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Candlelight vigil at city hall in support of the Community Stabilization Act
Despite the cold wind and dripping rain, over 60 people gathered outside City Hall on Tuesday night for a candlelight vigil organized by City Life/Vida Urbana in support of the Community Stabilization Act (CSA), which the city council will vote on, Wednesday.

The CSA would provide protections for tenants against rent gouging and unfair evictions by empowering elderly, disabled and low-income tenants to protest rent increases of over five percent. All other tenants would be given the right to protest rent increases of over ten percent. The bill would also provide protection against foreclosure for small homeowners.

[Update: The CSA lost 8-5 in the City Council vote.]
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08 Dec 2004 | Filed under: News / Human Rights : Organizing : Politics : Social Welfare
Why I Support the Somerville Divestment Initiative: An Israeli's View
As an Israeli immigrant living in Somerville, I strongly support the Somerville Responsible Investment Resolution, which urges all investors in the city to divest from companies involved with Israel's human rights violations and from Israel Bonds. I am sad to see my country of origin hurling itself down a path of self-destruction and I feel a responsibility to stop it. The Israeli people are good people, you just have to shake them up and awaken them to the fact that they are heading in the wrong direction. And this is what this divestment initiative will do.

[Update: The Somerville Divestment Initiative failed to pass a vote by the city's Board of Alderman.]
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02 Dec 2004 | Filed under: Commentary / Human Rights : International : Politics
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
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