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Opposition Mounts to "NAFTA Superhighway" I-69
I-69Logo.gifThe U.S. government is currently poised to roll out a new strip of asphalt all the way from Loredo, Texas up to Port Huron, Michigan. Interstate 69, if completed, will stretch over 2000 miles, through Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, and Michigan.

The main purpose of this interstate is to provide a channel for trading goods between Mexico, the U.S. and Canada. It would act as a piece of the life-support system for the North American Free Trade Agreement (or NAFTA) and, if enacted, the Free Trade Area of the Americas. Some are calling it the “NAFTA Superhighway”.
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13 Jun 2005 | Filed under: News / Environment : Globalization : Human Rights : Labor
Somerville 5 Case: Community Leaders Demand that Charges Against Five African-American Youth be Dropped
somerville5.jpg“Are we going backwards?”

This was the question asked at a June 5 news conference in Dorchester, Mass., held to publicize the demand that five Somerville African American youths be immediately reinstated as students at Somerville High School near Boston and that trumped-up police charges against them be dropped.

The Somerville 5—Calvin Belfon, 17, Cassius Belfon, 15, Earl Guerra, 16, Isiah Anderson, 17, and Marquis Anderson, 16—were victims of racial profiling and a brutal, unprovoked attack by Medford police on April 20. The five have been indefinitely suspended from school. And they face false charges, including assault with a deadly weapon, assault and battery, and disorderly conduct.
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09 Jun 2005 | Filed under: News / Human Rights : Race
Chokehold on Hebron: A Letter from Palestine
290012.jpgA letter from Molly Little, Rhode Island peace activist, who is spending her summer as a witness to the Isreali occupation of Palestine.

May 26, 2005- It is midday on the main street of Hebron. Just moments ago we were surrounded by the sounds and smells of the market— coffee and spices, kids on bikes and men pushing carts of produce, people buying groceries. Now, quite suddenly, the place is silent. The stores are boarded up; the streets are deserted. Where once this section, like the rest of Hebron, bustled with the daily life of families, now the only sounds we hear are the footsteps of the six Israeli soldiers who follow us as we walk. Occasionally their rifles click against their belts, but we know better than to turn around, or to appear afraid. It is our Palestinian guide, a small, wizened man whom we met at a hostel in Jerusalem, who ought to be afraid. But he leads the way for us—three Americans who are here to try to understand life under occupation— without looking back.
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09 Jun 2005 | Filed under: Commentary / Human Rights : International
Anti-racists block neo-Nazi march
antinazi.jpgHundreds of anti-racist protesters came out here May 8 to protest a planned march and rally by the neo-Nazi organization “White Revolution.” This vile group of bigots, based in Arkansas, had intended to hold a rally at the New England Holocaust Memorial to coincide with the annual Holo caust commemoration.

The anti-Nazi demonstration was organized on short notice by a number of organizations and community leaders, including Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner; the International Action Center; USWA Local 8751, Boston School Bus Drivers; Bromley Heath workers; Women’s Fightback Network; International Socialist Organization and many others.

Chanting “Gay, straight, Black, white—all unite to fight the right” as well as chants against racism, anti-Semitism, Zionism, sexism and LGBT bigotry, the demonstrators held a militant and loud protest in front of Faneuil Hall, adjacent to the memorial. Protesters were Black, Latin@, Asian, Arab, white, young and old. They included a large number of anarchist youth, as well as supporters of the Pales tinian people who made it clear that their opposition to the Israeli occupation of Palestine has nothing in common with the vicious anti-Semitism of the neo-Nazis.

When a small group of racists tried to enter the protest area, they were quickly surrounded by angry demonstrators and forced to flee in the back seat of a police car.Memorial to coincide with the annual Holo caust commemoration.
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16 May 2005 | Filed under: News / Human Rights
Living in the Shadows: Undocumented Children Strive to Succeed
P905daughter.jpgAs an immigrant, Araceli has a hard time feeling like she belongs. She fled social unrest in Guatemala with her family when she was only five years old, speaks English better than Spanish, but has been forced to live in the fringes of society because she is considered illegal. “I’ve been here for sixteen years. I consider myself an American,” she said.

The first time she found out about her status was when she tried to apply for college and was told the benefit of a higher education did not apply to her. One year after graduating from high school with a 3.5 GPA and unable to work legally in this country, she feels uneasy about her future. “Put your self in my shoes. I want an education and a career,” she said.
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09 May 2005 | Filed under: News / Education : Globalization : Human Rights : Labor
Hate Crime Alleged on Tufts Campus
stophatewhbg.jpgRiyadh Mohammed 20, an Economics Major in his Junior year at Tufts University, alleges that he was attacked by three fraternity brothers of Sigma Phi Epsilon in front of their frat house early Saturday morning. He claims he was beaten unconscious, and subjected to a chain of racist epithets. Police confirm that he was in need of medical attention after the incident.

Never one to hold back his opinions, president of the Arab Students Association at the school, and one who friends say, “puts the fact that he is an Arab out there.” Mohammed is proud of who he is.
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03 May 2005 | Filed under: News / Human Rights : Race
Anti-Vivisection Activists Had A Busy Month
P4150039withbanner.jpgOn Saturday, April 16 and Saturday, April 30 members of animal rights groups such as The Animal Defense League of Boston (ADL), The Massachusetts Animal Rights Coalition (MARC) and Stop Animal Exploitation Now! (SAEN) marched, rallied, chanted and otherwise expressed their disdain for the animal experimentation that happens with help from their tax dollars in their own home state.

viv·i·sec·tion - n. -The act or practice of cutting into or otherwise injuring living animals, especially for the purpose of scientific research. [from dictionary.com]

Harvard Medical School's "New England Regional Primate Research Center" or NERPRC was the focus of these protests although many universities and private companies in Massachusetts experiment on animals, including M.I.T., Tufts University, and Charles River Laboratories.
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02 May 2005 | Filed under: News / Environment : Globalization : Human Rights : Labor : Organizing : Politics : Social Welfare
Rights to Immigration of Same-Sex Bi-national Married Couple / Derechos de Inmigración de una Pareja Casada Bi-Nacional del Mismo Sexo
couple.jpgFor many communities who have tried to plant roots in the United States, we live in a time of great uncertainty. Everyday we face more limitations on being able to continue with our work and lives in the US, and everyday people like us have to make decisions on how to leave a large part of ourselves behind in order to be able to survive the best way that we can.

We are a bi-national, married, same-sex couple who write to you to share our testimony as a couple living in exile from the United States who desire to reunite with our communities. We are looking for ways to tell our story from the other end of the continent, and we hope that you might sign on to these words as individuals or as organizations in order to support our case.

####

Para muchas comunidades que han intentado plantar raíces en los estados unidos, vivimos en un tiempo de mucha incertidumbre. Hoy día enfrentamos más limitaciones para poder continuar con nuestro trabajo y vidas en los estados unidos, y cada día personas como nosotras necesitan tomar decisiones sobre como dejar un gran parte de nosotros mismos atrás para poder sobrevivir de una mejor manera.

Somos una pareja casada bi-nacional del mismo sexo que les escribe a ustedes para compartir nuestro testimonio como una pareja viviendo en el exilio de los estados unidos, que desea reunirse con nuestras comunidades. Estamos buscando maneras para contar nuestra historia desde el otro lado del continente, y esperamos que ustedes firmen estas palabras como personas o como organizaciones para apoyar nuestro caso.
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12 Apr 2005 Modified: 02:23:16 PM | Filed under: News / GLBT/Queer : Human Rights : International
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