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Tax Day rally in Northampton focuses attention on impact of money on politics



Last modified: Thursday, April 16, 2015
NORTHAMPTON — “It’s April 15 — Tax Day — but we’re turning it into representation day,” said the Rev. Andrea Ayvazian to a crowd of about 50 people gathered in front of City Hall on Wednesday evening.

Ayvazian, senior pastor at the Haydenville Congregational Church, participated in the rally organized by the Florence-based national activist organization represent.us.

The rally was focused on getting money out of politics.

Other speakers included Northampton City Council members Ryan O’Donnell and William H. Dwight, as well as former Northampton Mayor Clare Higgins. At the start of the rally, the Raging Grannies sang in support of their cause.

“We try to be at all these things,” said Carolyn Toll Oppenheim of Northampton, one of the Grannies. She wore a bright red hat with a button that read “uppity women unite.”

Steve Jones, of Florence, spokesman for the local chapter of represent.us, said he hopes the rally focused attention to the issue of the corrupting impact of money in politics in the wake of the Supreme Court Citizens United decision of 2010.

“I just think that this is a critical time because the control of the government by corporations and big money is increasing because of the Supreme Court actions and we have to do something,” Jones said.

Dave Eisenstadter can be reached at deisen@gazettenet.com.