Civil Disobedience Planned Near Greenfield

People seeking to stop logging of an 88 acre, publicly-owned forest of 110-year-old trees near Greenfield are asking the public to attend a training on how to use non-violent civil disobedience. "We strongly oppose logging the oak stand in Wendell State Forest," Michael Kellett told the Valley Post on December 15, 2018.

New Urban Park in Amherst

Thanks to the work of environmental activists, downtown Amherst is getting a new urban park. On December 3, Kestrel Land Trust announced the six acre park will be on East Pleasant Street, across from the University of Massachusetts. Urban parks "are not only safe and beautiful, but also serve as green engines to help address nearly every critical urban need from health to housing, to education and environmental justice, and countering sprawl to combating crime." That's according to:

www.cityparksalliance.org/why-urban-parks-matter

Wins for Workers and the Environment

About 80 workers at the Hampshire Gazette and Valley Advocate newspapers are forming a union. The out-of-state corporate chain that owns both papers is fighting the workers. The workers are asking the public to attend a rally on November 27 at 11 a.m. at 115 Conz Street in Northampton. The workers are also asking people to sign a petition at:

www.massjwj.net/news/2018/11/19/stand-with-the-workers-at-the-daily-hamp...

A Win for Local Journalism

The following local newspapers are owned by out-of-state corporations: Hampshire Gazette, Amherst Bulletin, Brattleboro Reformer, Springfield Republican, Greenfield Recorder, and Valley Advocate. The corporations that own these newspapers are run undemocratically. Other news organizations are run democratically. A group in Northampton that works nationally to improve local journalism had a major victory on July 1 when the governor of New Jersey signed a law that will invest $5 million a year in local journalism.

Peace Action

With 4 percent of the world's population, the USA spends as much on the military as the rest of the world combined. Cutting the USA's military budget is a goal of the Poor People’s Campaign. On June 11, four people from the Keene area were arrested for nonviolent civil disobedience at the New Hampshire statehouse as part of the Poor People’s Campaign, Judy Reed told the Valley Post on June 19. The people who were arrested are Keene residents Reed, Charlie Gibson, and Eleanor Vander Haegen, and Patricia Martin of Rindge, New Hampshire.

CJ Chenier Concert Review

CJ Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band performed an outstanding concert in Northampton on February 12. It was a Monday night but the dance floor was full. A highlight was "Don't Mess With My Toot Toot."

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

Workers Win

Workers in Northampton, Brattleboro, and Keene have a new union contract. They work at AT&T. Matt Arnts lives near Keene and works at AT&T. “It was a tough fight,” he told the Valley Post on January 30. “I'm proud that we stuck together to get a fair contract.”

The contract boosts wages. To win the contract, the workers went on strike for three days. They have a web site at www.cwa-union.org.

AT&T's CEO makes $28 million a year.

Photos: Thousands March

Thousands of people marched in Northampton on January 20. They held signs that said things like "Dump Trump" and "I Stand With Planned Parenthood." The Northampton Women's March was organized by a group of people who have a web site at www.PioneerValleyWomensMarch.org. To enlarge a photo, click on it, then scroll down and click "see full size image." To zoom in more, click on the image again. photos by Eesha Williams

1,400 to March

More than 1,400 people had RSVP'd for the Northampton Women's March as of January 16. The march is set for January 20 at 11 a.m. It will start at Sheldon Fields and end at city hall. One of the speakers at a rally after the march will be Shanique Spalding. She lives in Springfield and works as an organizer at the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund.

Food Fight

People who live in the Valley, eat eggs, cheese, or meat, and care about farm animals' quality of life may need to visit farms themselves. President Trump is weakening so-called “animal welfare standards” for organic food. Enid Wonnacott runs the Vermont chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association. On December 29, she told the Valley Post that Trump “has blocked the movement of the animal welfare standards that we have worked on for years.”