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Population Density Poses Challenge to Construction of BU Bioterror Lab
ebola.jpgThe New Year has brought some new bumps in Boston University Medical Center’s plan to construct their new security level 4 bio-containment safety laboratory (BSL4) on the bustling border where the South End and Roxbury meet. BU is planning to begin construction on the lab, which would enable researchers to investigate weaponized strains of the most deadly biological agents known to man, this summer.

And until recently, the year and a half of debate over the hotly contested plan certainly seemed to be balancing in BU’s favor. Backed by key players in Commonwealth politics, the project coasted through city and state permit and approval processes. Rose Arruda of the Roxbury community organization Safety Net told the Boston Globe on February 5 that since the group had begun their opposition to the lab, “People just ignored us. They’d say, ‘You are just a bunch of crazy activists.’”

But then everything went to hell at the BUMC press office in late January when the Boston Globe revealed that researchers had been doing everything short of seasoning the lunch meat in the cafeterias at their BSL2 labs with an infectious strain of the deadly disease tularemia. According to an article that ran in the Boston Globe on January 20th, the University had, on the previous day, “confirmed that on October 28 test results showed that researchers who had thought they were working with a harmless variety of the bacteria tularemia instead had been working with material that appeared to be contaminated and might have caused illnesses in three researchers.” The article stated that Massachusetts State law required BU to report their suspicions that infections had occurred within 24 hours.

It took the university 11 days.
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02 Mar 2005 | Filed under: News / Environment : Organizing : Politics : Technology
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
While in Worcester, Kerry argues for an Expansion of the Military
video screencapture.jpgJohn Kerry just gave a major policy speech in Worcester, MA tonight (Feb.14th). Kerry announced that he will be proposing legislation to INCREASE the military by 40K troops and creating a "Military Family Bill of Rights". Kerry estimates his legislation would cost b/n $6.5 and $8 Billion. (about $4.5-5bil for expansion)

Copies of remarks and press releases included. Press releases actually provide very good media documentation of problems.

52 second video
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17 Feb 2005 | Filed under: News / Politics
The Future of the World Social Forum Process: Modest Reforms Needed
esktop_POA03_wsf2003_400_320.jpgPorto Alegre—With the fifth edition of the World Social Forum, a certain maturation and even “graying” has occurred. For some, the Forum is now passé, awaiting its demise before an ascendant and inevitable new “new.” For others, the Forum has become an annual reunion, a time to swap stories and reconnect with old friends. Over time, however, a serious, multifold critique has developed and needs to be addressed if the forum process is to remain useful. This is particularly urgent because the problems identified as compromising the WSF’s moral authority and political efficacy continue to grow.
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13 Feb 2005 | Filed under: Commentary / International : Organizing
Interview: Naomi Klein and her new Movie "The Take"
argentineLuddites.jpgNaomi Klein and Indymedia go way back to our beginnings in Seattle, where she was covering the nascent globalization movement as a columnist for the Toronto Star. Both Klein and Indymedia have grown since then, and maybe the tireless Klein has paced us. She has followed her book “No Logo” in 2000 with “Fences and Windows” in 2002, all the while writing hundreds of articles in publications like The Nation, The Guardian UK, Harper’s, The Toronto Globe and Mail and many others.

Now she and her husband, Avi Lewis, have produced “The Take,” a documentary about the occupied factory movement in Argentina. The film has graduated from the film festival circuit into the theatres, and it will be playing at the Brattle all this week (see http://www.brattlefilm.org for times). In her spare time (what little is left) she has been working on a new book about the Washington consensus and it’s effects on countries that are in transition to democracy.

In between writing her new book and promoting her new film at the Brattle’s opening night, she found a good chunk of time for an old media comrade, the amorphous Indymedia network.
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06 Feb 2005 | Filed under: Interview / Globalization : International : Media : Organizing : Politics : Race
Boston Students Challenge Mayor on Police Violence, Less Lethal Weapons
040611tom_menino.jpgOn the eve of the Super Bowl, we as Boston area students call on Mayor Menino to publicly assert the need for Boston Police to protect the health and welfare of anyone who wishes to celebrate a New England Patriots victory in the streets of Boston. Bostonians have been gravely harmed by the police responses to public gatherings of sports fans, and the city must reverse course immediately.

Students, who comprise a major part of the Boston area community, remain outraged at their official portrayal as "hooligans" and "thugs" somehow responsible for the death of Emerson College student Victoria Snelgrove. The fact remains that this student was killed by an unjustified police action against a non-violent person. Nevertheless, Mayor Menino continues to scapegoat students, portraying them as violence prone and irresponsible.
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05 Feb 2005 | Filed under: Commentary / Education : Human Rights
Greetings from World Social Forum, Day One
A report from the first day of the Fifth World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

Imagine a large, urban university, but set up for only a six day period. Instead of becoming trained to take their places in the elites of a world defined by institutions of hierarchy and control, the students, participants really, are training each other to bring about change. Instead of ivy-covered brick or concrete buildings, classrooms are in tents of varying sizes. And instead of departments like biology, philosophy, or literature, the “university” has eleven “thematic spaces” with names such as “Peace, demilitarization, and the struggle against war, free trade, and debt,” or “Human rights and dignity for a just and egalitarian world.” Welcome to the fifth World Social Forum, in Porto Alegre, in southern Brazil.

Arnie Alpert is the AFSC’s New Hampshire Program Coordinator.
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01 Feb 2005 | Filed under: News / Globalization : International : Organizing
Right-wing campus network increasing
As the 2005 spring semester begins, students across the United States will confront an increasingly sophisticated multi-million dollar right-wing campus network bankrolled by some of the largest conservative philanthropies, think-tanks and corporations. Like the right-wing lie of the so-called ‘liberal’ media, the same is true of the so-called ‘liberal’ university. The three largest conservative campus organizations are the innocuous-sounding Young America’s Foundation (YAF), Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) and the Leadership Institute which spent approximately $25 million on various campus outreach programs in 2004.
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26 Jan 2005 | Filed under: News / Education : Politics
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