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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
Protestors find few holes in Bush’s Inaugural security
good-shot.jpgCompiled from reports from Dave Reckoning, Petrina Vegan, and Cory from Boston Indymedia, as well as DC Indymedia’s Newswire.

Thousands of protestors converged on the inaugural parade route today, mixing in with the lines of other Americans who were able pass the homeland security screening and pay the $60 entry fee to get parade-side. At a dawn rally in Malcolm X Park, South West of the parade route, police estimated 10,000 people. Estimates during the day were more difficult due to the wide perimeter around the parade route.
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21 Jan 2005 | Filed under: News / Politics
Bostonians Protest the Inauguration of President Bush
DCP_0001.JPGOn Thursday, January 20, the day President Bush was inaugurated for his second term and thousands marched in opposition in Washington DC, about thirty hardy souls braved the bitter cold to stand from 5:30 to 6:30 in Copley Square, protesting here in Boston. Although the protest was organized by United for Justice with Peace (UJP), the main local anti-war coalition, the signs people bore showed that they had a variety of concerns--not just ending the occupation of Iraq, but also domestic issues such as the attacks on civil liberties and reproductive rights and the destruction of the welfare system. Organizers with UJP that I spoke with expressed not only their opposition to the Bush administration’s policies, but their fears that the Bush administration is making a concerted, purposeful assault on what’s left of democracy in this country.
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21 Jan 2005 | Filed under: News / Gender : Human Rights : International : Politics : Race : Social Welfare
Springfield unions fight back against control board attacks
Members of Springfield’s Finance Control Board, under the guise of achieving fiscal solvency, are stepping up their attacks on workers and their communities here. Special targets are vital city services and public-sector union workers like the teachers who are entering their fourth year of a wage freeze. On Dec. 21, Philip Puccia, the Financial Board’s executive director sent a letter to the Springfield Education Association informing the 2,500 teachers and 3,000 retirees in the teachers' union that the board was going to vote at its next meeting to increase deductibles and co-payments for all services except office visits and prescription drugs effective April 1.
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19 Jan 2005 | Filed under: News / Education : Labor : Politics
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