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News :: Politics : Social Welfare
Operation: Over Occupies BU President Robert Brown's Office
20 Apr 2006
Boston, MA--This morning seven individuals began an occupation of Boston University President Robert Brown’s office in protest of the proposed BioSafety Level 4 (BSL4) Laboratory. At approximately 9:20am, seven protestors entered Brown’s office, informed the staff that a nonviolent occupation was occurring and asked them to leave. After Brown and the staff refused to leave, the protesters linked arms in Brown’s office and started the occupation.
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“The question is, will the BU administration react in its characteristically autocratic manner, paying no attention whatsoever to the sentiments of the community – either its own community of students and professors or the communities of color where the lab is proposed to be built,” said Eve Lyman, Director of Boston Mobilization.

The lab will conduct research on the world’s deadliest pathogens, such as Ebola, Anthrax, genetically modified Small Pox and Tularemia, and the Plague. It will be built in the South End / Roxbury, a densely populated, low-income community. BU will be receiving $128 million from the Department of Homeland Security via National Emerging Infectious Diseases (NEID), while contributing $42.3 million of its own money. “For three years community opposition and public concerns about the lab have fallen on deaf ears of the BU administration. This action is being done in solidarity with a broader coalition that has been pursuing legal means to address their grievances,” said one protester.

At approximately 10:00 am, protestors were escorted out of Brown’s office after an entourage of police intimidated and threatened them into leaving. “There’s been enormous opposition to this lab for three years, and today we made our voices heard by bypassing all the bureaucracy of BU and going straight to the President. We laid out our demands for BU to drop the BSL4, and Brown agreed to meet with us in the future – so it is viewed as a success,” said Micah Lee, one of the protestors.

The protesters are urging both city and state officials to fulfill their roles as public servants, to ban the BSL4 component of the lab, and to uphold existing Public Health law regarding recombinant DNA research to protect the people of Boston. The protesters commenced this occupation during Brown’s formal inauguration as BU’s 10th president. They want to stress that Brown is ultimately accountable for the decision to build this lab, and he also has the power and clout to keep the lab a BSL3. This action is part of Operation: Over, a nonviolent direct action campaign against the militarization of Boston.

There is a growing movement amongst students at BU and community members to stop the construction of this Biolab, and today’s demonstration was not the end of the story. This action is part of Operation: Over, a nonviolent direct action campaign against the militarization of Boston.
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See also:
http://operationover.freeyouth.net

This work is in the public domain.
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20 Apr 2006
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Picture descriptions are available on Operation: Over's website: http://operationover.freeyouth.net
See also:
http://operationover.freeyouth.net
Re: Operation: Over Occupies BU President Robert Brown's Office
20 Apr 2006
this article should be in the center column
courageous enviro-justice warriors.
20 Apr 2006
Good work! Keep it up.

Don't feed the trolls.
Re: Operation: Over Occupies BU President Robert Brown's Office
20 Apr 2006
Operation: Over, you're doing an excellent job. Keep the pressure up, and bring the fuckers down!
Re: Operation: Over Occupies BU President Robert Brown's Office
20 Apr 2006
This action has been part of a larger campaign that's been building up for the last 3 years, and Operation: Over is just one of the groups involved, along with Roxbury community groups, environmental groups, legal and civil rights groups, and a bunch of individuals, including a bunch of professors and students at BU. We're "doing this for the black people"- we're working together with a diverse group of people with a diversity of races and politics to fight the BSL4 component of this lab.

We've written editorials about the dangers of the biolab; we've held public forums; we're written city councilors and BU officials; we've made phone calls; we've petitioned BY for more information for it's students; an ordinance is going through city council banning BSL4 research in Boston; a bill is going through the state legislature to regulate the lab which would otherwise police itself; we've publicized the Boston Public Health Commission regulation that bans rDNA research on BSL4 pathogens making the biolab's research illegal; citizens of Roxbury are sueing BU; we've dropped banners; we've held house demos at President Brown's house; we've disrupted campus tours and declared a boycott of BU; we've held weekly die-ins both on BU and BUMC's campuses; and now we've occupied President Brown's office during inauguration.
Re: Operation: Over Occupies BU President Robert Brown's Office
20 Apr 2006
The actions, at least I think, have been pretty creative and intelligent.

Malik, resistance to the biolab isn't something that should be divided on the basis of race. Research should be done to treat these diseases, but should it be done in the large university setting where thousands of students have access to hazardous materials and are potentially at risk of contracting the diseases themselves? The lab is a risk to all the people who are around it, regardless of the color of their skin.
Re: Operation: Over Occupies BU President Robert Brown's Office
21 Apr 2006
http://www.boston.com/news/education/higher/articles/2006/04/21/biolab_foes_occupy_bu_presidents_office/

The Boston Globe
NEW ENGLAND IN BRIEF
Biolab foes occupy BU president's office

April 21, 2006

BOSTON


Members of a local antiwar group occupied the office of Boston University's president, Robert A. Brown, yesterday morning to protest the planned Biosafety Level 4 lab, but were peacefully escorted out by police after 20 minutes, a university official said. Seven individuals in Operation: Over were demanding that the university ban the Level 4 component of the lab, which will conduct research on some of the world's deadliest viruses and bacteria, such as Ebola and anthrax. Funded by BU and the federal government, the lab will be built in the South End. ''This is extremely dangerous and irresponsible to place a lab in a densely populated area in Boston," said protester Micah Lee, 20, of Allston. BU spokesman Steve Burgay said Brown is ''still firmly committed to the Biosafety lab . . . it's going to yield important benefits and save lives."
Re: Operation: Over Occupies BU President Robert Brown's Office
22 Apr 2006
"Research should be done to treat these diseases, but should it be done in the large university setting where thousands of students have access to hazardous materials and are potentially at risk of contracting the diseases themselves?"

Where would you locate the lab? The research will only take place in academia if it is located near a major university. (Unless you want it being conducted by the military.)

I'm surprised you'd want to send the investment and jobs from Roxbury to a rural or suburban university.

"The lab is a risk to all the people who are around it."

Based on what evidence? What are your qualifcations to evaluate the safety of bioresearch labs?
Re: Operation: Over Occupies BU President Robert Brown's Office
22 Apr 2006
I am an African American. All my posts have been deleted. How many Black and Hispanic people run this BIMC? Is it all white women? Jews?

screw it.
Re: Operation: Over Occupies BU President Robert Brown's Office
22 Apr 2006
".", there are 4 other BSL4 labs in the country. i believe 3 of them are owned by large universities, and 1 is controlled by the army. the anthrax that terrorists released into the mail system in 2001 came from the most secure one, controlled by the army, in fort detrick, maryland. these things are not safe, and you don't need credentials to prove it, you just need examples of past accidents.

and anyone that's been paying attention to the issue should know that the biolab is in no way an "investment in the roxbury community". the only jobs that it will create will be a couple of short-term, temporary construction jobs (most of which workers will be coming in from out of town anyway), and then a lot of jobs for scientists from out of town.

roxbury has a lot of problems that prevent people from going to college and getting PhDs, like chronic asthma (due to the city's racist environmental policies), police violence, the CORI database, etc. if this were an investment in the community, some of the money for the biolab would end up in the hands of community members who would use it to raise their standard of living. all the money for this lab is going right back out of roxbury, and all it will bring is maybe a couple more starbucks's so that the rich scientists will have a comforting place to drink coffee.
Re: Operation: Over Occupies BU President Robert Brown's Office
22 Apr 2006
micha, please substantiate your statement that the State has "racist environnmetal " policies targeted to Roxbury. l know you would not make that categorical statement merely to vent some emotional prejudice against the elected governments of the various jurisdictions of the Commonwealth. I mean, are you saying that the air along the expressways of suburban Boston is clean whereas at night helicopters spray toxins in Roxbury? Which race by the way? There are as many non-blacks in Roxbury these days as blacks. Do blacks in Milton and Randolph count? Or are they not black because they did go to college, worked hard, saved, and left Roxbury the way that previous ethnic groups rose of poverty ridden neighborhoods that also had polluted rivers and air? Was it racist when the Irish lived in Roxbury in misery and with polluted water? Or Jews(yes, they were poor, if you didn't know).

Just what do you know "michah"? Not much. Go to classes; read books; talk with normal people and with descendents of millions of poor people of all races in the state who managed to better themselves without the guidance of arrogant prigs who play at being radicals.
Re: Operation: Over Occupies BU President Robert Brown's Office
22 Apr 2006
there are 15 bus and truck depots within a 1.5 square-mile radius of dudley square, housing over half of the MBTA bus fleet. there are 54 identified hazardous waste sites (known as superfunds) within a 1.5 square-mile radius of dudley square, and there are 13 trash transfer stations in roxbury. this is why roxbury has 8 times higher asthma rates than in the burbs. racist government policy. they chose to put these environmental disasters roxbury because the people are mostly poor and mostly not white.
Re: Operation: Over Occupies BU President Robert Brown's Office
22 Apr 2006
good detective work micha. do you think its possible that there are other enviro hot spots massachusetts, or only roxbury? If you don't know, what the h are you talking about? Massachusetts is full of medical facilities, defense facilities, and high tech companies living off CIA and defense contracts. (oh by the way, you do know that "liberal" senators kerry and chappaquidick teddy lobby constantly in Washington for as much military and CIA loot for Massachusetts as they can grab.

you libs are just so caring.
Re: Operation: Over Occupies BU President Robert Brown's Office
23 Apr 2006
you clearly arent paying attention if you think micah or anyone else in operation: over is a liberal. o:o is a project of the free youth network, which is an anarchist group.
I'm not a liberal, I'm an anarchist.
23 Apr 2006
Well lah dee FRICKIN DA!
Re: Operation: Over Occupies BU President Robert Brown's Office
23 Apr 2006
Well (A) or @ or @ or whatever. Michah and all the anarchists are Liberalos because it's the same everybody's a victim philosophy and anyone who is successful or creative is awful.

I wll say anarchists are relatively unhypocritical. Socialists and liberals are huge hypocrites as they blab about how great it would be if Russ Feingold, or Howard Dean ran the country. Or Warren Beatty or Johnny Depp.
Re: Operation: Over Occupies BU President Robert Brown's Office
23 Apr 2006
Actually, anarchism is more in line with conservative thought (real conservatism, not the new neo-con bullshit) than liberalism. Liberals are all about big government with excessive bureaocracy and all that crap.

I would assume that someone with a degree in Political Science from the University of New Hampshire, where the seeds of his rap roots blossomed, would have a fucking clue. Guess I was wrong.
Re: Operation: Over Occupies BU President Robert Brown's Office
23 Apr 2006
1) Operation Over has absolutely nothing to do with the Free Youth Network, which doesn't exist anymore.

2) The worst polluted neighborhood in the area is Sommerville, which is almost entirely white working class. So much for that theory.
Re: Operation: Over Occupies BU President Robert Brown's Office
23 Apr 2006
operation over does have to do with the free youth network, look at the call to action and for an even more obvious indicator, CHECK THE WEB ADDRESS.

the free youth network does exist, i am part of it, though it hasn't done anything as a network recently besides operation: over. i resent the comment that it doesn't exist though because that is almost a denial of the existence of the groups that make up the fyn. we may be few but we are strong, and apparently there is a new group of anarchist students in jp too.
Re: Operation: Over Occupies BU President Robert Brown's Office
23 Apr 2006
we live in a rural area in somerset kentucky where a proposal for BSL-4 lab has been submitted. do you have any suggestions to help us stop this.
Re: Operation: Over Occupies BU President Robert Brown's Office
23 Apr 2006
You obviously aren't a part of FYN if you believe 1) That it exists and 2) That O:O has anything to do with it. Operation: Over's website wasn't even built until after the FYN stopped meeting, further proof that the two are unrelated and that the FYN never consented to it being put there (since it had ceased to exist).
Re: Operation: Over Occupies BU President Robert Brown's Office
24 Apr 2006
Have you looked at the fucking url?

www.operationover.freeyouth.net
^^^^^^^^
Re: Operation: Over Occupies BU President Robert Brown's Office
24 Apr 2006
Operation Over and Freeyouth are on the same server, and it's the same service provider as riseup.net.
Re: Operation: Over Occupies BU President Robert Brown's Office
24 Apr 2006
Have you bothered to read what was written above? Operation: Over built their website after the FYN disbanded, and thus never asked permission to use the domain. No one from the FYN cared enough to push the issue. Such is life.
Re: Operation: Over Occupies BU President Robert Brown's Office
24 Apr 2006
just to clarify: the free youth network anti-war group wrote the call to action for operation: over, but since then it's been its own autonomous organization. the o:o website has just been hosted on freeyouth.net because we didn't have money to pay for our own hosting at the time. the free youth network still exists, it's just been inactive lately. freeyouth.net isn't hosted by riseup.net or using the same hosting service as riseup.net- it's hosted by a friend who owns a small hosting company in boston. riseup.net have their own web servers in-house.

i don't consider myself liberal. john kerry and ted kennedy are both assholes- it's true, they both lobby congress to get military and CIA stuff in massachusetts, and they're also both stout supporters of the biolab. this is just another reason why the democratic party is a fucking sellout hypocritical corporate party. but everybody, even most registered democrats i've talked to, already knows that nowadays.
Re: Operation: Over Occupies BU President Robert Brown's Office
24 Apr 2006
"2) The worst polluted neighborhood in the area is Sommerville, which is almost entirely white working class. So much for that theory. " According to the 2000 census Somerville was 77% "White" then, with a median family income of $51k. If you've ever spent time in Somerville you know that it's fairly stratified both by race and by class along a west/east spectrum. I wouldn't be too surprised if the "worst polluted" parts of Somerville are east, by the railroads, highways, and massive industrial park, rather than west, by the universities, wine bars and bike paths.
Re: Operation: Over Occupies BU President Robert Brown's Office
24 Apr 2006
You do realize that east somerville is an incredibly irish and italian neighborhood?
Re: Operation: Over Occupies BU President Robert Brown's Office
26 Apr 2006
The Weekly Dig covered this protest.

"OPERATION: OVER AND OUT AT BU: Biolab occupation fails"
http://weeklydig.com/index.cfm/issueID/13ebb52c-9ef9-446f-9a8b-8fe35a952

My favorite part:
"The day after, with cleaning crews having finished deodorizing the patchouli-soaked administrative offices, BU spokesman Colin Riley said the protest was a bullshit pseudo-event, and that the Dig shouldn’t even bother writing about it.

“Six or seven visitors walked in, had their picture taken and left,” he said. “They called a lot of media, the media showed up, and there was no story because they weren’t even there any longer.”

"
Advair
27 May 2006
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hydroxyzine
03 Jun 2006
Cool!.. Nice work...