155 Rally

About 100 people attended a Northampton rally in solidarity with Asian American women following a racist, sexist mass shooting in Atlanta. The Northampton rally was on March 19. Organizers have a web site at

https://ValleyWomensMarch.org

About 25 people attended a Brattleboro rally about the same issue on March 23. Tracy Donahue organized the Brattleboro rally. She told the Valley Post, "It's important that all of us are educated on this history of violence."

Peace Rally

There be a peace rally in Brattleboro on May 17. The rally will be outside 2 Main Street from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. With 4 percent of the world's population, the USA spends as much money on war as the rest of the world combined. This year the USA will spend $1.7 trillion on war. That's 48 percent of the federal budget, meaning about half your income taxes go to war. This data is from:

https://www.warresisters.org/sites/default/files/fy2022pie_chart-low_res...

More information on the Brattleboro rally will be posted soon at:

https://nwtrcc.org/tax-day-actions-2021

Brattleboro Climate March Set for April 17

On April 17 in Brattleboro there will be a march calling on local, state, and federal politicians to do more to address climate change. Marches are a big part of the reason Vermont Yankee closed, the civil rights movement had the successes it did, apartheid ended, women won the right to vote, and the labor movement built the middle class.

In recent years, 9 million people a year have died of starvation. Droughts, floods, and unseasonable heat and cold -- all caused by climate change -- make it harder for farmers to grow food.

Big Win for Climate

In a major victory for bicycle and pedestrian activists, construction is underway on proper sidewalks and physically-separated-from-cars bicycle lanes in two cities, both of which border Springfield. The work is happening in the cities of West Springfield and Agawam. Springfield is home to 154,000 people, 69 percent of whom are people of color.

“This area has been a desert of bike infrastructure,” Galen Mook told the Valley Post in a voice phone interview on March 1. He runs the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition.

245 Rally

In Northampton, 200 people attended a rally against racism on February 24. The goal was to support the principal of JFK middle school, who is African American. Someone recently started a racist Facebook page attacking him. The rally was promoted by a group that has a web page at www.facebook.com/REALNoho

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Rallies for Justice

In Greenfield on February 6, there was a Black Lives Matter rally. It was one in a series of weekly rallies at the town common. For every 100,000 black men in the USA, 2,306 are in prison. For every 100,000 white men in the USA, 450 are in the prison.

No nation keeps such a high percentage of its people in prison as the USA. Europe's rate is a third of ours.

This is the most recent data available. It's from www.PrisonPolicy.org. Nine people were at the Greenfield rally. The rallies happen every Saturday at 10 a.m.

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1,500 Acres Saved

Fifteen hundred acres of forestland has been protected from development in Holyoke and West Springfield. “The deal will be completed on or around April 22. I am certain it will go through,” Bob Wilbur told the Valley Post in a voice phone interview on January 13. He is director of land conservation for MassAudubon. A map of the land is at:

https://www.massaudubon.org/our-conservation-work/land-conservation/urge...

March Plan Coming Soon

In the Valley every January for the past four years, hundreds – and in most cases thousands – of people attended the Women's March, first in Northampton then Springfield. “We are having conversations about what and how we might do it considering the pandemic but nothing is set in stone yet,” Gladys Franco told the Valley Post on November 28. She is the board chair at the Resistance Center, which is the “fiscal sponsor” of the Pioneer Valley Women's March. “I should be able to share more in a couple of weeks,” Franco said.

The relevant web sites are:

www.TheResistanceCenter.org

and

365 Rally

About 100 people attended a Brattleboro rally calling for democracy. The rally was on November 4, 2020 at 5 p.m at the town common. “It was beautiful,” Abby Mnookin told the Valley Post on November 5. She lives in Brattleboro, is on the staff of the group 350 Vermont, and she helped organize the rally. “We sang – masked and distanced -- the songs 'Labor of Love,' 'Lead with Love,' 'Phoenix Song,' and 'We Are Together,'” Mnookin said. More information is at www.350Vermont.org.

Workers' Strike Shuts Down Cafe

About a dozen workers at a coffee shop in Brattleboro are on strike. Mocha Joe's is closed due to the strike. The strike began on October 24. “We are not making a livable wage,” Lu Racine told the Valley Post in an in-person interview on the picket line. Racine has worked at Mocha Joe's for about 18 months.

Nel McNeill has worked at Mocha Joe's for about a year. “One of our co-workers was fired over something small,” McNeill said.

The workers can be reached at mj.coworkers@gmail.com. They are asking the public to sign their petition at: