workers Unite

On June 26 in Brattleboro more than 100 workers at a mental hospital attended a rally. They are protesting mandatory forced overtime, unfair scheduling policies, and other issues. They work at the Brattleboro Retreat and are members of a union. They have a web site at:

www.unap.org/about/contact-us-2

About 900 people work at the Retreat, about 600 of them are members of the union.

The below photo shows the rally. To enlarge the photo, click on it, then scroll down and click “see full-size image.” photo by Eesha Williams

Valley to NYC Trains Get Faster, More Frequent, Cheaper

Next month, Amtrak will get faster between the Valley and New York City. Also next month, passenger train service between Springfield, Hartford, and New York City will get much more frequent and much cheaper. By December, there will be more frequent passenger train service between Greenfield, Northampton, Holyoke, and New York City.

Concert Review: Meninos de Minas

The band Meninos de Minas performed an outstanding concert on April 28. In the audience, dozens of people danced. The concert was free, outdoors, and in Hartford. It was the second year that the band played at the annual Samba Fest in Hartford. Hartford is about 30 minutes from Springfield by train. Next month those trains will get much cheaper and much more frequent, thanks to the work of activists in Northampton who have a web site at www.TrainsInTheValley.org.

Victory for Housing Advocates

In a win for activists who fight for affordable housing, downtown Brattleboro will get a new apartment building. “This project will provide beautiful new homes for folks wanting to live close to all the amenities available in downtown Brattleboro," Elizabeth Bridgewater told the Valley Post on March 8. She runs the non-profit group that will build the housing. Bridgewater's group has a web site at www.w-wht.org.

The building will be constructed at 23 Flat Street, which is now a vacant lot, and will have about two dozen apartments.