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News :: Organizing
Photos of Follow Up Action re: Local Armed Forces Recruiting Center
05 Jun 2004
Photos from an action at the military recruiter in Park St. in responce to the arrest on May 26th.
Photos of Fallow up action 6/5/04
Photos of Fallow up action 6/5/04
Photos of Fallow up action 6/5/04
Photos of Fallow up action 6/5/04
Photos of Fallow up action 6/5/04
Photos of Fallow up action 6/5/04
Photos of Fallow up action 6/5/04
Photos of Fallow up action 6/5/04
Photos from an action at the Military Recruitment Center at Park St., Boston MA in responce to the arrest of a Direct Action on May 26th.

For more information about actions and protests regarding the Abu Ghraib prison tortures, check out the following related stores and images:

Boston IMC (1), Boston IMC (2), Washington-DC IMC, Austin IMC, IndyMedia Global (english), Australia IMC, England IMC, Ireland IMC.

This article was edited by IMC Editor to provide links to related demos.
See also:

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Re: Photos of Fallow up action 6/5/04
06 Jun 2004
Re: Photos of Follow Up Action re: Local Armed Forces Recruiting Center
07 Jun 2004
Thanks for the photos! How did this action go? How was the response from police, passers-by, the folks at the recruiting station (if it was open)? The links to articles on the previous action that led to arrests are great, but I'd love to hear more about Saturday's event.
Re: Photos of Follow Up Action re: Local Armed Forces Recruiting Center
07 Jun 2004
I'm surprised you guys didn't get the shit harrassed out of you by those police.
If holding up that sign actually made them go away, than what you do is a lot more simpler than I thought.
Keep on fighting.
Re: Photos of Follow Up Action re: Local Armed Forces Recruiting Center
08 Jun 2004
“Baghdad to Boston” group brings it back to military recruiters’ door

Boston, MA- Responding to the May 26th arrest of Joe Previtera, (for silently posing as an Abu Ghraib prisoner, see May 27 and June 1 postings below) the B2B group put out a call to converge on the military recruiting center this past Saturday, June 5th at 11:00 a.m. And converge we did!

We came prepared to express ourselves creatively. A woman dressed as the statue of liberty was blindfolded with the US flag. Another activist wore the infamous black shawl and hood from Abu Ghraib. A third person had on the orange jumpsuit of Guantánamo Bay, including heavy-duty earphones for sensory deprivation. The fourth was dressed in a dark suit and Rumsfeld mask—a nasty job, but someone had to do it.

At 11:15, Rumsfeld led the other three in chains from Park Street Station to 141 Tremont Street, where the recruiters typically convince 17 year olds that the military is their best hope for advancement. Upon arriving at the location, it was clear the police are still “members” of activist listservs, as three cars and the same number of officers were already waiting. This time, however, they didn’t even approach us, much less try to arrest anyone.

Local support was fantastic. About 15 people were marching and chanting in front of the center when the four arrived. Another 15 or so were on the block and across the street for support.

The Abu Ghraib prisoner and the blinded statue of liberty got up on milk crates, the Guantánamo prisoner kneeled on the ground with his head down, and Rumsfeld stood, holding the chains, calling out to everyone who passed: “I take full responsibility,” and “I’m doing a superb job!”

A reporter and cameraperson from Channel 56 were present for around 45 minutes, filming and interviewing a couple of people. That footage became even-handed coverage on their 10:00 broadcast.

The scene caused people walking on Boston Common and driving down Tremont Street to stop, take pictures, or come over and get a flyer. A six-year-old girl, seeing the chains, asked “Rumsfeld,” “Is this slavery?”

At 1:00 p.m., we were ready to go. We decided to take a loop around the visitor information center (where the Freedom Trail starts in Boston Common) and then head back up to Park Street. Rumsfeld again led the other three in chains across the street (group members spotted for the two people whose costumes meant they couldn’t see) but on reaching the Common, a Park Ranger asked the group if they had a permit.

“Rummy” told the ranger they would simply be walking through, but the ranger insisted that a permit was required. Mustering all the authority vested in the Secretary of War, Rumsfeld informed the ranger that they did NOT need a permit to walk, and the group proceeded forward. The ranger was overheard requesting guidance on his radio, at which point he was scolded, “you shouldn’t make stuff up.”

The demonstration was a success on two fronts. One, we drew attention to the ongoing abuse and torture that has been reigning at US military prisons from Iraq to Guantánamo to Afghanistan. Please see the front page Wall Street Journal article here:

Two, we sent a clear message to the BPD that arresting someone for expressing an idea will provoke a response. In addition to a larger, more forceful protest, Joe’s arrest also led to articles in two Boston newspapers and Indymedia postings around the country.

We’ve heard some other folks have done similar actions in other states. Please let us know what’s going on!! We also strongly encourage people to do actions in their communities. Joe’s arrest leading to multiplying protests at recruiting centers around the country would be a nightmare scenario for the recruiters. YOU can make that happen!

A note for other folks considering similar actions: if you take the time to do good visuals/street theatre (and we think you should), don’t mix it with conventional marching and chanting. We find that both activities grab attention; so having them in the same space seems cluttered and clouds the messaging. Some people told us that Joe’s solo protest had a stronger emotional impact than the 20 people who were out on Saturday.

Remember, they’re trying to intimidate us and we can’t lie down for it. As one uppity woman put it: “Joe’s arrest is only the latest incident. I was in Miami for the FTAA demonstrations in November. Hundreds of us, including senior citizens, were attacked and arrested. The last cases from the 2000 Republican National Convention in Philadelphia were just thrown out for lack of evidence. But politicians don’t care about losing in court if they’ve already silenced the protests. Philly, Miami, New York, Boston: it’s the same strategy every time and it’s unconstitutional. What democracy do we have left if we are handcuffed and hauled away when we raise our voices? The only choice is to come out stronger every time!”
Re: Photos of Follow Up Action re: Local Armed Forces Recruiting Center
08 Jun 2004

Protester may see charges dropped
Student mimicked Iraq prison photo

By David Abel, Globe Staff, 6/8/2004

he Suffolk district attorney's office is "strongly considering" dropping charges against a Boston College junior arrested last month while protesting in front of a downtown military recruiting center by imitating one of the photos taken at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison.


On May 26, Joseph Previtera, Jr., 21, an international studies major, stood on a crate outside the Armed Forces Career Center on Tremont Street wearing a pointy, black hood and a gauzy, dark shawl. Mimicking the photograph, he dangled two wires from his outstretched fingers, as if he would be electrocuted.

Soon afterward, police arrested Previtera, and he was arraigned the next day in Boston Municipal Court on charges of disturbing the peace, making a false bomb threat, and possession of a hoax device.

Authorities are now saying they have yet to find evidence that Previtera was making a bomb threat.

"As best we know now, we're not aware of him saying anything threatening," said David Procopio, a spokesman for the district attorney's office.

"I think it's safe to say we're strongly considering dismissing the charges."

He added: "Boston has a proud tradition of political protest, and the district attorney's office supports anyone's right to do that, so long as it's done peacefully. If we determine he was acting peacefully, and the charges are not appropriate, we would make a decision to terminate the prosecution."

"Until they actually dismiss the charges -- I'm still waiting to see," Previtera said last night in a phone interview.

"I think the charges are bogus," he said. "I was standing there depicting the iconic picture of the tortured Iraqi prisoner. I think they were trying to suppress my free speech."

Previtera said he was trying to humanize the issue, by having people see a depiction of the torture.

He chose the location so potential recruits might see an alternative perspective of what the recruiter might tell them.

"This was not only for their own safety," he said, "but because of the torture they might be asked to commit."

Previtera is scheduled to appear in court June 16 for a pretrial hearing.

© Copyright 2004 Globe Newspaper Company.