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The U.S. Presidential Election: What’s at Stake for American Labor?
election analysis just published in the Swedish magazine, Oreda. . .

Labor unions have been the main expression of working class aspirations in the United States since the 1800s when the American Federation of Labor (AFL) made the fateful decision to construct unions almost purely as organizations of economic power for its members—consciously ceding political power to the capitalist-dominated major political parties, and refusing to form a working-class party or to pursue alternative libertarian political forms. In fact, American unions have often avoided acting in the interests of all working people in favor of literally focusing on gains for its members alone. And for much of American unions’ history, its members have been predominantly white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant males.
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01 Nov 2004 | Filed under: Commentary / Labor : Politics
Seymour Hersh Speaks in Boston, Predicts Possible Pre-election Falluja Attack
hersh.jpgSeymour Hersh spoke to an almost capacity crowd Friday night at the Ford Hall Forum in Faniuel Hall promoting his new book, Chain of Command. The book details the connections between Abu Ghraib and Donald Rumsfeld via the Pentagon. But the terrible actions committed at Abu Ghraib served only as a background for a speech peppered with warnings, predictions, and revelations about the current US administration.
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01 Nov 2004 | Filed under: News / Human Rights : International : Media
Indymedia Strikes Back in the Newton Tab
In an opinion piece published last week by the Newton Tab, Karla Hailer-Fidelman at once spoke in defense of free speech, which is an admirable thing, and trashed a community-based media group, which was an act of supreme ignorance. In a guest commentary also published in the Newton Tab, Indymedia defends itself.
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29 Oct 2004 | Filed under: Commentary / Media
EFF, UCIMC Challenge Secret Court Order
Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) attorneys filed a motion to unseal a secret US federal court order that led to the seizure of two servers hosting several websites and radio feeds belonging to Indymedia, a global collective of Independent Media Centers (IMCs) and thousands of journalists. The motion seeks to discover which agencies and governments are responsible for the seizure in order to hold them accountable. In their motion, EFF attorneys argue that "the public and the press have a clear and compelling interest in discovering under what authority the government was able unilaterally to prevent Internet publishers from exercising their First Amendment rights." They argue further that secret court orders circumvent due process, undermine confidence in the judicial system, and deny an avenue for redress. "When a secret order results in the unconstitutional silencing of media, the public has a right to know what happened," said Kurt Opsahl, EFF Staff Attorney. "Freedom of the press is an essential part of the First Amendment, and our government must show it had a compelling state interest to order such an extreme intrusion to the rights of the publisher and the public..."
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26 Oct 2004 | Filed under: News / Media
Less-Than-Lethal?
fn_ll_303_r.gifPepperBall guns, Bean Bag Projectiles and Tasers, seem to be a good idea at first. They have been used to take down knife wielding hostage holders and neutralize would be suicide victims all over the country. They give officers a chance to leave their guns in the holster and defuse dangerous situations without killing.

In these situations the risk to life and limb is very real and there is a compelling logic to their use, even a fairly good record to back it up. A certain number of violent criminals have died as a result of bean-bags, pepper spray, and Tasers, but without less than lethal weapons, a gun would be used, and a death would be more likely.

But according to studies of some police departments, more than half of the people who end up on the business end of non-lethal weapons are not criminals, and over 80% are not threatening officers or the public with weapons of their own. That was definitely the case Thursday when a Boston Police Officer fired a FN Herstall model 303 pepper ball gun into a crowd of celebrating Red Sox fans, killing 21 year old Victoria Snelgrove. The Boston Globe reported only that a bottle was smashed near the police, who were wearing full riot gear at the time.

The police are trained to maintain a code of conduct regardless of the conduct of others. One would expect an officer of the law to exercise restraint when wielding a weapon capable of deadly force. Yet, in the case of "less-than lethal" weapons, such a policy simply isn't there.
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23 Oct 2004 | Filed under: News / Human Rights : Technology
DC Million Worker March 2004
washdcoct1704_08.gifMonday, October 18th marked the date for an anti-war workers' mobilization in Washington DC. In the spirit of Minister Louis Farrakhan's Black Nationalist rally 10 years ago, the Million Worker March predicted a crowd of as many as 100,000 but was able to gather only tens of thousands.
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19 Oct 2004 | Filed under: News / Labor : Organizing
Offensive Biology: Is Bio-"Defense" a Bust?
A biodefense lab may soon be coming to a campus or community near you, if one hasn't already. These labs are the most noticeable evidence of the government's rapidly expanding biotechnology complex. Although the labs do some indispensable work in the medical realm, their rapid expansion is also tied directly to "fighting terrorism." The rationale behind the expansion of biodefense labs is that terrorists or "rogue states" could use biological or chemical weapons against the US. To be prepared for and effectively deal with such an attack, researchers at biodefense labs must research and experiment with potential biological agents in order to devise antidotes and develop counter-terror measures.
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19 Oct 2004 | Filed under: Commentary / Technology
Photo Project Shows the “Aftermath” of War and Ethnic Cleansing in Bosnia Years Later
LADYREFLECTEXUME.jpgSara Terry’s photo project, “Aftermath: Bosnia’s Long Road to Peace” is currently on display in the Babst Library at Boston College. Terry, a former staff-writer for the Christian Science Monitor, flew to Bosnia back in 2000 after being discouraged by the Western media’s lack of interest in the re-stabilization of Bosnia as people began to return to their communities and repair what was left of the past. Although there were many memorable pieces of photo documentation taken during the height of the war and atrocities in Bosnia, where it's said the largest mass-killing in Europe since World War 2 occurred, nobody seemed to stick around to show the effects of those atrocities. There wasn’t much interest in the harsh endeavors the people of Bosnia faced, post-war and “ethnic cleansing”. This is what distinguishes "Aftermath" from other collections of photojournalism to emerge out of this conflict, or most other conflicts for that matter.
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17 Oct 2004 | Filed under: Review / Human Rights : International : Media
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