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May Day and the Haymarket martyrs
3martyrs_photos.gifMay Day - the real labor day

"The time will come when our silence will be more powerful than the voice you are throttling today."
- August Spies from the gallows.

May 1st, International Workers' Day, commemorates the historic struggle of working people throughout the world, and is recognized in every country except the United States and Canada. This despite the fact that the holiday began in the 1880s in the United States, with the fight for an eight-hour work day.

In 1884, the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions passed a resolution stating that eight hours would constitute a legal day's work from and after May 1, 1886. The resolution called for a general strike to achieve the goal, since legislative methods had already failed. With workers being forced to work ten, twelve, and fourteen hours a day, rank-and-file support for the eight-hour movement grew rapidly, despite the indifference and hostility of many union leaders. By April 1886, 250,000 workers were involved in the May Day movement.
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30 Apr 2005 | Filed under: News / International : Labor : Organizing : Race : Social Welfare
Immigrant Rights Rally Fast Becoming May Day Tradition in Boston
May-Day.jpgAccording to the Massachusetts Immigration and Refugee Coalition, international immigration to the Commonwealth is responsible for both the population growth and the net labor force growth experienced here in the 1990s. An ever growing coalition of immigrant, labor, religious and community organizations that organizes the perennial ‘MayDay Rally for Immigrants Rights’ has had their finger on the pulse of the demographic shift in the state.

Since the mid-nineties Bostonians have intermittently celebrated May 1st, which since the late 1800s has been an international workers holiday, with an immigrants rights rally. In 2001 the annual rally received a boost thanks in part to a call out from the AFL-CIO for labor to highlight the connection between labor and immigrant rights. Since then the annual rally has just about become a staple of spring in our fair city. It is rumored that Mayor Menino might even make an appearance this year.

Regarding the mayor, Jason Pramas of Massachusetts Global Action, one of the key groups organizing the event, said that while he doesn’t necessarily agree with his politics, ”It is extremely important for a mayor of a major urban center, especially one who has not been as strong on immigrants rights as he could be, to stand up and commit himself to meeting the needs of immigrant populations in Boston.”
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28 Apr 2005 | Filed under: News / Labor : Organizing : Politics : Race
Transgender Law in Massachusetts and Beyond
How are trans people treated under the law in Massachusetts and elsewhere in the U.S.? This is an audio recording of a talk by attorney Cole Thayer at the Harvard Law School from Tuesday, April 26.
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28 Apr 2005 | Filed under: News / Gender : GLBT/Queer
Jesse Jackson, Jr. Fights for Constitutional Right to Vote
Last night, the National Voting Rights Institute and Lesley University hosted Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. to speak to the issue of a constitutional right to vote for all US citizens. Speaking to a packed audience at the Marran Theater, Congressman Jackson made it abundantly clear that there is no specific guarantee providing the right to vote under the US Constitution, and so he has filed House Joint Resolution 28 to remedy this.
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27 Apr 2005 | Filed under: News / Politics
The Emerson Student Strike
Tremont.jpgLast Wednesday and Thursday, Emerson students went on strike in support of our faculty union, struggling to keep their union contracts and shared governance. The professors have had a union for thirty years, but now as the administration takes steps to move the college towards becoming more of a corporation and less of a place of education, the administration is trying to bust the union. On Wednesday and Thursday, a large portion of the Emerson student body boycotted class. We had a march and rally of about 300 on Wednssday, and slightly more on Thursday. From what I've been able to figure most of the student population went on strike, but there's really no way of knowing exactly how many did, as a lot of teachers didn't mark boycotting students absent.
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22 Apr 2005 | Filed under: News / Education : Labor
Popular rebellion in Ecuador- dispatch from the streets
uno.jpegCUENCA, ECUADOR – By a unanimous vote Ecuador's lawmakers removed President Lucio Gutierrez from office Wednesday and replaced him with Vice President Alfredo Palacio, following days of intensifying street protests.

While the focus of media attention has been on the capital city of Quito, the southern city of Cuenca has been in open rebellion against its former president for the past week. The discontent had been simmering for some time but in the weeks and days before the ouster of Gutierrez it reached a boiling point. Daily, students manned street blockades and fought pitched battles with police over control of the streets while across town the main park overflowed every night with a diverse array of people who had come to protest the president and government.
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20 Apr 2005 | Filed under: News / International
New privacy tool tolls the birth of cypherspace
pixelated-mug2.pngInformation is power. Pervasive access to the internet in libraries, schools, homes, and cafés has put a great deal of power into the hands of the people. Governments are just beginning to react to this and are reacting much as they did to the invention of the printing press, with a heavy and intrusive hand. In recent cases the government has shown a pattern of intimidating those who would provide access to this new high-tech soap box. A new anonymity program, TOR, provides some help for both users and service providers.
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23 Apr 2005 | Filed under: News / Technology
World Bank PR Bloodsuckers
group-rally-low.jpgOn April 15 and 16, 2005 three members of the Boston Direct Action Project masqueraded as World Bank public relations representatives, with black suits, vampire fangs, and large black umbrellas. They hit the streets of Washington, DC during the mobilization against the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) to show “the true face of the World Bank.”
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19 Apr 2005 | Filed under: News / Globalization
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