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Addressing Violence in Prison
Prison02.sized.jpgUsually when I talk about prisons I begin with a whole bunch of numbers and statistics. 2.4 million people in prison, 1 million Black people in prison, 1 in 9 Black men between the ages of 18 and 34 are in prison. Women of Color are the fastest growing population in prison. 25% of people in women’s prisons are raped during their sentence, 20% of people in men’s prisons are raped during their time. Nearly 100% of out queer and transgender people in men’s prisons experience some form of sexual assault. The numbers and statistics go on and on. I have pages and pages of them if you want. When we talk about systems of oppression it is often so much easier to talk about numbers rather than people. Whether we’re talking about the millions killed in war, the high percent of people losing their homes, or the rate at which people are losing access to food and water sources, we continuously use numbers to hide faces.

[Reposted Sermon from The Community Church of Boston at www.communitychurchofboston.org]
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11 Jun 2008 | Filed under: Commentary / Education : Gender : GLBT/Queer : Race
Sierra Leone Movement Under Attack!
chernoh-alpha-m-bah.jpgSlanderous news media has appeared in a government linked newspaper and a campaign of rumors has been initiated, obviously designed to undermine and isolate the Africanist Movement and its director, Chernoh Alpha M. Bah. Sierra Leoneís neocolonial government is apparently moving to criminalize the Africanist Movement in order to justify jailing and/or otherwise destroying these courageous leaders of our struggle for African self-determination.
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09 Jun 2008 | Filed under: News / Globalization : International : Organizing : Race
SDS Takes Over Evergreen State College with Style
sds_today300.jpgIt has been twelve days since the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) took over the fourth floor of an administration building in Evergreen State College (TESC) in Olympia, Washington, to protest the unilateral decision of the Vice President for Student Affairs, Art Costantino, of taking away their student group status. The sit-in was originally organized “to draw attention to the diminishing rights of students at TESC and to regain SDS’ status as a student organization” but it quickly evolved into a mobilization of wits against the establishment. Since the takeover, students have organized political concerts, speeches, and radical workshops that range from queer theory to direct action and economic alternatives to neoliberalism. They have also re-named the building where they're staging the sit-in, the People's University.
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02 Jun 2008 | Filed under: News / Education : Gender : GLBT/Queer : Globalization : Media : Organizing : Politics : Race
MS. STOVALL'S CANTICLES
mornings.gifNew England is hardly known for an absence of culture or a failure to appreciate the arts. In fact, Cambridge, Massachusetts can legitimately be tagged as the epicenter, the cradle of the tension and brawls between the cultural melieus of tradition and modernity. Sparks fly from these collisions and engagements on a daily, if not hourly schedule.

The work of Suesan Stovall, now on exhibit in the Neil and Angelica Rudenstine Gallery of the W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University is an example of such an encounter. For in this canticle, Ms. Stovall has fronted and framed her song and stories, and in the house that Henry Louis “Skip” Gates built, her images, both stinging and sacred, float in the ether as if she’s held a backstage pass to the African American experience. They are neither burdened nor ponderous, yet insisting of place somewhere, talisman like, and in all American households.
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01 Jun 2008 | Filed under: Review / Human Rights : Race
The Walk to Freedom: The Fight for Criminal Record Reform
cori.jpgA coalition of Massachusetts organizations have organized a four-day walk from Worcester to Boston to mobilize for CORI reform, a criminal record checking system that advocates say have kept many workers, mostly people of color, out of jobs. The walk began Sunday in Worcester City Hall and is expected to arrive at Bunker Community College by Thursday around 10:30 am. One of the participating organizations, EPOCA (Ex-prisoners and Prisoners Organizing for Community Advancement), is hoping to mobilize as many members of the community on its way to Boston.

VIDEO: See the kickoff of the march in Worcester: http://worcester.indymedia.org/node/27907
AUDIO: Listen to interview with EPOCA and BWA members (click on article to listen to audio):
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18 May 2008 Modified: 22 May 2008 | Filed under: News / Labor : Organizing : Politics : Race
Free for All: Arabic Music from Gaza Fundraiser
Mochilla-300w.jpgOn Wednesday, April 30, a large coalition of local groups organized a fundraiser for children of Gaza to benefit the Middle East Children's Alliance and the Gaza Mental Health Foundation Inc. 492 Cafe managed sound for the event at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, and is now releasing the Gaza Concert recordings. Freeman Z's report is detailed below.
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13 May 2008 | Filed under: News / Human Rights : International : Media : Organizing : Politics : Race
Police officers acquitted for killing a Black man...AGAIN?!
130.jpgPolice violence against Black men is heinous but by no means surprising. Cases of unarmed Black men being shot a ludicrous number of times by police officers (of all races) are all too common. Amadou Diallo shot 41 times, NYC, 1999. Johnny Goodwin age 21, Chicago, 2007. Kevin McCoullough age 27, Chattanooga 1998. Bert W. Bowen, Boston 2004. Marquis Barker, Boston 2007. (To name a few).
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28 Apr 2008 | Filed under: Commentary / Organizing : Politics : Race
Marathon Monday Banner Drops Target Menino to Stop the Biolab
Biolab Banner Hang.jpgBOSTON--On April 21, 2008, Marathon Monday, activists around the city participated in direct action to publicly confront Mayor Menino about the proposed Biosafety Level 4 Lab in Roxbury, by hanging numerous banners along the marathon route, including one in Copley Square near the finish line, reading: "Menino: Residents Say No Biolab."
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21 Apr 2008 | Filed under: News / Environment : Race
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