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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
"Don't put death on Boston's tab; we don't want your Biolab!"
150602581-M.jpgThe Supreme Judicial Court is not due to hear the matter of Boston’s University Biolab (a seven floor Laboratory for National Emerging Infectious Disease already in construction in the Roxbury/South End neighborhoods) but the opponents to the project are not taking a break from letting their representatives know that putting the city at risk is simply not an option.
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08 May 2007 Modified: 09 May 2007 | Filed under: News / Environment
Fifth Day of Hunger Strike: Harvard President’s Administration Vacates the Premises
IMG_0113.jpgCambridge, Mass.—On the fifth day of the students hunger strike at Harvard to pressure its administration to raise security guards pay, protesters found the President’s Office empty guarded by two university police. The students were not allowed to speak to university officials nor enter the building as there was no one there to meet them, yet they left behind a 24-page report detailing the Harvard Stand for Security Campaign. A banner that read “Living Wage Now” hung undisturbed from the third floor, as the students vowed to return. “Two more days of rational discourse and then it’s irrational action,” voiced one of the hunger strikers to the crowd gathered there in support.
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07 May 2007 Modified: 09 May 2007 | Filed under: News / Labor : Organizing
Photos of Bio-Justice Puppet Parade In Roxbury
Bio-Justice Parad--Wake Up the Earth 020.jpgSeveral hundred lively protesters led by a marching band and puppets marched through Roxbury today 5-6-07 to protest the Boston Bio-Tech conference and the BU Bio-Terror Lab.

AUDIO: Listen to radio report with NOFA about BioJustice goals and events, plus the Student Labor Action Movement on the hunger strike at Harvard:
http://wmbr.mit.edu/www/sched-sun#whats
(What's Left. SUN, May 6, 11:30 am)
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07 May 2007 | Filed under: News / Technology
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