Bits & Bytes: Pipeline protest rally in GB; refugee resettlement meeting; ‘Stop in the Name of Love;’ French film festival; childbirth classes; Great Barrington Republican Town Committee meeting

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By Friday, Feb 10 Life In the Berkshires
An image from the film 'La Cour de Babel (The School of Babel),' one of the films to be shown as part of Williams College's French Film Festival, which is set to begin on Monday, Feb. 13, in Williamstown (see item below). Image courtesy Pyramide Films

Rally against Dakota Access Pipeline to be held in Great Barrington

Great Barrington — On Saturday, Feb. 11, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., a rally will be held in front of TD Bank. The citizen organizers of the rally are asking the bank to divest from the Dakota Access Pipeline, which is being pushed through by the Trump administration despite of strong opposition from Native Americans at the site where the pipeline is supposed to cross the Missouri River. Attendees are asked to bring posters and signs and to dress warmly. For more information, contact Anne Legene at


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Refugee resettlement meeting

Pittsfield — On Monday, Feb. 13, at 6 p.m., State Sen. Adam Hinds, Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer and State Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier will hold a community meeting about refugee resettlement in the Berkshires at Herberg Middle School. Jewish Family Services of Western Massachusetts will be on hand to answer questions about the current plans, and those wishing to may volunteer at the event. All who are interested are encouraged to attend and to bring others who support helping refugees find a new home and a new start in the community.


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‘Stop in the Name of Love’

Great Barrington — In the spirit of standing up to tyranny by carrying out both large and small actions, writer, artist and former educator Roselle Chartock, has proposed an action for Tuesday, Feb. 14, that she calls “Stop in the Name of Love.”

She invites everyone to “stand still in silent reflection for five minutes at 12 noon on Valentine’s Day, wherever you are, in support of equality, human rights and our beloved Constitution.”

In describing the inspiration for this idea, Chartock referred to the classic film, “The Day the Earth Stood Still” in which Klaatu, an alien, lands on Earth and makes a plea for peace and non-violence. As a gentle warning, Klaatu brings the Earth to a complete standstill. Soon after that, he departs with these words, “The decision rests with you.”


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Williams College to present French film festival

A film still from 'Qu'Allah benisse la France.'

A film still from ‘Qu’Allah benisse la France.’

Williamstown — The 2017 Williams College French Film Festival will take place over three consecutive Mondays at 7 p.m. on Feb. 13, 20 and 27 at Images Cinema. All films are in French with English subtitles. The screenings are free and open to the public.

This year’s theme, “School Stories: Diversity and Adversity in New French Film,” examines the challenges facing students and teachers both in and beyond the classroom. From immigrant children in the primary schools of Paris to students of color in the secondary schools of Strasbourg and student activists in the universities of France, the films dramatize the potential benefits and difficulties of French education, where teachers and students must negotiate the complexities of integration and assimilation, authority and resistance, faith and belief, gender and sexuality, and race and ethnicity.

The films are:

  • Monday, Feb. 13, at 7 p.m.: Julie Bertucelli’s “La Cour de Babel (The School of Babel)” (2013). The film follows a year in a Paris schoolroom for children who have recently immigrated to France.
  • Monday, Feb. 20, at 7 p.m.: Catherine Corsini’s “La Belle Saison (Summertime)” (2015). “Summertime” follows Carole and Delphine as they fall in love against the backdrop of early feminist activism in 1971 France.
  • Monday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m.: Abd Al Malik’s “Qu’Allah bénisse la France! (May Allah Bless France!)” (2015). This film is the true story of a French teenager rising out of the underprivileged suburbs through love, education and rap.


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Fairview Hospital offers childbirth classes

Great Barrington — Fairview Hospital will offer childbirth classes for all birthing women, their companions and support persons taught by certified childbirth educator and hypnotist Ann Buscemi, CTH ICCE, bimonthly in its conference room. The two-week class series will take place on Monday, Feb. 13, and Monday, Feb. 27, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. evenings. Women do not need to be delivering at Fairview to participate.

The program will include education and discussion on the anatomy and physiology of late-pregnancy labor and birth, the physical and emotional elements of the labor and birth process, medications and interventions and making informed choices, relaxation and breathing techniques, and understanding the positions and comfort strategies for birth and newborn care.

Future two-week class dates will include the Mondays of April 3 and 10, June 12 and 26, Sept. 25 and Oct. 2, and Nov. 27 and Dec. 4. There is also a one-day class scheduled for Saturday, July 15, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The cost for the program is $80. Some insurance providers will reimburse for the class. MassHealth will cover the cost of the program. To register, call Fairview’s central scheduling office at (413) 854-9616.


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Great Barrington Republican Town Committee meeting

Great Barrington — On Tuesday, Feb. 14, at 5:30 p.m., the Great Barrington Republican Town Committee will meet in the Selectmen’s room of the Town Hall, 334 Main St. The agenda will include sanctuary towns, 100 Bridge St., the town elections and the budget. All are invited to the open meeting. For more information, contact Andy Moro at or Patrick Fennell at (413) 528-9106.


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