A diverse crowd of over 1,000 people held a vigil and speakout for Michael Brown and against racism and police brutality. I haven’t felt an energy at a protest like this since Occupy Wall Street was just starting. There was a palpable anger and urgency that wasn’t there even during the protests after Trayvon’s murder in 2012. And it wasn’t an anger directed at Ferguson police and government officials. It was an anger at the whole damn system… at one point a speaker asked “Why the fuck are the police here?” pointing to all the Boston Police stationed around the vigil.
Also the local struggle for justice for Burrell “Bo” Ramsey who was killed by the Boston Police in 2012 was brought to the attention of a wide audience as his family gave amazing (the best of the night) speeches. His father started by saying “You don’t need to go to Ferguson, we have a Ferguson right here!”
It basically turned into a mass meeting where people were debating each other and challenging each others ideas about race, class, gender, ect. People talked about the need for grassroots independent political organizations, they highlighted the histories of the Black Panthers and Malcolm X, when a speaker asked the crowd “Do you think we live in a democracy?” the crowd unanimously shouted “No!”
I’m usually not one to label “turning points” in American politics… but I feel like tonight was something special and there is going to be another protest at Grove Hall tomorrow at 6pm and then another one 2pm Saturday in Copley Square. I feel like this has potential to grow.
UAV Engines Limited, in Shenstone, Lichfield makes drone engines to be exported to Israel.
A groups of nine activists today shut down a factory, one of two UK subsidiaries of Israeli arms firm Elbit.
UAV Engines Limited, in Shenstone, Lichfield (40 minutes north of Birmingham), makes drone engines. According to the Campaign Against the Arms Trade, these have been exported to Israel.
At 5am this morning, the group shut the main gates to the factory and scaled the eight-meter wall. The group are now camped on the roof, intending to close the factory for as long as possible, and have enough supplies to last a week, they say.
Speaking from the rooftop over the phone to The Electronic Intifada today, London Palestine Action activist Ewa Jasiewicz said they had successfully shut down the factory: it is completely closed, and the car park empty.
She said they had water, sunblock and locks to ensure the police could not remove them. Their response to anyone asking when they will leave the rooftop is “when is this company leaving” Lichfield, she said.
She was in good spirits and said so far the police were merely “tormenting us with constant chatter.” The group have been locking themselves down when necessary.
Local police have shut down the street outside.
Dear friends and family,This morning myself and 30 other youth and supporters of the Youth Affordabili(T) Coalition have begun a Sit-in for Opportuni(T) in the office of the Massachusetts Secretary of Transportation. I am taking this action because i believe that youth all around Boston deserve a Youthpass, a monthly pass for people ages from 12-21 and for it to work all day every day and even summer and weekends for $10 a month. it has been 7 years fighting for the pass and 3 years that Sec. Davey has promised to go start a pilot and he has failed to go through with it and we are now demanding to get the pilot for the Youthpass to start this year.Below is our “Call to Action.” We need public pressure on Sec. Davey and Gov. Patrick to bring our sit-in to a just resolution. Please support in any way you can!Sincerely,Armando Barragan
Call to Action: Support the Sit-in for Opportuni(T)!
Opportun(T) delayed is opportunity denied.
This morning, 30 youth and supporters from the Youth Affordabili(T) Coalition (YAC) began a Sit-in for Opportuni(T) in the office of Secretary of Transportation Richard Davey. We have worked for more than seven years to make the MBTA more affordable by creating a Youth Pass.
The T is our Opportuni(T) to learn, work, thrive and contribute. When we can’t afford it, we’re cut off from everything. We’re sitting in because we need a Youth Pass now.
We need your support!
1. Call/email/tweet Secretary Davey
Tell Secretary Davey to end the MBTA affordability crisis for youth riders. Secretary Davey committed to start a pilot of the Youth Pass in 2011. He can end the sit-in by honoring this commitment.
2. Join us outside the Sit-in for Opportuni(T)
Today, we are gathering at the State Transportation Building at 10 Park Plaza, in front of the Stuart Street entrance. We are holding a rally at 4:00 p.m. and vigil at 6:00 p.m. We ask supporters to be present outside the building for the duration of the sit-in, to show solidarity with those who are inside.
3. Call/email/tweet Governor Patrick
Tell Governor Patrick that we want a state where youth can learn, work, thrive and contribute. He should instruct Secretary Davey to take steps to make the MBTA affordable for youth by creating a Youth Pass now.
4. Contribute to the Youth Pass support fund to cover bail, fines, and supplies.
Visit https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/1410794 and select “Youth Pass Support Fund” from the drop down menu.
Police don’t exist to protect you from “criminals.” They exist to protect the 1% from you.
The communications, distributed by people working with counterterrorism and intelligence-sharing offices known as fusion centers, were among about 4,000 pages of unclassified emails and reports obtained through freedom of information requests by lawyers who represented Occupy participants and provided the documents to The New York Times. They offer details of the scrutiny in 2011 and 2012 by law enforcement officers, federal officials, security contractors, military employees and even people at a retail trade association. The monitoring appears similar to that conducted by F.B.I. counterterrorism officials, which was previously reported.
another one bites the dust.
Another commencement speaker has fallen to student protests.
Robert J. Birgeneau, former chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley has backed out of speaking at Haverford College’s commencement scheduled for Sunday, following concerns expressed by Haverford students and several professors over his leadership during a 2011 incident when UC police used force on students protesting college costs.”
[NEW YORK, NY] At 11:00am EST Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alyokhina of Pussy Riot / Zona Prava visited New York’s Rikers Island to meet with jailed Occupy founder Cecily McMillan (Zuccotti).
The purpose of Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina’s visit was to offer consolation and solidarity with Cecily and to learn more about the injustices she is experiencing.
The following is a statement from Cecily McMillan’s support committee regarding this morning’s visit:
“On May 9th, Nadezhda ‘Nadia’ Tolokonnikova and Maria ‘Masha’ Alyokhina, who were persecuted for their involvement in Pussy Riot, specifically their Punk Prayer performance in Moscow, Russia, met up with the Justice For Cecily Team in preparation for their visit to Cecily McMillan at Rikers Island. They were very interested to learn about the injustices in this case, specifically in the prosecutorial process and the nested relations between Wall Street, the justice system and elected officials. Nadia and Masha identified with Cecily’s plight, especially the disproportionate sentencing she faces. We thank Nadia and Masha for visiting, and hope their visit will draw attention to Cecily’s case in the larger context of stifling dissent whether here, in Russia or elsewhere in the world.”
We all know what a horrible decision it was to find OWS activist Cecily McMillan guilty of assault and put her in jail for 7 years when she was the victim of a police assault, but an unlikely group agrees with us: her jurors.
Click LIKE and SHARE if you demand #Justice4Cecily and make sure to sign this petition to NY State Gov. Cuomo to pardon her:
Yesterday, an Occupy Wall Street protester named Cecily McMillan was convicted by a New York state court of assault on a police officer. But what happened to her on the night of March 17, 2012, when she was arrested during a raid at Zuccotti park, is very much up for debate. These photographs, provided by an eyewitness, may shed some light.
Last nite the n-word was trending on twitter in Boston after a Black hockey player, PK Subban, scored the winning goal against the Bruins. This is why Celtics-legend Bill Russell said Boston is the most racist city in the U.S. He faced the same kind of abuse even as he was a star player on a Boston sports team!
There is a Boston of the billionaires and bigots; and there is a Boston of the oppressed and exploited. The working class Boston, the Boston of color; and then there is the Boston of the Kerrys and Romneys. The Boston of the $35 billion-endowed Harvard Corporation; and the Boston of the 1 in 4 children who live in poverty, with an outrageous 40% of children living in poverty in Boston’s Black neighborhoods of Roxbury/Dorchester/Mattapan.*
Some media have said that this is an example of Boston acting in a #DonaldSterling manner. No, this is not about one racist NBA owner. This is structural. This is racism, which is as American as apple pie. This is Jim Crow and the New Jim Crow. This is where the yawning inequality spotlighted by #Occupy intersects with the racial animus displayed in the murders of #TrayvonMartin, #JordanDavis, #RamarleyGraham, #DJHenry, and COUNTLESS others. It can be seen in the fact that people of color in Boston and the US continue to face discrimination at all levels of society, including in terms of employment, housing, education, social services, health care, politics.
The truth is that US society breeds racism and oppression. When 1% of the population owns half the nation’s wealth; when the Walton family’s billions are premised upon the barbaric exploitation of millions of American workers; when competition, pursuit of profit, greed, militarism, demonization of the poor — when all of these things abound in this country today, it is inevitable that society will be riven by myriad forms of social decay, internecine resentment, universal distrust and animosity, and of course, bigotry directed outwards in all directions.
The truth is that the existence of such a divided populace is actually in the interest of the proverbial 1%; divide and conquer. Blame immigrants, Muslims, Black people, LGBT people, etc. Direct your anger at anyone but those who actually rule over this wretched society; those who benefit in the extreme from the perpetuation of such a status quo in which a few enjoy unprecedented wealth and power while the many struggle to eke out a dignified, fulfilling, complete human existence.
Happening now: student action at Rutgers to oppose the choice of war criminal Condoleeza Rice for commencement speaker!\
Breaking: 50 Rutgers students are occupying President Barchi’s offices right now, dozens outside blocking entrances to prevent arrests. Students are demanding that Barchi rescind the invitation for Condoleeza Rice to speak at commencement and cancel her honorary degree due to her war crimes. Spread the word to Rutgers faculty, students and staff to come on down to Old Queens off College Ave. and show solidarity!
At the Boston Marathon this year, every fifty steps there was a Military Police officer in camouflage gear, strapped with a sidearm. William Rivers Pitt is all too aware that the marathon was bombed last year - and yet, shouldn’t we be concerned that the powers-that-be can unleash full-fledged combat-ready personnel and weaponry upon the populace at a whim?
… The ultimate legacy of the Boston Marathon bombing - beyond the happy true tales of restoration and healing - will be its facile use as an excuse to further hyper-arm and militarize police forces all across the country. Towns with 5,000 residents will buy armored personnel carriers, civilians will be terrorized or killed by SWAT teams deployed to deliver simple subpoenas to non-violent offenders, the boot will continue to be pressed on the necks of our non-white friends and neighbors…
…and, in the end, it is hard to avoid the feeling that this tremendous arming of the police is inspired by the fear of unrest looming over the horizon, of rising seas, rising inequality, and the rising sentiment that just because it’s been like this for a really long time doesn’t mean it’s supposed to be like this.
Cecily McMillan is now on trial for defending herself at an Occupy Wall Street protest after she felt someone grab her breast. McMillan’s decision to fight back—both immediately after she was groped and now, in court—is brave, and sends a powerful message that women should not be blamed for defending themselves.
An Occupy Wall Street activist was assaulted by a police officer. She faces seven years in prison for it.
On 17 March 2012, McMillan was at Zuccotti Park during a protest marking the six-month anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. When the police began a mass arrest of the peaceful protestors, she was violently grabbed on her breast from behind — an action that, as any woman will tell you, will cause an instinctive response. McMillan’s response is what the NYPD calls an assault on their officer; the physical evidence of what prompted her action is downplayed.
But the bruising on her breast wasn’t all. After her arrest, McMillan was beaten severely by the police on her ribs and arms until she went into a seizure. She was subsequently denied medical treatment by the police, in full view of other protestors who pleaded with police to attend to her. The NYPD claim she initiated the altercation and charged her with a felony — an unfortunately common reversal on the part of the police after abusing arrestees.
Cecily McMillan, a 25-year-old organizer, and has been politically active for over a decade — most notably in the Democratic Socialists for America, the anti-Scott Walker mobilization, and Occupy Wall Street. However, on March 17, 2012, Cecily’s attendance at Zuccotti was a point of party, not protest. It was St. Patrick’s Day and as a McMillan, she vowed for this one occasion to put down the bullhorn and pick up the beer. Cecily swung by the park to pick up a friend on her way to a nearby pub. Minutes later, she was sexually assaulted while attempting to leave Zuccotti in compliance with police evacuation orders. Seized from behind, she was forcefully grabbed by the breast and ripped backwards. Cecily startled and her arm involuntarily flew backward into the temple of her attacker, who promptly flung her to the ground, where others repeatedly kicked and beat her into a string of seizures. In a world that makes sense, Cecily’s attacker would be brought to trial — but unfortunately, her attacker turned out to be a police officer. To add insult to injury, Cecily is being accused of Felony Assault of a Police Officer, a charge that carries up to seven years imprisonment. Two years later, the trauma continues as the constant string of court dates have all but reduced her life to trial and the hope for vindication. This website is dedicated to making sure Cecily gets the justice she deserves.
On May 3-4, police from all over the region will gather to hold militarized trainings called “Urban Shield”. We plan to have our own gathering, in the office of Families for Justice as Healing, to bring together affected communities, share our experiences, and lay the groundwork for a citywide movement that crosses neighborhood, color, and religious lines. We will say with one voice: Close the “gang” intelligence fusion centers! Stop the militarization of the police!
Follow Us On Twitter: https://twitter.com/BostonSTOMP
ACLU of Massachusetts
Black and Pink
Boston Feminists for Liberation
Dorchester People for Peace
Families for Justice as Healing
International Socialist Organization - Boston
War Resisters League - Facing Tear Gas Campaign
Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment
Youth Against Mass Incarceration
STop Oppressive Militarized Police - STOMP aims to bring together activists and communities struggling against the wars on drugs, immigrants, dissent, and terror to mobilize and build cross-movement dialogue about the militarization and federalization of our local police departments. The military crackdown in Watertown following the bombing in 2013 wasn’t an anomaly. Communities throughout our cities face hyper surveillance and militarized police raids every day. We plan to organize to reverse the trend toward more surveillance and create real social alternatives that make our communities safe.