Workers Win

In a major win for workers' rights in the Valley, 230 school bus drivers and associated workers formed a union. "I support the union. Consistency between five towns and three garages is the main issue. There are five different towns being run five different ways," Annette LeBlanc told the Valley Post. For about five years, she has been a bus driver at the Lower Pioneer Valley Educational Collaborative. “I am hopeful. But we’ve got a lot of work to do before we are finished.”

For Peace, Against Pollution

War tax resisters from around the nation will host a public event in Amherst on November 3 at 7 p.m. Stopping construction of fossil fuel pipelines is the goal of a march in Northampton on November 5 at 5:30 p.m.

Sam Koplinka-Loehr will moderate a panel at the peace event. “I am a war tax resister because I believe a better world is possible,” she told the Valley Post. More information is at:

https://nwtrcc.org/programs-events/gatherings-and-events/schedule

18 Protesters Arrested

In Springfield, 18 people were arrested for nonviolent civil disobedience on October 14. They were protesting president Trump's plan to deport Springfield resident Lucio Perez to Guatemala. Perez has lived in the USA since 1999. His wife and children live in Springfield. One of the groups that organized the protest has a web site at www.pvWorkersCenter.org.

Hundreds Rally Against Racism

In Northampton on August 13, hundreds of people attended a rally to protest racist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. The same day in Keene, about 60 people attended a rally for the same cause. On August 14, about 80 people attended a rally for the same cause in Greenfield. On August 15, dozens of people attended another rally for the same cause in Springfield.

Brattleboro Planned Parenthood Rally

Earth's population is growing fast. 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.

By the year 2050, there will be about 11 billion people on earth, according to:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/09/140918-population-global...

People are the main cause of climate change, which the world's leading scientists say is a major threat to earth's ability to support human life.

Local News Roundup

The 200 or so nurses at the Greenfield hospital will go on strike on June 26 unless management agrees to stop assigning so many patients to each nurse that it is impossible to provide good quality health care. The nurses want the hospital to hire more nurses. The nurses also want better health insurance for themselves.

Photo: Activists Fight an Eviction

On May 25, activists gathered at 2163 Wilbraham Road in Springfield to try to stop a multi-billion dollar bank from evicting a low-income family from the home at that address where they have lived for 20 years.

U.S. Bank Corporation evicted the family, but the fight is not over. The activists are working to get the family back into their home, organizer Candejah Pink told the Valley Post. They have won several of these kind of victories in recent years in Springfield. Details about -- and photos of -- some of these victories are at:

www.valleypost.org/2015/10/20/grassroots-victories

Thousands to March

On April 29, there will be marches in Springfield and Keene calling on politicians to pass laws stopping pollution. The focus is on pollution that causes climate change. "Climate change represents an urgent and potentially irreversible threat to human societies and the planet," according to the United Nations Paris Agreement, which was signed by the leaders of almost every nation in 2015.

Rallies Work

Free, non-stop bus rides from Amherst and Northampton to Springfield are available for people who want to attend a February 11 rally to defend access to contraception and safe abortions. The Republican-controlled federal government is trying to limit access. The rally starts at 1 p.m. at 36 Court Street. Organizers have a web site at:

www.OurBodiesOurJustice.wordpress.com.

Rally to Reduce Prison Population

Dozens of people attended a rally to support reducing the prison population. The rally was outside the Springfield office of governor Charlie Baker. “People need opportunities for jobs, housing, and addiction treatment if we're going to reduce recidivism and incarceration,” Bill Toller told the Valley Post. He is on the board of the group that organized the rally. The group has a web page at:

www.facebook.com/Pioneer-Valley-Project-287298818042052