Hundreds to March in Holyoke for Racial Justice

As of September 27, about 250 people had RSVP'd for a march for racial justice. The march will be in Holyoke on October 1. It starts at 12:30 p.m. at 221 Appleton Street. The march is in solidarity with a National March for Racial Justice, the web site of which says, "We are bearing witness to mass incarceration, unequal treatment under the law, and the state-sanctioned destruction of Black, Brown and Native lives...."

No nation keeps such a high percentage of its people in prison as the USA. Europe's rate is a third of ours. As of last year, African Americans were incarcerated in state prisons in the USA at more than five times the rate of whites. In 2014, there were about 1.4 million people in state prisons in the USA, and about 211,000 people in federal prisons.

More information about the Holyoke march is at:

www.facebook.com/events/1928841424044082

In related news, in Brattleboro on September 27, there will be a freedom march. The goal is to get politicians to reduce the prison population. The march starts at 5 p.m. at Pliny Park. Speaking at a 15 minute rally before the march will be Anna Stevens of Vermonters for Criminal Justice Reform, Shela Linton, and Ellen Schwartz. Linton lives in Brattleboro and serves on the Racial Justice Panel that was created by Vermont's legislature and governor in May. Schwartz lives in Brattleboro and is president of the Vermont Workers Center.

In other news from the Valley, on September 23 in Springfield, there was a rally for more rights for people who rent, and for a livable wage. The event was organized by a group that has a web site at www.SpringfieldNoOneLeaves.org. Rose Webster-Smith is a spokesperson for the group. In an interview, she told the Valley Post that the rally “went well. Roughly 20 people came.” Webster-Smith's group has had remarkable success in the past stopping billion dollar banks from evicting poor people from their homes in Springfield. Details, and a powerful photo, are at:

www.valleypost.org/2012/10/14/photo-springfield-victory

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