325 Rally

About 325 people, including people from the county that's home to Brattleboro, attended a climate rally outside the Vermont statehouse on February 11. The group 350 Vermont and other groups organized the rally.

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Hatfield, Massachusetts borders Northampton. In Hatfield, anti-noise activists are working to ban air brakes. Trucks use these, also called Jake brakes, and they are very loud. Northampton has already banned them. "Noise that disrupts sleep and causes annoyance also has adverse affects on our health," Jamie Banks told the Valley Post on February 14. She runs the group Quiet Communities, which is based in the Boston area and works nationally. Banks chairs the Noise and Health Committee at the American Public Health Association. She earned masters degrees from Dartmouth Medical School and MIT.

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A group of off-duty Vermont state troopers who cover Brattleboro and neighboring towns allegedly said racist things recently including, “If being racist is right then I’ll never be wrong,” and repeatedly said, “NAPA,” an acronym for “North American pavement ape,” referring to African Americans. Vermont's Public Safety Commissioner, who is appointed by the governor, acknowledged on February 10 she knew about this, and said she would decide how to deal with it.

The Brattleboro-based Windham county, Vermont chapter of the NAACP did not reply to an email and phone message seeking comment from the Valley Post.

James Lyall runs the Vermont ACLU. On February 14, he told the Valley Post, “These allegations raise a number of troubling questions about law enforcement culture and the adequacy of our police oversight systems in Vermont. Needless to say, incidents like these undermine community trust and show how far we still have to go to re-imagine policing in Vermont. We hope Vermont’s law enforcement leaders will eventually come to the table and start to support the state’s ongoing police reform efforts.”

Vermont has the nation's most racist prison system. Vermont sends prisoners to a private prison in Mississippi. Vermont's incarceration rate is double Europe's rate.

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