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Louise Arbour Speaks about International Justice
#media_8659;left# Louise Arbour, UN High Commissioner on Human Rights, spoke to Boston students at the JFK Library last week in a special event commemorating International Human Rights Day. Arbour’s address reflected on the 60th anniversary of the Nuremberg Trials and discussed what needs to be done in today’s world to help end human suffering.
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15 Dec 2005 | Filed under: News / Human Rights : International : Politics
Rosa Parks Human Rights Day March
DSCN1391.jpgOver 500 people participated in the "Rosa Parks National Day of Absence Against Poverty, Racism and War" march that began on Dudley Street in Jamaica Plain and went all the way to City Hall in Boston flanked by two rows of police on bikes and motorcycles. The march had an impressive concurrence from the black community and was well received by people who waved, hand-gestured for peace, and honked their cars on the streets. The highlight of the day was when marchers reached Madison Park Technical Vocational High School and exchanged calls of solidarity with dozens of students hanging from windows, shouting "Rosa Parks! Rosa Parks!" but were not allowed to join the crowd. Inspirational speakers for the day included Chuck Turner, Charles Yancey, Felix Arroyo, Rev. Franklin Hobbs, Minister Rodney Muhammad, and local activists.

On Oct. 26, the Boston City Council passed a 13-0 resolution in tribute to the 50th anniversary of Rosa Parks' defiance to segregation in the US, and encouraged businesses and schools to close for the day of December 1st. Activists in New York, Baltimore and Detroit also organized events and hope to get a similar resolution passed in their cities.
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03 Dec 2005 | Filed under: News / Human Rights : Media : Organizing : Race : Social Welfare
Eyes Wide Open: A Glimpse at the Futility of War
EyesWideShutCopleyPlazaBoston.jpgEyes Wide Open is an exhibit created by the American Friends Service Committee meant to spark political awareness and critique the ongoing tragedies of the war in Iraq.

From November 1st – 8th the Eyes Wide Open exhibit was displayed in Boston, culminating at Copley Square. Eyes Wide Open is an exhibit created by the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) in association with Military Families Speak Out, Gold Star Families for Peace and September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows. This exhibit uses military combat boots and civilian shoes to illustrate the human costs of the war in Iraq.
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02 Dec 2005 | Filed under: News / Politics
Venezulea delivers subsidized heating oil for thousands of Massachusetts residents
citgoquestion.jpgIn a resounding gesture of humanitarian internationalism, CITGO, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA, began shipping 12 million gallons of discounted home-heating oil for 45,000 low-income families’ and local social service organizations in Massachusetts the week of Nov. 27.

A similar program began in the Bronx this week and preliminary discussions regarding possible CITGO heating oil subsidies are taking place in Maine and other parts of the U.S. where blistering cold weather is a factor.
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29 Nov 2005 | Filed under: News / International
Out of School and Into the Military
image001.jpg“All my life I’ve liked the military,” said Adrian Paez, a Colombian immigrant and a senior at East Boston High School. At 17 years old, Adrian has not doubts about joining the US armed forces. “When I think of the army, I don’t think about dying,” he said, “I think of everything I can do, everything I can learn, everything I can be.”

Adrian fled Colombia with his family to escape rural violence and economic adversity in an increasingly militarized society. A year after arriving to the United States, he became a member of the Junior Reserve Officer Training Core (JROTC) at East Boston High where he has been learning the basics of military training for the past three years. His real name is not being used in this story to protect him from getting deported.
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28 Nov 2005 | Filed under: News / Education : Human Rights : Politics
Free Food Distro in Jamaica Plain Rethinks Charity Bite by Bite
food-distro.jpgWhile many people spent Thanksgiving volunteering at soup kitchens, a new, weekly free food distribution project rolled on at a subsidized housing complex in Jamaica Plain.

While many people volunteer in local soup kitchens on thanksgiving, others are wondering how to make food a free and stable resource year-round in their neighborhoods. Food Not Bombs is a project that has been taking free food to the streets of Boston for the past 25 years. It is a grassroots effort with no paid staff or office. It has consisted of an amorphous flux of people and ideas. Food Not Bombers gather food that would otherwise be trashed at local markets, and give it away. One of the latest incarnations is distributing free fruits and vegetables every saturday in front of the South Street Apartments complex - a low income housing project in Jamaica Plain.
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27 Nov 2005 | Filed under: News / Organizing : Social Welfare
New Anti-Insurgency Tactic has Gained Wide Appeal in Iraq
51822806_c2ef3425b6.jpgIt was recently revealed, in a US-backed raid, that torture is going on under the auspices of the Ministry of the Interior. Despite the apparent media blackout on the topic, torture has been an ongoing tactic of the counter-insurgency work in Iraq. At first it was employed at Abu Ghraib and possibly other US military establishments in Iraq, and it quickly became a prime tactic of the newly formed Iraqi Police and Iraqi National Guard.
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22 Nov 2005 | Filed under: News / Human Rights
Winter Soldier: A film for our time
wintersoldier_final_lowres2.gifAfter an absence of decades, this Vietnam-era documentary film is back in circulation, and its lessons should serve to shake every one of us out of any illusions about what war means. Graphic testimony from veterans, plus thought-provoking commentary about what makes such inhuman crimes possible.

I followed with outraged attention the Abu Ghraib prisoner scandal, and watched angrily as the American military ravaged entire cities such as Fallujah and Ramadi. And then came intermittent reports of full-scale torture of even more horrific dimensions in the dungeons of the client security agencies to which the US government ships some of its detainees. That’s why I decided to attend a showing at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston of a Vietnam-era documentary called Winter Soldier.
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22 Nov 2005 | Filed under: News / Education : Politics
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