Jobs Not Jails Rally on Boston Common!

When: Saturday, April 26, 2014, 12:00 pm
Where: Boston Common • Boston
2014 Apr 26 - 12:00pm

Let us ALL bring together 10,000 people from across Massachusetts to say NO to incarcerating our family, friends, neighbors, and loved ones. Let us say YES to good jobs that are meaningful and pay living wages.

We will listen to speakers. We will chant with one another. We will be motivated to act with loud voices. 

This event is being organized by a statewide coalition. JOIN US!   www.jobsnotjails.org

Massachusetts taxpayers are expected to build 10,000 new prison units by 2023, costing $2 billion, unless dramatic reforms are made;

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Boycott SodaStream: Standout at TAGS Hardware

When: Sunday, April 27, 2014, 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm
Where: Porter Square Shopping Center • 29 White St. • Cambridge
2014 Apr 27 - 12:00pm
2014 Apr 27 - 2:00pm

Join Jewish Voice for Peace-Boston and the American Friends Service Committee in support of the boycott of SodaStream, a home beverage-carbonation machine manufactured in the illegal Israeli settlement of Mishor Adumim, built on stolen Palestinian land in the West Bank.  Local retailer TAGS hardware "actively participate[s] in many projects to benefit our local community as well as global concerns," and in accordance with those values, we ask them to remove SodaStream from their shelves.  We will encourage customers to join the boycott, and instead purchase alternatives to SodaStream available at TAGS.  Flyers and signs will be provided.   

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Nonviolence Training Weekend - Report

Led by Cathy Hoffman and Ken Butigan, a weekend nonviolence training session was held in Cambridge for Campaign Nonviolence (http://paceebene.org/campaign-nonviolence).

The training brought local peace activists together with folks from Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Worcester and Dighton, MA and one stalwart life-long activist from Baltimore, Maryland.

The weekend began with good coffee and an overview of the Campaign Nonviolence which invites people everywhere to: Practice active nonviolence toward themselves, all others and the world; Join in building a culture of active nonviolence; and Take nonviolent action connecting the dots between peace, economic justice and the environment.

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Budget for All: “We pay our taxes. Are we getting what we need?”

Activists and organizers from around the Commonwealth convened in Boston Saturday for a Tax Day rally and forum in support of the Budget for All.

The theme of the day was, “We pay our taxes. Are we getting what we need?”

The day featured a broad array of speakers from political, social, and faith-based groups that each highlighted the inequities inherent in a tax code rigged to favor the privileged and the powerful and the consequences of an American budget increasingly being pushed to favor militarism and devalue social and societal needs.

Protesters began the day outside Bank of America, denouncing it for paying no federal taxes in 2013, a practice made possible by loopholes carved out in tax law for companies like Bank of America, General Electric, and Exxon Mobil, which are among the largest and most profitable companies in the world.  The crowd was vibrant and with banners and posters flying high drew the attention of hundreds of passersby and elicited more than a few honks and waves from members of the public.

In the afternoon, the group marched to a nearby church and held a forum to hear from community and political leaders about how we got to this point and what we can do about it.  Speakers ranged from Senator Elizabeth Warren (by video) to Grace Ross from the National Alliance of HUD Tenants to the venerable civil rights activist and former state representative Mel King to freshman Congresswoman Katherine Clark.  A framework for action included a diverse set of initiatives, including immediate measures like collecting signatures for the Raise Up Massachusetts minimum wage and earned sick time ballot initiatives, as championed by Harris Gruman of the SEIU State Council, to medium-term measures like lobbying the six Massachusetts congressmen who voted NO to the Congressional Progressive Caucus’ Better Off Budget last week, as championed by Michael Kane, to more long-term initiatives like proposals to wipe out childhood poverty in Massachusetts, as championed by gubernatorial candidate Don Berwick.

The day ended with thanks from the organizers, and the crowd disbursed with a renewed vision for the future of our society and an enriched understanding of the trickle-down consequences of a budget that favors the few. 

Video highlights of the forum:

Also see the video greetings by Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Rep. Barney Frank to the Budget for All forum.

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Testimony for the Drone Privacy Act

Testimony presented at State House Hearing on the Drone Privacy Act, March 5, 2014

Susan McLucasI am Susan McLucas and I’m a member of the Eastern Massachusetts Anti-Drones Network.  We support the Drone Privacy Act.

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From Robin Hood to MLK, A Call for Economic Justice

 Published on Friday, March 28, 2014 by Common Dreams

Groups to bring 'Robin Hood tax' to the doors of legislators across the country

- Jacob Chamberlain, staff writer

A group of nurses, AIDS activists, students, transit workers, and community organizers have an answer to the growing economic inequality crisis plaguing the U.S. and are bringing that answer to lawmakers across the country next week.

Their solution: The Robin Hood tax—a small tax on Wall Street’s large-scale speculative trades that could generate hundreds of billions of dollars in tax revenue. Such a tax could build up America's social safety net and help lift many people out of poverty, the organizers say.

The groups will descend on 22 cities across the U.S. on April 4th in a series of vigils honoring the 46th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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We Don't Want You to Swim in the River

In early April, 2014, the U.S. Navy unveiled its Mach 7 Magnetic Mangler, “a railgun straight out of Star Trek that can take out targets at 100 miles with a projectile flying at nearly 7,000 feet per second.”  So far, the U.S. military has spent $240 million developing the railgun over a period of ten years. CBS News reports that the railgun won’t go to sea until 2016, but one article, published in The Gazette, suggests that the U.S. military may have decided to show off the Magnetic Mangler in order to send a message to the Russian government. 

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