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The Martyrdom of Archbishop Oscar Romero: 25 Years Later
St+Oscar+Megalomartyr.jpg“If they kill me, I will be resurrected in the Salvadoran people.” – Archbishop Romero.

“The sad truth is that on March. 24th very few people in the U.S. will be commemorating the martyrdom of Archbishop Romero… because very few people care, and very few people know...,” - Noam Chomsky, before a packed audience at Hope Church in Jamaica Plain two weeks ago.

Archbishop Romero was a powerful voice for the poor and oppressed in El Salvador who openly spoke out against U.S.-funded government repression and mass-murder. Such preaching made him a target of U.S.-trained paramilitary death squads in his country. On March 24th, 1980, a week after the Archbishop gave a fiery sermon where he openly called for militiamen to defy their leaders and put down their weapons, he was gunned down by an assassin while he presided over mass. The following Sunday, forty more people were killed when paramilitaries interrupted the Archbishop’s funeral service with explosives and gunfire. The service had amassed thousands of supporters and mourners both in and outside the cathedral who were immediately thrown into a state of panic and chaos. Some were murdered directly from the attacks; many others had died by being trampled amidst the hysteria.
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24 Mar 2005 Modified: 07:14:57 AM | Filed under: Commentary / Human Rights : International
Thousands Rally on Boston Common Against the Occupation of Iraq
Nomore.jpgBoston City Councilor and Anarchist Youth Lead Unpermitted March--Five Unprovoked Arrests

Like many others across the world, on March 20--a global day of action--thousands of Bostonians gathered on the Boston Common to protest the continuing US occupation of Iraq in a rally organized by Boston Mobilization. The crowd size was large enough to make it difficult to estimate, with figures running between two and five thousand. Local activists, veterans of the invasion and occupation of Iraq and those with loved ones in the military spoke out powerfully against the war, mixed with a multicultural cast of musicians. The plan had been to close the rally with direct action, blockading the entrance to a near-by military recruiting station. In response, the military recruiting station simply never opened for the day. Instead, the final speaker, Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner, urged everyone still at the rally (a couple hundred people--the rally ran far over time) to join an unpermitted march originally planned by a group of young anarchists. The march snaked through the streets of downtown Boston before returning to Boston Common. There, some of the police began unprovoked attacks on activists, shoving people to the ground and arresting five. A stand-off ensued, with the police eventually pulling back. Plans are underway, with the support of Turner and Boston Mobilization, to support those arrested in court. The day’s actions managed to at least temporarily unite members of Boston's progressive community across some of the racial, ideological and generational lines that often divide them.

[UPDATE 3/28/05: Two of the detained activists, were later released without charges. Only the other three were officially arrested.]
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20 Mar 2005 | Filed under: News / Human Rights : International : Organizing : Social Welfare
"Bloodbath" at Roslindale Military Recruiting Center
close-kelly-splat.jpgBOSTON – On the second anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, a group of local activists staged a dramatic protest outside the Armed Forces Recruiting Center at 650 American Legion Highway in Roslindale. At noon, the Boston Direct Action Project dumped five gallons of fake blood and then took up positions on the doorstep. The activists portrayed a dead Iraqi woman, her grieving husband, a dead U.S. soldier and his grieving wife.

The action lasted 90 minutes, and there were no arrests. The blood flowed forty feet into the parking lot, attracting scores of local residents. The community was largely supportive, and many onlookers stopped to talk to members of the Project, who handed out informational flyers with suggested alternatives to military service.
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19 Mar 2005 | Filed under: News / Human Rights : International
Palestinian Rights Protest at Caterpillar's offices in Milford, Mass.
withcat.jpgOn the second anniversary of the killing of American Human Rights worker Rachel Corrie by an Israeli soldier with a Caterpillar Bulldozer, the BootCat Campaign held a protest at Caterpillar’s Milford MA, offices. A group of about 65 human rights activists, including Jeff Halper, director of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD, www.icahd.org), gathered to protest the company’s sale of bulldozers to the Israeli military despite concerns that the Israeli military is using the equipment in violation of International and American law to destroy Palestinian homes, uproot orchards, and expand Jewish settlements on Palestinian land.
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16 Mar 2005 | Filed under: News / Human Rights : International
Letter from Imprisoned Member of the CIPO-RFM
A letter from an imprisoned member of the Popular Indigenous Council of Oaxaca-Ricardo Flores Magon. The CIPO-RFM is a Magonista organization of indigenous and non indigenous people in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. Check out the website for more info, and contact the Boston Friends of the CIPO-RFM if you'd like to help them continue their struggle.
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16 Mar 2005 | Filed under: News / Human Rights : International
Boston's Food Not Bombs still truckin' after 25 years
P1010021.JPGBack in 1980, resourceful people in Cambridge realized that their local grocery stores and farmer's markets threw out an incredible amount of food...tons. After a night at the Haymarket Farmer's Market, for example, a giant truck would literally have to plow the food the unsold fruits and vegetables into an enormous trash heap. Dumpsters at local supermarkets contained food that was only cosmetically damaged. The line between food on the shelf and food in the trash was very thin...perfectly edible food was being wasted to a mind-boggling degree.
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14 Mar 2005 | Filed under: News / Human Rights : Social Welfare
Justice for Jeffrey Baez!
Jeffrey Baez was 22 years old on the early morning of December 4, 2002. He worked at McDonalds and as a freelance landscaping laborer, and dreamed of being a cartoonist. Jeffrey was born in New Jersey, and was living with his mother, Luz Minerva DiLones, a nurse's aide, south of Providence, RI.

But Jeffrey was unfortunate enough to be a young Latino man whose van looked, to Providence patrolman Merrick Cook, like one that had been reported stolen. Within minutes Baez had three police cruisers on his tail. After driving a few blocks, at what police admitted were low speeds, Jeffrey stopped the van at the corner of Potters and Dexter. The police radioed each other that he was about to "bail" out of the vehicle. Jeffrey stepped into the intersection and was knocked over the hood of Cook's cruiser. When he slid to the pavement, he was crushed under the wheels of officer Michael Otrando's police car.
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09 Mar 2005 | Filed under: News / Human Rights : Race
Springfield communities respond to police commission decision in Greer police brutality case
springfield_mass.jpgOnce again Springfield cops have been let off after brutally beating a Black man. But, as this outrage resonates in the community and more police terror is brought to light, a multi-faceted campaign led by oppressed communities and their allies are fighting back. The Springfield Police Commission voted 3-2 on Jan. 31 to let off four white cops accused of beating and choking Mr. Douglas Greer, a principal at a local charter school Nov. 4. According to Greer, principal of Robert M. Hughes Academy Charter School, he was viciously beaten by the cops Nov. 4. Greer, who has diabetes, drove his car into a South End gas station after feeling ill. A worker at the gas station called police after he failed to rouse Greer, who had lapsed into the early stages of a diabetic seizure.
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26 Feb 2005 | Filed under: News / Human Rights : Organizing : Race
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