3,500 at Valley Climate Protests

On September 20 in the Valley, around 3,500 people attended marches and rallies calling on politicians to do more to stop climate change. About 1,000 people marched in Northampton. About 1,000 people marched in Brattleboro; photos are at:

www.valleypost.org/node/1541

Around 600 people attended rallies in Greenfield, according to organizers. The Northampton march was at 5 p.m. At noon in Northampton about 400 people attended a downtown rally.

200 at Rally

More than 200 people attended a rally in Northampton calling for raises for workers at the city's public schools. At Northampton public schools, starting pay for cafeteria workers is $11.64 an hour; for custodians it's $12.01. Teachers' pay is below the state average. The workers organized the rally. They have a web site at www.nasemta.org. The rally was on June 12.

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More than 100 people were at a Northampton rally on June 15 calling on congress to impeach Trump. The organizers have a web site at www.IndivisibleNoho.com.

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Local News Round-up

In Springfield, pedestrian rights activists had a win May 30 when construction started on a $4 million project. “It's hard to imagine an intersection that is less friendly to pedestrians,” Stacey Beuttell told the Valley Post on June 3. She works for Walk Boston, a group that, despite its name, works statewide to make walking safer. Beuttell said the Springfield project is a victory. The intersection that will be fixed is at the corner of Alden, Walnut, Hancock, and Ashley streets. The mayor says it will be done by the end of next year.

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10 Arrested for Civil Disobedience

Two students at Keene State College were among a group of 10 people who were arrested for non-violent civil disobedience at the New Hampshire statehouse. They were protesting a Republican effort to make it harder for people to vote. “It went really well,” Robby St. Laurent told the Valley Post in a telephone interview. He is one of the Keene students. The other was Jackson Brannen. In a phone interview Brannen told the Valley Post. “There were over 100 people there supporting us. It was a powerful moment. We want Governor Sununu to sign House Bill 106.” The arrests happened on May 7.

Workers Win

Hundreds of Stop and Shop workers in the Pioneer Valley went on strike and won. The strike started on April 11. On April 22, the strikers went back to work, victorious. One of the main reasons for the strike was low wages. The workers have a web site at www.ufcw1459.com.

31,000 Stop and Shop Workers Strike

On April 11, hundreds of Stop and Shop workers in the Pioneer Valley went on strike. They joined 31,000 Stop and Shop workers in other parts of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. The Pioneer Valley workers have a web site at www.ufcw1459.com. They need people to boycott Stop and Shop, and show up at their picket lines, if they are going to win.

Low wages are one of the main reasons workers went on strike. Stop and Shop is owned by a corporation based in Holland that has about 370,000 employees, including about 2,000 in western Massachusetts.

Rally: Tax the Rich

On April 11 at 7 a.m., a bus will leave Springfield to bring people to a rally in Boston to call for raising taxes on rich people to help poor people and the environment. The bus will leave from 1381 Liberty Street. The Fair Share amendment is a proposal to amend the Massachusetts constitution. It would create a tax of an extra 4 percent on the part of a person’s annual income above $1 million. The new revenue, approximately $2 billion a year, would be spent on public schools, public colleges and universities, and public transportation, among other things.

Photos: Latinos March

On March 24 in Springfield hundreds of people marched to demand that state politicians pass a law so undocumented immigrants can get driver's licenses. Vermont passed this law years ago. One of the groups that organized the march has a web page at:

www.facebook.com/PVWorkersCenter

Hundreds March

On March 15 in Springfield about 50 people attended a rally calling on politicians to pass stronger gun control laws. The first photo, below, shows the rally. James Debney is CEO of gun maker Smith & Wesson, which is based in Springfield. The photo is by Liz Steinhauser. To enlarge the photo, click on it, then scroll down and click “see full size image.” The two groups that organized the rally have web sites at www.bPeaceForJorge.net and www.PioneerValleyProject.org.

Activists Work to Make Roads Safe for Walkers

On March 2 at about 8:45 a.m. in West Springfield, Massachusetts a driver of a car drove into a pedestrian, killing the pedestrian. “This is at least the eleventh pedestrian who has been hit and killed by a driver in Massachusetts already this year,” Brendan Kearney told the Valley Post. He works for a group that has a web site at https://walkboston.org. Despite the group's name, Walk Boston works statewide. “We need to reduce illegal speeding to help prevent and/or reduce the severity of these crashes, and a way to do that is through road design,” Kearney said.