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The protest was designed to coincide with the start of the Williams' spring semester today but drew a number of people from outside the campus community.
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The march was on Main Street around noontime.
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Anti-Trump Protesters Demonstrate in Williamstown

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
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The rally came together over social media and word of mouth.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Waving signs and chanting in the middle of a town where just 13 percent of the vote went to Donald Trump, Wednesday's anti-Trump protest may have felt a little like preaching to the choir.

But for the five dozen people of all ages who braved the cold at the corner of Spring and Main Streets, the gospel of resistance needed to be preached.

"I think it's easy [to draw a crowd] when people feel there's an acute threat," said Andy Cornell, one of the event's organizers. "Otherwise, they might feel complacent.

"But it has to spread beyond areas that are overwhelmingly Democratic, and I think we're seeing that. I know there's going to be another demonstration in North Adams. We've seen things in Pittsfield. All over the country, I think people feel this is the moment to get out in the streets."

Wednesday's noontime protest was sparked by the nationwide outcry over last week's executive order suspending refugee programs and migration from seven predominantly Muslim nations. Cornell, a visiting professor in American studies at Williams, said the organizers pulled the protest together starting Saturday night and spread the word through email, a Facebook events page, word of mouth and the cooperation of groups like Northern Berkshires for Racial Justice.

The protest was timed to coincide with the first day of classes in Williams' spring semester, though Cornell noted that the crowd included a number of people unaffiliated with the college, in addition to students, faculty and staff.


They held signs promoting causes ranging from Black Lives Matter to abortion rights to immigration and chanted slogans like, "This is what democracy looks like," "That Facist Trump has got to go," and "No ban. No wall. Freedom for all."

Cornell said that the advent of the new administration has galvanized a number of progressive causes and helped unite them.

"I think everyone is developing a strategy right now, so nothing is set in stone, but the energy shows people are going to want to continue their dissent in a whole variety of ways," he said.

"One other thing that faculty have done here is they had a teach-in conversation about various issues people are concerned about, whether that's LGBT rights, labor rights and unions, environmental issues, the possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act — a lot of people are coming together who have a particular issue and see how all those things are related."

Cornell said there are no specific plans to make the Main Street demonstrations a regular event, but he said there likely will be other actions by the administration that spur protests.

"The Trump administration plans kind of a shock and awe of putting out highly controversial executive orders and appointments and things like that — with [nominated Attorney General] Jeff Sessions and [nominated Education Secretary] Betsy DeVos going through, there are more rumored executive orders and legislations going through," Cornell said. "People are doing everything they can to slow that down. I think we'll soon see a lot of voters who did support Trump be disaffected, and we hope to win them over to our side."


Tags: protests,   Williams College,   

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New Williams Inn Opens on Spring Street

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff

Chef Kevin DeMarco has put together a menu informed by local produce. He is part of leadership team appointed by Waterford Hotel Group, which manages the hotel for Williams College.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The new Williams Inn is positioned to be a catalyst for the town's retail center on Spring Street as well as a bucolic retreat for guests — as exampled by the deer grazing near the patio this week.  
 
"We really want to be an indoor/outdoor experience," said Kevin Hurley, the inn's general manager, during a press preview just days before the hotel's opening on Thursday. "We will see a lot of those features, again with the windows, and just the way the hotel feels is really connecting ourselves to the outside." 
 
The $32 million, 64-room hotel at the bottom of Spring and Latham streets replaces the 100-room original hotel at Field Park that closed on July 31. The older inn, purchased by Williams College in 2014, was considered outdated and energy inefficient for an institution that's committed itself to sustainability. 
 
That commitment can be seen throughout the 58,000 square-foot three-story New England-style structure — from its reclaimed wood to its high-performance facade and solar PV array. 
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