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News ::
24 Feb 2001
Protesters are currently locked down at Mass DPH. They need immmediate support.

Starting on Thursday, Feb. 22 at 1pm, demonstrators have been in the Massachusetts DPH non-violently protesting the new DPH regulations on the CORI (Criminal Offender Record Investigations) check. Currently, there are five freedom fighters who have been locked down in the building, including councilmember Chuck Turner, former political prisoner Kazi Toure, Jamie Suarez-Potts, Mary Moore, and Mary Corcoran.

CORI is a shorthand nickname for „criminal offender record information,‰ which the Department of Public Health along with other public departments and private social service agencies have been required to do a check on for all potential employees or volunteers. If applicants have committed any of the crimes listed from perjury to murder, they can be permanently disqualified from employment in those agencies. This means that people who have already served their time in prison will have an extremely difficult to impossible time getting jobs in any agency or organization that relates to social service, or receives federal or state funding. This is a historical throwback to the Jim Crow era which kept draconian control over the lives of people just coming out of slavery. Like Jim Crow, CORI regulations are another form of slavery seeking to keep people of color the poor people under strict control and remaining disempowered. Our society continues to punish people even after they have served their time in prison

and paid for their crimes. This obsession with punishment leaves little avenue for people to restore their lives after incarceration, and in fact only stimulates more prison growth as people face more dead ends and are incarcerated again. We need to stop the growth of prisons, stop the stigmatizing of communities of color as criminal, stop the obsession with punishment, and stop the virtual enslavement of our communities.

On Thursday, 27 people met with the commissioner of the Department of Health to persuade him to oppose the CORI regulations. He said that morally he was against the regulations, but he was too scared to do anything. As of now, the five locked down protesters are currently on the second floor of the Department of Health, with State Police keeping anyone else out. They have stayed overnight and are planning to stay until Tuesday. We have called them the Washington Five.

This action will challenge the dominant mindset the continues to criminalize, penalize, and incarcerate people of color and the poor. Come Stand With Us!

We need:

1. More people to join those who are locked down. They have a way of getting you in.
2. A demonstration is scheduled for Monday 12 noon outside the building. Show solidarity!
3. A public hearing and demonstration is scheduled for Tuesday 10 am.  Show solidarity and give your testimony!
4. Food, clean socks, soap, and blankets are needed for the five locked down, and those who choose to join them.

Location: 250 Washington Street (Downtown Boston), Near Boston City Hall

For more information, call Kazi Toure at (617) 257-7518.
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Protesters Arrested Friday Night!
24 Feb 2001
I heard that the protesters were arrested Friday night around 10:00--any more info? Any ideas on what's going on next?

Rally at the Health Department
26 Feb 2001
Friday night @ 10pm, City Councilor Chuck Turner, Kazi Toure, Jamie Suarez-Potts and Mary Corcoran were all arrested. There will be a rally Monday @ 12pm. On Tuesday will be a public hearing at 10am followed by a rally at noon. All events will take place at the Department of Public Health, 250 Washington St.