March Against Mass Incarceration

On September 19 in Springfield and Amherst, there will be marches against mass incarceration. The marches are being organized by local chapters of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), which has a web site at

The Springfield event starts with a rally at 11 a.m. at Mason Square Green. The protesters will then march to City Hall.

The Amherst march starts at 10 a.m. from two locations: Haigis Mall at UMass and Hampshire College's Groff Park. Both Amherst marches will end at Sweetser Park in Amherst, across from the police station.

Labor Rallies Set

Unions in the Massachusetts cities of Springfield and Holyoke are asking the public to attend rallies for justice in Springfield and in the nearby towns of Amherst, Chicopee, Westfield, and West Springfield. On Labor Day, September 7, from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m., there will be a rally in Amherst for workers' rights. The public is welcome for all or part of that time. For more information, contact Jocelyn Silverlight by phone at (908) 601-6342 or by e-mail:

Soon: Peace March, Justice Rallies

There will be a march for peace from Amherst to Northampton on August 9 at 1 p.m. There will be rallies to protest an unjust employer in Springfield and nearby towns August 11 and August 12 from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m.

On August 5, President Obama said, “The choice we face is ultimately between diplomacy and some form of war — maybe not tomorrow, maybe not three months from now, but soon.” In Congress, Republicans say they want war with Iran. Obama and most of the Democrats in Congress say they want peace.

Photo: Solidarity Victory

On May 14, a work day, at 8:30 a.m., dozens of people in Springfield showed up at a rally and stopped a multi-billion dollar bank from evicting a low-income family. Organizers say the bank may try again to evict Julianne Proulx, Christopher Turner, and their two-year-old daughter Natalie from their home at 48 Donbray Road. Organizers are asking people to sign up for e-mail alerts at their web site and be ready to attend future rallies if necessary.

Civil Disobedience Planned

A group in Springfield that has had success blocking plans by billion-dollar banks that wanted to evict poor people from their homes is planning non-violent civil disobedience in the city on April 7. The action will be at 8:30 a.m. at 48 Donbray Road, outside the home of Julie Proulx, Chris Turner, and their two-year old daughter Natalie, all of whom are facing eviction. More information is at the group's web site:

The same group has had several victories. An article, with a photo, about one of these victories is at:

Workers Strike

On August 4, striking workers held a rally outside the Market Basket grocery store about two miles from Keene in Swanzey, New Hampshire. About 10,000 people attended a rally for the striking Market Basket workers near Boston on August 5. Market Basket has about 25,000 workers at its grocery stores in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine.

Civil Disobedience Set for August 4

On August 4 at 8:30 a.m. in Springfield, activists will risk arrest for non-violent civil disobedience. Their goal is to stop a bank that pays its CEO millions of dollars a year from evicting a low-income family from their home on Rochelle Street. Dozens of homes in Springfield whose poor owners were evicted by rich banks have remained vacant and abandoned for years. The August 4 protest is being organized by a group that has organized civil disobedience in Springfield before. Photos of one of these events where 15 people were arrested are at:

Photos: Protesting Wells Fargo

Last year, Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf was paid more than $19 million. He is planning to evict Diane and Ray Perkins of Springfield from their home at 45 Wilton Street. Dozens of people protested against Wells Fargo in front of the Perkins's home on April 28. In recent years, bank CEOs have been getting rich as they forced dozens of poor people in Springfield out of their homes.

Worker Safety March Is April 24

In 2005, Rob Hackley, a worker at a Pepsi factory in Florida, was burned so seriously that doctors had to perform surgery on him twice. He barely survived. The federal agency charged with workplace safety, OSHA, investigated. OSHA's report concluded that Hackley's injuries had been preventable if Pepsi had given him proper safety equipment, and that his bosses had told workers to “throw safety out the window and get the work done.” The bosses showed “deliberate, voluntary and intentional disregard to employee safety.” But OSHA gave Pepsi only a minimal fine.

Environmental Progress

Springfield's first bicycle lane opened October 26. A day earlier in Keene, a $15 million, energy efficient, affordable housing project opened. It was built by Riding a bicycle rather than driving, reduces global warming, acid rain, and smog. Living in multi-family housing, rather than a one-family house, saves farmland and forestland, and makes using public transit a viable alternative to owning a car.