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Community-labor coalition kicks off campaign for more power in elections
Over two-dozen local community and labor organizations have kicked off a grassroots effort to reinvigorate democracy in the Bay State by giving citizens more choices and a stronger voice at the polls. Rallying behind the slogan, “Vote Your Values,” the groups are conducting an initiative drive to repeal the state’s ban on cross-endorsement voting.

Cross endorsement gives voters an opportunity to express support for the platform or values of a minor or third party without "spoiling" or wasting their vote on a candidate who has no chance of winning. Allowing candidates to run for office with the support of more than one political party gives voters more ability to hold elected officials accountable. Politicians can count the votes they receive on the minor party’s ballot line and recognize the significance of that party’s issues or platform in their election’s outcome.
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27 Sep 2005 | Filed under: News / Labor : Organizing : Politics
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
Non-Violent Activists Protest Mountain Top Removal, Meet With Police Brutality
blockade.jpgFor the last few months a national mobilization called Mountain Justice Summer has been underway in Southern Appalachia to raise awareness about the devestating effects mountain top removal mining and put an end to this devestating practice. Boston Indymedia received a report this morning that MJS activists were set to undertake the first ever mountain occupation to protest and take direct action against mountain top removal.

Here is how it went
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15 Aug 2005 | Filed under: News / Environment : Organizing : Politics
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
To Impeach or Not to Impeach
On July 31, 2005, a forum on the Downing Street Memos, leaked documents that indicate the Bush administration misled the public about reasons for going to war in Iraq, took place at Arlington Street Church.

Co-sponsored by several local organizations such as Brookline PeaceWorks, Boston Mobilization, Progressive Democrats of America, and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, among others; the forum was just one of 300 events across the nation planned to discuss the possible consequences of the leaked documents.
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01 Aug 2005 | Filed under: News / Human Rights : International : Media : Organizing : Politics
Plans for Women's Jail May Meet an Early Fate: Statewide Coalition Calls for Moratorium on New Jails
Hampden.jpgAUDIO: The state wants to build a new women's jail to replace part of the existing Hampden County jail. The Statewide Harm Reduction Coalition, a group that works on drug policy and rehabilitation, held a press conference last week to raise objections to the construction of the proposed Chicopee women's jail in western Massachusetts. People spoke out about the overwhelming number of prisoners charged with drug-related crimes, the racial dynamics of incarceration in Massachusetts, and the misuse of state funds for what they feel is an unnecessary new jail. They called for a moratorium on all new jail and prison construction in Massachusetts.
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18 Jul 2005 | Filed under: News / Human Rights : Organizing : Race : Social Welfare
Proman Manufacturing Co. Laying-Off Chinatown Workers without Severance Pay
pic2.jpgOn July 16, 2005, a picket line of workers took over the entrance of Proman Manufacturing Company to protest unfair labor practices by this 61-year-old sportswear manufacturing company in Chinatown. Its owner, Joseph Proman, recently confirmed the company will be closing by the end of July and laying-off all of its 40-plus Chinese and Latino workers without severance pay.

Alice Leung, community organizer for the Chinese Progressive Association Workers Center (CPAWC), said that Mr. Proman did not give any formal notice to its workers who learned the company is moving to China from one of their supervisors. Since then, CPAWC and the American Friends Service Committee have helped Proman Co. workers organize themselves to defend their labor rights and be treated with dignity.
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18 Jul 2005 | Filed under: News / Globalization : Human Rights : Labor : Organizing
NSTAR Workers (Still) On Strike!!!
DSC00529.jpgCompany decries union ‘scare tactics,’ Solidarity strong among electrical workers despite heavy handed union busting efforts

The first week of Utility Workers Union of America local 369’s strike against NSTAR has been fraught with drama, mainly stemming from the deregulated Eastern Massachusetts electrical service provider’s blatant and ominous strong arm tactics. Since Monday, May 18 at 12:01 when their contract expired and 1,900 of NSTAR's 3,000 workers represented by the union walked off the job, NSTAR has consistently maintained that Union officials are lying about the reasons the union went on strike. And the same day the strike began Local 369 was informed that the workers’ health insurance had been cancelled.

UPDATE, 6/1/05: 87% of the 1,900 striking NStar Utility Workers Local 369 members last night voted to ratify a new contract. The contract came after a hard fought fifteen day strike that saw an outpouring of solidarity from labor and community supporters.
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23 May 2005 | Filed under: News / Labor : Organizing
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