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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
WWMLKD: What would Martin Luther King Do?
luther.jpgLast year around this time, as throngs of protesters chanted and booed on the streets nearby, President Bush placed a wreath on Dr. King¹s grave in Atlanta. The President had said of King earlier that day that he wanted to "honor his life and what he stood for."

Now, as we usher in the President for a second term in office, it¹s time to ask whether he has lived up to Dr. King¹s legacy. On his watch working people and poor people, disproportionately people of color, lost ground.

"Every American deserves to be an owner of the American dream," said President Bush, but a great racial divide remains. If Bush wants to make this a nation where we can all be owners, he should be asking "WWMLKD?"
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14 Jan 2005 | Filed under: Commentary / Globalization : Organizing : Politics : Race : Social Welfare
Memorial Equality: Should a Man Who Led in the Struggle Against Racial Inequality be as Equally Celebrated as a Man Who Led in Europe’s Genocidal Conquest of the “Americas”?
mlkcolum.jpgIf I were to sum up Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Christopher Columbus in a simple George W-style sentence, I'd use the word “good” to describe the former and “evil” to describe the latter. Despite the exhaustive historical record that exposes the real Columbus as a brutal slave-driving mercenary, he receives pretty much the same amount of federal recognition and commemoration as Dr. King, the slain civil rights icon whose oratory skills backed by a deep commitment to peacefully overcoming injustice made him a powerful figure for change. The fact that there are even holidays for both Columbus and Dr. King is a perfect example of the inane and contradictory message the United States sends about it’s national identity.
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13 Jan 2005 | Filed under: Commentary / Race
Schoolbus drivers fight back against attacks
mass_aflcio_060704.jpgBoston's unionized school-bus drivers and monitors are fighting back in the face of a series of vicious racist and anti-union attacks by the mayor, the City Council majority and Boston's leading tabloid. These unionists, members of United Steel workers of America Local 8751, are working with Black leaders, the community and the Boston labor movement in a fightback campaign. The struggle focuses on the issue of installing Global Positioning System (GPS) devices on the buses. But behind the attacks are efforts to undermine school desegregation and break up this multinational union, which has been in the forefront of anti-racist and other progressive struggles in the city.
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06 Jan 2005 | Filed under: News / Labor
Coalition Against Election Fraud Urges Senators Not to Certify Illegal Electoral Votes
Seeking at least one U.S. Senator to take a stand on January 6 against illegal electoral votes, ten local activists with the Coalition Against Election Fraud (CAEF) headed to Washington D.C. on Tuesday to meet with Senators on Capitol Hill. Coalition members also braved the snow today as they continued their vigil outside of Senator John Kerry’s Boston home and met with an aide at Senator Edward Kennedy’s Boston office to plead their case.
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06 Jan 2005 | Filed under: News / Politics
Maine Woods Named One of Nation's Biggest and Best Forests in New Report
The Maine Woods was named as one of the nation’s “Keystone Forests” by the environmental group Greenpeace today.

In a new report, "America’s Keystone Forests: Mapping the Next 100 Years of Forest Protection," Greenpeace identifies the biggest forest areas left in the United States that provide the best habitat for the most diverse species. Of the 11 forests named, the Maine Woods stood out as the keystone forest made up of the highest percentage of private land. Most of the other keystone forests consist primarily of public lands.
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05 Jan 2005 | Filed under: News / Environment
Invisible Soldier
A perilous journey from Flatbush to Falluja and
back leaves Herold Noel out in the cold

BROOKLYN - Four nights before Christmas, former Army specialist Herold Noel huddled for warmth in front of a fire he built for himself in Brooklyn's Prospect Park as temperatures slid toward the single digits. Plagued by nightmares and unable to hold a steady job or get the assistance he needed, he was on the verge of losing his wife and three young children. It wasn't the homecoming he'd expected after serving in Iraq last year.
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24 Dec 2004 | Filed under: News / Human Rights : Social Welfare
Faith, Peace, and Justice
freconciliation.jpgI’m not a Christian yet I do take offense at how the Bush administration has heralded Christian moral values in the name of war. I also resent the media for shedding a light on groups of people who have been blinded by this rhetoric, while ignoring the many Christians who at the core of their values, believe in peace and justice for all. The presidential election was not lost on moral values; it was lost on the intellectual fight for truth against corporate domination. This is my Christmas present to all Old and New Testament faith-based activists who are keeping their faith in the world struggle.
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23 Dec 2004 | Filed under: News / Organizing
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