Nurses Fight Back Against CEO

On June 30 in Springfield about a dozen nurses and their supporters delivered a petition signed by 800 or so people to the nurses' boss. The nurses work at Mercy medical center. The petition says, “These front-line workers deserve to have their voices heard and have a fair contract settled, and the community deserves high-quality and safe care. It is time to settle a fair contract with the nurses of Mercy medical center and invest in the future of our community.”

The 400 or so nurses who work at Mercy are negotiating a union contract. The nurses have a web site at www.MassNurses.org.

50 Rally

On June 22 in Springfield, despite rain, about 50 people attended a rally in support of the fair share amendment. It would create an extra 4 percent tax on the part of a person’s annual income above $1 million. The new revenue generated by the tax, approximately $2 billion a year, would be spent on public education and passenger trains and buses, among other things, all in Massachusetts. “The rally went well,” Andrew Farnitano told the Valley Post in a voice phone interview on June 24. He works for the group that organized the rally. The group has a web site at http://RaiseUpMA.org.

70 at Rally to Protest Gun Violence

On June 5 in Springfield about 70 people attended an outdoor rally against gun violence, Tanisha Arena told the Valley Post. She was at the event and she runs Arise for Social Justice. That's a group in Springfield that fights mass incarceration, climate change, and poverty.

In New York on June 9, 2021 state lawmakers passed three gun control bills. Phoebe Maltz Bovy wrote in a 2015 article in the New Republic magazine, "Ban guns. All guns. Get rid of guns in homes, and on the streets and, as much as possible, on police." Hunters can use bows and arrows.

Tax the Rich Rally is June 8

On June 8 in Springfield there will be a rally in support of raising taxes on rich people and giving the money to public schools and publicly-run buses and passenger trains. On average, even electric cars are worse for the environment than buses and trains, on a per-traveler basis. The rally will be outside city hall at 6 p.m. Details are at:

https://actionnetwork.org/events/springfield-for-the-fair-share-amendment

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Big Win for Workers

Before Covid there were 130 workers at the company that runs vans for handicapped people, under contract to PVTA, the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority. “Now we have 88. We'll get back to 130 when Covid is over,” Jeanie Steel predicted in a May 22 voice phone interview with the Valley Post. For 21 years, she has been a driver for the various companies PVTA has hired to run the so-called para-transit service. She still drives for the latest company, National Express. Steel was one of the leaders of a successful recent effort to form a union.

230 People Rally

On May 18 in Brattleboro about 50 people attended a rally to call on local, state, and federal politicians to do more to address the series of racist murders and assaults against Asian Americans that have occurred around the USA in the past few months. Emma Allen grew up in the Brattleboro area and is now a student at the University of Vermont. She told the crowd gathered at Plaza park, “This month, we celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage....

Hundreds Rally

Two years ago, 17 people were arrested for non-violent civil disobedience at Wendell, Massachusetts state forest near Greenfield. The goal was to stop logging of 80 acres of 110 year old oak trees on publicly owned land. The USA is losing 6,000 acres of open space to development every day. Stopping logging on publicly owned land forces logging companies to buy their own land. If the loggers want to grow new trees after logging, the land can't be paved.

Fight for the Trees

The USA is losing 6,000 acres of open space to development every day. In Easthampton, Massachusetts, people are saying “enough.” Easthampton borders Northampton and Holyoke. “When you cut out a good section of forest and replace it with houses, you've disrupted the environment, period! Anything you do after that to mitigate the situation never makes up for the habitat you destroyed in the first place,” John Bator told the Valley Post in an email. He's president of an Easthampton group that has a web site at www.pctland.org. Details about the battle are below.

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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.

Rally to Abolish Police

The group Northampton Abolition Now organizes to move money from the police department into programs that make the community safe. On February 13 and 14, the group held a rally in Northampton. Dozens of people attended. A contact person for the group, Mary Jones, can be reached at (512) 413-5592 and mary.m.jones12@gmail.com.

She told the Valley Post, “We hope Mayor Narkewicz will shift the resources we now pour into policing, directly into community initiatives whose core aims are helping, healing, and sustaining people, rather than controlling them.”

The group has a web page at: