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Anti-Corporate Victory in Lee; Water Privatization Defeated!
mga_banner.jpgWater and anti-privatization activists recently stopped a bid from the European Multi-National Veolia Environment (working with former local Democratic Party State Rep.) to privatize the water system.

The issue of water privatization in Lee actually arrived through the backdoor. Originally the discussion on the table was about the need in Lee for an upgrade of the town’s sewer system. But pushed by former Democratic Party State Rep. Christopher Hogkins, the town moved towards a proposal that included the design, build, and operation (DBO) of a new Water Plant.

With relatively no public discussion about the ramifications associated with privatizing out the services to a multi-national corporation, and with almost absurd levels of conflict of interests (or at the very least revolving door politics), the town received only one bid, from Veloia Water. Quite a coincidence since Christopher Hogkins the former State Rep from Lee is now a Vice-President and General Manager for the company. (The parent company of this entity is Veolia Environment based in Paris, France.)
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13 Oct 2004 | Filed under: News / Environment : Globalization : Organizing
Indymedia to U.S., U.K., Swiss and Italian Authorities: "Hands Off Our Websites!"
imclogo2.gifEvidence is beginning to mount that the authorities of at least four countries (Switzerland, Italy, U.K. and U.S.A.) are involved in last week's seizure of two of Indymedia's servers that brought down more than 20 of the Indymedia network's web sites and several internet radio streams. Indymedia has yet to receive any official statement or information about what the order entailed or why it was issued.

An FBI spokesperson, Joe Parris, confirmed to Agence France-Presse that the FBI issued a subpoena to the provider who hosted the Indymedia servers in the U.K., but that it was "on behalf of a third country." (1) Daniel Zapelli, senior federal prosecutor for Geneva (Switzerland), confirmed that he has opened a criminal investigation into Indymedia coverage of the 2003 G8 Summit in Evian. (2) Zapelli will provide details of that investigation at a press conference on Tuesday.
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11 Oct 2004 | Filed under: News / International : Media : Technology
FBI Seizes IMC Servers in the UK, Including the Host for Western Mass
imclogo2.gifUS authorities issued a federal order to Rackspace's office in the US ordering them to provide Indymedia's hardware located in London to the requesting agency. Rackspace is one of Indymedia's web hosting providers with offices in the US and London. Rackspace complied, without first notifying Indymedia, and turned over Indymedia's server in the UK. This affects some 20+ Indymedia sites worldwide including Western Massachusetts.
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12 Oct 2004 | Filed under: News / International : Media : Technology
Nader Speaks at Harvard on the Importance of Third Party Inclusion
calendar_photo.jpgLast night Ralph Nader made his views plain amidst cheers, booing, and grueling questioning at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He spoke on the lack of regulations on corporate power, on huge wealth gaps in the US, on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, on the current political environment, and on his right to run for president. He did so unapologetically. After all, like it or not, he represents the third-party movement.
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05 Oct 2004 | Filed under: News / Politics
Boston Social Forum: Significance, Achievements and Some Lessons Learned
bsflogo.gifThe World Social Forum (WSF) burst onto the global progressive scene in January 2001 with a 20,000-person happening in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Its mandate was to link up and strengthen disparate social movements against neoliberalism and militarism around the world by creating an open space for dialogue and debate, educating and strategizing, and music and performance. Under the banner "Another World is Possible," the event was pointedly held opposite the annual corporate love-fest in Davos, Switzerland, the World Economic Forum.
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05 Oct 2004 | Filed under: News / DNC : Organizing
Pearl Jam and the Devil Within: An Essay
grouppic.jpgIt was Foucault who dismissed the notion that we can fight power as outsiders because absolutely everything in society is permeated with power. To think that one is outside the grip of power is at best naïve. Power can be conquered, often violently, but it best serves a society when deconstructed and transformed.

On Tuesday, September 28, I went to a Pearl Jam concert in that hideous refuge of corporate advertisement that is the Fleet Center. I hate the Fleet, not only because it represents corporate supremacy over communal space, but also because, honestly, the acoustics are just terrible.
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01 Oct 2004 | Filed under: Commentary / Media
Workers at MSPCC vote in SEIU Local 509
seiu509.jpgAfter a three year campaign workers at the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (MSPCC) voted in SEIU Local 509 September 23 by a 4-to-1 margin.

Largest private sector victory in Western Mass in five years
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25 Sep 2004 | Filed under: News / Labor
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
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