Local News Round-up

In Holyoke on February 21 at 4 p.m. there will be a rally in solidarity with Native Americans in Canada who are fighting construction of a fracked gas pipeline. The rally will be at 12-6 Mt. Park Road. More information about the rally is available by calling Gia at (413) 512-1192. More information about the pipeline is on the web site of the tribe that's leading the fight to stop it:

www.wetsuweten.com/territory/pipelines

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Activists Take to the Streets

In Springfield on February 5 there was a rally to protest the U.S. senate's acquittal of Trump. The rally was outside city hall. “We had about 50 people, which was great considering we just posted the event less than 48 hours before,” organizer Jackie Neiman told the Valley Post. The organizers have a web site at www.RiseUpWesternMass.com.

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On February 13 at Mount Holyoke College there be a climate rally. It will be outside Blanchard Hall at 12:20 p.m. A campus map is at:

https://map.mtholyoke.edu

Photos: Women's March

About 500 people took part in the Springfield Women's March on January 18. The organizers have a web site at www.PioneerValleyWomensMarch.org. The most frequently seen signs opposed Trump's policies and supported peace, justice, and environmental protection. To enlarge a photo, click on it, then scroll down and click "see full size image." Then you can click on the photo to zoom in more. photos by Eesha Williams

Workers Unite

About 130 tutors who are employed by the Keene public school system are planning a rally to demand justice. “We are planning on rallying at central square but we don’t have a date yet,” Kathy Twombly told the Valley Post on January 15, 2020. She is president of the tutors' union. Twombly's union is part of a bigger union that has a web site at www.nea.org.

Workers Win

Thanks to the labor movement, on January 1 the minimum wage will go up to $12.75 an hour in Massachusetts and $10.96 an hour in Vermont. The New Hampshire minimum wage will remain at $7.25. In the 1930s workers went on strike around the nation, forcing politicians to pass the first minimum wage laws. To this day, unions lobby to raise the minimum wage. One of the most active unions in the Pioneer Valley and Brattleboro has a web site at www.ufcw1459.com. New Hampshire unions have a web site at www.nhaflcio.org.

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150 at Rally

In Springfield, about 150 people attended a rally calling on politicians to do more to deal with climate change. “There were great speakers and there was amazing energy from everyone,” Grace Tatian told the Valley Post. She is a student at Mount Holyoke College. The rally was on December 6. More information is at:

www.facebook.com/SunriseSouthHadley

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Workers Unite

In Springfield on October 14, about 25 workers attended a rally outside their employer's office. They are paramedics and EMTs. They work for American Medical Response Corporation, a subsidiary of Global Medical Response (GMR) Corporation. GMR has about 38,000 employees. It's based in Texas.

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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