Open Media Boston - by Tate Williams, May-18-13 BOSTON - Congressional gridlock and federal budget cuts all too often come across as a maddening string of abstract numbers, amid repeated news of failure to reach an agreement.
But for the people who rely on the affected programs—the disabled, seniors, the unemployed, the working poor—the across-the-board cuts implemented by the so-called sequester has been anything but abstract. It’s lost work, fewer days of childcare, even the threat of homelessness.
On Thursday, organizations and people directly affected by recent federal budget cuts rallied in Boston, both to put a face on the impact of the cutbacks, and to protest the sequester and deeper reductions to social services that loom in current talks in D.C.
“It’s important that everyone here understand that sequestration means cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, home services that people like myself need,” said Dennis Heaphy, of the Disability Policy Consortium. “It’s a complete absurdity for our government to think that this is actually going to result in anything positive. They need to get the courage to do what they have to do to protect the rights of people who have the greatest needs.”
by James T. Mulder, Syracuse Post-Standard, April 29, 2013.
About 250 activists took part in an Anti-Drone Protest, outside the NY Air National Guard Base on East Malloy Road on Sunday April 28, 2013. The protest started in front of the Thompson Road entrance to the base. After several speeches, the protestors marched down East Malloy Road to the base’s main entrance, where 30 were arrested by Onondaga County Sheriff’s Deputies. Sundays’ rally was part of the three-day weekend event ‘Resisting Drones, Global War and Empire: A Convergence to Action’. Video by Stephen D. Cannerelli |
Syracuse, N.Y. – About 30 people were arrested outside the Hancock Field Air National Guard Base this afternoon during a protest against the use of unmanned aerial drones.
The arrests came at the end of a series of workshops and rallies held in Syracuse this weekend and organized by the Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars.
Today’s rally attracted more than 250 people who gathered on the grounds of OCM BOCES on Thompson Road, then marched in a funeral like process to the gates of the base, home to the 174th Attack Wing of the New York Air National Guard. The unit operates unmanned, armed drones thousands of miles away. The drones are used for intelligence gathering and bombing ground targets.
by Klare X Allen and Vicky Steinitz
This article appears in the Poor People's United Fund Newsletter.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines environmental justice as “the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.” Fair treatment means "no group of people should have to deal with an unequal share of the harmful environmental effects that happen because of policies or operations run by businesses or government.” Meaningful involvement means that “potentially affected community residents have an appropriate opportunity to participate in decisions.”
In Massachusetts, the Environmental Justice Policy of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA) aims to remedy “the disproportionate share of environmental burdens experienced by lower-income people and communities of color who, at the same time, often lack environmental assets in their neighborhoods. The policy is designed to help ensure their protection from environmental pollution as well as promote community involvement in planning and environmental decision-making to maintain and/or enhance the environmental quality of their neighborhoods.”
Noble words, indeed! But how do we reconcile them with the National Institutes of Health’s decision to approve Boston University’s application to build The National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory (NEIDL) adjacent to low income, densely populated, Roxbury/ South End communities? Funded in the aftermath of 9/11, this lab proposes to research the most deadly, infectious, incurable pathogens known to man such as Ebola, Marburg virus, and the plague, all of which are agents that can be used in bioterrorism and biowarfare.