To Protest, 330 Rally, 14 Quit Jobs

About 250 people marched for Black Lives Matter in Northampton on September 5. They also attended a rally. The Pioneer Valley Workers Center promoted the event. According to the group's web site, “The Pioneer Valley prides itself on being a hub of the local food movement which values sustainability, buying local, and fair trade, yet the jobs of those who serve food in its restaurants are characterized by low wages, few benefits, discrimination, no voice at work, and little opportunity for advancement.

135 in the Streets

On August 12 in Northampton about 75 people attended a labor rally. Candie St. Jean is a nurse at the Northampton hospital. In a speech to the people at the rally she said, “Our hospital and its corporate owner are failing to protect, support, and respect nurses. The signs outside call us front line heroes. Inside, we are struggling to provide safe patient care because the hospital is not providing adequate protection, safe staffing, and transparency as to their plans for the rising number of cases.”

100 Rally

About 70 people attended a Black Lives Matter rally in Keene on July 4. It was organized by Conor Hill and two other people. Hill did not immediately reply to a request for comment. The Valley Post has interviewed him in the past and will post his comment in the “comments” section at the bottom of this article.

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Until now, no news outlet has covered a July 1 Code Pink rally in Northampton. Dozens of people attended the rally. The rally was to protest Trump's support of Israel’s annexation of the West Bank in Palestine. More information is at www.CodePink.org.

Fight for the Trees

Unless activists stop the plan, thousands of acres of Green Mountain National Forest will be logged soon. The forest is about 10 miles from Brattleboro. “They are coming hard with the chainsaws to Green Mountain National Forest,” Chris Matera told the Valley Post. “What a sorry sight it will be to look down from the top of Mount Snow and see clear-cuts instead of that beautiful intact forest we see now.”

Some Valley Prisoners Freed Due to Coronavirus

No nation keeps such a high percentage of its people in prison as the USA. Europe's rate is a third of ours. Due to the coronavirus, the prosecutors in the counties that are home to Northampton and Brattleboro are releasing some prisoners. “I have released some due to coronavirus,” Tracy Shriver told the Valley Post in a phone interview on March 26. She is the prosecutor for Windham county, which includes Brattleboro. Shriver said she has freed “more than one and fewer than 100” people due to the epidemic.

Peace Rally Planned

Unless it's postponed due to coronavirus, there be a peace rally in Brattleboro on April 15. The rally will be outside 2 Main Street from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. With 4 percent of the world's population, the USA spends as much money on war as the rest of the world combined. This year the USA will spend $1.6 trillion on war. That's 47 percent of the federal budget, meaning about half your income taxes go to war. This data is from:

www.warresisters.org/sites/default/files/fy2021piechart.pdf

More information on the Brattleboro rally will be posted soon at:

CJ Chenier Concert is Feb. 14

CJ Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band will play at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton on February 14 at 7 p.m. CJ Chenier was born in 1957. According to his web site, he “spent his childhood in the tough tenement housing projects of Port Arthur, Texas.”

Chenier played with Ringo Starr on Paul Simon's album Rhythm of the Saints. Chenier performed with Simon on a concert tour. A video of CJ Chenier & The Red Hot Louisiana Band performing live is at:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMMSv2WpYKw

They play zydeco music. This photo shows people dancing at a zydeco concert. photo by:

Stop & Shop Kills Thousands of Trees

On February 13 in Northampton, about 25 people attended a march, with rallies before and after. They were protesting Stop & Shop’s involvement in the destruction of the Amazon rain forest. Details are available via the web site of one of the groups that organized the march: www.xrWesternMass.org. Workers at the River Valley food co-op in Northampton are union members. The below photo shows the second rally. To enlarge the photo click on it, then scroll down and click “see full size image.” photo by Hayley Berliner

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Son Little Concert is January 28

Soul singer Son Little will perform a concert at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton on January 28 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $18 plus a "service fee." In December he will play in Los Angeles. In March he will play in Paris, France. You can hear one of his songs at:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=zilN0KCkhRA

Women's March Moves to Springfield

The annual Northampton Women's March, which attracts thousands of people every year, is moving to Springfield. “It will be on January 18,” Rachel Maiore told the Valley Post on November 19. She's the main organizer. “What a gift it’s been to develop relationships with community leaders in the Springfield area.”

Details are at www.PioneerValleyWomensMarch.org.