Protesters across county show support for Post Office funding

  • Saving the U.S. Postal Service is the goal of members of Franklin County Continuing the Political Revolution, who organized a demonstration in front of the Greenfield Post Office at noon on Tuesday. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Members of Franklin County Continuing the Political Revolution organized a demonstration in front of the Greenfield Post Office at noon Tuesday. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • In support of the U.S. Postal Service, members of Franklin County Continuing the Political Revolution organized a demonstration in front of the Greenfield Post Office at noon on Tuesday. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • Rice Flanders, Bill Loeffler, Clare Green and Louise Doud stand outside the Orange Post Office with signs on Tuesday in support of the U.S. Postal Service. Contributed photo

  • About a dozen Northfield residents stood outside the Northfield Post Office on Tuesday in support of the U.S. Postal Service. Contributed photo

Staff Writer
Published: 6/16/2020 4:46:14 PM

GREENFIELD — Members of a local nonprofit could be found protesting outside post offices across the county Tuesday in support of federal funding for the U.S. Postal Service, which has reportedly said it could run out of cash by September.

“I’m a letter writer. … It’s inconceivable to me that the Post Office should fail,” said Carlin Barton, a protester demonstrating at one of the 23 post offices in Franklin County on Tuesday afternoon.

The demonstrations, organized by Franklin County Continuing the Political Revolution (FCCPR), follow President Donald Trump’s recent threat to withhold a $10 billion line of credit approved by Congress in a coronavirus stimulus package unless the Postal Service quadruples what it charges to deliver packages.

By noon, there were as many as 20 protesters gathered outside the Greenfield Post Office in support of federal funding for the Postal Service.

“This is part of a national movement,” said David Cohen, a Franklin County Continuing the Political Revolution member who helped organize the group in Greenfield. “We see (the Post Office) as a fundamental … institution in the country.”

Members fear that raising postal rates, as Trump is asking, may force smaller communities, such as the hilltowns, to reduce mail service or cut it altogether.

“(USPS) is the cheapest option for sending letters and packages around the country and the world,” said member Doug Selwyn. “Like other businesses, it has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with fewer letters mailed and other services, like passports, curtailed.”

The Postal Service, which relies entirely on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations, said in a May statement that the pandemic began to take a toll on the service as early as March. According to the statement, the anticipated toll of the pandemic over the next 18 months may threaten the service’s ability to operate.

“It should be supported by Congress and the president like the rest of the economy,” Selwyn said.

Cohen said the protesters outside the Greenfield Post Office were largely members of Franklin County Continuing the Political Revolution, but there were also a number of people demonstrating who were not members.

One of those people was Barton, a Greenfield resident who said she can’t imagine a reality without the post office.

“What would that look like?” she asked, holding a sign with the words, “Save the U.S Postal Service.” “It’s a matter of something so precious. It’s something I use every day.”

Greenfield resident Sue Smith was also part of the demonstration. She said it was her first time supporting one of the efforts of Franklin County Continuing the Political Revolution.

“I just feel like the Senate … just doesn’t want us to vote by mail,” Smith said, noting the potential for the fall election to take place largely through mail-in ballot as a result of the pandemic.

“Who knows what will happen by November?”


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