Two Marches Planned

A Springfield group is planning a march against police brutality. In about a decade, from 2006 to 2017, police brutality lawsuits cost taxpayers in Springfield some $3.9 million. On January 30, 2019, a jury ordered the city to pay another $250,000 to another victim of police brutality. “The march will be in May or early June,” Ellen Graves told the Valley Post in a phone interview on February 4. She works for Arise, a group that has organized well-attended marches in the city in recent years. The group has a web site at www.AriseSpringfield.org.

350 Acres Saved

On December 28 a land trust announced it had saved 50 acres of land in Harrisville, New Hampshire. Harrisville is about two miles from Keene.  The land trust has a web site at www.HarrisCenter.org.

On December 18, a land trust that has a web site at www.MonadnockConservancy.org announced it had saved 300 acres of land in Dublin, New Hampshire. Dublin is also about two miles from Keene.

The USA is losing about 6,000 acres of open space every day.

Critical Mass Planned; Workers Win

Critical Mass bicycle rides started in 1992 in California and have since spread around the world. Hundreds of people ride together in a group on roads, forcing cars to go at bicycle speed. They often chant, “Critical Mass, don't use gas!”

There will be a Critical Mass ride in Brattleboro. It starts December 21 at the town common at 5:45 p.m.

The goal is to get politicians to deal with climate change, which the world's leading scientists say is a major threat to earth's ability to support human life.

Local Woman Arrested for Civil Disobedience

A local woman was among a group of 51 people arrested in Washington, DC for non-violent civil disobedience. "Our demands to Nancy Pelosi were sign on to the Green New Deal and sign a 'no fossil fuel money' pledge," Keene resident Katie Carbonara told the Valley Post in a phone interview. "It went really well."

Pelosi is the Democrats' top leader in Congress. The Green New Deal says:

(1) 100% of national power generation from renewable sources;

(2) Building a national, energy-efficient, “smart” grid;

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.

Local News Round-up

On September 5 at 4 p.m. in Springfield there will be a rally to protest the high on-the-job death rate for construction workers. The rally will be outside 122 Chestnut Street. Better enforcement of workplace safety laws could save the lives of some of the 5,000 or so people who die on the job annually in the USA. For example, workers are generally required to wear a safety harness when they are on a roof. For every worker who dies on the job, many more are seriously injured. One of the groups that's organizing the event has a web site at www.jwj.org.

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Photo: Pied Billed Grebe

This photo of a Pied Billed Grebe was taken shortly before sunset in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. Longmeadow borders Springfield. The photo was taken at Fannie Stebbins Wildlife Refuge. To enlarge the photo, click on it, then scroll down and click "see full size image."

photo by Joe Oliverio

To buy a print of this photo, e-mail him at joeoliverio@comcast.net or visit his web site www.JoeOliverioPhotography.com. The photo was taken on April 22, 2018.

Local News Round-up

In Springfield, thanks to the work of housing activists, $10.2 million will be invested in renovating a 34-story apartment building at 10 Chestnut Street. The news was announced by city and state officials on July 27. The money comes from taxpayers. Raising taxes on billionaires is one way to create good-paying, union jobs for carpenters, painters, plumbers, and electricians. Women and people of color can get these jobs that have traditionally mostly been held by white men. Details are available by contacting union activists via their web site: www.LaborNotes.org.

Protesters: "No Human is Illegal"

In Greenfield on July 20 about 100 people attended a rally for immigrant rights. The rally was outside Greenfield's federal jail for undocumented immigrants. Two groups organized the event. They have web sites at www.jwj.org and www.pvWorkersCenter.org.

It's easy for people from Mexico to enter Canada legally. The number of undocumented people from Mexico entering Vermont from Canada has increased dramatically this year as Trump makes it harder for undocumented people to cross the USA-Mexico border. The Vermont-Canada border is much easier for undocumented people to cross.

Springfield Police Charge 21 Protesters

Police in Springfield on June 4 charged 21 protesters with trespassing on state property. The protesters were using nonviolent civil disobedience to bring attention to politicians' failure to address air pollution that makes Springfield the nation's worst city for people with asthma. The same air pollution – largely from cars – causes climate change, which the world's leading scientists say is a major threat to earth's ability to support human life. Solutions include raising the gas tax to European levels, and improving public transportation, sidewalks, and bicycle paths.