550 Attend Rallies

In Amherst more than 300 people attended a rally on September 19 demanding that the University of Massachusetts do more to stop sexual assaults. In Amherst 200 or so people attended a rally on September 20 for the same issue.

Veronica Everett is a sociology professor at Umass Amherst. She was at the September 20 rally. On September 22 she told the Valley Post, “UMass over the past decade has adopted the phrase 'Hate Has No Home Here' to address hate crimes but also Black Lives Matter and general race-based issues. That is great and the ‘marketing’ of that message has helped and stuck. That motto is on flags on every light post. It is all over the campus on poster boards and public forums. It has been integrated in the way campus operates and role models itself. Campus rape happens more than hate/race-based crimes. Why isn’t the ‘messaging’ around rape not louder and more clear? Why are women’s bodies expendable? The UMass motto should be 'Hate and Rape Have No Home Here.' Does the word rape make people cringe? It should.”

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Anna Gyorgy is on the board of a group that has a web site at www.traprock.org. She told the Valley Post that on September 18, about 50 people attended a rally near Greenfield on the Turners Falls-Gill bridge. The goal was to get politicians to “stop the massive destruction of fish and related river life by the Northfield Mountain Pumped Storage Station,” on the Connecticut river near the Vermont – Massachusetts border.

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Brattleboro resident Tracy Donahue was one of the organizers of a successful rally this spring in Brattleboro for Asian American rights. On September 16, she told the Valley Post that there is a Women's March planned for Brattleboro on October 2 to defend reproductive rights. Gathering begins at Pliny park at noon. March begins down Main Street at 1 p.m., from Pliny park to Plaza park. The rain date is October 9. The Valley Post can relay emails to Donahue from anyone who wants more information.

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Greenfield resident Al Norman runs a group that has a web site at https://sprawl-busters.com. On September 21 he told the Valley Post there will be a rally about a week before the November 2 election in Greenfield. The goal is to urge people to vote no on “question one.” If the “question” passes it will be harder for people in Greenfield to use petitions and referendums to over-rule the mayor and city council. This is the process Norman and others used to keep Walmart out of Greenfield, a victory that made national news headlines.

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In Holyoke, on August 30 two real estate developers sued the city for keeping Dunkin Donuts out of the Mount Tom state park area. On September 21 Al Norman told the Valley Post, "The attempt by a Dunkin Donuts developer to intimidate the Holyoke planning board over a proposed coffee shop along the Mount Tom hiking trails is an example of using litigation to get what you couldn't get by regulation. Fortunately the courts are reluctant to substitute their judgment for that of local municipal boards when interpreting their own zoning regulations. Dunkin Donuts didn't convince enough Planning board members that this project made sense for that location, given traffic concerns. The appeal is just an intimidation strategy. Holyoke certainly doesn't need more Dunkin Donuts, especially on Mount Tom."

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