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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
Pilgrims, America's early terrorists
In Jabella Iraq yesterday, American and British soldiers fought street-to-street, raiding homes, taking prisoners, and killing Iraqis in a new military offensive dubbed Operation Plymouth Rock.

In Plymouth, at the rock itself, a crowd of close to four hundred Americans gathered beneath gray skies and a light sprinkling rain to commemorate the 35th National Day of Mourning, a tradition that aims to explode the myths that surround Thanksgiving. This year Iraq was held up as the latest example of European American’s continuing manifest destiny.
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27 Nov 2004 | Filed under: News / Human Rights : Race
Springfield Protest Denounces Police Brutality
The vicious beating of an African American school principal by four white cops is bringing to the surface long-held feelings of anger in this city’s oppressed communities and is compounded by the city’s serious economic crisis.
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22 Nov 2004 | Filed under: News / Human Rights : Race
A Failed Policy? Boston Debates the War on Drugs
Boston, Massachusetts, USA - "We have a public policy crisis: we are spending billions of dollars to fight a war on drugs and we don't seem to be able to stop the flow of drugs into this country. We are spending more and more public dollars on housing men and women who are involved with the drug trade, drug addiction seems to be increasing, and yet we don't seem to have the money to help those who want to turn their lives around and recover from addiction." With these words, Boston City Councillor Chuck Turner started the public hearing to investigate the war on drugs. He called the hearing "just the beginning of a long dialogue in Boston to see how we can move forward".
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19 Nov 2004 | Filed under: News / Human Rights : Politics : Social Welfare
Boston Death Sparks Call For Less-Than-Lethal Weapons Moratorium
riot.jpgControversial Weapons Increase Violence, Despite Police Claims.

Boston - On Thursday, November 4, the Boston Area Faculty Group on Public Issues, the National Lawyers Guild and the Save Our Civil Liberties (SOCL) Campaign issued a public demand for an immediate moratorium on police use of so-called “non-lethal” and “less-lethal” weapons. The press conference, held at the Emerson College campus, highlighted the recent death of Victoria Snelgrove during a Red Sox celebration as an example of the misuse of less lethal weapons by local, state and federal law enforcement around the country.
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05 Nov 2004 | Filed under: News / Human Rights
Report: 3% of Black men in Massachusetts disenfranchised
This is the first presidential election since Massachusetts prisoners were stripped of the right to vote. The effected population is disproportionately Black. More than 3% of Black men in Massachusetts are denied the right to vote.
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02 Nov 2004 | Filed under: News / Human Rights : Politics : Race
Seymour Hersh Speaks in Boston, Predicts Possible Pre-election Falluja Attack
hersh.jpgSeymour Hersh spoke to an almost capacity crowd Friday night at the Ford Hall Forum in Faniuel Hall promoting his new book, Chain of Command. The book details the connections between Abu Ghraib and Donald Rumsfeld via the Pentagon. But the terrible actions committed at Abu Ghraib served only as a background for a speech peppered with warnings, predictions, and revelations about the current US administration.
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01 Nov 2004 | Filed under: News / Human Rights : International : Media
Less-Than-Lethal?
fn_ll_303_r.gifPepperBall guns, Bean Bag Projectiles and Tasers, seem to be a good idea at first. They have been used to take down knife wielding hostage holders and neutralize would be suicide victims all over the country. They give officers a chance to leave their guns in the holster and defuse dangerous situations without killing.

In these situations the risk to life and limb is very real and there is a compelling logic to their use, even a fairly good record to back it up. A certain number of violent criminals have died as a result of bean-bags, pepper spray, and Tasers, but without less than lethal weapons, a gun would be used, and a death would be more likely.

But according to studies of some police departments, more than half of the people who end up on the business end of non-lethal weapons are not criminals, and over 80% are not threatening officers or the public with weapons of their own. That was definitely the case Thursday when a Boston Police Officer fired a FN Herstall model 303 pepper ball gun into a crowd of celebrating Red Sox fans, killing 21 year old Victoria Snelgrove. The Boston Globe reported only that a bottle was smashed near the police, who were wearing full riot gear at the time.

The police are trained to maintain a code of conduct regardless of the conduct of others. One would expect an officer of the law to exercise restraint when wielding a weapon capable of deadly force. Yet, in the case of "less-than lethal" weapons, such a policy simply isn't there.
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23 Oct 2004 | Filed under: News / Human Rights : Technology
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