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Greetings from World Social Forum, Day One
A report from the first day of the Fifth World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

Imagine a large, urban university, but set up for only a six day period. Instead of becoming trained to take their places in the elites of a world defined by institutions of hierarchy and control, the students, participants really, are training each other to bring about change. Instead of ivy-covered brick or concrete buildings, classrooms are in tents of varying sizes. And instead of departments like biology, philosophy, or literature, the “university” has eleven “thematic spaces” with names such as “Peace, demilitarization, and the struggle against war, free trade, and debt,” or “Human rights and dignity for a just and egalitarian world.” Welcome to the fifth World Social Forum, in Porto Alegre, in southern Brazil.

Arnie Alpert is the AFSC’s New Hampshire Program Coordinator.
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01 Feb 2005 | Filed under: News / Globalization : International : Organizing
Bostonians Protest the Inauguration of President Bush
DCP_0001.JPGOn Thursday, January 20, the day President Bush was inaugurated for his second term and thousands marched in opposition in Washington DC, about thirty hardy souls braved the bitter cold to stand from 5:30 to 6:30 in Copley Square, protesting here in Boston. Although the protest was organized by United for Justice with Peace (UJP), the main local anti-war coalition, the signs people bore showed that they had a variety of concerns--not just ending the occupation of Iraq, but also domestic issues such as the attacks on civil liberties and reproductive rights and the destruction of the welfare system. Organizers with UJP that I spoke with expressed not only their opposition to the Bush administration’s policies, but their fears that the Bush administration is making a concerted, purposeful assault on what’s left of democracy in this country.
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21 Jan 2005 | Filed under: News / Gender : Human Rights : International : Politics : Race : Social Welfare
Local CEO exposed at his home for human rights abuses
bannersmall.JPGBanner hung on Bresky's home this morning
Friday, December 16, 2004

CEO and President of Seaboard Corporation, H. Harry Bresky, is being complicit in a genocide of indigenous peoples in South America. Activists left him the above banner hanging on his home at 144 Evelyn Road, Newton, MA this morning to remind him of his urgent responsibility to return the land to and stop repressing the indigenous inhabitants in Salta, Argentina.
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18 Dec 2004 | Filed under: News / Globalization : Human Rights : International : Race
Youth Organized Anti-War Rally Sets the Mood for Resistance
IMG_0930.jpgUp and coming youth activists may be just the thing to breathe fresh life into Boston’s anti-war movement. Protesters at December 4th’s rally, which started at the Boston Commons bandstand and included a march down Newbury Street, exhibited an enthusiasm not seen at earlier demonstrations this year. More than 15 persons spoke and led the crowd in chanting various slogans, such as “Drop Bush Not Bombs!!!” and “Money for Schools Not War!!!” The day was peaceful for the most part, although after the march a group of about 50 persons decided to challenge the police and “take to the streets,” blocking traffic. Pushing matches and harsh words ensued but no arrests or serious injuries have been reported.
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06 Dec 2004 | Filed under: News / Education : International : Organizing
Why I Support the Somerville Divestment Initiative: An Israeli's View
As an Israeli immigrant living in Somerville, I strongly support the Somerville Responsible Investment Resolution, which urges all investors in the city to divest from companies involved with Israel's human rights violations and from Israel Bonds. I am sad to see my country of origin hurling itself down a path of self-destruction and I feel a responsibility to stop it. The Israeli people are good people, you just have to shake them up and awaken them to the fact that they are heading in the wrong direction. And this is what this divestment initiative will do.

[Update: The Somerville Divestment Initiative failed to pass a vote by the city's Board of Alderman.]
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02 Dec 2004 | Filed under: Commentary / Human Rights : International : Politics
Bostonians Rally on the International Day of Solidarity with Palestine
PalestineFlag.gifOn November 29, 2004, the International Day of Solidarity with Palestine, about forty people gathered from 6:00 to 7:00 pm for a rally in Harvard Square organized by the Boston Coalition for Palestinian Rights (BCPR). They joined people around the world, expressing their solidarity with the people of Palestine in their struggle to end their occupation by Israel, an occupation that sees Palestinians murdered and humiliated on a daily basis, their homes and villages destroyed, and their best agricultural land and aquifers confiscated. As people at the protest argued, it is particularly important for Americans to oppose the Israeli occupation, because the United States government is not the even-handed broker in the conflict that it depicts itself as, but in fact Israel’s chief supporter worldwide.
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01 Dec 2004 | Filed under: News / Human Rights : International
Indian labor leaders to visit Boston
BOSTON -- A delegation of Indian labor leaders will address "outsourcing" and other international labor issues at a public event in Cambridge on December 2. Members of the tour are seeking a dialogue with U.S. workers about mutual interests in the fight to defend good jobs and ensure fair labor standards.
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30 Nov 2004 | Filed under: News / Globalization : International : Labor
Interview: Krzysztof Krol of the Polish Anarchist Federation
logo2.jpgDuring a workshop on solidarity economics at the WoGan Decriminalizing Resistance conference last weekend (November 12th-13th) I met Krzysztof Krol, a member of the Anarchist Federation of Poland who resides at the Rozbrat Collective in the Polish city of Poznan. Of the many participators in that particular workshop only the two non-U.S. presenters seemed to have practical solutions for working class people. While Americans talked of seed exchanges, alternative currencies, and green investment schemes Krol told of his groups foray into radical labor organizing and a presenter from Argentina’s MST talked about a community center built by the community itself geared around food production and education.

As the debate over the validity of alternative currencies roared on past the workshop’s scheduled time I pulled the labor-minded Krzysztof aside to get a one-on-one interview.
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19 Nov 2004 Modified: 03:23:02 AM | Filed under: Interview / Education : Globalization : International : Labor : Organizing : Social Welfare
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