Keene Activists Fight Fracking

In Keene, activists marched to stop a proposed fracked gas pipeline. They won last year when the pipeline was canceled. Now the activists are fighting a plan by the corporation that holds the city monopoly for gas used for heating buildings to switch from propane to fracked gas. Both are fossil fuels that cause climate change. “But fracked gas is full of chemicals that are even worse for people's health,” Terry Clark told the Valley Post in a telephone interview on November 25, 2017. He is a member of the Keene city council.

In the Streets for Peace and Justice

Dozens of people attended a rally in Northampton on April 9 to protest President Trump's military attack on Syria. Sabine Merz spoke at the rally. "The way to help Syria is to open our borders to them," she told the Valley Post. The event was outside city hall. It was organized by the American Friends Service Committee of Western Massachusetts www.afscwm.org.

Fight for $15 Minimum Wage

Activists fighting for a $15 an hour minimum wage are offering carpool rides from the Valley to a rally in Boston on November 29. The minimum wage is now $10 an hour in Massachusetts, $9.60 in Vermont, and $7.25 in New Hampshire.

The Massachusetts minimum wage will be $11 starting January 1, 2017. Vermont's minimum wage will be $10 starting January 1, 2017 and $10.50 starting January 1, 2018. In New Hampshire, no increases are scheduled.

Springfield Labor Rally Is Sept. 30

One out of every four Americans has a "net worth" of zero or less, meaning their debts are bigger than their assets. Stephen Schwarzman lives in New York. His personal income was $811 million last year. He is the CEO of Blackstone Corporation, which owns Motel 6.

One way to spread the wealth is to raise taxes on billionaires and use the money to provide affordable housing for poor people. Another is for workers to form unions, and for the public to support the unions when they need help.

3,300 Nurses To Go On Strike

About 3,300 nurses will go on strike June 27 in Boston. They are asking the public to join them at a rally on June 26 at 4 p.m., and on the picket lines starting June 27 at 7 a.m. Buses from Springfield to Boston leave every two hours and take about an hour and 40 minutes. One-way fares start at $16. Details are at www.greyhound.com. From the Boston bus station to the rally takes about 12 minutes by subway; to the picket line is about 30 minutes by subway. The fare is $2.10.

In Holyoke, Activists Rally Outside Store

On May 1 at the Holyoke mall, activists held a rally against sweatshops. Most clothing that people wear in the USA is made by workers in poor nations who in many cases are abused by their bosses. "Our action was in solidarity with Bangladeshi garment workers," Liana Foxvog told the Valley Post. She organized the rally. She works in Northampton for a group that has a web site at www.LaborRights.org.

Victory in Fight to Stop Greenfield Walmart

A Walmart store less than a mile from Brattleboro has been vacant since 2009. The enormous store and its acres of parking lots were built in Hinsdale, New Hampshire on acres of land that were once pristine wilderness. The Brattleboro Home Depot and its acres of parking lots have been vacant since 2008. It was built on acres of prime farmland.

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

Workers Unite in the Valley

Workers at Keene State College are organizing a union. In related news, on June 30 in Boston, health care workers from around Massachusetts held a rally at the statehouse to celebrate a major victory.

Holyoke Workers Unite

Workers at a high school in Holyoke are organizing a union. “We have more than a dozen members out of about 35 workers,” Sofia Lemons told the Valley Post on May 14. She is a math teacher at the school. “More workers are signing up every day.” The union includes teachers and cafeteria and office workers at the school.

Shaitia Spruell works as a teaching assistant at the school. “We need a union to protect us,” she told the Valley Post on May 14. “I am proud to be part of the union.”