70 People March Eight Miles

About 70 people marched about eight miles from Amherst to Northampton on March 10. They were protesting China's occupation of Tibet. Most of the marchers were of Tibetan ancestry. The organizers have a web page at:

www.facebook.com/RTAM2019

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In Northampton on March 12, six people began a 24-hour-a-day occupation of the office of congressman Jim McGovern. They want the US to stop shipping bombs, guns and other military equipment to Israel. As of the morning of March 15, the Northampton protest was continuing. One of the protesters, Paki Wieland, works for a group that has a web site at www.codepink.org.

In Greenfield on March 9, about 25 people attended a rally to call for a ceasefire in Gaza. The organizers have a web site at www.traprock.org.

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In Northampton, 43 workers formed a union. They work at the Smith College library. They have a web site at www.opeiulocal153.org.

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Every six months or so the Valley Post does an update on the status of Amtrak in the Valley. Ben Heckscher runs the Northampton-based group Trains in the Valley. On March 12, he told the Valley Post that two of the biggest Amtrak news stories in the past six months in the Valley are, “In September, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) awarded MassDOT $108 million in grant funding to support infrastructure improvements between Worcester and Springfield in support of West-East Rail. In December, the FRA announced a grant from its Corridor Identification and Development program for a proposed intercity passenger rail corridor between Boston, Springfield, Pittsfield, and Albany, New York."

In January 2024, several news outlets including VTdigger reported that work on a new, $10 million Amtrak station in Brattleboro would begin in March 2024. But in a voice phone interview on March 15, a spokesman for the company that is set to build the station, Enfield Enterprises of Springfield, Massachusetts, told the Valley Post he does not know when work will start because, “We don't have a notice to proceed from Amtrak.”

Amtrak's media relations department did not immediately reply to a voice message left during regular business hours, or to a follow-up email. The Valley Post will update this article if and when Amtrak replies.

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