Peace Rallies, Workers' Strikes

Eighty-five or so people attended peace rallies in the Valley November 12 and 13. About 50 people were at the November 12 rally in Northampton. Sanctions against nations like Cuba, Palestine, and Venezuela “have become a new type of warfare,” a spokesperson for one of the groups that organized the rally told the Valley Post. One of the group's web site is https://MassPeaceAction.org.

About 35 people were at the Greenfield rally on November 13, organizer Emily Greene told the Valley Post. The goal was to end all wars, she said.

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150 Acres Saved

On October 31 a land trust announced 150 acres of open space in Amherst has been permanently protected from development. The USA is losing 6,000 acres of open space to development every day. Kestrel Land Trust said the town of Amherst had saved the land. The land is along West Pomeroy Lane.

Rally is September 13

In Brattleboro on September 13 there will be a health care rally. It will be from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. outside 1154 Putney Road. The organizers said, in the USA, “over 600,000 people have died from Covid during this pandemic, many of them because our country denies health care to the poor. This pandemic has revealed more clearly than ever before that the 140 million poor and low-income people in the United States are united by the fact that we, our families, and our communities are in a life-and-death fight for health care. We take action together to say that urgent action is needed now.

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.

A Victory for Nature

In Deerfield, Massachusetts, near Greenfield, activists defeated a multi-billion dollar corporation on August 12. The company wanted to pave open space. “I’m relieved that Dollar General has decided not to further attempt to build in Deerfield on the site that has been in discussion for three years. There are so many positive things in the works for Deerfield, it will be a relief not to have this issue pull time and attention to it anymore,” Julie Cavacco told the Valley Post on August 13, 2021. She attended a Deerfield rally against Dollar General in December 2020.

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.