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Interview with Tad Hirsch of MIT and TxtMob.com
Long before the Republican National Committee convention descended upon New York City, plans were in place for massive protests, the largest culminating in a gathering of 500,000 protesters from around the nation on the Sunday prior. But with little major media coverage beyond analysis of traffic snarls, participants relied mostly on a network of web sites, e-mails, and a SMS service called TxtMob to get the information they needed to prepare.

Despite a long list of organized and permitted protests, and because of the major surveillance initiatives rolled out by the NYPD and Secret Service, protesters needed a more fluid, decentralized way to coordinate activities, particularly on Tuesday’s planned day of direct action and civil disobedience. By all accounts, TxtMob delivered.
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24 Sep 2004 | Filed under: Interview / DNC : Organizing : Technology
Bicycle Safety Hearing Reportback
At the Public Hearing on Crosswalks and Street repair, Honan-Allston Library, Monday September 20th

The collective blood temperature in the back room of the Honan-Allston Library rose about ten degrees as Councilors Ron Cansalvo and Jerry McDermott explained in strict terms that although many had come to speak about Bike Safety this hearing will deal specifically with crosswalk and street improvements, including signage and naming specific problem areas. In previous interviews with this reporter, bicycle activist Charlotte Burger, and Dorie Clark of MassBike, Jerry McDermott had waxed poetic about the possibilities that might be expressed at the hearing he proposed. He spoke of PSA campaigns, listening to the concerns of bikers and forming a “partnership” with bicycle advocacy groups.
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24 Sep 2004 | Filed under: News / Politics
Camejo Speaks Truth To Confusion at NU
camejo6.jpgFlanking the front entrance to the John D. O’Bryant African-American Institute on the North Eastern University Campus were two young converts to the socialist cause. In their hands they flashed the socialist worker and pushed it on people in charming ways such as “Happy Socialist Worker!” Knowing how to keep myself independent of dogmatic political organizations I cut off one girls query of “Have you seen our paper before?” to ask what room the event would be held in. Once inside I was swimming in a river of socialists pushing their literature and newspapers, asking for donations from idealistic college kids. What the hell was I doing here? I had to remind myself that I came to see one of the Green party’s heroes make a speech, Nader’s Running mate, Peter Miguel Camejo. I heard him talk, and he was pretty brilliant, but what struck me more was the political confusion on the North Eastern Campus and the possibility that it might be the same on college campuses across the country.
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22 Sep 2004 | Filed under: News / Politics
Inkadinkado Drops Workers Cold
Inkadinkado is a company that makes cutesy rubber stamps and stationary, but when it comes to their own hard-working staff their actions are far from adorable. The company, located in Woburn and owned by Dimension Acquisitions LLC, has announced its plan to move to Pennsylvania on Sept. 1st. Full-time workers, many of them Chinese immigrants, were told that they will lose their jobs without severance pay, despite the fact that many have worked for Inkadinkado for almost 20 years, still earning only $8 or $9 an hour.
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22 Sep 2004 | Filed under: News / Labor
Boston Pedals Ahead?
Bikrace.jpgCity Hearing on Bicycle Safety This Monday, 9/20, 5pm at Honan Allston Library

Bicycling activists all around the city have tried for years to get the city thinking on two wheels but no amount of coaxing, re-assuring or elbow padding seems to work. MassBike has partially convinced the state to take off its training wheels but no luck with li’l Boston, Critical Mass continues to try to slap some sense into the kid on a monthly basis to no avail, and at one time the city hired a tutor with the title of “Bicycle Program Manager,” but so far all the efforts to get the city to understand how to pedal forward have ended up flat on the pavement. This city either has a total lack of coordination or something wrong with it's ability to think. Now, suddenly, when all heads are turned the other way, the city is asking for advice on bicycle safety.
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18 Sep 2004 | Filed under: News / Politics
Earthworks and Better Tomorrows
urbanwild.jpg“This program is experimental by nature”, muses Ben Crouch, Program Director for Earthworks Boston. “We are documenting our work to track the results of how the land is adapting to what we’re doing. We want to help inform Boston on how to better manage the natural areas of the city”. If this sounds like a science experiment, done on the green spaces of our Boston cityscape, that’s because it is. And like any good experiment it is being done to further a process of understanding. However, this experiment is taking more into consideration than just science.
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17 Sep 2004 | Filed under: News / Environment
Indymedia T-Shirt Design Contest!
Tshirtcontest4web.jpgBoston’s Independent Media Center is contemplating conquering the fashion world with our very own line of upper-torso wear. Being an open source media center, we felt that the best thing to do is give everyone a chance to come up with the winning design(s). After all, we are you, you are us and so on… The winner(s) will receive a year long subscription to the bi-weekly Boston Independent newspaper (that will debut in the next month or so) and two free T-shirts with their own winning design printed on them! Not to mention the satisfaction of promoting the future of Boston’s very own independent media source, working hard to bring you the truth and give you the tools to tell it.
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14 Sep 2004 | Filed under: Announcement / Media : Organizing
Worcester Students Protest "Spirit of America" Tour
a_soa_8_flag_line-up.jpgI arrived at the Worcester Centrum with a contingent of Clark students around 930 that morning, and the peace presence was already quite conspicuous, “who would Jesus bomb”, etc. A Marines jeep sat on the sidewalk, with a phone number stenciled on the side for those hoping to “secure [their] futures” in the military. Recruiters in full attire greeted the students in the lobby of the Centrum, passing out pamphlets on all the so-called benefits that accompany military service, and imploring them to sign up.

Lacking a live-action laser show extravaganza of our own, we assembled peacefully on the sidewalk, armed with pamphlets about the risks of military service and instructions on preventing your personal information from being disclosed to military recruiters. This, it seems, was not entirely cool.
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10 Sep 2004 | Filed under: News / Education
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