500 at Rally Despite Downpour

On September 5 in Northampton, about 500 people attended a rally to protest anti-immigrant action taken by President Trump earlier that day. The turnout at the Northampton event may have been higher if it hadn't been raining heavily at the time of the rally. Trump ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which protected from deportation immigrants who came to the USA when they were children. The Northampton event organizers have a web site at www.pvWorkersCenter.org.

In other news from the Valley, people from Keene and nearby towns went to Texas to help people affected by hurricane Harvey. About 60 people were killed by the storm. Climate change caused largely by cars makes hurricanes more frequent and more severe. Climate change also causes droughts. In Africa, some 20 million people are at risk of dying because of a drought, according to the United Nations. The people are in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria. People can donate to relief efforts at www.GlobalEmergencyResponse.org.

One of the best ways to stop climate change is to protect open space. The USA is losing about 6,000 acres of open space every day. That's according to www.tpl.org/ourland. Protecting forestland and farmland encourages people to live in multi-family housing of the kind found in downtown Northampton and Brattleboro. In New York City, millionaires live in apartments. People who live in the Valley's downtowns can get to work, school, and shopping without a car. This is much more difficult for people who live in single-family homes in remote areas.

Local land trusts have offices in Amherst, Brattleboro, and Keene. More information is at www.FindALandTrust.org. The town of Dummerston, Vermont borders Brattleboro. Earlier this year, the town voted to invest tax money in saving about 60 acres of farmland. Other towns can do the same. State and federal politicians decide how much to invest in protecting open space, versus tax cuts for billionaires, prison for nonviolent people, and war.

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