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Section 8 Housing Voucher Programs In Crisis
house.jpgThe Bush Administration has recently shattered America's 30 year commitment to assist low-income families in keeping a roof over their heads through the HUD funded Section 8 housing voucher programs that assist the disabled, elderly and the poor. Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) across the nation have been informed that reimbursements from HUD for fiscal year 2004 would not be based on actual current voucher costs, and instead the payments would be based on the cost of vouchers under lease on August 1, 2003, adjusted for inflation. Massachusetts housing officials are set to mail termination notices to about 650 tenants due to a shortage of $550,000, and are working with state and federal officials to come up with a solution to avoid the termination of many housing vouchers in their state.
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19 May 2004 | Filed under: News / Social Welfare
Native People Dissed in Greenfield
MetacomWar_Indianflee.jpgOne might think that by the 21st century, 328 years since white men slaughtered unarmed American Indian women and children in Franklin County, their heirs would finally be able to get it right.

In a sordid tale of what appears to be greed and racism, Greenfield's Mayor and pro-development forces in that Franklin County town have sought to discredit and undermine attempts by Native Americans to protect Indian remains that may date back to the massacre at Turners Falls that took place on May 19, 1676. Tomorrow at Unity Park in Turners Falls that tragic event will be marked with a gathering intended to seek reconciliation, but such sentiments do not seem to be on the agenda in Greenfield's town offices, the enclaves of developers, or for that matter, at the offices of the town's paper, The Greenfield Recorder.

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19 May 2004 | Filed under: News / Race
There is Always more to a Story then its Headline
I was thinking about the Boston Herald headline the day after those “contractors” had been butchered in Iraq. That headline read, “Savages: Iraqi mob kills and burns 4 American civilians.” (Boston Herald, April 1, 2004, news.bostonherald.com) My mind raced. There had to be more to the story then what they were telling us in the headline. I mean, could the very people we were there to liberate suddenly become the savages the papers wanted to see massacred? Was there more to this story? Well, indeed there is always more to any story.
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13 May 2004 | Filed under: News / International : Race
The Chickens Have Come Home to Roost – Yet Again
abuse5.jpgRacism being crucial to the killing, torture and humiliation of Iraqis, ostensibly called "abuse", is hardly mentioned in discussions on the subject. So that any attempt to reverse the horrors will remain largely cosmetic. To claim that the savagery wa the work of a few, courtesy digital technology, is to make the equally absurd claim that the brutal beating of Rodney King was a simple aberration and thus racism in American is a thing of the past. Please watch carefully the rhetoric of denial and see through it. Then perhaps, an appreciation of the depth of entrenchment of racism might throw some light as to what awaits Iraqis – the much touted “American moral values".
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12 May 2004 | Filed under: Commentary / Human Rights : International : Race
Seattle WTO Arrestees Win Class Action Suit
wto-protest.jpg         Lawyers and activists in Seattle are putting out the ali-ali all come free call to the 155 activists arrested at first and broad streets on December 1st in the 1999 Seattle WTO protests. A class action lawsuit; Hickey v. City of Seattle has been won on their behalf by the Trial Lawyers for Public Justice (TLPJ) and the City of Seattle is paying $250,000 in damages for wrongful arrest. A second class action suit for people arrested inside the allegedly unconstitutional “no-protest zone” is still underway and awaiting the result of an appeal.
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11 May 2004 | Filed under: News / Human Rights
Police Shut Down Bl(A)ck Tea Society Meeting at MIT
popo1.jpgOn Wednesday, May 5th 2004, when Bl(A)ck Tea Society members arrived for their scheduled meeting on the MIT campus, they were greeted by two armed and uniformed Cambridge police officers (one of which illegally refused to identify himself), the chief of the MIT campus police, and a plainclothed agent (who also refused to identify himself, but one of the the other officers referred to as Mike). They were guarding and blocking the door to our reserved room, denying us the meeting space we have used for months before.
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07 May 2004 | Filed under: News / DNC : Organizing
Watch out--Stalinist cult in Roxbury!
I was approached by three people from a group called the "Eastern Service Workers Association" at the Wake Up The Earth fest in JP this weekend. They said they were organizing a "mutual-benefits" network for non-union precarious and service workers. But something seemed off. When I asked direct questions about their structure and the size of their organization, they were deflected with totally non sequitur bits of pseudo-revolutionary rhetoric. I half-assed a commitment to buy time and logged on to the internet. Ten google-seconds later, a bunch of "cult-watch" type sites came up. Turns out the "Eastern Service Workers Association" is a branch of the "National Labor Federation" (NATLFED), in turn a front group for the "Communist Party USA (Provisional)". This is a serious, cut-you-off-from-your-friends, work-you-18-hour-days cult.
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05 May 2004 | Filed under: News / Politics
26th Annual Wake up the Earth Festival Heralds Spring!
2kids.jpg

        There could not have been a more perfect day for Spontaneous Celebrations’ “Wake Up the Earth Festival” in Jamaica Plain. For 26 years this gathering has brought together the diverse communities of Jamaica Plain and Roxbury. This year’s attendance surpassed last years by far. Eighty degree weather brought thousands out to partake in the entertainment, food, and timely information from non-profit and community organizations.

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01 May 2004 | Filed under: News / Politics
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