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Out of School and Into the Military
image001.jpg“All my life I’ve liked the military,” said Adrian Paez, a Colombian immigrant and a senior at East Boston High School. At 17 years old, Adrian has not doubts about joining the US armed forces. “When I think of the army, I don’t think about dying,” he said, “I think of everything I can do, everything I can learn, everything I can be.”

Adrian fled Colombia with his family to escape rural violence and economic adversity in an increasingly militarized society. A year after arriving to the United States, he became a member of the Junior Reserve Officer Training Core (JROTC) at East Boston High where he has been learning the basics of military training for the past three years. His real name is not being used in this story to protect him from getting deported.
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28 Nov 2005 | Filed under: News / Education : Human Rights : Politics
Free Food Distro in Jamaica Plain Rethinks Charity Bite by Bite
food-distro.jpgWhile many people spent Thanksgiving volunteering at soup kitchens, a new, weekly free food distribution project rolled on at a subsidized housing complex in Jamaica Plain.

While many people volunteer in local soup kitchens on thanksgiving, others are wondering how to make food a free and stable resource year-round in their neighborhoods. Food Not Bombs is a project that has been taking free food to the streets of Boston for the past 25 years. It is a grassroots effort with no paid staff or office. It has consisted of an amorphous flux of people and ideas. Food Not Bombers gather food that would otherwise be trashed at local markets, and give it away. One of the latest incarnations is distributing free fruits and vegetables every saturday in front of the South Street Apartments complex - a low income housing project in Jamaica Plain.
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27 Nov 2005 | Filed under: News / Organizing : Social Welfare
New Anti-Insurgency Tactic has Gained Wide Appeal in Iraq
51822806_c2ef3425b6.jpgIt was recently revealed, in a US-backed raid, that torture is going on under the auspices of the Ministry of the Interior. Despite the apparent media blackout on the topic, torture has been an ongoing tactic of the counter-insurgency work in Iraq. At first it was employed at Abu Ghraib and possibly other US military establishments in Iraq, and it quickly became a prime tactic of the newly formed Iraqi Police and Iraqi National Guard.
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22 Nov 2005 | Filed under: News / Human Rights
Winter Soldier: A film for our time
wintersoldier_final_lowres2.gifAfter an absence of decades, this Vietnam-era documentary film is back in circulation, and its lessons should serve to shake every one of us out of any illusions about what war means. Graphic testimony from veterans, plus thought-provoking commentary about what makes such inhuman crimes possible.

I followed with outraged attention the Abu Ghraib prisoner scandal, and watched angrily as the American military ravaged entire cities such as Fallujah and Ramadi. And then came intermittent reports of full-scale torture of even more horrific dimensions in the dungeons of the client security agencies to which the US government ships some of its detainees. That’s why I decided to attend a showing at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston of a Vietnam-era documentary called Winter Soldier.
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22 Nov 2005 | Filed under: News / Education : Politics
Resistance to military recruiters grows
recruitmentprotest.jpgStudents and their families in Massachusetts and nationwide are increasingly resisting the Pentagon’s plans to use them as cannon fodder for U.S. imperialism.

“A whole bunch of troops are dying,” said Gwen Clairborne, a senior at Madison Park Technical Vocational High School in Roxbury, Mass., a predominantly Black community in Boston. Clairborne, who has “opted out,” was interviewed in a Nov. 13 Sunday edition Boston Globe front-page article headlined “Students rebuffing military recruiters: More high schoolers in state opt out of lists.”
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20 Nov 2005 | Filed under: News / International
BU Biolab Protest Pictures
00020.jpgBU is having a Global Health Initiative conference and one of the events was in a BU auditorium where BU President Robert Brown introduced other speakers (including the US surgeon general), plugging the proposed bioweapons lab in South End/Roxbury. Activisits with the BU Peace & Justice Project and Boston Mobilization staged a protest during President Brown's speech. The Global Health Initiative is supposed to promote public healthcare, not top secret military research. Here are pictures.
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16 Nov 2005 | Filed under: News / Education : Environment : Globalization : Human Rights : Politics : Race : Social Welfare : Technology
Boston Direct Action Project Releases “Guide To Alternatives to the Military” for Local Youth
booklet.jpg(Boston, MA October 31, 2005) Boston Direct Action Project has recently published a booklet entitled “Guide To Alternatives to the Military,” with information about education, jobs, and opportunities for youth in the greater Boston area.

"We created this "Military Alternatives" booklet because we understand its not enough to simply explain the reasons not to join the military. We believe it is equally important to suggest realistic alternatives," said Jonathan McIntosh, a designer of the booklet.
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17 Nov 2005 | Filed under: Announcement / Education : Organizing : Social Welfare
Human Rights Activists Discuss Torture at Amnesty International Conference
Kibria2a.jpgHuman rights activists came together at Amnesty International's Northeast Regional Conference at Boston University this weekend. Dr Nazli Kibria of Boston University (photo) was a guest speaker.

The issue of torture was a key discussion at this year’s Amnesty International Northeast Conference held at Boston University this weekend. The Bush Administration criticized Amnesty’s annual report earlier this year which quoted Irene Khan, Secretary General of the human rights organization, as saying that the treatment of detainees at Guantanamo was “the gulag of our time.”
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15 Nov 2005 | Filed under: News / Human Rights : International : Politics
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