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In Pittsfield, Markey Urges Voters To Turn Anger Into Hope

A white man in a coat stands at a podium in a park in front of a small crowd with campaign signs in front of a row of buildings.
Josh Landes
Senator Ed Markey addressed supporters in downtown Pittsfield's Park Square Tuesday.

On the heels of his vote against the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, Massachusetts U.S. Senator Ed Markey campaigned in Pittsfield Tuesday.

Flanked by fellow Democrats like Mayor Linda Tyer, State Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier and State Senator Adam Hinds, Markey addressed a small crowd in downtown’s Park Square a week before Election Day.

“From Great Barrington to Pittsfield, we are rising up as part of the incredible revolution to rid our nation of King Donald, who believes he is a potentate, a king, someone who does not have to abide by all of the rules and regulations that guide all of the rest of us,” said the senator.

Markey called on voters to defend Obamacare, address climate change and press for national gun control.

“But in order to see this future, we need to elect Joe Biden as president of the United States," he said. "We need to usher in a new wave of diverse, progressive leadership across our country. And we need to remove the most racist and incompetent president in American history from the White House.”

Markey had come straight from the controversial Senate confirmation vote in which Barrett become the first Supreme Court justice to be seated without any opposition support since 1869.

“The Republican leadership violated their own very rule that the Senate would not consider a nomination for a Supreme Court justice in the last year of a Presidential term," he told the crowd. "Hypocrisy is too weak a word to describe the sham that Mitch McConnell and Republicans have made out of this appointment process.”

Markey shared his remarks made on the Senate floor earlier in the day.

“The philosophy of Amy Coney Barrett – that is, her philosophy of originalism, looking back to what the Founding Fathers meant in 1787 – that originalism is racist, originalism is sexist, originalism is homophobic," he said. "Originalism will lead to the pretense that allows for the overriding of Roe v. Wade, of the Affordable Care Act, of civil rights and civil liberties.”

Only one Republican Senator – Susan Collins of Maine – joined Democrats in a 52-48 vote.

“With Amy Coney Barrett’s appointment, our civil rights and liberties are on the chopping block," said Markey. "With her appointment, marriage equality is at stake. With her appointment, reproductive rights are at stake. With her appointment, voting rights are already – for already disenfranchised communities across the country are at state. We know that with her appointment that it’s even more important on Election Day that we know that Black lives matter, Black voices matter, Black votes will matter on Election Day in 2020.”

Markey promised that if Democrats seize the House, Senate and White House on November 3rd, hundreds of billions of dollars of federal COVID relief funding will flow to communities like Pittsfield.

“So that Mayor Tyer has the funding for the police, for the fire, for the schools, for teachers, for healthcare, for food here in Pittsfield, because right now we are in the middle of a recession that is not going to end soon because of the criminally negligent management of Donald Trump in the White House for the last year, because he has been a racist in the way he has handled this entire crisis,” said the senator.

The CDC has acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent economic downturn have inflamed long-running accessibility and equity issues and disproportionately impacted communities of color.

“16 million children do not have the internet at home right now," said Markey. "It’s going to be a homework crisis that leads to a learning crisis that learns to ultimately an opportunity crisis for those children. They are predominantly Black and brown and poor and immigrant and we cannot allow that to continue.”

Markey, who won a hard-fought primary campaign against Congressman Joe Kennedy III in September, did not mention his Republican challenger Kevin O’Connor. Markey is expected to easily secure his second full term on November 3rd.

“It is up to us to take our righteous anger and turn it into radical hope,” he told the crowd.

Josh Landes has been WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief since February 2018, following stints at WBGO Newark and WFMU East Orange. A passionate advocate for Western Massachusetts, Landes was raised in Pittsfield and attended Hampshire College in Amherst, receiving his bachelor's in Ethnomusicology and Radio Production. His free time is spent with his cat Harry, experimental electronic music, and exploring the woods.
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