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Your Civil Rights May Be Briefly Delayed: MBTA Security Inspections & the 4th Amendment
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A permanent policy of random searches of baggage on the T not based on probable cause or any suspicion at all is inconsistent with the general spirit of liberty, violate the Fourth Amendment privileges of T passengers, and serves only the selfish interest of expanding police power at the expense of Bostonians.
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12 Jul 2004 | Filed under: Commentary / DNC : Human Rights
Stealing From The Poor, The Section 8 Scandal
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The sanctomonius pimps for the Bush administration have been making the rounds lately trying to counter the recent news stories showing up from here to hell that have exposed the plight of the nearly 2 million Section 8 renters that are now being threatened with homelessness because of the recent actions of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) officials. More than $22 billion dollars in federal money is being diverted to “homeland security” with $2 billion of that amount coming from HUD's much needed budget that in part provides funding for the nation's homeless shelters and the poorest of renters in America. Being a barometer of what is likely to happen across the nation, as an example, Massachusetts would have been forced to rescind vouchers from 3,700 families because HUD's new policy created a $3.1 million gap in Section 8 funding.
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11 Jul 2004 | Filed under: News / Social Welfare
Support the DNC Resolution to Uphold Constitutional Rights of Protesters
cityhall.jpgA resolution to Uphold the Constitutional Rights of Protesters goes before the Boston City Council in a matter of days. Aimed at stopping the increasing trend of police repression seen during the FTAA in Miami and the G8 in Georgia The resolution will need your help in order to pass.

If this resolution passes it will be one of the most strongly worded resolutions in the country against the repression of protesters, setting a precedent for other cities to follow. As a city council resolution, it may not be able to reign in the FBI/JTTF & Secret Service, but the reality is that the feds need local agencies to carry out many of their repressive tactics. In the final section, the resolution draws clear lines against police brutality, harrassment of protesters, false arrests, use of force, etc.

Save Our Civil Liberties Petition
Full Text of Resolution (PDF)

[Update, 7/15/04: The resolution did not receive the unanimous vote it needed to pass and has been referred to the Boston City Council's Committee on Human Rights for a hearing on Wednesday, July 21 at 1:00 PM in the Iannella Chamber on the fifth floor of Boston City Hall.]
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10 Jul 2004 | Filed under: Announcement / DNC : Human Rights
MIT charges dropped against Aimee Smith
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A month after being arrested while distributing flyers at MIT, former Green-Rainbow city council candidate Aimee Smith has learned that charges against her have been dropped. She says she was “not surprised” that her case was dropped, but not satisfied, either: “We are looking into ways to seek redress to insure that MIT will never again use false arrest to silence people.”
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10 Jul 2004 | Filed under: News / Human Rights
Harassment of DNC Protesters Escalates
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** Emergency Release From Boston ** Please Forward Everywhere.

Despite the Boston Police Department’s stated commitment to protect people’s First Amendment rights during the DNC, the BPD has, in conjunction with other law enforcement officers in New York City, started a campaign of preemptive action that could chill protest participants' lawful speech activities during the Democratic National Convention (DNC).
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09 Jul 2004 | Filed under: News / DNC : Human Rights
Pirates Against Bush: Young Activists with Flare
pablogo.jpgPirates Against Bush, a new, student-run, local, activist group hopes to raise enthusiasm for politics and combat apathy with fun costumes, colorful attitudes, but serious issues. Just what is Pirates Against Bush? I talked to Captain Laura and Squashbuckler Eric to find out.
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09 Jul 2004 | Filed under: Interview / Organizing
New Hampshire's Exploited Foreign Student Workers
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Last year I had the pleasure of talking with many of the foreign student workers imported into the Lakes Region for the Summer. These students come from overseas, brought in by their employer/sponsors, to work during the Summer, helping local businesses meet the needs of the vacationers flocking to the region for this brief period upon which many of New Hampshire's small business's depend. This year is no different and many of these students, each of whom has paid around one thousand dollars for transportation to our neck of the woods, are back again, hoping to earn enough money to get them through the school year back home. What most locals do not understand is how terribly exploited, underpaid and under-respected many of these student are. They can be found working in the local fast food outlets, super markets, gas stations and hotels. A few of these businesses treats these workers very well, but the vast majority exploit their eagerness to work and the difference in pay between their homelands and New Hampshire. The result of this exploitation is overwork, underpay and frustration.
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04 Jul 2004 | Filed under: News / Globalization : International : Labor
The John Kerry Has Been Fumbled!
The Sport of Boston’s Labor Woes

“The John Kerry has been fumbled!” Menino has dropped the John Kerry! And right there to pick it up is Thom Nee… he’s got a good line of BPPA defenders and… they're taking it down the field… to the Mayor’s 20… the 30… and Menino’s got him now! Down at the Mayor’s 42-yard line. More of the big game after this message…”

At first, the frat-like chanting coming from the BPPA informational picket in front of the Mayor’s conference last Sunday sounded “like a football game,” as one of the attendees of the conference put it. But this was no football game.

Or was it?

Maybe the situation in Boston IS a game: a big, expensive, ego-jostling, contest. One team is comprised of star quarterback Mayor Thomas Menino and city hall, arguing that Boston lacks the funds for a 17 percent pay raise for the police and playing a great defensive game. The other team, with coach Thomas J. Nee of the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association (BPPA), BPPA union members and other city unions without contracts, is arguing that the police have gone long enough without a contract and won’t be silenced any longer.
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02 Jul 2004 | Filed under: Commentary / DNC : Labor : Politics
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