Civil Disobedience

About 70 people attended a Springfield rally on August 24. The organizers said, “Congress is finalizing the big infrastructure and recovery package, with trillions of dollars at stake. Let’s push them to invest in climate solutions, care workers, jobs, and justice.” The rally was outside 300 State Street. One of the groups that endorsed the event has a web site at www.AriseSpringfield.org.

Biden and the Democrats who run congress say by late September they will approve the infrastructure and economic recovery bills. All the members of the house are on vacation until September 20.

120 Rally

In Greenfield on July 31 about 50 people attended a rally to protest cutting down forests in Massachusetts to put up solar panels. The panels can go on roofs of big box stores, warehouses, and other buildings, and on top of parking lots. To see a big photo of seven acres of solar panels over a parking lot in Amherst, click on the small photo of "Lot 44" at:

www.umass.edu/dcm/campus-solar

The Greenfield rally organizers said, “To date, the state has lost 4,000 acres to large ground-mounted solar, much of it pristine forest.”

They have a web site at https://savethepinebarrens.org.

Forest Victory

The biggest cause of climate change is overpopulation. One of the best ways to fight climate change is to guarantee the right to safe, legal, affordable abortions. That's one of the demands of the Women's March, according to www.WomensMarch.com. The Women's March in Northampton was set to start on October 17, 2020 at noon at the corner of Main and Pleasant streets.

The Amherst Women's March was set to start on October 17, 2020 at 1 p.m. outside 4 Boltwood Avenue.

The Brattleboro Women's March was set to start at the town Common on October 17, 2020 at 1 p.m.

235 Rally

On September 19, a rally inspired by the life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg drew 150 or so people in Northampton, Debby Pastrich-Klemer told the Valley Post. Pastrich-Klemer was one of the speakers at the rally. She is a leader of a group that has a web page at:

www.facebook.com/NorthamptonDems

A similar rally in Brattleboro on the same date drew 60 or so people. Ginsburg's death means abortion could be banned. One way to stop that from happening is a general strike and massive marches.

To Protest, 330 Rally, 14 Quit Jobs

About 250 people marched for Black Lives Matter in Northampton on September 5. They also attended a rally. The Pioneer Valley Workers Center promoted the event. According to the group's web site, “The Pioneer Valley prides itself on being a hub of the local food movement which values sustainability, buying local, and fair trade, yet the jobs of those who serve food in its restaurants are characterized by low wages, few benefits, discrimination, no voice at work, and little opportunity for advancement.

Taking it to the Streets

About 250 people attended a Black Lives Matter rally in Putney, Vermont on July 22. Putney is about 10 minutes from Brattleboro by car. Vermont has the nation's most racist prison system, which may help explain why it is one of the whitest states. Vermont sends prisoners to a private prison in Mississippi.

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100 Rally

About 70 people attended a Black Lives Matter rally in Keene on July 4. It was organized by Conor Hill and two other people. Hill did not immediately reply to a request for comment. The Valley Post has interviewed him in the past and will post his comment in the “comments” section at the bottom of this article.

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Until now, no news outlet has covered a July 1 Code Pink rally in Northampton. Dozens of people attended the rally. The rally was to protest Trump's support of Israel’s annexation of the West Bank in Palestine. More information is at www.CodePink.org.

A Hot June for Valley Marches, Rallies

Democracy and the kind of extreme economic inequality that now exists in the USA are incompatible. Unions reduce inequality. In Brattleboro on June 15 there was a well-attended union rally, seen in the below photo. A follow up rally is set for June 22. Details are available from Sy Creamer, the union president. Her email address is at:

www.unap.org/unap-locals/brattleboro-retreat

A phone number is at:

www.unap.org/about/contact-us-2

To enlarge the photo, click on it, then scroll down and click “view full size image.” Then you can click on the photo to zoom in more.

Wins for Workers, Nature

Thanks to the work of activists in Springfield, 1.5 miles of abandoned train tracks will be turned into a rail trail. "The design for the McKnight Community Trail is in progress," Liz Stevens told the Valley Post on March 8. She is part of an all-volunteer group that has a web site at www.WalkBikeSpringfieldMA.org. "The actual construction of the trail is expected to happen in 2023.... On March 6, I walked on a section of the trail with Andy Krar, the city engineer, and saw work being done by... the company contracted to create the trail design. A crew was there to collect soil samples....

Workers Win

Thanks to the labor movement, on January 1 the minimum wage will go up to $12.75 an hour in Massachusetts and $10.96 an hour in Vermont. The New Hampshire minimum wage will remain at $7.25. In the 1930s workers went on strike around the nation, forcing politicians to pass the first minimum wage laws. To this day, unions lobby to raise the minimum wage. One of the most active unions in the Pioneer Valley and Brattleboro has a web site at www.ufcw1459.com. New Hampshire unions have a web site at www.nhaflcio.org.

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