125 Rally

On April 26 in Amherst about 125 peace protesters held signs inside and outside an event at UMass with the governor of Massachusetts. The protesters were calling for UMass to stop investing in companies that take part in Israel's war on Gaza, and to cut ties with military contractors.

UMass Amherst professor Toussaint Losier told the Valley Post that the Gazette's article about the protest is “pretty accurate, though I would note that the protesters were calling not just for divesting from Israel's siege in Gaza but also for UMass to cut its ties with Raytheon and other weapons manufacturers. These two demands are reflected in the title of the rally that occurred outside the inauguration (of the new UMass chancellor): 'Rally to Demilitarize: No Inauguration during Genocide.'”

Losier went on, “The latter demand has been part of a more than yearlong campaign by students and staff concerned about the way most of the advising and career development in Engineering and other STEM departments is geared towards tracking students into these fields. This issue has been the subject of past protests and was an item during the recent student government elections where 73% of students voted in favor of this demand: 

https://x.com/wearedissenters/status/1772763622118232286?s=46&t=cSNuXlG2...

The issue of militarism was reflected in the banner that the faculty held while exiting the rally.”

The banner reads, “Divest from War Profiteers -- Drop the Charges.” UMass is harshly punishing students, staff and faculty who participated in an earlier Gaza protest.

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In March 2024, the city of Somerville, Massachusetts announced it will start giving money to poor people in the city. On April 30, Mary Hooper told the Valley Post that, in 2021, when she was a Vermont state legislator, she “was interested and laying the groundwork to get legislative support” for a statewide universal basic income program. In Brattleboro, thousands of poor and working class people benefited from the so-called “stimulus checks” that the federal government sent to more than 150 million households nationwide during the pandemic.

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