Workers Unite

How can democracy exist in a nation shared by millions of workers making minimum wage and billionaires? History shows an effective way to spread the wealth is for workers to join unions. Earlier this month, workers in Brattleboro had a victory, and workers in the Springfield area held rallies.

On January 20 in Springfield, Chicopee, Westfield and West Springfield, there were rallies outside Price Rite stores that are paying workers low wages while the chain's owner gets rich.  The rallies were organized by the local chapter of a union-backed group that has a web site at www.jwj.org.

Valley Activism Heats Up

Between December 2 and December 7, four rallies are planned in the Valley. Two are to protest billion dollar banks that are trying to evict poor people from their homes. One rally is to win justice for Verizon workers. Another is to call on politicians to deal with climate change.

On December 2 at 12:30 p.m. at 28 Edgemont Street in Springfield, activists will protest PNC Bank, which wants to evict Jacques and Marie Fortilus from their home. Event organizers have a web site at www.SpringfieldNoOneLeaves.org. They have had a number of recent victories. Details, and photos, are at:

Rallies Soon

Rallies for the environment and equality are planned. On October 15 in Springfield, there will be a 4 p.m. rally outside a Price Rite store that is paying its workers low wages while the chain's owner gets rich. On October 18 in Plainfield, Massachusetts, near Northampton, there will be a noon rally against a proposed fracked gas pipeline. Fracked gas causes climate change.

There is a Facebook event page for the Springfield event, which will be at 633 Boston Road:

www.facebook.com/events/1623745281223305

Climate Rally

On September 24 in Springfield, there will be a rally against climate change and air pollution. The rally starts at 11:30 a.m. at city hall. It will last for one hour. As of September 23, more than 130 people had RSVP'd on the event's Facebook page:

www.facebook.com/events/1646776905563353

“It looks like we're going to have a great turnout,” organizer Michaelann Bewsee told the Valley Post on September 23. More information about the rally is available by calling Arise for Social Justice (www.AriseSpringfield.org) at (413) 734-4948.

Photos: March Against Mass Incarceration

About 200 people marched against mass incarceration September 19 in Springfield. These photos were taken at the march. The march was organized by the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), which has a web site at www.naacp.org. The march ended at city hall. The march was also about police misconduct, poverty, and other issues. The marchers chanted:

No justice?

No peace!

No racist

Police!

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Whose city?

Our city!

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I can't breathe

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March Against Mass Incarceration

On September 19 in Springfield and Amherst, there will be marches against mass incarceration. The marches are being organized by local chapters of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), which has a web site at www.naacp.org.

The Springfield event starts with a rally at 11 a.m. at Mason Square Green. The protesters will then march to City Hall.

The Amherst march starts at 10 a.m. from two locations: Haigis Mall at UMass and Hampshire College's Groff Park. Both Amherst marches will end at Sweetser Park in Amherst, across from the police station.

Labor Rallies Set

Unions in the Massachusetts cities of Springfield and Holyoke are asking the public to attend rallies for justice in Springfield and in the nearby towns of Amherst, Chicopee, Westfield, and West Springfield. On Labor Day, September 7, from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m., there will be a rally in Amherst for workers' rights. The public is welcome for all or part of that time. For more information, contact Jocelyn Silverlight by phone at (908) 601-6342 or by e-mail: jocelyn@uaw2322.org.

Soon: Peace March, Justice Rallies

There will be a march for peace from Amherst to Northampton on August 9 at 1 p.m. There will be rallies to protest an unjust employer in Springfield and nearby towns August 11 and August 12 from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m.

On August 5, President Obama said, “The choice we face is ultimately between diplomacy and some form of war — maybe not tomorrow, maybe not three months from now, but soon.” In Congress, Republicans say they want war with Iran. Obama and most of the Democrats in Congress say they want peace.

Photo: Solidarity Victory

On May 14, a work day, at 8:30 a.m., dozens of people in Springfield showed up at a rally and stopped a multi-billion dollar bank from evicting a low-income family. Organizers say the bank may try again to evict Julianne Proulx, Christopher Turner, and their two-year-old daughter Natalie from their home at 48 Donbray Road. Organizers are asking people to sign up for e-mail alerts at their web site www.SpringfieldNoOneLeaves.org and be ready to attend future rallies if necessary.

Civil Disobedience Planned

A group in Springfield that has had success blocking plans by billion-dollar banks that wanted to evict poor people from their homes is planning non-violent civil disobedience in the city on April 7. The action will be at 8:30 a.m. at 48 Donbray Road, outside the home of Julie Proulx, Chris Turner, and their two-year old daughter Natalie, all of whom are facing eviction. More information is at the group's web site: www.SpringfieldNoOneLeaves.org.

The same group has had several victories. An article, with a photo, about one of these victories is at: