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Rally Against the US Occupation of Iraq and the Siege of Falluja
DCP_0001.JPGOn Friday, April 16, 2004, in response to the devastating US attack upon the Iraqi city of Falluja, about two hundred people gathered for a protest against the US occupation on the Boston Common from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Speakers emphasized that we repeatedly have not been getting the real story. The various reasons given by the Bush administration for the invasion of Iraq, such as seeking to eliminate the Hussein regime’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) or bringing democracy to Iraq, are false, as no WMD have been found and the Occupation authorities engage in anti-democratic actions, such as closing down opposition newspapers and imprisoning people without charges or trial. We have also not been getting the full story on Falluja--the armed resistance does not consist of a few malcontents, but has broad popular support, and the US military has targeted not just the armed fighters, but civilians, even during the supposed ceasefire. Two very different organizing strategies were visible at the protest. The organizers, United for Justice with Peace (UJP), a broad Boston-area coalition, emphasized a message of peace, that showed equal concern for the lives of American troops and the Iraqi people, in an effort to create a movement with broad appeal. Various sectarian groups, in addition to attempting to take over the protest, loudly proclaimed their support for the Iraqi armed resistance, a position that, while certainly politically legitimate, is not likely to do much for building a mass movement. What neither UJP nor much of the American peace movement seems to have come to grips with though is that we need to move beyond legal protests to nonviolent direct action if we are going to have any substantial impact on the US government’s policy on Iraq.
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17 Apr 2004 | Filed under: News / International : Organizing
Police Surveillance of Peaceful Demonstrators in Andover, MA
For several years running, the Andover Police Department has conducted surveillance of participants in legal, nonviolent demonstrations at the Raytheon facility on Rte. 133. Officers have photographed participants in demonstrations, taken down the license plate numbers of cars parked near demonstrations, and run warrant checks on organizers whose names have appeared in newspaper articles about the demonstrations.
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16 Apr 2004 | Filed under: News / Human Rights
Arrests at Homes Not Jails event
Eight people were arrested Wednesday night for a Homes Not Jails event in Lafayette Square, Cambridge were arraigned on felony charges in Middlesex County Courthouse Thursday morning.

The six adults in the case have been charged with two felonies: breaking & entering and possession of tools for burglary. They are all scheduled to return to court for a pre-trial hearing on May 26th.
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15 Apr 2004 | Filed under: News / Human Rights
Defend Marriage Equality - Now!
The need to fight for equal marriage rights is now more important than ever. With anti-equality forces increasingly organized and vocal, supporters of gay marriage need to continue the struggle for justice by coming out in full force on May 17. After the two stunning victories won by GLAD in the SJC, gay marriage activists and supporters suffered our first defeat on March 29th. Many activists have already turned their sights to the November elections. That is premature. It takes for granted the outcome of what might be our most critical fight beginning to unfold—May 17th. The national and local leadership of the Democratic Party opposes gay marriage and Republican Governor Romney is determined to defy the SJC and prevent Massachusetts from issuing the first-ever legal same-sex marriage licenses in the US that day. We must be determined to get them and he must see that we are not willing to wait. Dr. Martin Luther King knew that lobbying and elections alone could not create that kind of social force. He argued that direct-action strategies were necessary to “create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood.”
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12 Apr 2004 | Filed under: Commentary / GLBT/Queer
Timoney Three Acquited
Camilo Vivieros and the Timoney Three were acquited of all charges placed against them by the City of Philadelphia today, Tuesday, April 6th. It was the second day of a trial that had been stalled for over three years.
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07 Apr 2004 | Filed under: News / Human Rights
Massachusetts Constitutional Convention Moves Forward Amendment to Ban Gay Marriage but Create Civil Unions
During the March 29 Constiutional Convention, the Massachusetts General Court moved forward a constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage and establishing civil unions. As usual, there was much wrangling and maneuvering. There were protesters on both sides of the issue, although the crowds were much, much smaller today than in the earlier sessions, and we far outnumbered our opponents. The result isn't as we were hoping. However, there's some room for celebration as well. We lost one battle; the overall struggle continues. The ConCon must vote for the amendment again next year and then it has be approded bya popular vote in 2006. We were able to build support throughout the ConCon. And May 17, 2004: gay folks will get married in Massachusetts. The stuff that happened today doesn't affect that fact.
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01 Apr 2004 | Filed under: News / GLBT/Queer
The Right to Dissent and the Trial of Camilo Viveiros
camille and co2.jpgApril 7 is the beginning of the trial in Philadelphia of community organizer Camilo Viveiros. This is the last of the criminal trials from the 2000 Republican National Convention. Will a steadfast and dedicated political organizer beat the fate of political imprisonment or will Police Chief John Timoney begin to be exonerated? www.friendsofcamilo.org
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01 Apr 2004 | Filed under: News / Human Rights
Brandeis Labor Coalition Press Release
Following in the footsteps of a growing trend on college and university campuses, students of Brandeis University have begun to take responsibility for the rights of campus employees. The Brandeis Labor Coalition is currently working with the university administration, Hurley of America, and its employees to create a permanent code of fair and just labor practices by means of advocacy. Hurley of America is one of the companies that Brandeis outsources its janitorial labor to, currently employing 11 people on campus.
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30 Mar 2004 | Filed under: Announcement / Labor
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