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News ::
Somerville Projectionist Strike Update (english)
03 May 2003
Modified: 15 Jun 2003
Support has been good so far but, despite this, astounding numbers are crossing the pickett line.
I just wanted to post an update about what it looks like on the line at the Davis Square Theatre where Projectionists have been on strike the past 2 days. The strikers are still going strong, even the one's that are there from about 12 noon until 8:30pm. The number didn't seem to be as large as Thursday, based on what I heard, there were about 35-40 people there and I heard on Thursday it got up to about 70. Hopefully, this is not a trend because they definately need as much support as possible.
It amazed me just how many people crossed the pickett line without thinking twice. Despite chants of "SHAME, SHAME, SHAME..." they continued through the door and even provided some amusing finger gestures as the door was closed behind them by the 'door-person' scabs.
Definately, more people are needed to try and get the point across about just how essential it is that they do not purchase tickets or enter the theatre. It seems, to me, that the majority of these people going to the theatre are just unaware and don't really know what the fuck they are doing. One mullett-wearing fool continuously yelled at the strikers to "get a job"... hhmmmm... luckily the comment was returned by a quick-whitted striker who remined him that it was "ironic to be hearing anti-working class statements from a guy with a mullett".
I urge anyone with free time on there hands, and even people who need to make some free time, to get down there and support the Projectionists. Help people understand why it is wrong to cross a pickett-line, shout amusing comments to atagonistic folks, bring water to the strikers, just get yourself down there and support your comrades.
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crossing picket lines (english)
03 May 2003
You know, in this day and age, people may be crossing picket lines out of sheer ignorance--I wonder how many people know what a strikers' picket line is or that you're not supposed to cross it. I'm going to guess the fellow with the mullet didn't know either from the stupidity of saying, "Get a job," to people on strike. I don't think I learned about picket lines until I began getting politically involved, although I am from a middle class background, not working class.
surveilance (english)
03 May 2003
i gots some video of the event, clearly showing po agression...
I wont post it until i hear from some a yall as to whether you think its a bad idea to put it online..

Use this space please.
Post it! (english)
04 May 2003
We desperately need any video of incidents on the strike line and polcie brutality.

You can tell the Baam people about it by sending mail to them at baam (at) but I'd say just post the video to IMC. No one has been arrested or anything and only the police have broken any laws at all. Just upload it to IMC and let everyone see what's going on.
typical leftist error (english)
04 May 2003
or tell me i'm wrong!

striking is always forcing management's hand. striking was effective in the forties because it had the backing of a blue-collar political party: if you've noticed you don't have that anymore. the dems have been co-opted. to have effective unions with a left polarized into sheer hatred for the system it is attempting to cajole (what strike s do is coerce and cajole) seems like a tall order.

you need to make friends in the local democratic party quick. if they won't help you tell the world, you know, "become the media." but you're never gonna take down an 800 lb gorilla with a wrist rocket and a handfull of bbs. Management does what it wants and it's not good. Expecting them to change overnight is not thinking lcearly, gentlemen.
what? (english)
04 May 2003
Did you say make FRIENDS with the local democratic party? Are you for real? Explain yourself because I sure as hell cannot think of one explanation that could justify that comment.
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Why not? (english)
04 May 2003
"but you're never gonna take down an 800 lb gorilla with a wrist rocket and a handfull of bbs."

What if we hit it square between the eyes?
video, ignorance, and democrats (english)
04 May 2003
I say post the video. I got some pictures, but everything happened too fast, and all the ones of cops hitting/strangling people are so blurry as to be useless. If the video is telling enough, we can spread it around and maybe get something done about this.

You're right: most people are ignorant. I didn't know the true purpose of a pickett line until recently. People don't know what "scab" means. We should try to use terms that the majority of people will understand, and make our flyers more clear to those not familiar with the labor movement. Right now, the flyers just say "respect our pickett line" some people probably think that just means not calling us names.

Also, I agree. FRIENDS at the democratic party??? Democrats are no different than republicans. They're both maintaining their stranglehold on American politics, and supporting the capitalist system that constantly oppresses the working class.

We're not going to find democracy in Washington; democracy can only be found in the streets.

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With friends like that... (english)
04 May 2003
...who needs enemies!

The only "friends" of this country's two politcal parties are the suits who sign the big fat checks. The Democrats as a party of the working class? Oh baby! Never has been, never will be, although that has often been the sheep's clothing that the wolf wears. As far as I can see, the only difference between the Republican and the Democratic parties is that the Democrats say "please" before they bend the working class over a chair.
the guy with the mullet (english)
05 May 2003
The guy with the mullet was the director of one of the films being shown at the theater. It sounded like an interesting picture, too bad he didn't spend the energy he was using to attack and insult the strikers (telling them to get a job --they obviously have a job; get a job that pays more than minimum wage--what does he think they were trying to do; go back to art school-- hunh?) to convince the Independent Film Festival oraganizers to switch his movie to one of the other theaters that wasn't being struck.

On a similar note it would have been cool if the festival organizers had put their efforts into moving the festival to another theater in the boston area and supported the strike efforts rather than printing up flyers with lies about the strike and actively encourraging people to cross the picket line. Every contract I've seen has an opt out clause due to labor dispute. They could have invoked that and not been out any rental money.

The irony of the cops attacking a picket line on May first is pretty unbelievable.
Strike VIDEO! (english)
05 May 2003
This is from the first day of the strike, includes what was clearly un-warranted brutality by Somerville Police.

I wanted to get this up asap for time-sensitivity.. If someone wants me to remove it, it could be arranged.

strike Video! (english)
05 May 2003
dead links (english)
06 May 2003
neither of those movie links worked for me on either of my computers...
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it did work (english)
06 May 2003
I made sure it worked before i left..
It's a quicktime movie, takes a couple minutes to download. You need quicktime features.

If i get a chance soon, I'll go back there and try and find someone to help me.. Uploading vids on indymedia aint too friendly.
no problem (english)
06 May 2003
Hey, no problem. I know it's rough. It might just be my computer, who knows! Anyhow, thanks for posting it and i hope I get to see it soon.

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Movie Links (english)
07 May 2003
The video links don't work.

I've tried to get the file for several different computers and OSes and it never works. I even re-installed Quicktime to make sure it wasn't a problem with version or something. The file size and the fact that when you try to open them it says it needs a file called "strike" to work tells me that it probably worked fine on your machine because you have the original file (and those little files are just a mapping back to cut-segemnts of the original, instead of being real .mov data files)

The long and the short of it is that the damned things just don't work ... and we really, seriously need that film. Please try uploading them again and (preferably) contact baam (at) (public key available at ) to arrange for someone to get a copy of the original footage.

Thanks for your help,
Tom J
Has it ever occured to you... (english)
24 May 2003
...That nobody takes your picket seriously because-

a) You are picketing a second run independant run theater, no matter how "rich" you claim the owner is

b) In this economy, Part timers at an easy job should keep quiet

c) nearly %70 of corporate theaters in town are not union run either, yet you are not picketing them
say what (english)
15 Jun 2003
some genious wrote:

...That nobody takes your picket seriously because-

a) You are picketing a second run independant run theater, no matter how "rich" you claim the owner is

The theatre is extremely profitable. In addition to the ticket and concession sales, the theatre also hosts concerts on a fairly regular basis. You may say, "well, they don't need projectionists for the concerts," which is true, but it's the constant flow of patrons for the movies that see the concerts listed and come back.

b) In this economy, Part timers at an easy job should keep quiet

We would all like to work more hours, but Mel keeps everyone under 40 hour intentionally, so he doesn't have to offer benefits. When you have an employer who uses such slimy tactics, you have to take it upon yourself to get what you deserve. Most projectionists in the Boston area make $14-20/hour, this includes places like Coolidge Corner. I'm sorry tyo hear that you are so spineless as to advocated running from the boss, but we're ready to fight.

c) nearly %70 of corporate theaters in town are not union run either, yet you are not picketing them

Actually, figures are backward. I'd say that at least %70 of the "corporate" theatre projectionists are represented by IATSE.

By the way, the Somerville Theatre is a corporate theatre. It's owned by Fraiman Enterprises Incorporated., which has the same tax info as Chatham Light Realty and Dunster Realty. Those three companies are really just one corporation owned by the same guy, Mel Fraiman. They also own the Capitol Theatre in Arlington. Mel is the treasurer of the New England Association of Theatre Owners. In addition to the revenue created by the two theatres, Mel is a bg landlord, with approximately $20 million in property in Somerville, Arlingotn, Belmont, and Cambridge.

As for why we are not picketing the other theatres... Well, we don't work at those theatres. Picketing in front of one of the those theatres over the fact that we've been locked-out at the Somerville Theatre would seem a little confusing, don't ya think? Would you advocate that locked-out workers at Starbucks picket in front of Dunkin' Donuts?

Also, the theatres that you suggest that we picket in front of are already unionized. The projectionists there are paid a living wage, have benefits and paid vacation.