US Indymedia Global Indymedia Publish About us
Printed from Boston IMC : http://boston.indymedia.org/
Boston.Indymedia
IVAW Winter Soldier

Winter Soldier
Testimonies
Brad Presente

Other Local News

Spare Change News
Open Media Boston
Somerville Voices
Cradle of Liberty
The Sword and Shield

Local Radio Shows

WMBR 88.1 FM
What's Left
WEDS at 8:00 pm
Local Edition
FRI (alt) at 5:30 pm

WMFO 91.5 FM
Socialist Alternative
SUN 11:00 am

WZBC 90.3 FM
Sounds of Dissent
SAT at 11:00 am
Truth and Justice Radio
SUN at 6:00 am

Create account Log in
Comment on this article | View comments | Email this article | Printer-friendly version
News ::
Evaluating O3 - A Critical Perspective from a UMass Boston Organizer
10 Oct 2000
A second report from a member of the October 3rd Task Force to Expand the Debate, criticizing the O3 Coalition's (a different group) organizing effort and the results of the debate action.
Add a quick comment
Title
Your name Your email

Comment

Text Format
Anti-spam Enter the following number into the box:
To add more detailed comments, or to upload files, see the full comment form.

Comments

BOOM did not organize freedom for sale trail
10 Oct 2000
There is a considerable amount of misinformation floating around about what BOOM did and did not organize on October 3, and, as a member of BOOM, I would like to clear a few things up. We did not organize the noon freedom for sale trail march and should neither be given credit for it or held responsible for it. This event was organized by the Green Party and Rainforest Action Network, and, from all I heard, was quite successful. Perhaps Ben is confused by the fact that some months ago the direct action working group of the O3 Task Force--which later became BOOM--had toyed with the idea of having a march with direct action in the financial district. After further consideration, though, we decided to stage a street discussion close to UMass Boston as the presidential debate took place inside. Our goal was to protest the debate by creating a directly democratic alternative.

I'm glad that the IMC site has been able to offer an opportunity for people to discuss the events of October third and to figure out why some things went well and others didn't. But I wish that people could also try to check their facts before jumping into attack mode.

--Ryan Schiff
Former UMass Boston Student and BOOM member
Thanks for the insight, Ben.
10 Oct 2000
Thanks for the insight Ben. I was terribly distraught by the fact that those of us who were on the streets on O3 had no line of diplomacy going with the big labor contingent that was present around UMass. (The few folks who I talked to would have easily rallied their own allies and stayed around longer to join in the BIG morrissey march, but they needed support from within and I needed more information--we had neither). I wrote an article on this site titled, "How do we approach labor?' I am guilty myself for not having made the necessary connections.. I feel like I came to O3 alone----and left alone. I need to "dive in", had this been a concern all along, why had it not been my first priority? I CAN confirm that on O2, the "convergnce center" was basically empty--and even the guy manning it, as friendly as he was, when he and i were in the room alone together and he was on his cell, he told the person on the other end, that there was basically "no one here at all". Now what does that make me chopped liver? Dead meat? He should have said, "there IS a guy named Levi here and he looks serious, wanna talk to him?

No discredtit anywhere, we are fucked by this system and it seems that in our accomplishment through dis-unity we still seem to have a great effect. But Military-Industrio Corporate Global Capitalization is no pop show. Keep that in mind and respect others who do.

Why do I wear a mask on the street? "Cause I ain't anyone's posterchild and this movement, as anyone who has studied history and respects the Anti-slavery/equal/civil rights/justice movement knows, has been suppressed by those in power. They will try to hunt us down and lynch us/make our lives hell/and fuck our people too.

Look "activists", please be more serious. Those of you who are, I applaude you, find me, find us, with a little strategy we could endear the hearts of all americans.
Some may have time to jack around and forget about the plight of indigenous people in this time, but some of us don't--and were fixing to give YOU a radical wake up check.
BOOM never called to shut down debate
10 Oct 2000
As a member of BOOM who worked long hours organizing for October 3rd, I am disturbed by the vicious attacks that are surfacing. I would like to say that BOOM _NEVER_ issued a call to shut down the debate. In the first few weeks of our organizing we played with various ideas of where we wanted our action to take place, but virtually from BOOM's first meeting, in fact before we had even named our group, we had decided that we wanted to plan an event focused around individuals from communities coming together in the streets to discuss issues and problems in their lives and ways that we could work collectively to solve these problems without having to depend on politicians and the government. Our goal was to create a small scale example of a society in which each person has control over their own lives and is empowered within their community. This was the ONLY event that BOOM planned for October 3rd.
From the beginning we decided that we should avoid heavily policed areas and areas that might put us into conflict with other groups (including Gore-supporting labor) because we wanted to create a space in which people were not intimidated nor harrassed. We had liasons at meetings with AFL-CIO leadership and the police prior to, and on the night of the event, in order to reach these ends.
Incidentally, these discussions went peacefully and well. I think a point missed in all this finger-pointing is that individuals acted independantly of planned events that night. Anyone who has ever been at a protest should not be suprised that people wanted to move close to their perceived target whether that was part of the "plan" or not. I further think that ominous comments about taking people to task for their organizing are divisive and wrong. I was in the street that night to work with other individuals; rank and file union people, students, activists, community members, hell anyone who wants a better world. The sooner these mean-spirited baitings end the sooner we can begin working against our true enemies. I invite Ben Day, Jason Pramas and anyone else who has these feelings to contact me so we constructively work through what happened and what should have happened face to face.
In True Solidarity
Becky Houlihan
BOOM member and health care worker
Critiquing the Critique
10 Oct 2000
I think its blaming the victim to say that organizers of the march from Roxbury to the debate were responsible for the violent attacks by union members. The violence all came from one side. The only thing I think organizers could have done would be to provide more and better publicized nonviolence training; and perhaps organized a peacekeeping affinity group that could have focussed on defusing these kinds of confrontations.

I think we on the left have to face the sad fact that there are reactionary elements in the mainstream labor movement. We should support union struggles against corporations and make strategic alliances with unions when we can, but the AFL-CIO is not necessarily our friend. In this case the AFL-CIO was defending its organizational interests (rathetr than workers' true interests) by defending a two-party political sustem which has made AFL-CIO leaders big power brokers. We shouldn't be afraid or ashamed of confronting unions on matters of principle when we think they are wrong.

The AFL-CIO leadership in most cases is too tied to the establisment to be comfortable with seeing direct action go down (with some notable exceptions: for example the head of the Maine AFL-CIO recently paid bail for Earth First!ers who locked down in the state labor department to protest unsafe conditions for loggers.) Direct action is too effective and empowering a tactic for us to give up -- we should and do welcome people who focus on other tactics into our coalitions, but we should not allow other people to dictate the limits of our tactics (beyond our own self imposed limitation of refraining from violence against other living beings.)

R.N. MUST WRITE DEBATES' RESPONSE
11 Oct 2000
RALPH NADER MUST WRITE & PUBLISH IN 3 BOOKS HIS RESPONSES TO
EACH BUSH-GORE DEBATE, PEOPLE WILL BUY IT FROM THE BOOKSTORES
AND FOUND THE TRUTH, HIS POSITIONS, IF HE ACCEPTS MY IDEA
MY 10% COMMISSION FOR IT (i'm THE IDEA MAN) ON HIS WORDS
COPYRIGHTS WILL HELP ME DEVELOP A NEW DEMOCRACY MOVEMENT.
THANKS, ALBERT C. VON PUELL THE TIME IS NOW. ALSO IT WILL BE
IDEAL THAT ON THE LAST DEBATE, MR. NADER BE ON ANOTHER
TELEVISION CHANNEL THAT CAN SPLIT THE SCREEN IN 2 ONE
ON THE BUSH-GORE DEBATE, THE OTHER HIMSELF SO TO GET
AROUND THE BIG NEWS CORPORATIONS BLOCKADE AND EMBARGO
AGAINST NADER AN DEMOCRACY AND OUR FREEDOMS.
CAMBRIDGE / BOSTON, OCOTBER 11-12TH 2000 A.C. THE WRITER OF
THIS COMMENT WANTS TO ORGANIZE A DEMOCRACY MOVEMENT
AND DIRECT DEMOCRACY ORGANIZATION BASED ON INTERNET
E-MAIL & PHONES ON THE BASE OF TENS, NEIGHBORS CAN MEET
DIRECTLY IN COFFEESHOPS, AFFINITY GROUOS OF 10 ON A PARTICULAR
ISSUE THAT THEY WANT MOST. 10 ARE REPRESENTED-VERBALIZED BY
ONE OF THEM IN A GROUP OF 100 (10 GROUPS OF TEN) AND SO ON
TILL IT REACHES L MILLION MEMBERS, 100 MILLION MEMBERS,ETC LOCAL & WORLD
GREEN DIRECT DEMOCRACY ACTION NOW.albert-puell (at) excite.com OCT.11-12-2000 AC
Some clarity......we hope.
11 Oct 2000
First off, YES, we should get over the finger pointing and work constructively to cleanup our progressive act here in the so-called Commonwealth cuz'...there ain't no power like the power of the people cuz'....
Having said that, it needs to be clarified that Ben Day's perception of a shutdown plan almost up to the date of the alleged debate seems to have no basis. Personally, back in early August, this writer went on record in Western Mass calling for a shutdown. However, during the RAN Chautauqua i learned there was NO SUPPORT FOR A SHUTDOWN and this turned out to be the same message brought back to us from Boston meetings by our W.Mass rep.
Another message brought back to us (and noted at the Chautauqua) was that not much in the way of meetings between labor and other activists was taking place. Given that, a shutdown (which i still maintain SHOULD HAVE TAKEN PLACE by way of good organizing) was not feasible.
From the distance of Western Mass it seems much of the problem lies within the initial split in Boston organizing and subsequent communication issues. Can we all get over this? There's a democracy to save (or create!) out there.
Oh...and another thing
11 Oct 2000
Oh....and another thing: Western Mass never pulled out of O3 as Day implies. There were scores, perhaps even hundreds of Western Mass activists all over Genetown throughout O3. We even garnered frontpage mention of our "Wedding of Gush & Bore" street theater presentation in the City&Region section of the Globe (gee...big whoop. Please don't go off half-cocked Ben. First rule of journalism: verify.
naderites go home
13 Oct 2000
Enough from all of you already. get a job, go work at a community health center, but when you fight with the working people of Boston you get a negative response, because these are real working people!!! That's a kind of person you most likely can'tr handle, because they actually work for a living and dont spend every day whining because their represenative megalomaniac can't officiate himelsf into the presidency. get a life and go help some real people.
Gore's Goons Do Not Represent Labor
13 Oct 2000
The Democratic Party goons who Gore's campaign supporters brought out to block pro-working-class Nader supporters and other anti-corporate Movement activists from being able to open the UMass campus debate to pro-working-class politics acted as agents of U.S. special corporate interests on October 3. The Gore supporters on October 3 resembled the highly-paid right-wing construction workers who betrayed Indochinese working-class people and anti-War working-class people in the United States in 1970--following the Kent State and Jackson State massacres and the Pentagon's invasion of Cambodia--by violently attacking pro-working-class Movement protesters at that time.

If the alternative media had been willing to pre-publicize the October 3 protests in cities outside Boston as effectively as even the mainstream Boston media was pressured from below to pre-publicize the October 3 protests, there might have been 100,000 people at the UMass-Boston gates to demand that the debates be opened up to anti-corporate/pro-working-class politics in a democratic way.

To argue that the Democratic Party goons who Gore's AFL-"CIA" bureaucratic supporters brought to the UMass-Boston campus represent U.S. labor is an argument that is false. The class stand of the AFL-CIO ("CIA) supporters of Gore in the 2000 election is an anti-working-class political stand. And the 91% of the U.S. working-class who are still not being organized effectively by the AFL-CIO's highly-paid Democratic Party bureaucrats--as well as the bulk of organized U.S. labor who don't work in the increasingly ununionised construction industry--did not generally support the shameful, class-traitorous actions of the Democratic Party goons who demonstrated in support ofGore and the rigged UMass-Boston "debate." on October 3, 2000.
don't shut out the rank and file!
14 Oct 2000
As a non-labor Seattle activist who's had the tremendous pleasure of working with some of the finest rank and file activists in the world (locked-out Kaiser Steelworkers... oh how we love them so and OH how the contract Nat'l agreed on SUCKED) let me sing the praises of my union brothers and sisters. They are sooooo worth building alliances with, but you have to know how. You can't just call 'em, tell 'em what's going on, and expect them to show up 50,000 strong. You have to understand that decisions within the labor movement take a loooooong time, which is unfortunate, but a necessary aspect of their organizational structure. The best thing to do is GO TO THEIR PARTIES. You can't swing a cat without finding a picket line SOMEWHERE. Get some friends, go to it, and help out. They'll love you to pieces - and you'll probably get invited out for a beer afterwards. Get over whatever misconceptions you may have about "union people" and just chat. I've found them to be the most articulate, compassionate, hard-working organizers for justice that you can find. They would LOVE to help you - probably without the exress written consent of their union bosses, but that's okay. I assure you - their loyality is NOT to bosses. Many of them are really struggling to reform their unions - so they're a little busy, but PLEASE don't rule them out or marginalize their power and dedication. You won't be sorry.