Occupy Boston Daily Digest for 4-18-12

Good Morning from Occupy Boston!

Stories of the Day: Members of Occupy Boston engaged in a “sleepful protest” on the night of April 16, sleeping on the sidewalk in front of Bank of America, before being evicted late in the morning on April 17. Watch the video of the eviction here. And the ACLU of Massachusetts is carefully reviewing the Boston Police Department’s conduct during the Tea Party rally at the Boston Common on April 15. But, even as the police investigation gets underway, a police spokeswoman has already claimed that officers are “getting assaulted” by people holding cameras. If that claim is meant to imply that a Boston police officer was assaulted by those who photographed the officer with his hand on a counterdemonstrator’s neck, it appears that the BPD has predetermined its conclusion. [Note: the counterdemonstrator and the other people who were shoved by the police are members of Occupy Boston.] For the ACLU press release, click here. For a video of the policeman shoving the counterprotesters, click here. And on a lighter note: the latest issue of Spare Change News features another one of our own: check out All The News That’s Fit to Occupy: Back to Dewey Square with the Boston Occupier’s Dan Schneider! And still more thoughts on the 99% Spring: Rather than arguing about whether the 99% Spring is co-option or not — spoiler alert: it is — Occupiers can be strategizing about how to co-opt it back even more. How can all these newly-trained troops be mobilized into Occupying? See story here. And check this out: Occupy West Side Story!

Other Occupies/Protests: From Occupy Honolulu: Kea‘au (Makaha) Beach being forcibly relocated [happening at this writing, on April 17]. The city and county of Honolulu is forcibly relocating the residents of Kea‘au Beach. Upwards of 200 houseless people live on the undeveloped portion of Kea‘au beach on the western side of Oahu. Pushed there by the state, the residents have no safe place left to go on the island. Years of raids, bullying, and shuffling of the houseless population on Oahu have sought sanctuary in this beautiful beach. The undeveloped lands at Kea‘au are protected under the state constitution as a public access area for all residents of Oahu. In direct violation of established law of the state constitution, enacted by king Kamehameha and adopted by the Hawaiian state government, The Honolulu Police Department with the aid of the Department of Facilities Maintenance is evicting the 200 plus homesteaders from these grounds. Kea‘au beach has been occupied for 40 years by the islands residents. Set along the west coast of Oahu, it has been home to multiple generations of  people. After numerous raids and shuffling of the housless people on the island, many sought refuge at Kea‘au beach, a secluded sanctuary on the west end of the island. Families have lived on this beach for over 10 years since the state refuses to address the underlying social and economic issues that forced them there. There is nowhere left to go on the island for the houseless peoples of Kea‘au beach. The city is violently running them out of their homes with bulldozers and garbage trucks rather then help them. Occupy Honolulu condemns the City and County of Honolulu’s violent oppression of the peaceful residents of Kea‘au beach.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Upcoming Events:

  • A public hearing on the third and latest risk assessment for the NEIDL (the Boston University bioweapons lab) has been scheduled for Thursday, April 19, 2012, from 6:30-9:30 PM at Roxbury Community College,  Media Arts Building, 1234 Columbus Avenue, Boston. The closest T stop is Roxbury Crossing. 

For almost 10 years, the Safety Net (a Roxbury-based community group) and the Stop the BU Bioterror Lab Coalition have successfully fought to prevent this dangerous high containment  biological laboratory from being opened in the densely populated Roxbury/South End neighborhood.  High-level containment laboratories do research on pathogens that can cause severe illness and death. The highest level (BSL-4) labs study lethal diseases that can be transmitted by air and for which there are no vaccines or treatments.  The lab is located in an Environmental Justice neighborhood which already faces significant health and environmental hazards.

 Two previous risk assessments have been severely criticized by the courts and by a National Research Council panel of experts.   This latest 1700-page effort can be viewed at http://nihblueribbonpanel-bumc-neidl.od.nih.gov/,   The National Institutes of Health have scheduled the April 19th hearing because they are required to offer  community members and other concerned citizens an opportunity to comment on the risk assessment. We must make it clear to BU, NIH, and the political establishment that this lab is not acceptable to us.   It is essential that we turn out in large numbers. Please plan to attend! A large turn-out could have an impact on the final disposition of the research done in this lab. For more information, please contact Ridgely Fuller, ridgelyfuller@gmail.com.
  • April 19. The Stop Mass Incarceration Network has called for rallies and demonstrations across the country to protest the huge imprisonment numbers in the United States, some 2.4 million people, of whom 60% are African American or Latino. Major activities, including teach-ins and street actions, have been scheduled for New York City, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area, among others. The protests will also focus on conditions in prisons, including the use of long-term solitary confinement; racial profiling; police stop-and-frisk practices against minority youth; and post-incarceration discrimination against former prisoners. The organizing group includes numerous civil rights and social justice organizations, academics, clergy, civil libertarians and actors. Organizers say that such a protest is especially important now, in a presidential election season, when “the horror of racially targeted mass incarceration is hardly being mentioned. And when it does come up, it is raised only to call for even harsher measures.”
  • Union Busting is Disgusting: Defend the MFA Guards Rally, Saturday, April 21. The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston is seriously considering OUTSOURCING their guard union. Some have been working there for 10-20-30 years. They would lose their status as museum employees and would be forced to apply for jobs to an outside contractor with a bad reputation. (IF THEY GET RE-HIRED) The museum would have non-union workers doing union jobs! Let’s give the top 1% our 100% effort in stopping these attacks! DON’T SUBCONTRACT UNION JOBS! Saturday, April 21 from noon to 2 pm at the Huntington Ave. sidewalk in front of MFA.Facebook event page is https://www.facebook.com/events/325005734232758/  
  • What is Occupy Wall Street? A film screening. Occupy HCC (Holyoke Community College) is hosting a film screening of short films produced by Occupy Wall Street in the Forum at HCC, April 27, 3pm-5pm. Come and find out about the Occupy Movement that started on Wall St. and has spread across the globe! There will be a Q&A session following the films with activists from different Occupy groups across the Northeast. This event is sponsored by the Holyoke Community College Student Senate.
  • MA Unite Against the War on Women Rally, April 28, 10am-2pm, at City Hall Plaza. Help defend women’s rights and pursuit of equality. Join Americans all across the United States as we come together as one to tell members of Congress in Washington DC and legislators in all 50 states, “Enough is enough!” All Americans have the right to make decisions about their own bodies, including contraception, without interference from government, business or religious institutions. Please join us as we gather together and show both state and federal legislative bodies that we won’t stand silently by as they propose and pass laws that will impact women’s choices, health, and wellbeing. We need everyone’s voice! These decisions affect all genders, races, and socio-economic statuses!
  • May 1 General Strike! A Day Without the 99%. NO WORK – NO SCHOOL – NO SHOPPING – NO BANKING – NO TRADING. GENERAL STRIKE AND BOYCOTT CALLED! 7am-11am: Financial District Block Party! (corner of Federal and Franklin Streets). Bring a friend and let’s party! Bring whistles, drums, noise makers. Bring street theater ! 12:00pm: Boston City Hall Rally. Can’t make it to Boston City Hall at Noon? Well how about: The Chelsea City Hall? – Gather at Noon – March at 2pm (For More information please contact La Colaborativa (617) 889-6097). 2pm: LoPresti Park Rally/March (Blue Line: Maverick Square) (For more information contact Dominic at City life/Vida Urbana (617) 710-7176). 4pm: Everett – Glendale Park (For more information please contact La Comunidad (617) 387-9996). 7pm: Death of Capitalism Boston Funeral March (Copley Square). We invite people to participate in this piece of street theater which includes puppets, a marching band, and other creative surprises. People will begin gathering at 7pm at Copley Square Park (by the steps of Trinity Church) to put on costumes, puppets and face-paint and get info on their respective role in the funeral procession. We ask that people participate as: mourners (dressed in black), celebrators (wearing neon/bright colors/glow stuff), skeleton block (bring your own skeleton costume). The funeral procession will leave Copley Square Park at 8pm and will travel through areas of wealth and commerce.
  • Occupy New England – M12 Day of Action and Regional Gathering. May 12: Come join Occupy groups from all around New England as we converge in Worcester for a day of action and networking! At Worcester City Hall and Common. More information to be announced.

Calendar for Wednesday, April 18, 2012

3 pm – 4 pm Icarus Project WG Support Group, at the Gazebo at the Common

5:30 pm – 7 pm Info WG Meeting at United for a Fair Economy, 29 Winter St., 2nd Floor, Boston.

6 pm – 8 pm Radio WG Meeting at Encuentro 5, 33 Harrison Ave., 5th Floor, Boston

7 pm – 9 pm Financial Accountability WG at City Place Food Court, in the Transportation Building

7pm – 9pm Media WG meeting at Encuentro 5 (33 Harrison Ave in Chinatown, 5th floor)

Please note! These are just some of the events at Occupy Boston. Meetings and their locations are subject to change. We encourage you to check the Occupy Boston Calendar for the most up-to-date information.

Volunteer Opportunities/Announcements: 

Get your copy of the new Boston Occupier – issue 7 out this Wednesday, April 18!

Info WG needs you! Interested in helping facilitate communication between working groups, and helping put on Open Houses? Please join us! Several people who were involved have stepped back forvarious reasons, and we need more people! The Info Working Group aims to improve internal communications within Occupy Boston. We believe that enhanced communication and coordination within our community will allow us to advance the Occupy movement more effectively. We assess the communication structures and gaps of the OB activist community and develop forums to enhance communication between working groups and individuals. Meetings are 5:30pm at United for a Fair Economy, 29 Winter Street, Second Floor, Boston.

For a partial listing of Working Groups looking for volunteers, please click here! For a list of Working Groups with contact info, click here!

For more information on Occupy Boston’s General Assembly, including passed resolutions, click here!  

And if you’re interested in learning more about Occupy Boston and how you can participate, click here! 

Contact Us: Want to subscribe to the Daily Digest? Click here to have it sent to your email inbox every morning! All Working Groups or Occupy Boston events that need placement in the Daily Digest, please email AnnaC@OccupyBoston.org. And subscribe to the Occupy Boston Media Rundown, a daily listing of Occupy-related news, by contacting JohnM@OccupyBoston.org.

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