Photos: 145 People March, Rally

On April 5, about 100 people marched in Amherst to abolish the UMass police. In Holyoke, about 45 people attended a rally for high quality, affordable housing. More information on those two events is below.

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On April 15 at 9 a.m., there will be a climate rally two miles from Brattleboro in Dummerston, Vermont. The public is invited to attend. The world's leading scientists say climate change is a major threat to earth's ability to support human life.

Rallies, marches and strikes closed Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant near Brattleboro, won raises for hundreds of low wage Stop and Shop workers in the Pioneer Valley, won women the right to vote in the USA, and ended apartheid in South Africa.

For more information about the April 15, 2023 rally, please contact Brattleboro resident Ellen Schwartz of the Vermont Workers Center via:

www.facebook.com/VermontWorkersCenter

Alternatively, the Valley Post can relay messages to Schwartz.

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On April 5, about 100 people marched in Amherst to ban police from UMass. One of the groups that organized the march is Prison Abolition Collective. That's “a student-driven group at UMass that seeks to end the prison industrial complex and all forms of incarceration.”

The below photos are by the Collective, which can be reached via:

www.instagram.com/umassPAC

Selena Lacayo marched and said, “We don’t want body cameras or more training, police have these trainings every year and nothing changes. The police are beyond reform. We want abolition, not just of the police, but the soft police in the institution of UMass, such as the conduct office. We want to not be harassed, assaulted and traumatized. We want access to collective healing and understand that we can keep us safe, something the police have never done.”

TL James marched and said, “The UMass police department receives a third of the student affairs budget that comes from UMass general funds. This is outrageous given that undergraduate and graduate students are experiencing challenges around housing. When you think about the amount of Black and Brown students on campus who feel that UMass is a hostile environment you must understand that police presence is connected to those feelings.”

Mitchell Brecht marched and said, “Police in western Mass train with colonial military and police forces. This clearly illustrates the police’s role as an institution of the ruling class imperialists as they are preparing for the same type of brutal counterinsurgency program that the Israel Defense Forces conducts on a daily basis against the people of Palestine. Are these the kinds of people we want ensuring safety on our campus? I for one don’t want an un-elected militarized police force trained for the sole purpose of maintaining the current ruling order being the one that decides whether my conduct as a student is right or wrong.”

Sabrina Lacayo marched and said, “Police are not welcome in schools; they threaten and traumatize marginalized groups on campus. How can students study, think or build community in a space where police who operate under the logic of white supremacy are welcomed?”

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In Holyoke, about 45 people attended a rally for high quality, affordable housing. The rally was to call for the creation of an Office of Tenant Protection. “The mayor says he can't do it. That's bullshit,” Katie Talbot told the Valley Post in a voice phone interview on April 4. She works for the group that organized the rally. It has a web site at https://n2nma.org. “We'll keep organizing,” Talbot said.

Many people in Holyoke pay very high rent for very low quality housing. The rally was on March 21.

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In West Springfield, Massachusetts there will be a rally in solidarity with a group that has a web site at www.StopCopCitySolidarity.org.

Organizers wrote, “April 7, 4 p.m. Once again, there is a need to visit Atlas Technical Consultants, 73 William Franys Drive in West Springfield, MA. They are working with the Atlanta police foundation on the Cop City project where right now the forest is being clear cut. If there are enough actions around the country demanding contractors that are supporting Cop City to withdraw their participation, we can stop this terrible project.”

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