BAAM #11 Now Released
BAAM's 11th Newsletter now out and available for free download (in PDF). This month's issue:
Eviction Blockades Stop Forclosures - pg 1
ICE Raids in Providence - pg 1
International Workers Take On Starbucks - pg 3
The Safe Homes Initiative - pg 3
Obama Swings Right - pg 4
Follow this URL to download the free PDF
...or read the full text version below:
Eviction Blockades Defend Working Neighborhoods, Stop Foreclosures
by Jeff Reinhardt
Amidst the soaring cost of living and a national foreclosure crisis across the country, some residents in Boston are sticking up for their right to housing and to keep properties out of the banks’ hands. On Tuesday July 15, supporters for Roxbury resident Paula Taylor came together to stop the bank from evicting her and repossessing her house, in a technique called an “eviction blockade.” The action was successful and Taylor retained the right to live in her house.
The blockade was comprised of a crowd of over 60 people, including several who decided to lock themselves to the doorways. The crowd chanted and listening to speeches from City Councilor Chuck Turner as well as Steve Meacham, a tenant organizing coordinator from City Life/Vida Urbana.
While Taylor’s condo is still foreclosed, the bank has not claimed ownership of the house yet. Countrywide Financial, which has recently been purchased by Bank of America, agreed to give her another 30 days in her condo, and to meet with her. Taylor originally bought a subprime mortgage from Countrywide Financial. These mortgages have been at the forefront of the country’s lending crisis.
“Either someone will buy who wants a tenant, or, if someone who buys the home wants to move in, I will move out without a fight,” said Taylor in a statement made prior to the blockade. “But I am taking stand based on principle that I will not move out without a fight as long as the bank owns the property.”
“Their [the banks’] accumulation of property is growing week by week,” said Meacham. Once the bank leaves the property vacant, it is open for looting, as many people will strip the house of its copper wire and pipe for easy money. It also brings other property values in the neighborhood down with it.
“This is clearly a case where the bank doesn’t care what happens to a neighborhood,” said Jim Brooks, an activist with City Life/Vida Urbana, who chained himself to the front steps long before most of the protesters showed up. “We need to preserve this community.”
Once it was clear that the bank would not show, the crowd responded with jubilation as the activists who locked themselves to the structure took off their chains.
“The banks are so vulnerable now,” said Brooks. “They can’t afford the bad press, so they decided not to show up.”
City Life/Vida Urbana, a non-profit tenants rights association in Jamaica Plain, organized the blockade, as well as others this year in Dorchester and Roxbury. Since last September, eviction blockades like this one have been consistently successful in deterring the banks from repossessing housing and evicting residents. CLVU has been at the forefront of organizing with tenants and homeowners across Boston who are resisting evictions.
They have also helped influence politics at City Hall. On May 16, the City Council passed a bill for Just Cause Eviction Protection, sponsored by Chuck Turner, by a margin of 13-0. The bill was designed mainly to help renters whose landlords are being foreclosed by the bank. It gives these renters the ability to stay in their homes until the bank sells the property to a new owner, who can decide if they want new tenants or not. If no new owner is found, the tenants are allowed to stay in their homes for two years, and possibly longer upon mediation with City Hall. It also requires that the tenants be notified of the foreclosure, so they don’t continue to write rent checks to the old owner, which has happened often in Boston.
“Without a doubt, I think our actions helped to get that vote,” said Meacham after the blockade concluded Tuesday.
The recent rise in foreclosures is due to bad lending practices. So-called “subprime” mortgages, are risky deals made with high interest rates and lots of hidden charges and fees. Many people sign these loans without a full understanding of the consequences, but the banks have been equally dubious, since they often target people with bad credit histories and who probably are apt to take the loan. This has led many analysts to describe these loans as “predatory.”
As our country is nearing a large recession and foreclosures are on the rise, it is becoming more important for communities to empower themselves and fight back. While the federal government is more than willing to bail out big lenders like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, it is clear that they are not so enthusiastic about helping the people who actually lose their homes, and whose communities are torn apart. Solutions must come from local resources, and this is something that is well understood by the folks at CLVU and more and more by the members of Boston City Council.
Ultimately, it was the supporters at Taylor’s house on Tuesday that helped her keep her home. Future blockades are sure to happen, and any and all who want to stand up for tenant’s rights and preserve communities in Boston should show up. For information about future blockades contact City Life/Vida Urbana and visit their website at clvu.mayfirst.org.
ICE STRIKES PROVIDENCE, the People fight back
By Juice ~ Providence NEFAC
On July 15th, 2008 over 150 community members rallied at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office in downtown Providence where many immigrants were held after a raid that same today. The 30-plus detained janitorial workers were employed at six courthouses across Rhode Island. Many of the janitorial workers who were detained were in the midst of a labor dispute with their employers. A local militant workers association, Fuerza Laboral, had been organizing with the workers to get unpaid wages. (http://www.fuerza-laboral.org/)
The ‘La Red de Defensa’ rapid response network, set up by the Olneyville Neighborhood Association, went into affect, calling out hundreds of migrant people, union members, community groups, clergy and progressive individuals from all over the Providence area.
The protestors made human blockades at the exits of the facility, using direct action to delay and resist the transport of the imprisoned immigrant people. According to ABC, “12 of the detainees have been freed so far, and the rest are with ICE [Immigaration and Customs Enforcement] in Boston.” We made a strong show of community power and indignation to fascistic immigration policy. We will continue to stand together to resist the criminalization of immigrant people! Stay alert for updates on how to help bring justice for the detainees, and continue to resist the criminalization of immigrant people.
The local immigrant action coalition has set up a legal defense and aid campaign for the detainees and their families, many who have no source of income now and children to care for. You can help these families. More info here:
ONE YEAR Anniversary!
The BAAM newsletter staff would like to raise a toast to all of its dedicated readers. Next month (August) marks the 1-year anniversary of the 1st monthly Anarchist publication in Boston since Barricada. So happy birthday us! Our newsletter has learned a lot from our readership. We’ve changed or format since last August, extended our number of pages, and missed only 1 month of publication. We will continue on the same mission next year, providing news and views on the anarchist movement and relating social struggles.
Additionally, we are happy to announce: the launch of our Mail Subscription Program! For $12-15 dollars (sliding scale), you can have an entire year of BAAM Newsletters sent to your door. Plus, your subscription will ensure the future of the BAAM Newsletter. We will have a snail-mail address next month, but untl then, email Jeff at email@example.com for ordering information.
Taking a Global Stand Against Starbucks
On July 5th, protesters around the world mobilized for a global day of action against coffee giant Starbucks. The action was called by the Grand Rapids (MI) Starbucks Workers ́ Union and the Sevilla, Spain chapter of the Confederacion Nacional de Trabajadores in response to the unjust firing of two union organizers. Monica, a Starbucks worker in Sevilla and Cole Dorsey, a barista in Grand Rapids were both fired this spring for union activity.
Even before that, Starbucks was well known for mistreating their employees. Last March a San Diego judge ordered them to pay back $100 million in tips that had been illegally shared with managers. The company also settled unfair labor practices charges brought by the National Labor Relations Board in two separate incidents in San Francisco and Michigan. The charges included illegally firing employees for union organizing as well as threatening, bribing, and intimidating union members. Anti-Starbucks demonstrations took place in cities in North America, Latin America, Australia, and Europe, including the cities of Philadelphia, Belfast, Melbourne, Moscow, Vienna and many more.
Locally, seven people gathered to demonstrate at the Central Square Starbucks in Cambridge. For two hours they served organic free trade iced coffee, held up signs and handed out leaflets. One woman dressed in a white Marie Antoinette costume stood silently on top of a pedestal, holding a handful of leaflets in lieu of a fan. The coffee was provided by Food not Bombs, while the signs were obtained from the Boston Radical Arts Troupe prop library. Slogans included “Starbucks: Wage Slave Labor for Slave Trade Coffee” and “Starbucks Workers Deserve Better.”
The response from passers-by was generally positive. Nearly 300 leaflets were handed out, exhausting the available supply, and several pedestrians stopped to express their support. Even a couple of drivers yelled encouragement from their vehicles. Police harassment was minimal. One cop observed the protest from a car for about a half hour, but left without speaking to the demonstrators.
As a retail company that tries hard to project a socially conscious image, Starbucks is highly vulnerable to tactics that expose their true business practices. A campaign by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers aimed at increasing public awareness recently forced Burger King to agree to a wage increase for tomato pickers at their Florida suppliers. A similar effort targeting Starbucks could be equally effective.
The protests of July 5 sent an unmistakable message that Starbucks cannot mistreat their workers without consequence. If they continue their union busting attempts the worldwide backlash against them will only accelerate.
Cops in Dorchester reaffirm our faith in the authorities to protect us from ourselves by Molly
Fourth of July celebrations linger in the night long after the smoke from the official fireworks dissipates.
As much as I dread the idea of celebrating some supposed independence with red, white and blue flags flying high and with the Boston Pops playing “God Bless America,” really, any excuse for people to celebrate with their neighbors and friends instead of working can’t be all bad. The streets around Codman Square in Dorchester were much like any other streets throughout the country. Parties, barbecues and music and people in the streets lighting off fireworks – illegal in Massachusetts but for one night where you can safely assume that your neighbors won’t be calling the police on you. Of course, that doesn’t mean that they won’t come anyway. Our pals in blue don’t get the night off.
The inevitable sound of police sirens wafted in through the open window at our less-patriotic gathering. Upon looking out it appeared that the blue lights were stopped in front of a house a block or two down the street. Since the police are well known for harassing the residents of Dorchester, many of whom are people of color, with illegal and violent tactics, some of us felt the need to go outside and keep an eye on the police.
A couple of us ran down the stairs and down the street to find five unmarked police vehicles and ten plain-clothes officers hanging around in front of a couple of apparently empty houses. A couple of them were walking around one house with a flashlight, and another was taking a picture of the house next door, but most of them were standing around talking and joking with each other, one of them holding his baton in his hands, no doubt reassuring himself of his superiority to all of the criminals who dare to attempt an existence in the neighborhood. We stood across the street assessing the situation and trying to figure out exactly what about these empty houses warranted a ten-strong police force.
A moment later the answer became apparent when a car driving down the road was stopped by five or six of them walking aggressively down the middle of the street with their flashlights shining through the windshield.
The cops opened the doors and forced the two black men from the car and while two illegally searched them, a couple more illegally searched the vehicle. Having been standing there the entire time, it was obvious that these men had done absolutely nothing to validate these actions. They weren’t speeding so the cops didn’t even have the right to pull them over at all, nevermind to search them and their car. The two of us had no idea what to do at this point.
There were neighbors on the other side of the street as well watching the spectacle – this show was just as much for them as for the two men in the car, to remind everyone that the authorities are always just around the corner and can detain us at anytime. The more we see it, the more normal it becomes, and the less illegal it seems. The police searched the car for about ten minutes, occasionally amusing themselves with comments about the fact that the two men were listening to classical music on the radio.
When they had finished fruitlessly violating their fourth amendment rights, they allowed them back in the car and my comrade and I decided to approach the men as witnesses in case they wanted to make a case against the police. They didn’t want to, so we backed off, they drove off, and we were left with the wrath of the police for daring to call attention to their abuse of power.
“What? You think that was police brutality or something?” says one of them. “No, but it was obviously illegal for you to stop and search them like that.” At this point they all get angry and really aggressive towards us. “What? You should be thanking us!... There is a gun in that house,” pointing to the house in front of which we are all standing, “and there was a kid that was run over down the street...,” as if this somehow validates their actions. “You should be thanking us!”
One of the cops was screaming in our faces at this point. He tries to tell us that they were speeding, and asks us what we do for work and says that he doesn’t come to our jobs and tell us how to do them. I repeat that what they did was illegal and my comrade tells him that our tax dollars pay his salary, which just infuriates him more. We decide to walk away at this point and they continue yelling and insulting us as we walk away. They say something about “his girl” referring to me and I get pissed and yell back that I’m not his girl and that just because I’m with a guy doesn’t make me anyone’s girl and we continue walking.
As we walk down the street we stop every car driving down who will talk to us to warn them about the cops down the street stopping people for no apparent reason. We walk around the block before going back to the party so that it’s not obvious what house we go into if they’re watching. Back at the party we recount the events and get more people to come out, everyone ditching their IDs this time and I grab a pen and paper which I should have done before. By the time we get down the street the gang of cops is gone and I’m kicking myself for not getting badge numbers or license plate numbers.
We walk around for a little bit to see if they moved somewhere else close by and we saw a number of unmarked cars drive past but that’s it. At one point there were about eight of us at the corner and an unmarked car stops to ask if “everything’s alright” and drives off. Something tells me that if there were eight black people standing at the corner it wouldn’t have been so benign an encounter.
As we make our way back to the house our spirits are lifted by the fact that the people came back out to the streets. Despite the harassment of the cops, the desire, the need to celebrate won out in the end. We lit some roman candles and other fireworks and cheered together as the sparks flew. The cheers and the spirit and the sounds of the pyrotechnics igniting and the smoke in the air are all somehow foreshadowing of a revolution yet to come; but it won’t come on it’s own and it won’t come if we let the cops harass our communities with these tactics and worse. It’s time that we all stand together and show them that we know who they’re out to protect, and it’s not us.
We should organize cop watches and, at the very least, every time you hear a siren or walk by a situation where there are police involved, stop, watch and write it down – get pictures or video if you can, just be careful not to record audio so that you can’t be charged with wiretapping. We need them to know that we’ll be holding them accountable for their actions.
The Safe Homes Initiative: Safe For Whom?
This ‘initiative’ began in late March 2008. Despite overwhelming opposition-from community members, non-profits and elected officials alike, the Boston Police Department maintains that the ‘intent of this program is to save lives by recovering firearms from youth that would not otherwise come to the attention of the police.’
Hmm. And how do they go about doing this? By ‘seeking voluntary consent from their parents to allow police to search for illegal firearms.’ In words not taken from the BPD brochure on the program,* the BPD is conducting warrantless, unconstitutional searches inlow income neighborhoods of color, using the pretense of ‘consent’ from parents to waive their rights and ‘participate’ in the program to excuse their inexcusable intrusions. The atrocity of this program is intensified when one considers the demographics actually involved in Boston’s shootings. Says Lisa Thurau-Gray of the Juvenile Justice Center at Suffolk Law, ‘If we know that the majority of shootings are not done by juveniles, then why are we searching only juveniles’ homes?’ Chairman Jamarhl Crawford, of Boston’s New Black Panther Party notes the ‘fundamental disrespect’ from the BPD, ‘Not one Black elected official supported this initiative, but the police department still wants to roll it out.’
A hearing took place in June at the City Hall about a ‘Resolution Regarding the Boston Police Department’ asking that the BPD ‘either add blanket immunity from prosecution to its “Safe Homes” program or ensure that the “consent to search” is indeed voluntary by making police visits to homes informational only, with parents being asked to call them if they would like for a search to be conducted.’ This modification would make the programonly slightly less atrocious. The police occupation of neighborhoods and streets is bad enough without extending their occupation into the private homes of people already subject to egregious state repression. May I also mention that, as of this writing, Boston has only experienced 33 homicides in 2008, as opposed to Philadelphia’s 165, LA’s 193 and New York City’s 250? Just sayin.
Obama’s Positions Change...
You’d Better Believe It!
By Jake Carman
While liberals, leftists and radicals alike flock to Barack Obama’s presidential band-wagon, wooed by the presumptive Democratic nominee’s slogan of “Change we can believe in,” and his “grassroots” campaign strategy, Obama himself has been doing a bit of changing: changing his positions, that is.
After decades of Conservative presidents—Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and G.W. Bush—the Democratic Party surprised the world by running both a woman (Senator Clinton) and a Black man (Senator Obama) as the top seeds for presidential nomination. This made perfect political sense as America’s working class, with economic collapse looming, the war dragging on, our civil liberties disappearing, and our few pro-worker, pro-union policies diminishing, could not tolerate another four years of the status quo. And while Hilary Clinton was clearly in the pocket of big business, Barack Obama stood out like a star, a politician cut from a different cloth: he took progressive stances on many issues, called for an end to the Iraq war, bitterly opposed NAFTA and other free-trade policies and championed change. Furthermore, Obama refused large-scale corporate funding toward his campaign, seemingly rejecting the heavy influences of money on the political world.
People saw Obama bringing true change and lent him their support to win the nomination. But since he won the Democratic ticket on June 3, Obama has turned to the right so fast our heads spun. During his race against Clinton, Obama had criticized Clinton for serving on the Wal-Mart board, and denounced other ties to corporations. Obama even expressed in his book The Audacity of Hope, his sympathies with Wal-Mart employees, “who hold their breath every single month in the hope they’ll have enough money to support their children.”
However, as Dave Lindorff wrote in his article for the Baltimore Chronicle, “Primary Over, Hillary Won,” after his nomination, Obama appointed “a team of political advisers straight out of the pro-corporate, pro-military mainstream of Clintonism,” led by Jason Furman, who Lindorff says is “best known to labor activists for... defending Wal-Mart as a ‘progressive success story’ and denouncing the efforts of union-backed groups like Wal-Mart Watch.”
Obama’s stance against NAFTA and free trade has given way to the vague language and double-speak so common with Democratic presidential nominees. It turns out that Obama isn’t so against free trade after all. In a June 19, 2008 article for The Nation, entitled “Obama Goes Soft on Free Trade” John Nichols quotes Obama who, when asked about his change of stance, said, “Sometimes during campaigns the rhetoric gets overheated and amplified... Politicians are always guilty of that, and I don’t exempt myself.” Nichols points out that Obama’s anti-NAFTA speech to Janesville, Wisconsin autoworkers led to his February 19 victory at the Wisconsin primary, which “proved to be a critical turning point for his campaign.”
After all of Obama’s talk about the Civil Rights Movement and peoples’ struggles, he turned to support Bush administration and FISA’s illegal campaign of domestic spying, constantly used against social justice movements. The Bush Administration has stopped investigations into the wiretapping program by claiming that phone companies, the enabler and the government’s secret ear, cannot be forced to surrender their records or face prosecution. Bush’s friends in congress wrote up a bill to legitimize his claim in June. Only 15 senators voted against the bill. Obama was not one.
Since his nomination, Obama has also taken strides to distance himself once and for-all of accusations that he is Muslim, or that he would work to help African Americans and other minorities. As Alan Maass writes in a June 28 piece for Weekend Edition, entitled “Obama Veers Right,” “The day after he claimed victory following the last Democratic primaries on June 3, Obama appeared before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, where he committed himself to an undivided Jerusalem, which isn’t even the position of the Bush administration.” Obama also called to end dialogue with Hamas and lent unconditional support to Israel’s military maneuvering against Iran. Next, Obama went after Black fathers. Maass continues: “At a Father’s Day speech, [Obama] renewed his blame-the-victim criticisms of Black men as being responsible for the problems of the Black community.” David Lindorff points out, “Barack was out there dissing black dads... charging them, as a class, with abandonment of their children... studies show that black fathers are no less likely to abandon their kids than are white dads.”
Lindorff also tackles Obama’s “flip-flop” on Iraq. Though the presidential nominee once vowed to end the war in 16 months, says Lindorff, “It’s getting harder and harder to see any light between Obama’s and Hillary’s positions on the Iraq War.” According to Lindorff, Obama’s newly weakened stance on the war is: “‘listen to the generals’ and that withdrawal would depend upon the situation on the ground.” Obama is looking more like Clinton, or even Kerry, each day. Don’t be surprised if his supporters pull out the old “Lesser of two evils,” line.
Well, regardless of his stances, he is still the people’s candidate, not another corporate candidate, right? What about his rejection of corporate funding, his grassroots campaign? After his nomination, that all changed too. As Lindorff writes, “Obama, after showing a remarkable ability to inspire tons of small donations...is greedily slurping from Hillary’s cesspool of corporate backers, now that she’s out of the way. Soon, he’ll be wallowing in tainted cash from Wall Street commercial and investment banks and hedge funds, telecom companies, defense contractors, Big Pharma companies, the HMO industry, and the entertainment industry. He’ll be owned like just about every other politician in Washington.” Obama’s changed? You’d better believe it!
So face it: Obama changed toward the right, change we didn’t want to believe in but should have expected. Let’s stop believing in changing a broken system, and start believing in change built by communities—in spite of politicians. Here’s a new slogan for the newly disillusioned: You want change? Make revolution.
In November, cast your vote or don’t, one piece of paper will not make the change we seek regardless of whose name is written on it. The actions we take each day, the communities we build, and the struggles we wage are the key to change, and change will only come if we all participate.
Fuck Corporate Philanthropy
Long-time readers know that the hypocrisy inherent in corporate philanthropy makes me angrier than many things. Basically, scenarios wherein assholes who thieve billions in profits through injurious means seek to improve their public image by throwing a few bucks at a non-profit or making an empty gesture to alleviate some problem to which they contribute egregiously.
This paradigm manifests itself repeatedly. We’ve got beer companies who advertise with images of violent hetero-masculinity, but who go on to sponsor Corporate Gay Pride events with big rainbow banners [cough, Miller Lite, et al.]. We’ve got Levi’s, who closed operations in a small Texan town, ruining the lives and economic opportunities for its former workers, but then set up a relief fund for its own victims(1). Bank of America gave over $144 billion to the mining and burning of coal, unspeakably devastating to all forms of life, but by making lighter receipt paper for its ATMs was declared “green” by the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Two absurd and local instances of hypocritical corporate philanthropy recently made themselves known to the author. Walking down Harvard Ave, I was visually assaulted by a billboard promoting NSTAR’s Walk for Children’s Hospital Boston, which took place last month. What’s wrong with this picture? NSTAR is the largest energy company in Massachusetts and it is sourced heavily by burning coal (2). Burning coal is *fucking disastrous ***to human health— and children’s health especially. It increases cancer risk, is known to cause cognitive delay, not to mention hordes of respiratory issues, including asthma. I’m very pleased, of course, to hear that NSTAR raised $863,276.31 for the Children’s Hospital. It totally cancels out the fact that they’re sending so many children to the hospital to begin with, yes?
Meanwhile, NSTAR’s website further assures me that, beginning in July, customers can have their energy provided by wind power instead, for an additional $4-7 a month. When I went to pre-enroll for this service, I was told that my account would have to be verified to make sure that I meet all of their “NSTAR Green” requirements. Hmm.
The next day, a friend happened to cast a jaundiced eye upon the list of sponsors for the Massachusetts Society for the Protection of Animals’ annual Walk for Animals. Among the sponsors, though Domino’s Pizza strikes one as unlikely, none were quite so hypocritical and blatantly as Novartis (who, I see, sponsored this event last year as well). Novartis is a pharmaceutical company and one of the primary customers of Huntingdon Life Sciences, a contract animal-testing company whose practices are exceptionally abominable, killing 500 animals a day, engaging in outright abuse of animals, and exposed 5+ times for improper conduct on the job. So horrific are they that there’s an ongoing international campaign to get them shut down by any means necessary (3). Novartis must’ve read the part on the MSPCA’s website where it says that 8 in 10 Americans report that corporate support of causes wins their trust in that company. Because if a company that hearts abusing, torturing, and killing animals throws a few bucks toward the MSPCA’s mission to have a significant impact in the lives of thousands of animals, then who are we to question their integrity?
So that’s why I hate corporate philanthropy. At least these reprehensible practices make it that much easier to illustrate why capitalism needs to be destroyed, like, 500 years ago.
 Read about this and more in Miriam Ching Yoon Louie. *SweatshopWarriors: Immigrant Women Workers Take on the Global Factory*. Cambridge, Mass: South End Press, 2001.
 Aviva Chomsky, “The Dirty Story Behind Local Energy,” The Phoenix, 1October 2007,http://thephoenix.com/Boston/News/48183-dirty-story-behind-local-energy/
 For more information about Huntingdon Life Sciences and the campaign against them, go to http://www.shac.net/
Calendar: Get Involved
Open Mic Night at TJ’s Vegan Pizza, 7pm, 487 Cambridge St, Allston/ More info: www.myspace.com/scallywagglesopenmic
Papercut Zine Library meeting, 7:30pm, 45 Mt. Auburn St., Cambridge
Martial arts classes, 6pm, 45 Mt. Auburn St., Cambridge
First Tuesday of Every Month:
BAAM meeting, 7pm, Lucy Parsons Center, 549 Columbus Ave, Boston
Second Tuesday of Every Month:
Anarchist Black Cross meeting (defense and prison abolition group), 8pm, 45 Mt. Auburn St., Cambridge
Second Sunday of Every Month:
Industrial Workers of the World meeting. 2pm, Lucy Parsons Center, 549 Columbus Ave, Boston
Food Not Bombs free community meal, 4-6pm, Boston Common, Park St T-Stop
The Struggle for Abortion Rights in Ireland: Abortion is illegal in Ireland. Aileen O’Carroll, an Irish anarchist and member of the Workers Solidarity Movement talks about twenty years of pro-choice activism, outlines how struggles have been won and describes the battles that are being fought in the present day. Sponsored by NEFAC-Boston. Info: firstname.lastname@example.org. 7pm, at the Lucy Parsons Center, 549 Columbus Ave., South End, Boston.
Solidarity Rally for Verizon Workers: The union contract for over 70,000 Verizon workers on the east coast expires at midnight on August 2nd. Join IBEW to rally for a fair contract before the deadline. 6:30 am at Verizon Headquarters, 185 Franklin St., (Post Office Sq.), Boston, MA. Contact: IBEW Local 2222 at (617) 929-6000 or visit www.ibew2222.org.
Benefit for the Boston Zine Fair and Conversions last show. 7pm at the Papercut Zine Library, 45 Mnt Auburn St, Cambridge, Ma.
Protest Warmaker, Nancy Pelosi. More info: www.stopthewars.org. 4:30pm-7:00pm at the JFK Library, Boston, Ma.
Film: Discovering Dominga. Living in Iowa, Denese Becker was haunted by memories of her Mayan childhood. A quest for her lost identity in Guatemala turns into a searing journey of political awakening that reveals a genocidal crime and the still-unmet cry for justice from the survivors. Directed by Patricia Flynn and Mary Jo McConahay. 60 min. For more information, call Jacob Carter at 860-459-7428 or email email@example.com.
Anarchist People of Color (APOC) Northeast Gathering: Philadelphia, PA. Build a new vision for the future, and a new plan of action for today. We want to expand our understanding of race, class, gender, autonomy, and freedom - while attacking white supremacy, imperialism, colonialism, and ALL borders, boundaries, and barriers. The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA More info: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anarchist Black Cross (ABC) Prisoner Support Afternoon. Send literature and letters into prisons. 2pm at the Papercut Zine Library, 45 Mnt Auburn St, Cambridge, Ma.
First city-wide planning meeting for the October 11 Anti-war demonstration in Copley Sq. 3pm at Encuentro 5, 33 Harrison Ave. Chinatown. stopthewars.org.
Join the Providence IWW for the year anniversary of the police attack on our solidarity march in North Providence, RI., when IWW organizer Alex Svoboda was brutally maimed and she and Jason Fredmutter arrested. Come celebrate Alex’s recovery and our collective strength and organizing with music, food, and speakers. 2pm at Donigian Park (Valley St. South of Atwells) Providence, RI. Contact: ProvidenceIWW@gmail.com or 401-451-3320.
That Night, Concert to benefit Alex Svoboda’s legal defense and health fund, in Providence, RI. Bands include: Narvhal, Jake and the Infernal Machine, Clara Hendricks, Magpie, etc. 5pm at the Small Green House at the Corner of Governor and Williams St. Email: Avacado@riseup.net.
Papercut Yardsale. Just like it sounds. All day, 45 Mnt Auburn St, Cambridge, Ma.
August 16th and 17th
New England Subregional Meeting of the Northeast Anarchist Network:
Day 1: New people and networking day: come share your projects/groups/aspirations/ideas about anarchy with the assembly while eating free food and meeting other anarchists. 11am- 6pm, followed by entertainment from the Network of Revolutionary Musicians.
Day 2: A more serious day of meetings. 10am to 4pm. Agenda will be announced closer to the date, but you can contribute: Email Laila at email@example.com. Encuentro 5, 33 Harrison Ave, Chinatown.
August 22nd ‘Eyes of the Rainbow’- film about Assata Shakur. Discussion lead by Ashanti Alston and Kazi Toure 7pm at the Community Church of Boston 565
Third Annual Sacco and Vanzetti Memorial March. Rally at Copley Square at 1pm, March to the North End at 3pm. Speakers and bands TBA. SaccoandVanzetti.org.
August 24th – 28th
Disrupt the DNC! Help disrupt the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado More info: dncdisruption08.org.
Not in Denver? Protest the electoral process at home! Week 1: target the democrats.
“Beyond Elections: Democracy without politicians” panel, featuring Ashanti Alston, ex black panther and BLA prisoner and anarchist author/speaker; Cindy Milstein, an anarchist activist and educator, organizer of the Renewing the Anarchist Tradition conference and board-member of the Institute for Anarchist Studies; James Herod, long-time anarchist thinker, and author of Getting Free: Creating an Association of Democratic Autonomous Neighborhoods and NEFAC speaker tba.
2pm at the Community Church of Boston, Copley Square, Boston, MA.
Sept. 1st – 4th
Shut Down the RNC! Crash the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota. More info: nornc.org.
Not in the Twin Cities? Protest the electoral process at home! Week 2: Target the Republicans.
The August Critical Mass. Bike Riders will meet around 5PM at Copley Place, on Boylston between Clarendon and Dartmouth and take the streets of Boston together.