200 March, Rally for Black Lives

On May 25 in the Valley about 200 people marched and rallied in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. The march was in the neighboring Massachusetts towns of Deerfield and Sunderland. Sunderland borders Amherst. Deerfield borders Greenfield. About 75 people marched, organizer Lu Vincent told the Valley Post. “We walked along the (Connecticut river) bridge in commemoration of the one year anniversary of George Floyd's murder, and to take notice of many many lives of people of color who have died at the hands of police,” she said. “It was a peaceful, powerful gathering.”

Asian Rights Rally is May 18

In Brattleboro on May 18 at 7 p.m., there will be a rally calling on local, state, and federal politicians to do more to address the series of murders and assaults against Asian Americans that have occurred around the USA in the past few months. The rally will be at Plaza park, 1 Main Street, between the food co-op and the art museum. One of the speakers is Emma Allen. She is from the Brattleboro area and is a University of Vermont student. A photo of Allen is below. Another speaker is Lisa Chen. She is on the board of the group that has a web site at www.sevca.org.

Holyoke Rally

On January 25 at 11 a.m. in Holyoke there will be a climate rally. The rally on the steps of city hall calls on Holyoke-based ISO New England to stop using the public's money to burn coal to generate electricity. Last year, ISO New England had $547 million in assets, according to its tax filings. More information about the rally is available from organizer Elizabeth Caretti Ramírez by phone at (215) 355-2145 or by e-mail at caretti.ramirez@gmail.com.

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Protesters Arrested Near Greenfield

On August 6, two women were arrested for non-violent civil disobedience to stop logging at Wendell State Forest in Massachusetts, near Greenfield. State police took them to Athol, Massachusetts, where they were released with court dates. The two women are Pioneer Valley residents Gia Neswald and Priscilla Lynch. In a phone interview on August 7, Neswald told the Valley Post, “We were arrested for peacefully protesting on public land. The state police told the loggers to drive a huge logging truck toward us. The truck stopped about 10 feet from us.”

Land Trust Stiffs Brattleboro Area

The U.S. is losing 6,000 acres of open space to development every day, according to the Trust for Public Land. The Vermont Land Trust (VLT) is working to protect open space, which is one of the best ways to stop climate change. A Valley Post special investigation reveals that, over the past decade, VLT -- which gets most of its funding from taxpayers all over Vermont -- has focused its efforts much more heavily in the northern part of the state, versus the four southern counties of Vermont.

Springfield Rally is June 5

In Springfield on June 5 there will be a rally to protest a plan by the governor to make more electricity by burning trees. "Burning trees to produce electricity is dirty and destructive. It creates more carbon pollution than coal, gas, and oil. It destroys forests and our heritage along with them." That's according to:

www.nrdc.org/resources/our-forests-arent-fuel

The rally will start at 5:45 p.m. outside 1015 Wilbraham Road. Details are at:

www.facebook.com/events/1529223160542281

Greenfield to Boston Passenger Train Would Parallel Route 2

Local activists are praising a proposal by a state senator to create a passenger train line between Greenfield and Boston. “It would parallel Route 2,” Jared Freedman told the Valley Post in a phone interview on January 28. He is a spokesman for Senator Jo Comerford, who made the proposal.

Critical Mass

Critical Mass bicycle rides started in 1992 in California and have since spread around the world. Hundreds of people ride together in a group on roads, forcing cars to go at bicycle speed. They often chant, “Critical Mass, don't use gas!”

Brattleboro Police Kill at High Rate

In the past 17 years, Brattleboro police shot and killed two men in the town. During that time in Brattleboro, five other people were killed by people who were not police. So 29 percent of these people were killed by police.

In 2015, the most recent year for which data was available, in the USA there were 15,696 or so murders. That year, police killed 1,186 people in the USA. So 8 percent of these people were killed by police.

Photos: Keene Paths

These photos were taken on June 16 in Keene. The first photo shows a footpath through a forest that was protected on June 4 when a judge ruled in favor of activists who said the city could not clearcut a 12 acre forest that it owns. The second photo shows part of a five mile long bicycle path, the Cheshire Rail Trail, that passes through downtown and goes to Stonewall Farm. That's an organic dairy and vegetable farm that is open to the public. In the photo a man rides past the food co-op. The third photo shows birch trees alongside the rail trail.