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News :: DNC
Boston IMC Background Articles on the DNC
08 Jul 2004
Boston DNC Coalition
The electoral system serves to keep the diversity of voices that are extant in the United States out of the executive and legislative bodies of the government. Instead of party loyalists and dissenters alike enjoying an opportunity to talk to their representatives and candidates, the people of Boston are instead devising clever strategies that will allow them to breach the dividing walls, buffer zones, and police lines that will surround the Fleet Center and the delegates inside. One group, Boston’s DNC Coalition, has come up with a novel way to get their voices heard. They have organized “People’s Parties” that will be held in three to five locations across the city. On the Sunday before the Convention officially begins, Mayor Menino is throwing lavish parties (with our tax dollars) for each of the 58 delegations in locations all over town. Members of the BDNCC have pulled out the maps and found that several of these shindigs are near public spaces where large crowds could be accommodated. One example is the Sam Adams Brewery’s proximity to the green space in front of the Stonybrook T stop.

Boston Social Forum
From July 23-25, 2004, the weekend immediately preceding the Democratic National Convention (DNC), 3,000 progressive activists are expected to gather at the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Boston for the Boston Social Forum (BSF). Part of the World Social Forum (WSF) process, the BSF will consist of three days of panels, workshops, assemblies and networking. The organizers of the BSF have several goals--to showcase the ideas of the left while the mainstream media’s eyes are fixed on Boston, to allow activists to network, to help bridge some of the divides on the American left, and ultimately to begin to find a way out of the crisis the left faces in this country.

Dennis Kucinich Interview
In town today for the Pride march and a fundraising Brunch, the Congressmen from Ohio managed to squeeze a few minutes in for Indy Media. Congressman Kucinich has been focused on revitalizing the Democratic Party, but I was wondering how he felt about the electoral system as a whole so I asked a few pointed questions. His answers tended to return to a certain theme, as all politicians answers can be expected to do, but in between the proselytizing is an interesting admission or two about the general failure of our electoral system to encourage campaigns that are anything but poll driven, vote hunting, strategic exploits devoid of any heart, soul, or meaning.

Random Searches on the Subway
If Boston residents haven't realized that we live in a culture of fear - they will during the Democratic National Convention. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) has released a "Security Statement" that uses fear tactics to allow police and transportation authorities to search bags and personal possessions during the Democratic National Convention. This policy comes on top of similar measures that the MBTA has announced that it is undertaking that allow other measures such as allowing "police officers to randomly search T riders' bags" to protect riders from "bombs" and "terrorism". The Massachusetts Chapter of the National Lawyer's Guild (NLG) has provided a series of resources for people who are concerned about this violation of American rights. The NLG has provided a simple explanation of your legal rights while riding the T or other public transportation in Boston.

City Hall vs. the Police Union (articles 1, 2)
The Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association (BPPA) has been working without a contract for over two years and the firefighters are also in contract talks. The riled up “public servants” took to the sidewalks and a portion of Dalton St. just outside the Sheraton Hotel where Mayor Menino was hosting some functions as part of the United States Conference of Mayors. The cops worked in shifts (switching roles between policing and picketing) from 7am until 11:30am and again at 5pm to 7:30pm. Boston’s rank-and-file police officers brought home $78,906, including detail and overtime pay. Compare that to the average US median yearly income of $18,756 (US Census bureau 2001). On average in 2002 Boston officers are among the best-paid big-city cops in the nation.

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