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Watch out--Stalinist cult in Roxbury!
I was approached by three people from a group called the "Eastern Service Workers Association" at the Wake Up The Earth fest in JP this weekend. They said they were organizing a "mutual-benefits" network for non-union precarious and service workers. But something seemed off. When I asked direct questions about their structure and the size of their organization, they were deflected with totally non sequitur bits of pseudo-revolutionary rhetoric. I half-assed a commitment to buy time and logged on to the internet. Ten google-seconds later, a bunch of "cult-watch" type sites came up. Turns out the "Eastern Service Workers Association" is a branch of the "National Labor Federation" (NATLFED), in turn a front group for the "Communist Party USA (Provisional)". This is a serious, cut-you-off-from-your-friends, work-you-18-hour-days cult.
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05 May 2004 | Filed under: News / Politics
26th Annual Wake up the Earth Festival Heralds Spring!
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        There could not have been a more perfect day for Spontaneous Celebrations’ “Wake Up the Earth Festival” in Jamaica Plain. For 26 years this gathering has brought together the diverse communities of Jamaica Plain and Roxbury. This year’s attendance surpassed last years by far. Eighty degree weather brought thousands out to partake in the entertainment, food, and timely information from non-profit and community organizations.

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01 May 2004 | Filed under: News / Politics
International Solidarity Activists Successfully Talk to Seaboard President Despite Two Arrests
breskylisten.jpgInternational activists successfully penetrated SEABOARD Corporation annual shareholder’s meeting outside of Boston yesterday (Monday, April 26). SEABOARD, responsible for the eviction of at least two indigenous Guarani communities in Salta, Argentina, was confronted with photographs and the powerful stories of the Kolla and the Ava Guarani. Armed only with cameras and their voices, the activists were able to redirect the shareholders meeting to the issue of indigenous land rights in Salta, Argentina.
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28 Apr 2004 | Filed under: News / Globalization : Human Rights : International : Race
Caregivers testify about short staffing, poor conditions and lack of health insurance for nursing home workers
Six nursing home caregivers testified at a special Jobs with Justice hearing at the State House about how short staffing, poor working conditions, and low pay and benefits are impacting the quality of care. The hearing is part of a statewide campaign to support thousands of nursing home workers who are seeking agreements that will provide living wages, affordable health insurance, secure retirement, and dignity and respect for all employees. The workers are united in SEIU Local 2020.
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21 Apr 2004 | Filed under: News / Labor : Social Welfare
Rally Against the US Occupation of Iraq and the Siege of Falluja
DCP_0001.JPGOn Friday, April 16, 2004, in response to the devastating US attack upon the Iraqi city of Falluja, about two hundred people gathered for a protest against the US occupation on the Boston Common from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Speakers emphasized that we repeatedly have not been getting the real story. The various reasons given by the Bush administration for the invasion of Iraq, such as seeking to eliminate the Hussein regime’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) or bringing democracy to Iraq, are false, as no WMD have been found and the Occupation authorities engage in anti-democratic actions, such as closing down opposition newspapers and imprisoning people without charges or trial. We have also not been getting the full story on Falluja--the armed resistance does not consist of a few malcontents, but has broad popular support, and the US military has targeted not just the armed fighters, but civilians, even during the supposed ceasefire. Two very different organizing strategies were visible at the protest. The organizers, United for Justice with Peace (UJP), a broad Boston-area coalition, emphasized a message of peace, that showed equal concern for the lives of American troops and the Iraqi people, in an effort to create a movement with broad appeal. Various sectarian groups, in addition to attempting to take over the protest, loudly proclaimed their support for the Iraqi armed resistance, a position that, while certainly politically legitimate, is not likely to do much for building a mass movement. What neither UJP nor much of the American peace movement seems to have come to grips with though is that we need to move beyond legal protests to nonviolent direct action if we are going to have any substantial impact on the US government’s policy on Iraq.
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17 Apr 2004 | Filed under: News / International : Organizing
Police Surveillance of Peaceful Demonstrators in Andover, MA
For several years running, the Andover Police Department has conducted surveillance of participants in legal, nonviolent demonstrations at the Raytheon facility on Rte. 133. Officers have photographed participants in demonstrations, taken down the license plate numbers of cars parked near demonstrations, and run warrant checks on organizers whose names have appeared in newspaper articles about the demonstrations.
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16 Apr 2004 | Filed under: News / Human Rights
Arrests at Homes Not Jails event
Eight people were arrested Wednesday night for a Homes Not Jails event in Lafayette Square, Cambridge were arraigned on felony charges in Middlesex County Courthouse Thursday morning.

The six adults in the case have been charged with two felonies: breaking & entering and possession of tools for burglary. They are all scheduled to return to court for a pre-trial hearing on May 26th.
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15 Apr 2004 | Filed under: News / Human Rights
Defend Marriage Equality - Now!
The need to fight for equal marriage rights is now more important than ever. With anti-equality forces increasingly organized and vocal, supporters of gay marriage need to continue the struggle for justice by coming out in full force on May 17. After the two stunning victories won by GLAD in the SJC, gay marriage activists and supporters suffered our first defeat on March 29th. Many activists have already turned their sights to the November elections. That is premature. It takes for granted the outcome of what might be our most critical fight beginning to unfold—May 17th. The national and local leadership of the Democratic Party opposes gay marriage and Republican Governor Romney is determined to defy the SJC and prevent Massachusetts from issuing the first-ever legal same-sex marriage licenses in the US that day. We must be determined to get them and he must see that we are not willing to wait. Dr. Martin Luther King knew that lobbying and elections alone could not create that kind of social force. He argued that direct-action strategies were necessary to “create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood.”
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12 Apr 2004 | Filed under: Commentary / GLBT/Queer
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