Springfield March for Justice is September 22

On September 22 in Springfield, there will be a march for a living wage and affordable housing. The march starts at 4 p.m. at the McDonald's at 782 State Street. The group that is organizing the march has organized several successful direct actions in the city. The below photo shows one.

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.

Solidarity Rally

Activists who, in April, stopped a fracked gas pipeline that would have crossed the Valley, held a solidarity rally August 21 in Plainfield, Massachusetts. Plainfield is near Greenfield and Northampton. The rally was in solidarity with Native Americans in North Dakota who are trying to stop a proposed oil pipeline. In recent weeks, 24 people were arrested for non-violent civil disobedience along the route of the North Dakota pipeline.

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).

Proposals for Vacant Buildings

These photos were taken on July 2 in downtown Keene. They show two vacant buildings that will become apartments and a performing arts center, if the city approves developers' plans. To enlarge a photo, click on it, then scroll down and click “see full size image.” photos by Eesha Williams

Most people who live in the Valley need a car to get to work or school, and to go shopping or visit friends.

Workers Win

Workers in the Valley walked off the job April 13 as they joined the biggest strike in the USA in five years. They work for Verizon. Community supporters joined them on picket lines in Springfield and in Hadley, Massachusetts, near Amherst. On June 1, the strike ended with a major victory for the 39,000 or so striking workers. Their wages will increase by 11 percent.

Two Rallies

In Greenfield on May 25, there was a rally for workers' rights. In Springfield the next day, there was a rally for environmental protection. The below photos show the Springfield protest. “The rally in Greenfield went really well,” Amanda Brooks-Clemeno told the Valley Post in a telephone interview May 27. She was at the event. Brooks-Clemeno lives in Worthington, Massachusetts, near Northampton, and works as a teacher at the Collaborative for Educational Services, which is funded by the state. The rally organizers were calling for higher wages for the teachers.

Salmon Return

About 200 years ago all the salmon in the Connecticut river in New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut died because of pollution caused by humans. Before that, tens of thousands of salmon lived in the river. Now, thanks to the work of environmental activists, wild salmon are returning to the river and laying eggs.

Greenfield Cop Publicly Displays Confederate Flag

A sergeant in the Greenfield police department hung a Confederate flag in his garage and left the garage door open so the flag was visible from the public road. In a photo, the flag appears to be about 25 square feet. A police sergeant is a boss of police officers. The flag was visible at 85 Shelburne Road. The sergeant is Daniel McCarthy.

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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