Victories

A giant corporate bank wants to evict a low-income family from the family’s home in Springfield. The community is fighting back. On October 17 at 6 p.m. there will be a rally outside 91 Deepfield Road. The public is invited to attend. The event organizers have a web site at www.SpringfieldNoOneLeaves.org. They have had several victories in Springfield.

The below photo shows one of the group's victories from 2012 in Springfield. More than 100 people took part in a protest in front of the home at 27 Talmadge Drive. More than a dozen people had committed to risking arrest for non-violent civil disobedience.

“Following a two hour standoff in front of the home, the Hampden County Sheriff's office announced that the bank had canceled the eviction and left the scene,” said protest organizer Malcolm Chu.

To enlarge the photo, click on it, then scroll down and click “see full size image.” This photo is by Joe Oliverio. He can be reached at joeoliverio@comcast.net.

Civil disobedience is not being planned for the October 17, 2018 rally.

In other news from the Valley, activists in Keene scored a win against Trump. The president wanted to deport Eleazar Lopez Ayala. Trump kept Ayala in prison for the past nine months, for being an undocumented person. Last week, he was free in Keene, thanks to the work of Keene activists. One of the activists is Mohammad Saleh, who said on October 16, "We must protest inhumanity. But if we are to build a world bound by our common humanity, that will take actively engaged communities. May Keene be a shining example in that path." A photo of Saleh from his Twitter page is below.

Ayala has lived in New Hampshire since 1995. He has never been convicted of a crime. His lawyer has a web site at www.rubinpom.com.

The county that's home to Keene borders Massachusetts and Vermont. The sheriff is Eliezer Rivera. He is from Puerto Rico. Rivera, a Democrat, is running for re-election. His Republican opponent is attacking Rivera for Rivera's non-cooperation with Trump's agency known as ICE. On October 15, the Valley Post spoke with Rivera by phone. “If ICE says, 'We're going to a local restaurant to do a round-up of undocumented immigrants. We want you to help us.' I'm going to say no. If it's to arrest a criminal, I'll work with them,” Rivera said.

In Vermont news, there will be a rally outside the statehouse to protest Vermont's use of private prisons. The rally will happen on October 23 at 6 p.m. Details are at:

www.facebook.com/events/325233004690866

Ten percent of Vermont prisoners are black; just 1 percent of the state's population is black. This means that, among the 50 states, Vermont has the second most racist prison system. There are very few rich people in prison because rich people can afford better lawyers. The average white person is richer than the average black person in the USA and around the world because thousands of years ago, white people got lucky – not because, as racists say, white people are smarter or work harder.

Some 13,000 years ago, through luck, white people ended up in the area now known as Iraq, which at the time had better farmland than the area where black people lived. This allowed white people to store surplus food, and allowed some members of their society to spend time doing things like inventing steel. This and other innovations are why white Europeans later took black Africans as slaves, rather than the other way around. This story is told in the book “Guns, Germs, and Steel” by Jared Diamond.

Today, the USA uses its military to steal oil and other resources from Africa, and to keep dictators in power. With 4 percent of the world's population, the USA spends as much on the military as the rest of the world combined. This story is told in the book “Private Empire” by Steve Coll.

Activists who are working to cut the USA's military budget have a web site at www.PeaceAction.org.

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