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Your Civil Rights May Be Briefly Delayed: MBTA Security Inspections & the 4th Amendment
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A permanent policy of random searches of baggage on the T not based on probable cause or any suspicion at all is inconsistent with the general spirit of liberty, violate the Fourth Amendment privileges of T passengers, and serves only the selfish interest of expanding police power at the expense of Bostonians.
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12 Jul 2004 | Filed under: Commentary / DNC : Human Rights
Support the DNC Resolution to Uphold Constitutional Rights of Protesters
cityhall.jpgA resolution to Uphold the Constitutional Rights of Protesters goes before the Boston City Council in a matter of days. Aimed at stopping the increasing trend of police repression seen during the FTAA in Miami and the G8 in Georgia The resolution will need your help in order to pass.

If this resolution passes it will be one of the most strongly worded resolutions in the country against the repression of protesters, setting a precedent for other cities to follow. As a city council resolution, it may not be able to reign in the FBI/JTTF & Secret Service, but the reality is that the feds need local agencies to carry out many of their repressive tactics. In the final section, the resolution draws clear lines against police brutality, harrassment of protesters, false arrests, use of force, etc.

Save Our Civil Liberties Petition
Full Text of Resolution (PDF)

[Update, 7/15/04: The resolution did not receive the unanimous vote it needed to pass and has been referred to the Boston City Council's Committee on Human Rights for a hearing on Wednesday, July 21 at 1:00 PM in the Iannella Chamber on the fifth floor of Boston City Hall.]
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10 Jul 2004 | Filed under: Announcement / DNC : Human Rights
Harassment of DNC Protesters Escalates
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** Emergency Release From Boston ** Please Forward Everywhere.

Despite the Boston Police Department’s stated commitment to protect people’s First Amendment rights during the DNC, the BPD has, in conjunction with other law enforcement officers in New York City, started a campaign of preemptive action that could chill protest participants' lawful speech activities during the Democratic National Convention (DNC).
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09 Jul 2004 | Filed under: News / DNC : Human Rights
The John Kerry Has Been Fumbled!
The Sport of Boston’s Labor Woes

“The John Kerry has been fumbled!” Menino has dropped the John Kerry! And right there to pick it up is Thom Nee… he’s got a good line of BPPA defenders and… they're taking it down the field… to the Mayor’s 20… the 30… and Menino’s got him now! Down at the Mayor’s 42-yard line. More of the big game after this message…”

At first, the frat-like chanting coming from the BPPA informational picket in front of the Mayor’s conference last Sunday sounded “like a football game,” as one of the attendees of the conference put it. But this was no football game.

Or was it?

Maybe the situation in Boston IS a game: a big, expensive, ego-jostling, contest. One team is comprised of star quarterback Mayor Thomas Menino and city hall, arguing that Boston lacks the funds for a 17 percent pay raise for the police and playing a great defensive game. The other team, with coach Thomas J. Nee of the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association (BPPA), BPPA union members and other city unions without contracts, is arguing that the police have gone long enough without a contract and won’t be silenced any longer.
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02 Jul 2004 | Filed under: Commentary / DNC : Labor : Politics
Communal Bikes During the DNC
anarcho-bike.gifhttp://blackteasociety.org/bikes.php

Imagine streets clogged with traffic, unending train delays, parts of our city under martial law, and random ID checks and searches by police on public transportation. This is the city we'll be living in during the week of the Democratic National Convention and Mayor Menino along with DNC organizers are making no qualms about it. It's obvious that we won't be able to rely on public transportation or cars to get around during the DNC. Those who do ride public transport will face random bag searches and ID checkpoints.

There is an alternative though, Biking. Biking is fast, fun, and environmentally friendly. For these reasons we will be collecting and fixing up bikes to be used during the DNC by activists, medics, food providers, and Bostonians who just need to get around. This is a call to everyone from bike mechanics to hobbyists, from folks who have a bike they'd like to get rid of to people with a dozen to help us create a communal bike system for use during the DNC. This will include bikes with carts for available for medics, media, and food. The bikes will be available at the convergence center for anyone to use. After the convention the bikes will be donated to local bike programs.
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03 Jul 2004 | Filed under: Announcement / DNC : Technology
Rich White Men Throw A Fit: Boston Police and Firefighters Picket the Mayor’s Conference
chicken1.jpgUninformed tourists enjoying a bite to eat in the Back Bay Monday witnessed an unusual spectacle. A synchronized, frat-like chant was coming from around the corner on Dalton St. It sounded “like a football game,” as one of the attendees of the Mayor’s Conference put it. But this was no Patriots game.

            Rather, the aggressive chants were coming from the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association (BPPA) and the Boston Firefighters Union. The BPPA has been working without a contract for over two years and the firefighters are also in contract talks. The riled up “public servants” took to the sidewalks and a portion of Dalton St. just outside the Sheraton Hotel where Mayor Menino was hosting some functions as part of the United States Conference of Mayors. The cops worked in shifts (switching roles between policing and picketing) from 7am until 11:30am and again at 5pm to 7:30pm.

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29 Jun 2004 | Filed under: News / DNC : Labor
Security on the T & Criminalization of Dissent for the DNC
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If Boston residents haven't realized that we live in a culture of fear - they will during the Democratic National Convention. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) has released a "Security Statement" that outlines using fear tactics to allow police and transportation authorities to search bags and personal possessions during the Democratic National Convention. This policy comes on top of similar measures that the MBTA has announced that it is undertaking that allow other measures such as allowing "police officers to randomly search T riders' bags" to protect riders from "bombs" and "terrorism". The Massachusetts Chapter of the National Lawyer's Guild (NLG) has provided a series of resources for people who are concerned about this violation of American rights. The NLG has provided a simple explanation of your legal rights while riding the T or other public transportation in Boston.
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26 Jun 2004 | Filed under: News / DNC : Human Rights
Another Boston and Another World are Possible: Gearing Up for the Boston Social Forum
BSF.jpgFrom July 23-25, 2004, the weekend immediately preceding the Democratic National Convention (DNC), 3,000 progressive activists are expected to gather at the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Boston for the Boston Social Forum (BSF) . Part of the World Social Forum (WSF) process, the BSF will consist of three days of panels, workshops, assemblies and networking. The organizers of the BSF have several goals--to showcase the ideas of the left while the mainstream media’s eyes are fixed on Boston, to allow activists to network, to help bridge some of the divides on the American left, and ultimately to begin to find a way out of the crisis the left faces in this country.


[Editor’s note: This is part of a series of articles the Boston IMC collective is doing on the various organizing campaigns leading up to the Democratic National Convention. The first article in the series was on the Boston DNC Coalition.]
Read the full article » (4 comments)
26 Jun 2004 | Filed under: News / DNC : Organizing
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