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The Continuing Legacy of Abu Ghraib
torture1.jpgAmman, Jordan -- Haj Ali is an Iraqi who was released from Abu Ghraib after five months when it was decided that he was “wrongfully arrested.” In the States many people seem to think that after the Abu Ghraib investigations, everything changed in Iraq, and this ended the mistreatment of prisoners that has often involved abuse at best and torture at worst. In fact these practices still go on, particularly in so-called “private prisons” and “party prisons.” I spoke with Haj Ali last night and he explained some of this to me.

Haj Ali, who was prisoner number 151716, was taken to Abu Ghraib on the fifteenth of October 2003. He was kept there for five months until he was put on a truck, taken to the desert and dropped off on the highway. The soldiers told him he was free because he had been “wrongfully arrested.”
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05 Oct 2005 | Filed under: News / Human Rights : International
Retirees and union members blow the whistle on GE’s low pension and health care benefits
DSC00854.JPGLynn, MA -- General Electric retirees led a rally in front of the Riverworks plant on Sept. 29 calling attention to the company’s skimpy pension benefits that have not kept up with the rising cost of living -- especially skyrocketing health costs. The retirees were joined by current GE employees, Local 201 and other union leaders, and several community supporters. At the rally, retirees used a cell phone to call GE CEO Jeffrey R. Immelt at the company’s corporate headquarters in Fairfield, CT. Unable to reach him, they sent a message by blowing whistles and playing a new protest song, “The Plight of the GE Pensioneer.”
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04 Oct 2005 | Filed under: News / Globalization : Human Rights : Labor : Social Welfare
Anti-Racist Medicine
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A review of Tim Wise's recent memoir 'White Like Me, Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son' (Soft Skull Press, 250pp., 2005.)

Tim Wise was born to the post-civil-rights-era US south. However, unlike most white people, he has dedicated himself to attempting to understand how his whiteness, in a white-dominated society, affects him.
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04 Oct 2005 | Filed under: Review / Race
Youth and students across state demanding: Military recruiters out of our schools!
RYA.jpgAn increasing number of youth and students across Massachusetts are engaging in an array of creative protest actions demanding that military recruiters get out of their schools now.

From the Berkshires to Worcester to Boston, many students at the states’ 120 private and public colleges and universities and numerous high schools are engaging in on-going anti-war and/or counter-recruitment actions or bringing new ones to life.
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02 Oct 2005 | Filed under: News / Organizing
Anti-War Protests in Boston and DC: 9/24 Remembered
17_G.jpgOn Saturday, September 24th, 2005, dozens of local activists gathered at the Park Street corner of Boston Common to show their solidarity with protesters in Washington, DC. Meanwhile in DC, September 24-26 was filled with scheduled actions and events on national resistance against the war in Iraq and other issues related to US foreign policy.

Sponsored by The Committee for Peace and Human Rights, a local group affiliated with United for Justice and Peace that has been hosting Saturday Vigils for the Iraqi People for 6 years, the event in Boston featured guest speakers on a variety of topics including: the Iraq War & Occupation, Women's Rights, BU’s proposed Bio-terror lab, Venezuela, SHARC, and Voting and Elections, among others. Several individuals and organizations collected signatures on petitions about local issues, including Affordable Health Care in the State of Massachusetts, and many people sported buttons, badges and signs showing their dissatisfaction with the Iraqi War and the current warmongering Bush administration.
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27 Sep 2005 | Filed under: News / Globalization : Organizing : Politics
Report and photos of solo AIPAC Protest @ BU
DSC00277.JPGInspired by and in solidarity with the demonstration against American Israeli Political Action Committee in DC I turned out in the rain to demonstrate against an AIPAC event at Boston University on Sept 26.

Their were 4 Israeli politicians speaking about how great their "democracy" was and I, having spent two summers in occupied refugee camps and 3 weeks in an Israeli jail system full of Palestinian political prisoners on hunger strike, thought I should turn out to keep them honest.
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27 Sep 2005 | Filed under: Review / Race
Community-labor coalition kicks off campaign for more power in elections
Over two-dozen local community and labor organizations have kicked off a grassroots effort to reinvigorate democracy in the Bay State by giving citizens more choices and a stronger voice at the polls. Rallying behind the slogan, “Vote Your Values,” the groups are conducting an initiative drive to repeal the state’s ban on cross-endorsement voting.

Cross endorsement gives voters an opportunity to express support for the platform or values of a minor or third party without "spoiling" or wasting their vote on a candidate who has no chance of winning. Allowing candidates to run for office with the support of more than one political party gives voters more ability to hold elected officials accountable. Politicians can count the votes they receive on the minor party’s ballot line and recognize the significance of that party’s issues or platform in their election’s outcome.
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27 Sep 2005 | Filed under: News / Labor : Organizing : Politics
Cindy Sheehan visits Boston, other Northeast cities
mfso09.JPGIn her first stop in the Boston area after her Crawford “Camp Casey” vigil, Cindy Sheehan spoke to a crowd of over 600 Sept. 17 at the Boston University School of Law Auditorium. She received a heroes’ welcome with a standing ovation and thunderous applause. Speakers also included Iraq Veterans Against the War, Military Families Speak Out, Gold Star Families For Peace and Veterans for Peace. Dozens of Somerville 5 and Sept. 24 leaflets were distributed to participants.
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20 Sep 2005 | Filed under: News / International
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