106 Rally

Despite snow falling, six African American people attended an outdoor rally in Springfield on January 12. A white man who allegedly killed a black woman in the city is free. “If a black man had killed a white woman, first degree murder, he would not be free,” Charles Stokes told the Valley Post in a voice phone interview on January 13. He was at the rally with the victim's family. Police say Frederick Pinney killed TayClair Moore in 2014. In 2021 he was released from prison. The Valley Post can put anyone who wants to help the family in contact with Stokes who in turn can relay messages to the family.

Hampden county District Attorney Anthony Gulluni told the judge in 2021, “The defendant’s release is an injustice and an insult to the tenets of our criminal justice system.”

Thousands of black men are currently in prison in the USA for nonviolent crimes. That's according to the book The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander. Vermont has the most racist prison system in the USA, according to the ACLU. Vermont sends prisoners to a private prison in Mississippi.

A group that fights racism and mass incarceration has a web site at:

www.aclu.org/other/aclu-national-prison-project

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In Northampton about 100 people attended a rally on January 7. It had been scheduled for the day before but there was a storm. Organizer Debby Pastrich-Klemer has organized many successful marches and rallies in the city. “Even though some of the most prominent election conspiracists lost their midterms, MAGA Republicans are already looking to 2024 for ways to overturn the will of voters,” she said. “The rally went really well. Congressman McGovern sent a statement which I read. He had planned on being there but was stuck in DC.”

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In 2014 the Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor closed permanently because thousands of people marched in Brattleboro, and because hundreds of people were arrested for nonviolent civil disobedience in Brattleboro and outside the reactor three miles from Massachusetts and a stone's throw from New Hampshire. Deb Katz was one of the main organizers of these protests.

On January 6, 2023 in a voice phone interview Katz told the Valley Post her reaction to an opinion article in that day's Brattleboro Reformer newspaper. The article was by an unnamed employee of Bloomberg corporation. It called for more nuclear reactors to be built. Katz said, “They have no way of dealing with the waste. They target rural, poor communities and litter America with their waste. The nuclear industry and the federal government have abandoned their responsibility to deal with the waste for 70 years. It is morally unacceptable.”

Nuclear waste is the deadliest material on earth and will still be toxic 1 million years after it is created, according to a federal study of the proposed Yucca mountain dump in Nevada. Thanks to Native American protesters, the Yucca dump will not open in the foreseeable future. Vermont Yankee's “high level” waste will stay where it was created, on the bank of the Connecticut river, for the foreseeable future. The “low level” waste will go all over the USA. “Many times people who live near the waste dumps don't even know it's there,” Katz said.

Katz lives in the Pioneer Valley and runs a group that has a web site at www.NukeBusters.org.

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