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Public hearing to investigate the War on Drugs
bars.jpgThis Monday, November 15th, the Boston City Council will hold a hearing to investigate the effectiveness of our nation's War on Drugs, and the Boston component of it. The questions to be raised and addressed will include how much money has been spent nationally and in Massachusetts since 1973 and in the last ten years on the "war," this will include drug rehabilitation paid for by the state in this year's budget. The information gathered from these and other questions will be used to attempt to answer the ultimate question of this hearing, which is whether it is now time to admit that the War on Drugs has failed and that it is time to develop a new and more effective approach to the use of drugs in this country.
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14 Nov 2004 | Filed under: News / Politics
The creep in the global cellar
globe.jpgStill reeling from the election, a crowd of radical artists recently discussed the debacles in Ohio and Florida in a panel mistakenly called “What’s Next?” Lamentations over the demise of John Kerry clog the newswires of grassroots Indymedia outlets around the world. The world itself, from the Global South to the Social Democratic North, reacts with surprise and fear to the news of the President’s second term in office. But is Bush the real problem? Is he the root of all evil? Does anyone remember a little term called Globalization?
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12 Nov 2004 | Filed under: News / Globalization
Tensions rise as BU inches closer to a Biosafety Lab in Boston
interconnectej.jpgFaneuil Hall was home to a public forum Wednesday night on the biosafety lab that is currently scheduled to be built in the South End's Boston Medical Center. The forum opened with a ten minute overview presented by Boston University officials, including Boston University Senior Vice President Richard J. Towle, which was interrupted by a woman demanding that the lab be referred to as the "proposed lab." After the somewhat contentious presentation was over, the hall became open for Bostonians to voice approval or disapproval about the proposed lab. Advocates and concerned citizens voiced their opinions, but drew no real conclusions, besides an agreement that the conflict is far from over. Attendees argued passionately for an open question and answer session with both sides of the conflict, and "more information and more respect" to be shown by Boston University towards concerned Boston residents.
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12 Nov 2004 | Filed under: News / Environment : Organizing : Politics : Race : Social Welfare : Technology
The Liberal Holy-Roller Gospel Hour
Bible Study for the Left: How political leftists can use the language of the bible to persuade their fellow citizens of a progressive agenda and resources for understanding that religious language.

Well, after having had to quit my job teaching theology for the Archdiocese of Boston because I couldn't stand 1. not knowing when the funding for my school was going to end due to the Archdiocese having to pay lawsuit settlements for priests who raped kids 2. wondering when I was going to get fired for teaching my kids that homosexuality was not a sin and neither was birth control or abortion, I've finally got another excellent use for my Master of Divinity degree: helping the progressive, liberal political movement understand the other half of the country.

Stay with me here. I'm bewildered. There are plenty of folks in North Carolina, Kansas, Idaho, and Alabama, among other places, who just don't understand me, nor I them. To them, I am just an arrogant, elitist, intellectual, heathen, liberal northerner with no moral compass and no faith in Jesus. To me, they are just ignorant morons who follow an intolerant, stupid religion. I don't know where any of this so called "national healing" is going to come from because you know what, I do have trouble lately thinking of those deep red-staters in kinder terms. But - being the one with the elitist, intellectual brains in this strained relationship of a country, it's up to me to make the first move. So, I've got to stop calling names, understand my neighbor, and find some way to talk to them in small words sprinkled with terms they like, such as God, Jesus, good, bad, morality, etc., and get them to realize electing folk like W is hurting both of us.
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09 Nov 2004 | Filed under: Commentary / Politics
Race and Truth at the Polls: The Real Election Results
If we look past the partisanship of the Republicans and Democrats, this election will go down in history as a huge victory for the impulse of US democracy and a huge defeat for actual democracy.

The largest turnout figures in the our history. The biggest get out the vote efforts. Unprecedented forces coming together to turn out those most disenfranchised. Unlike the official story, an incredibly close election with both Bush and Kerry getting more votes than any president in the U.S. history.

And more voters were actively disenfranchised probably than ever before. The election was called with over 1.6 million ballots uncounted in Florida; Bush only won by 380K and Democrat-leaning forces had been telling folks to vote by absentee ballot for months to avoid the electronic machines – how might that have affected the outcome? The election was called with 175K and growing uncounted ballots in Ohio; if you add Ohio’s undervotes and overvotes (majority people of color who overwhelmingly voted for Kerry) which would have to be hand-counted, well, Bush only won by 140K officially…
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09 Nov 2004 Modified: 04:29:23 AM | Filed under: Commentary / Politics : Race
Anti-racist struggle continues at UMass Amherst
UMASS AMHERST – At a joint press conference Nov. 4, two leading unions at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have charged the administration with collaborating with racists in the Student Government Association to undermine the Office of ALANA Affairs. ALANA advocates for institutional support for African, Latino/a, Asian, Pacific Islander and Native American students.
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09 Nov 2004 | Filed under: News / Education : Labor : Race
"Foundations and Public Policy" A Book Review
If the economics, sociology or political science courses you took in college did not devote much time to discussing the role foundations play in the world, then reading Foundations and Public Policy: The Mask of Pluralism by Joan Roelofs might be one way to quickly learn about foundation power. Roelofs, a professor of Political Science at Keene State College, notes that she "wrote the book primarily to reveal the power that has been largely obscured both in popular accounts of our society and in the more specialized political science literature."
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08 Nov 2004 | Filed under: Review / Organizing
Boston Death Sparks Call For Less-Than-Lethal Weapons Moratorium
riot.jpgControversial Weapons Increase Violence, Despite Police Claims.

Boston - On Thursday, November 4, the Boston Area Faculty Group on Public Issues, the National Lawyers Guild and the Save Our Civil Liberties (SOCL) Campaign issued a public demand for an immediate moratorium on police use of so-called “non-lethal” and “less-lethal” weapons. The press conference, held at the Emerson College campus, highlighted the recent death of Victoria Snelgrove during a Red Sox celebration as an example of the misuse of less lethal weapons by local, state and federal law enforcement around the country.
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05 Nov 2004 | Filed under: News / Human Rights
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