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Fast for Justice: Providence Janitors Struggle for Union Power
janitors-small.jpgMonday: Over forty union supporters protested in front of the "Turk's Head" downtown office building as five strong-willed people went into their fifth day of fasting today. The fasters, camped out in front of the fancy bank offices since Thursday, are members of SEIU local 615 and their supporters. They want the owner of the Turk's Head building, millionaire landlord Lloyd Granoff, to hire a union cleaning contractor.
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01 Nov 2005 | Filed under: News / Human Rights : Labor : Organizing : Politics : Race : Social Welfare
Food Aid vs. Food Sovereignty
An interview with Aburadha Mittal founder of the progressive think tank, the Oakland Institute. Representatives from the Oakland Institue are heading to the WTO ministerials in Hong Kong next monrth with a message about food sovereignty.

RadioActive is a grassroots environmental and social justice news radio journal hosted by Amy Browne and Meredith DeFrancesco and heard Thursdays from 4:00 - 4:30 pm on WERU FM 89.9 and 102.9 Bangor, Maine in the United States.
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31 Oct 2005 | Filed under: News / Environment
Critical Mass Attracts Dragons, Witches, and Lots of Bikes
WitchOn Bike.jpgBoston, MA – A woman with a dragon-face mask and flashing red lights in her seat pedaled down Boylston Street Friday surrounded by witches, Vikings, a man hauling a jack-o-lantern, and various other costumed bicyclists to the enjoyment of onlookers and cyclists. Yesterday’s event brought together approximately 150 local cyclists for the monthly Critical Mass bike ride, an international bicycling movement intended to celebrate urban bike riding.
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30 Oct 2005 | Filed under: News / Organizing
IUE-CWA Local 201 members ratify agreement with GE
Lynn, MA – Union members ratified a new agreement that will upgrade nearly 300 jobs and help bring new work to Lynn’s River Works. It also creates new opportunities for workers in GE’s Assembly and Test departments to upgrade their skills and improve their pay. The agreement was approved by a 79 percent majority vote at meetings held on October 25 and 26.
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28 Oct 2005 | Filed under: News / Labor
Inequality in America: version 2.0
cashflag.jpgFall is inequality season. Every autumn, as the leaves change color, we get a vivid new picture of the trends that pull us apart as a country.

This year is no different. But after almost three decades of incrementally widening disparities of wealth and income, it¹s worth noting that we¹ve entered a new version of economic apartheid, American-style. Let’s call it Inequality 2.0.

The United States is now the third most unequal industrialized society after Russia and Mexico. This is not a club we want to be part of. Russia is a recovering kleptocracy, with a post-Soviet oligarchy enriched by looting. And Mexico, despite joining the rich-nations club of the Organization for Economic and Community Development, has some of the most glaring poverty in the hemisphere.
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26 Oct 2005 | Filed under: Commentary / Globalization
Discrimination against People with Criminal Records Begins to Change in Boston
A recent ordinance to stop discrimination against people with criminal records in the city's hiring practices recently passed unanimously in Boston's city council. Activists say that this form of discrimination haunts those who have already served their time, creating a form of post-correctional incarceration when people are denied jobs, housing, and other basic needs. Activists are also saying that this type of dicrimination is deeply connected to racial discrimination. For more on the story, listen to the posted audio file.
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26 Oct 2005 | Filed under: News / Politics : Race
Alive in Baghdad: Indymedia Reports from Iraq
55213185_4e4e14b085.jpgHere is the brief update. There is confusion over the number of casualties. The number reported by the US Military is nearly the same number we received from an Iraqi Police officer who was involved in firing on the second vehicle, which exploded near the Mosque in Firdos Square. He claimed there were approximately 4 killed and 16 wounded at that time.

The assertion that the attack was intended to take over the Hotel was not substantiated by any of the IPs or PSDs(private security) who we spoke with that were on the scene. He believed this attack to be similar to previous attacks, where the first bomb is intended to bring IPs and other security forces, and subsequent bombings are used to inflict mass casualties on the response teams.

Despite the loud gunfire long after the attack, no gunmen other than the IPs were reported to be in the streets. One BBC colleague reported to me that “The Iraqi Police tend to be quite trigger-happy.” Also, my fixer overheard an IP shouting “Be careful they are shooting everyone.” We now believe “they” almost certainly means other IPs, although we don’t have a first-hand report of IPs firing on each other.

There is still some confusion over the carbombings. We received an eyewitness report from a PSD that the first car was a Black Jeep Cherokee, it now appears this may have been the second vehicle, as the AP reports the first car was a white vehicle.

We will try to provide photos of the aftermath this evening.
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25 Oct 2005 | Filed under: News / Human Rights : International
Harvard Janitors Fight For Real Living Wage; Will Students Muster Renewed Support?
summers_rally.jpgCrashing cymbals, booming water cooler jugs and rattling shakers improvised from soda bottles and pebbles lent a boisterous sonic dimension to a rally by about 70 Harvard Janitors and a hand full of supporters outside the University's administrative offices on Massachusetts Ave. on the first Friday of October.

While super enthusiastic, the rally, which marked the first formal effort to draw public attention to the new round of contract negotiations between the janitors, represented by SEIU 615 and university last month, was also notably for the absence of a contingent whom many familiar with recent labor struggles at the university might have considered a key element.

Four years ago something between a gaggle and a gob of Harvard undergraduates were leading the charge at the university and across the country to achieve the outlandish utopian dream that folks they had far to much tact to refer to as ‘the help’ being paid a wage commensurate with the local cost of living.
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24 Oct 2005 | Filed under: News / Labor
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