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Announcement :: Education : Environment : Gender : GLBT/Queer : Globalization : Human Rights : International : Labor : Media : Organizing : Politics : Race : Social Welfare : Technology
Action to Stop the BU Bio Terror Lab!
06 Feb 2006
************ Please Re-Post and Distribute Widely ************

Recently there has been information in the news about the bio-lab getting approved. Fortunately the reporting on that information was not complete. The LEVEL 4 Biolab has not gotten through all the hoops it needs to in order to be developed. BU is putting in a building and level 1-3 biolabs in that space but fortunately they still have a lot more to do before getting themselves set to develop the level 4 lab. The Level 4 biolab will be testing incurable diseases and bio-weapons.

Please take an easy step right now and call Senator Kennedy:
Senator Kennedy's Number: (202) 224- 4543 or (617) 565 -3170. Inform him that the placement of this lab in a low-income community of color is racist. Tell him that studying incurable diseases in a major metro area is severely dangerous and BU is not responsible enough to be trusted with these infectious and lethal germs. You can even tell him that these germs have a great likelyhood of being developed into Bio-weapons for the US imperial military. Take whatever angle you would like.

If you are interested in getting involved in the organizing against the lab contact Safety Net, the primary organization working on this campaign, directly: 617.442.7822 or safetynetrox (at) yahoo.com. You can also get on their mailing list by sending an e-mail to Stopbioterrorlab (at) ace-ej.org.

For more information on this campaign and many more ways you can particpate in this campaign check out the website:
http://www.ace-ej.org/BiolabWeb/biolab.html
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Re: Action to Stop the BU Bio Terror Lab!
06 Feb 2006
Anything planned for this week? The news over the weekend said they were going to start construction on I think it was Thursday ?
Re: Action to Stop the BU Bio Terror Lab!
06 Feb 2006
[here's some stuff from Mobe]

Dear Friends,

Many of you, no doubt, were dismayed by last week’s headlines about the Biolab gaining Federal approval, BUT WE HAVE BEEN EXPECTING THIS ALL ALONG!

WE HAVE NOT GIVEN UP IN OUR EFFORTS TO STOP THE LAB! Spread the word - federal approval is not the end of the road! Since those reviewing BU’s environmental impact statements were the SAME PEOPLE who awarded the grant to BU, we never expected them to give serious attention to the major questions raised by critics of the lab about its safety, secrecy and lack of community oversight.

Two legal actions are already underway challenging the environmental reviews, and a third is being planned.

Don’t forget that state-wide and Boston regulations are currently being debated which would make what goes on in BU’s BSL4 lab much more transparent. The Fox state legislation would require labs to meet stringent safety requirements and allow public oversight. It is still in the Joint Committee on the Environment and we must insure that it gets to the floor for a full vote. All of our calls to Frank Smizik paid off – the bill is being rewritten again, and “anonymous sources” say that the new draft has a lot of teeth put back in!

Currently, there is a ban on rDNA research in BSL4 labs in Boston. This ban would make it impossible to carry on much of the planned research. We need to make sure that the Boston Public Health Commission fulfills its mandate to protect the public by maintaining this ban.

Most important to remember at this moment is that JUST BECAUSE THE BUILDING GOES UP DOESN’T MEAN IT WILL HOUSE A BSL4 LAB!

In a suburb of Toronto, activists succeeded in keeping the BSL4 component of a laboratory intended as a combined Level 3 and 4 from going into operation. Public outrage forced this outcome. We can do the same in Boston. La lucha continua!

THE COALITION TO STOP THE BIOTERRORISM LAB IS PLANNING A WEEK OF STREET ACTION DURING THE WEEK OF VALENTINE’S DAY! Stay tuned for details!
# DIRECT ACTION
# Next Planning meeting for March 18th
# SAVE THE DATES!!!!
# Rep. Gloria L. Fox Responds to Federal Approval for BU BSL4 Bioterrorism Lab
# Film Series - RACE: THE POWER OF ILLUSION
# Don't forget, Mobe has moved!

DIRECT ACTION

The time has come for direct action and lots of it!

We knew eventually it would come down to blocking the bulldozers!

If you are interested in participating in Direct Action or receiving non-violence and civil disobedience training please contact us @ 617-492-5599 or email contactus (at) bostonmobilization.org

Perhaps there is a silver lining to all of this. We have been involved in a campaign that has been able to delay the start of construction for years. Now, perhaps the threat of groundbreaking will galvanize more people into action, which will generate enough publicity to stop this thing!

We can do it! Public opinions have stopped BSL4 labs in other cities!

Next Planning meeting for March 18th

Be part of this event! Join us at the Cultural Cafe, 76 Atherton Street, Jamaica Plain

Wednesday March 8th @ 6:00 pm, and every following Wednesday

SAVE THE DATES!!!!

February 24th @ the Democracy Center

Benefit Concert for March 18th & Boston Mobe

Bands include: Superpower, The Peasants, Disaster Strikes and many more!

For more information please contact soundsalvation (at) gmail.com ---------------------------------------------------------

February 27th @ the Democracy Center

World Mobilization Reportback

Former Mobe Intern and Independent filmmaker, Alisa Sofila, has been traveling the Globe, documenting and participating in youth an freedom movements. Join us as she presents her work in progress, Freedom Fayanka, a multi-continental journey through the meaning(s) of freedom and democracy, self-determination, rebellion, and popular power in today's economic and cultural global war on humanity. The film was shot in Venezuela, Cuba, the USA, Ukraine, Little Tibet, and India. She will also talk about the Peoples' Global Action network and future media projects through the pacha-continent.

For more information please contact soundsalvation (at) gmail.com ------------------------------------------------------

REBEL SKY TRIBUTE

March 10, 2006, 5:00 – 7:30

With Howard Zinn, Margaret Burnham and Freda Rebelsky

On March 11 our dear friend Freda Gould Rebelsky is turning 75! From the time she was three years old, standing on her father’s shoulders at a rally to save Ethiopia, Freda has been on the frontlines in the fight for peace and social justice. She has inspired many generations of us – students, friends, and colleagues – with her unflagging energy, devotion and straight talk.

And now we invite you to join us in honoring her.

As many of you know, Freda is active in the Boston area working with organizations fighting for peace and social justice. This includes her special role as a board member of two groups, Community Change Inc. and Boston Mobilization. The two of us are getting together honor Freda on her special day. Of course Freda would never allow us to just throw her a party without a practical purpose. So the proceeds from the event will be split between the two organizations. What a great way to pay a tribute to Freda and celebrate her lifelong commitment to social justice!

To celebrate Freda, there’ll be singing, dancing, jazz music. Howard Zinn, Margaret Burnham and Freda herself will host a free flowing discussion about the themes of social justice that Freda has devoted her life to.

March 10, 2006, 5:00 – 7:30

Grace Church, 76 Eldridge St, Newton 02458

With a reception afterwards with food, wine and music!

In honor of Freda’s 75th birthday, tickets are $75 a pair, but also in honor of Freda, nobody will be turned away for lack of money. Pay what you can! For more information, please contact Sharon Stout: sharonostout (at) mahogany-group.com
See the new WorldMobilization webpage

Rep. Gloria L. Fox Responds to Federal Approval for BU BSL4 Bioterrorism Lab

REPRESENTATIVE GLORIA L. FOX, State House, Room 167, Boston, MA 02133, Tel: 617-722-2810 Fax: 617-722-2846

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – February 2, 2006 - Contact: James Stark (617-722-2810)

“I am deeply disappointed at today’s decision by the National Institutes of Health to approve and fund Boston University’s proposed bio-defense laboratory to be placed in the South End/Lower Roxbury section of Boston.”

“To anyone who has followed this NEPA process this is no surprise. It was clear early on that NIH would not closely examine the potential impacts of the lab or alternative locations. It was clear that it intended to dismiss all environmental and racial justice considerations. When NIH chose in September 2003 to fund 2/3 the cost of the BU lab, its direction was set. The public is ill served by NIH’s self-serving declarations and decisions.”

“It is quite unfortunate that this whole process of placing a facility that will be doing bio-defense work on select agents and pathogens with no known cure has been rammed down our throats by NIH and Boston University. Many questions raised by community members, public health officials, and environmental organizations have gone largely unanswered still to this day. While Boston University claims it has attended over one hundred community meetings, it has given the same boiler plate presentation, and refuses to answer questions about transparency, safety procedures, transport of deadly toxins, and security of the facility.”

“Boston University has not earned the trust of the community to build such a facility. They deliberately lied to government officials when they reported last December that they have never experienced a laboratory mishap in their current laboratories. Only one week after that report came out did a whistleblower alert the public that three scientists became infected with tularemia while unknowingly working with virulent strains of tularemia. These scientists left the facility, came into contact with many people, and soon realized something was wrong and went to a hospital for treatment. Luckily, tularemia is treatable, and is not infectious. Nonetheless, after this cover up was reported, Boston University responded by saying that this was ‘one more example of a lack of attention in the laboratory that we think isn’t up to our standards’.”

“Just recently, through a Freedom of Information Act request by a local environmental agency, we learned of another problem that BU has not reported to the public. This high containment bioterrorism laboratory will be built beside the Roxbury Canal Conduit. A July 2003 analysis done by the Antiterrorism and Force Protection Team engineers found that the Conduit presented a security threat to the facility. Boston University then pledged one million dollars to address this vulnerability. NIH and BU never mentioned this significant vulnerability in their environmental or regulatory filings. It is irresponsible for this facility to be placed in such a densely packed urban community when Boston University has not been forthright with the community and local public health agencies.”

“I am working day and night to see to it that this facility does not get built. If placement of this facility is not reconsidered, I am the sponsor of state legislation to regulate the facility with enforcement provisions that close the lab if work is being done that endangers the community. Currently, conditions exist only where if they again fail to follow their own standards, work can still continue. To allow work to continue that endangers the lab workers to such diseases as Ebola, The Plague, and other diseases with no cure is a recipe for disaster.”

“I urge the public to call their elected officials and ask if they can guarantee the public’s safety in case such a pathogen infects a lab worker. After all, it will be the government that will be relied upon to make the decision to quarantine the public, not Boston University. It is critical that the community continues to make their voices heard.”
What's being Done ?
08 Feb 2006
This issuse seems to be being ignored by many in the community. Compared to what usually gets posted on imc for variuos issuses like iraq, there seems to be a proclivity about ignoring issues that directly affect the communties of color?
Re: Action to Stop the BU Bio Terror Lab!
08 Feb 2006
I'm actually shocked no one cares about Dr. King's widow passing away. She was an amazing person, as was her husband, but none of you seem to care. Nothing to really rant and rave about so she falls by the wayside.
Veteran...
08 Feb 2006
..and that was what to do with the bio weapons plant?
Re: Action to Stop the BU Bio Terror Lab!
08 Feb 2006
nothing at all! What does the "communities of color" have to do with a lab? LAst time I checked we all live in "communties of color".
communities of color
08 Feb 2006
I may be wrongi, but I think t's where it's being built.
Re: Action to Stop the BU Bio Terror Lab!
08 Feb 2006
this lab has everything to do with a community of color. the thing is being built in roxbury/south end and roxbury is a predominately african american community. you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. i, like i am sure everyone else on this forum mourned the passing of Cortta Scott King, however that has nothing to do with this post. if you are going to criticize us, come up with the information that would make it an effective argument and do not digress.
chirst!
Re: Action to Stop the BU Bio Terror Lab!
08 Feb 2006
Interesting post!
which is reality again? Veteran keeps confusing me!
09 Feb 2006
Veteran is not really a Veteran, nor does he think MLK was amazing, unless he agrees with MLK that wars are fomented by the rich to make money on the blood of the poor. No, Veteran is playing a role, as do many poeople on these lists. It is intended to give the occasional honest to goodness reader the impression that the military is cool with MLK. This is Public Relations 101 , friends. What matters is substance, and many people on these message boards have made a career of declining to address real issues--they are trying to impose their alternate reality on you.

The BU bioterror lab is a BAD thing. We don't gather figs from thistles, nor godness from Bioterror Labs. Bioterror labs produce bioterrors, period. putting one in a neighborhood with lots of poor people is wrong.

But you know what kids? Money talks. And if you don't suck ass to make some, others will and they will bring bioterrors to your neighborhood one day.