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The Homeless Census 2007: Mayor and Crew Determined to Rile Boston’s Homeless
sparechange.jpgDecember 18th marked Boston’s 19th annual Homeless Census, a one-night count of people living on the streets or in shelter programs. To conduct the street count, over 300 volunteers gathered at City Hall at 9pm, then split into groups to cover Boston’s neighborhoods searching for the homeless. City officials – Mayor Menino, Jim Greene, Director of the Emergency Shelter Commission, representatives from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Health Human Services, Catholic Charities, the United Way, Greater Boston Food Bank, and other Mayor’s office and police staff – and the press were the first group to lead off, covering Downtown Crossing.

[EDITOR's NOte: We reposted this article from Spare Change News, a great local community newspaper that struggles to get the true story of our city's homeless beyond mainstream media.]
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12 Jan 2008 | Filed under: News / Social Welfare
From Chile to Guantanamo: A Survivor of Torture Speaks Up
444-Reyes.JPGToday marks the sixth anniversary of the first arrival of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, yet Guantanamo is not the first island known for the unlawful abuse and torture of detainees. Island Dawson on the southern tip of Chile is known for its inhospitable, freezing weather, and for many Chileans is also the location of a concentration camp where Pinochet ordered the detention and torture of hundreds of political prisoners.

Sergio Reyes, a Boston resident and activist, was 19 years old when he was abducted from his home in Punta Arenas, faced a mock execution in front of his mother, was regularly beaten, electrocuted, and suffered from simulated drowning. Between 1973 and 1976, he was also a political prisoner in a forced labor camp at the now infamous Island Dawson.
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11 Jan 2008 | Filed under: News / Human Rights : International : War and Militarism
nomorewalls.jpgFifteen residents of Cambridge, Massachusetts, formed a people-to-people delegation to Bethlehem, that "little town" of legend and current West Bank reality for five days in late November 2007, with a day in Jerusalem before and after. What follows is my impressions of this trip. Those who care about Palestinian rights may find some useful observations. I hope that those who care mainly about Israel will read on and perhaps come to agree that present policies are no better, in the long run, for Israel than they are for Palestine, and that a resolution that is good for Palestine will also benefit Israel.
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07 Jan 2008 | Filed under: News / Human Rights : International : War and Militarism
Will S.1959 be used to restrict U.S. Citizens traveling in their own Country?
Government officials have called lawful protesters potential terrorists and a threat to national security. Will protestors be able to fly after the Senate passes S.1959, “The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act"?

S.1959 will create a powerful “new government commission” that will investigate and report to the U.S. Government which Americans and organizations are “idealistically based toward Violence”, might or do support "Violent Radicalization; or Homegrown Terrorism.
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06 Jan 2008 | Filed under: Commentary / Human Rights
Bali: A Missed Opportunity
b.jpgThe gap between the urgent threat of global warming and the collective will to do something about it has never been greater. The recently concluded Conference on Climate Change in Bali was a grand opportunity to act. Instead, it was another missed opportunity. Unfortunately, the United States played a very negative role, standing in the way of consensus at every turn. And unfortunately, the rest of the world thought that seducing the US into a new agreement on climate action was top priority, resulting in a Bali Roadmap that was very sketchy.
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27 Dec 2007 | Filed under: News / Environment : Globalization : International : Politics : Social Welfare
On January 6, 2007 18-year-old Amber Abreu went to the hospital in Lawrence, Massachusetts after trying to terminate a pregnancy by taking a drug, misoprostol, which is an ulcer medication as well as a key component of the abortion pill RU-486. Amber was between 23 and 25 weeks pregnant. The result was a miscarriage. The doctors rushed the 1-1/4 pound expelled fetus to the Tufts-New England Medical Center in Boston, where it remained alive for four days. The police, meanwhile, went after Amber using an archaic law dating back to the 1840s to charge her with “procuring a miscarriage.” Cops dragged Abreu into court in shackles and then held her in the state’s maximum security prison at Framingham for three nights until friends and relatives could come up with $15,000 bail. The young woman, a recent immigrant from the Dominican Republic, faces up to seven years in jail on this outrageous charge.
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25 Dec 2007 | Filed under: Commentary / Human Rights : International : Labor : Media : Organizing : Politics : Race : Social Welfare
Boston-Area Students and Raging Grannies Unite to Carol for Peace
Boston, MA, December 20, 2007—Groups from across the region and generations are joining together this Friday in a timely, creative call to end the American occupation of Iraq. Boston students from schools around the area are uniting their voices with the Boston Raging Grannies to sing a rousing chorus of anti-war, pro-peace holiday carols at 3:30pm on Friday in Downtown Crossing (the corner of Washington St. and Bromfield St.) We encourage all students still in the area and Bostonians to join us to engage in an anti-war action before this New Year!
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21 Dec 2007 | Filed under: Announcement / War and Militarism
We condemn ICE Raid in Milford, Mass., and protest insensitive media reporting about it
miilford.jpgLast Friday, December 7, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents "supported" by the Milford Police Department raided an immigrant community again. They arrested 15 undocumented migrant workers. Reports indicate that most were from Ecuador. The media, uncritical and sympathetic to ICE reported that the workers were charged for violating criminal laws. However, the same article indicated that only one person was charged with violating "criminal laws". The others “will face a federal immigration judge." In other words, the raid was about migrant workers and not about criminal law enforcement.
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12 Dec 2007 | Filed under: News / Globalization : Human Rights : Labor
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