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Boston's Asian Community Raises Awareness of HIV/AIDS among Massachusetts Asian Pacific Islanders
MAP_SAM_Yoon_HIV_Test_Photo.jpgBoston, Mass-- The Massachusetts Asian & Pacific Islanders for Health (MAP) organization presented awards to Niem Nay-Kret, Project Director, Southeast Asian Bilingual Advocates, Inc. and Veseth Poy, Senior Case Manager, Lynn Community Health Center for their efforts to address HIV/AIDS in the Massachusetts Cambodian community. Over 90 community members came out to attend MAP’s Rooted in Acceptance reception and awards ceremony that was held on May 17th at the Boston Center for the Arts. The awards are named for Siong-Huat Chua, a Malaysian-born, Boston-based gay activist, writer, and pioneer in bringing visibility to HIV/AIDS among Asians. Mr. Chua died of AIDS in 1994.
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22 May 2007 | Filed under: News / Gender : GLBT/Queer : Race
Brookline PeaceWorks Celebrates Fifth Anniversary
carroll-window.jpgOn Tuesday, May 15, 2007, Brookline PeaceWorks celebrated its fifth anniversary of activism and hosted James Carroll, Globe Columnist, and National Book Award winner, to a huge turnout at the ‘All Saints Parish’ on Beacon Road.

Mr. Carroll was introduced by his longtime friend Dr. David Killian, pastor of All Saints Parish. Their reminiscences about their student days and activism in opposing the Vietnam war made a warm beginning to the evening. They mentioned a night they spent together in a DC jail, a result of their Vietnam activism, as a unique experience.
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22 May 2007 | Filed under: News / War and Militarism
Protesters Highlight Palestinian Refugees at Nakba Commemoration
m20_1.jpgOn Sunday May 20th several carloads of non-violent protestors headed to Foxboro to voice their support for Palestinians at the Israeli day celebration taking place at Gillette Stadium.

At 2:30 PM, 40 to 50 protestors in the Field House unraveled two banners. One declared: "Israeli “Independence” = Palestinian Dispossession" and the other said: "Palestinian Refugees:1948-800,000, 2007-6 Million + Right of Return for all Refugees"
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21 May 2007 | Filed under: News / Human Rights : International : War and Militarism
Hundreds March for Mumia Abu-Jamal Outside Court Hearing in Philadelphia
070517 Phila Mumia demo.jpgOver 500 people turned out to demonstrate on behalf of Mumia Abu-Jamal outside the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia May 17. Inside the packed courtroom another 200 observed the proceedings in which the justices peppered prosecution and defense lawyers with questions about the deliberate exclusion of blacks in jury selection during Mumia’s 1982 trial, the instructions to the jury on the death sentence, and evidence of judicial bias against Mumia. In court, the prosecution demanded that the death sentence against Jamal be reinstated while defense lawyer Robert Bryan asked for a new trial. Outside, hundreds of demonstrators circling the courthouse chanted over and over, “Brick by brick, wall by wall, We’re gonna free Mumia Abu-Jamal.” While some had illusions that a new trial could be fair, many declared that the entire “justice” system was racist to the core.
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20 May 2007 | Filed under: News / Human Rights : International : Labor : Organizing : Politics : Race : War and Militarism
MIT Announces Targeted Divestment from Sudan: Darfur Advocates Celebrate, Ask for Transparency
FacesOfDarfur.jpgCambridge, MA – The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) took an unprecedented step yesterday, announcing that it will pursue a divestment strategy in rejection of "abhorrent acts" in Darfur. The decision follows a campaign lead by MIT students asking for the Institute to pursue targeted divestment from those companies, such as China's largest oil company PetroChina, that fund the Sudanese government.

In a press statement dated Monday, May 14th, the Institute stated, "MIT is reviewing the securities portfolios over which it may exercise direct investment discretion and will divest as appropriate for those portfolios to exclude securities that would violate MIT's investment principles." The statement refers to the U.S. and UN declarations of acts amounting to genocide in Sudan, but does not clearly state the criteria for divestment. MIT did not fully divest from South Africa during the anti-apartheid movement in the 80's and early 90s.
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15 May 2007 | Filed under: News / Human Rights : International
Harvard Hunger Strike Ends
DSC_0225.jpgDon't consider this post exhaustive, because I don't think I can do it justice, but the hunger strikers broke their fast today.

At the 1 PM rally today, we heard from a couple of members of the guards' bargaining committee who thanked the hunger strikers for everything they'd done and asked them to keep their health in mind. Then Michael read parts of a public statement issued today after the strikers' meeting with Marilyn Hausammann, the University's vice president for human resources. It affirmed Harvard's commitment to a living wage (in sort of ambiguous terms - I believe the phrasing was that the wage should ensure a "minimally decent" standard of living) and stated that Harvard does not intend to use outsourcing as a means for busting unions or lowering wages. The University will publicize the results of its audit of AlliedBarton's compliance with the parity policy sometime next week, probably Monday, and meet with SLAM representatives and other community members shortly after.

VIDEO: Watch interviews, the end of the strike, and more at (thanks to Aaron Tanaka):
http://youtube.com/profile?user=freedomisnot
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11 May 2007 | Filed under: News / Labor
Prison Suicide Hearing at MA State House
prison_town01.jpgHearing on the rise in prison suicides in MA DOC facilities. This is a Boston Indymed1a audio report with an approximate length of 7min.
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11 May 2007 | Filed under: News / Social Welfare
Students Hunger Strike at Harvard Forces AlliedBarton to Negotiate with Workers Union
IMG_0110.jpgCambridge, Mass—Today is the seventh day of the student hunger strike at Harvard University, where as many as 11 students are protesting the administration’s lack of involvement in wage negotiations between security guards and an outsourced contractor, AlliedBarton. One of the students, Javier Castro, was hospitalized Tuesday for dangerously low sodium and electrolyte levels; a second student was not allowed to leave the hospital premises and is currently under medical supervision.

“The strike has made an extreme difference,” said Milton Scope, a security guard at Harvard’s Longwood Campus. “The contractor was just going in circles. It’s only now that they are trying to seriously sit down at the negotiating table.” Nine guards came personally to thank the students for their sacrifice and confirmed that negotiations with AlliedBarton that same morning were moving along, although the main issue of wage increases was not addressed and re-tabled for tomorrow morning.
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09 May 2007 | Filed under: News / Labor
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