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Out of School and Into the Military
image001.jpg“All my life I’ve liked the military,” said Adrian Paez, a Colombian immigrant and a senior at East Boston High School. At 17 years old, Adrian has not doubts about joining the US armed forces. “When I think of the army, I don’t think about dying,” he said, “I think of everything I can do, everything I can learn, everything I can be.”

Adrian fled Colombia with his family to escape rural violence and economic adversity in an increasingly militarized society. A year after arriving to the United States, he became a member of the Junior Reserve Officer Training Core (JROTC) at East Boston High where he has been learning the basics of military training for the past three years. His real name is not being used in this story to protect him from getting deported.
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28 Nov 2005 | Filed under: News / Education : Human Rights : Politics
Winter Soldier: A film for our time
wintersoldier_final_lowres2.gifAfter an absence of decades, this Vietnam-era documentary film is back in circulation, and its lessons should serve to shake every one of us out of any illusions about what war means. Graphic testimony from veterans, plus thought-provoking commentary about what makes such inhuman crimes possible.

I followed with outraged attention the Abu Ghraib prisoner scandal, and watched angrily as the American military ravaged entire cities such as Fallujah and Ramadi. And then came intermittent reports of full-scale torture of even more horrific dimensions in the dungeons of the client security agencies to which the US government ships some of its detainees. That’s why I decided to attend a showing at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston of a Vietnam-era documentary called Winter Soldier.
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22 Nov 2005 | Filed under: News / Education : Politics
BU Biolab Protest Pictures
00020.jpgBU is having a Global Health Initiative conference and one of the events was in a BU auditorium where BU President Robert Brown introduced other speakers (including the US surgeon general), plugging the proposed bioweapons lab in South End/Roxbury. Activisits with the BU Peace & Justice Project and Boston Mobilization staged a protest during President Brown's speech. The Global Health Initiative is supposed to promote public healthcare, not top secret military research. Here are pictures.
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16 Nov 2005 | Filed under: News / Education : Environment : Globalization : Human Rights : Politics : Race : Social Welfare : Technology
Boston Direct Action Project Releases “Guide To Alternatives to the Military” for Local Youth
booklet.jpg(Boston, MA October 31, 2005) Boston Direct Action Project has recently published a booklet entitled “Guide To Alternatives to the Military,” with information about education, jobs, and opportunities for youth in the greater Boston area.

"We created this "Military Alternatives" booklet because we understand its not enough to simply explain the reasons not to join the military. We believe it is equally important to suggest realistic alternatives," said Jonathan McIntosh, a designer of the booklet.
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17 Nov 2005 | Filed under: Announcement / Education : Organizing : Social Welfare
Bikes not Bombs looking for a new home
BNB.jpgJAMAICA PLAIN.—Keeping the enormous steel thicket of bicycles, at 59 Amory St. organized and manageable is a tall enough task for Bikes Not Bombs' (BNB) industrious volunteers, yet founder Carl Kurz and his bike mechanic cadres now face an even bigger challenge. Moving.

The organization has been a tenant-at-will for over two years. Only a few other possibilities for a home have presented themselves since then, none were perfectly matched. Without a lease, members of the group worry that the building may be sold or the owners may decide to renovate.

“We’re part of the fabric of JP that people love,” said Kurz, “if we move too far out we won’t be able to attract the same numbers of people and the same support, so it’s a tough problem.”
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26 Aug 2005 | Filed under: News / Education : Environment : Organizing : Social Welfare
Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls Hits the Northeast
rock_girlsonstge2.jpgAn offshoot of the original Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls that recently sprung up on the west coast, the Willie Mae Rock Camp was organized by feminist musicians and offered workshops on such topics as anti-oppression, instrument instruction, and self-defense.

Feminist musicians had been organizing for about a year to bring the first Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls to New York City. It took place August 8th through the 12th near Central Park. The camp was open to all self-identified girls ages 8 through 18, and drew around 80 kids from around the city by working through local Girls Clubs and schools, offering a sliding-scale tuition. To hear interviews with the girls and others, listen to the posted .mp3.
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16 Aug 2005 | Filed under: News / Education : Gender : Media : Organizing
Protesters Outnumber Military Supporters, as Peace Activists Protest Army Recruitment on the Cambridge Common
got kids.jpgOn Tuesday, June 14, 2005, from 10:30 to 1:00 two to three hundred people gathered on the Cambridge Common to protest the army’s celebration of its 230th anniversary there, an event they turned into a blatant recruitment effort. This is part of larger drive by the military to get more people to join, response to the severe drop-offs in new recruits that all branches of the military face as the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan stretch on with no end in sight. Protesters spoke out against the attempts to entice students to join the army, by making it look fun by creating something of a fair on the Common--when those who joined the army would most likely to be sent to kill and possibly be killed in pointless, bloody wars. In contrast to the large number of protesters, there were only about fifty to a hundred civilians there to attend the ceremonies, many of them school children bussed in as a fieldtrip. At times, it appeared that the protesters’ chants could clearly be heard over the official speakers at the ceremony. There were seven arrests, all a result of protesters refusing to remain in the officially designated protest pit.
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14 Jun 2005 | Filed under: News / Education : International
United progressive forces send Phelps' bigots packing
021_19A.JPGThe Massachusetts recruiting tour of the “Rev.” Fred Phelps was soundly defeated by a wide range of progressive forces and community members June 4-6.

Phelps, known for leading a vile anti-gay protest at Matthew Shepard’s funeral, didn’t attend any of the events in Massachusetts; instead his daughter Shirley Phelps-Roper led the bigoted tour for the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, the Phelp’s church.

The bigots targeted religious institutions and individual schools in Dracut, Lexington and Bedford but were met with rejection by the majority of students, teachers and community members there.

Phelps said he chose the state for the recruiting tour because of its recent legalization of same-sex marriage and other pro-LGBT laws. The Phelps tour was made easier by Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s ongoing denunciations of same-sex marriage and other ongoing attacks on the LGBT community.
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07 Jun 2005 | Filed under: News / Education : GLBT/Queer
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