Occupy Boston Daily Digest for 5-3-12

Good Morning from Occupy Boston!

Stories of the Day: And I worry about germs on the T on a good day: Despite the fact that the U.S. government has a history of dangerous biological testing against the American people, the Department of Homeland Security claims that a bacteria it plans to release in the Boston subway later this year to test biological sensors are harmless to healthy people. “Federal officials say they test the subway sensors by releasing dead bacteria called B-subtilis. They say it is used in food supplements, has been rigorously tested and has no adverse health effects for low exposure in healthy people,” reports CBS News. What effect the tests will have on unhealthy people or those exposed to higher doses is unknown.The tests will be held in Cambridge and Somerville during off peak hours this summer, but not before a hearing on May 16, from 5:30-7:30pm at the Cambridge YMCA in Central Square, during which the public will be able to voice concerns and ask questions about the experiment. The bacteria will be released as a means of testing biological sensors that guard against the threat of a bio-terror attack. The DHS has released a 28-page summary entitled ‘Environmental Assessment for Bacillus subtilis Particles to Challenge Bio-Detection Sensors in Subway Stations’ (PDF). For the story, see the CBS News link above and for more information, click here. And lawyers on behalf of five elected officials and half a dozen members of the press filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging the City of New York, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the New York Police Department, Brookfield Properties and JPMorgan Chase are in violation of numerous civil rights, including the First Amendment right to free speech and assembly. The suit seeks redress for police misconduct during arrests made during the Occupy Wall Street protests and asks that a federal independent monitor be appointed to oversee the NYPD in order to safeguard the public. For more, click here. And why are fully-armed Minnesota National Guard troops patrolling the streets of a peaceful suburb? This is not only  another indicator of the uncertain times ahead, but also a revealing indicator of how worried the Feds are of a possible outbreak of civil insurrections across the nation. For a first-hand report, click here. And a former newspaper reporter with a college degree describes her Year on Food Stamps after her husband of 12 years left her (and their 2-year-old daughter) for another woman. Conditions for women have improved slightly over the last 20 years, but many areas still suffer from incredible inequality, violence and educational disparity. For more, see What the Rest of the World is Like for Women. And a series of Venn diagrams shows in painstaking detail just how corrupt our political system has become and the huge influence that Goldman Sachs continues to have. And a website called http://whatthefuckhasoccupydone.com/ lists the answers to the question of what Occupy has already accomplished one by one.

Other Occupies/Protests: Around 50 activists have occupied parts of the London Stock Exchange and Paternoster square as part of May Day protests in London. Members of the Occupy movement and Anonymous – better known for its online hacking activities – have also erected a number of tents inside the square which is privately owned and the subject of a previous court injunction banning occupation protests. For more, click here. And a coalition of unions from across Los Angeles made for L.A. International Airport on May 1 to engage in a nationwide general strike, calling for greater organizing rights and safer working conditions for the airport’s 4,000 non-unionized employees. About 1,200 members of United Service Workers West participated in the demonstration. And on April 28, rallies to Unite Against the War on Women by UniteWomen.org took place all over the country, including Boston. Here is an overview and an account of Seattle’s protest.

“The class which has the power to rob upon a large scale also has the power to control the government and legalize their robbery.” Eugene Debs

Upcoming Events:

  • On Friday, May 4, in downtown Boston, the stories of five families on the front lines of the foreclosure crisis will be projected onto the seats of financial power – the corporate bank offices that have robo-signed away Americans’ homes, used illegal predatory lending practices to target people of color and immigrants, and pushed thousands of families below the poverty line. Each of the stories – public letters written by members of City Life/Vida Urbana who are being foreclosed by Bank of America – will cover the front wall of three Bank of America buildings downtown. This will be an opportunity for Boston residents, neighbors, and supporters to confront Bank of America with the human costs of its practices, and to recognize the efforts of families most affected by the financial crisis. The voices of the movement will be amplified and made publicly visible on a scale not yet seen in Boston. Following the projections, music producer and organizer M. Antonio Ennis will perform from his upcoming album, Bank Attack, which tells the story of the grassroots movement to fight displacement. Organized by City Life/Vida Urbana and artist John Hulsey, the event kicks off a week of actions that will culminate in Charlotte, NC, on May 9. City Life and other Right to the City National Alliance members and thousands of homeowners will gather at the Bank of America shareholders’ meeting in Charlotte to demand that Wall Street banks be held accountable to the public. They will make the demand for principal reduction on underwater loans, an end to no-fault evictions, the acceptance of rent from families post-foreclosure, and the sale of homes back to families at real market value. Join us for an evening of protest, celebration, and art to send our friends and neighbors off to Charlotte!

    Schedule of events
    8:30pm – Copley Square
    Meet at corner of Boylston St. and Dartmouth St.
    March, vigil, and projection of Letters onto Bank of America office
    Performance by M. Antonio Ennis
     
    9:30pm – South Station
    Meet at entrance to T
    Projection of Letters in the heart of Boston’s financial district
     
    10:30pm – Dudley Square
    Meet at corner of Washington St. and Dudley St.
    Projection onto Bank of America branch office accompanied by impromptu street party to wrap up the evening!
     
    *Transportation between sites will be available for those who need it*
    Alerts and notifications:
     
    To sign up for last-minute text message alerts, please contact Brandon (617) 584-1468 or Susie (205) 319-0231
    Check out our Facebook event for up-to-date information: http://www.facebook.com/events/442085835805312/
    Press contacts:
    John Hulsey – john.hulsey@gmail.com
    Brandon German – bgbran@gmail.com
    Melonie Griffiths – mgriffiths@clvu.org
  • Occupy Boston’s General Assembly has agreed to hold the Saturday, May 5 General Assembly at the fabulous Wake Up the Earth Festival in Jamaica Plain. The Wake Up the Earth Festival is the best summer festival in Boston–it not only commemorates a major victory of the 99%–it brings together one of the most politicized and diverse neighborhoods in the city. Wake Up the Earth—WUTE–is a great opportunity to meet, greet and galvanize thousands of people while catching some rays and listening to live music. Staff the table! Help with children’s activities! 10:30: Parade set up. 11:30: Parade leaves the Peace Garden. Peace Garden, corner of School St. and Washington. Stony Brook T Stop, Orange line. Here’s a map from the T to the Peace Garden: http://g.co/maps/4pcp8. 5:00: General Assembly, Southwest Corridor Park–in front of the Stony Brook T in the Sacred Circle–look for the OB banner. 6:00: festival ends. 9:00–after party at Spontaneous Celebrations. The rain date for the festival is 5/6. If there is rain, then Strategic Action Assembly will meet at WUTE instead of GA. In the case of rain, GA will be cancelled on 5/5. For more information or to sign up for a table shift, contact/click: Aria: aria@littlhous.net. Joe: cc2manj@verizon.net. http://spontaneouscelebrations.org/
  • “Connect the Dots” Climate Impacts Day Event,  May 5, 2pm – 3pm, Boston Common at Parkman Bandstand across from 165 Tremont Street. Climate Action, Sustainability, and Environmental Justice working group is joining a global day of action to issue a wake-up call and connect the dots between climate change and extreme weather . Come join local climate activists to literally connect the dots in a fun and informative game of (climate) Twister.
  • May 5 and 6: Forums on The Real Cost of Coal sponsored by the Rainforest Action Network. Speakers include: Bob Kincaid (WV) Board president, Coal River Mountain Watch; Lowell Chandler (MT) Student activist, University of Montana; Kristen Owenreay (WY) Organizer, High Country Rising Tide and The GoodMule Project. WHAT: The Real Cost Of Coal Forum-Sudbury, MAWHERE: Memorial Congregational Church; 26 Concord Rd. Sudbury,MA.WHEN: Saturday, May 5, 2pm. FACEBOOK RSVP: http://www.facebook.com/events/155182217944879/?notif_t=event_name_change. WHAT: The Real Cost of Coal Forum-Cambridge, MA. WHERE: First Parish in Cambridge,3 Church Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (near the Harvard T-stop). WHEN: Sunday, May 6, 3PM. FACEBOOK RSVP: http://www.facebook.com/events/349900668391499/?notif_t=event_name_change CONTACT: Monique, moniqueditullio@gmail.com; 508-769-2599ADMINISSION: Free and open to the public. MORE INFO: http://dirtymoney.org
  • The Occupy Boston Finance Community Work Session, scheduled to address the issues and concerns raised at the FAWG hosted 4/10/12 Community Conversation, concerning Occupy Boston’s relationship to its finances, is now confirmed for Sunday, May 6, from 1:00 to 4:00, at Hope Church, in Jamaica Plain.  FAWG invites the entire OB community to help create the financial decisions necessary, for the next phase of the movement.  Hope Church is located one block from the Green Street T Station on the Orange Line.
  • Keep Immigrant Families Together! Stop the Raids and Deportations! Prayer Vigil for Immigrant Detainees, Sunday, May 6th, 2 p.m.Suffolk County House of Correction, 20 Bradston St., BostonFor more information about the vigil, contact our Facebook page, or email SocialAction@ascboston.orgwww.bostonnewsanctuary.org.

    1. Immigration through Faith: Faith through Immigration – Personal experiences of immigration as a moral and religious issue.
      A facilitated panel discussion exploring personal experiences of faith and immigration. This session is designed to help participants articulate and claim religious language and relevancy in a conversation dominated by secular and political messages. The panel discussion will be followed by an open period for questions and reflections.
    2. U.S. Immigration History and Your Faith:  We will look at who came and why?  What laws were enacted as barriers?  What role have people of faith played in this history?  We will also ask where we find ourselves in the story, and who belongs here?
    3. Immigrant Stories in the Struggle for Workers Rights

    To register, go to www.bostonnewsanctuary.org, or call Newell Hendricks at 617 876-5038$10 suggested donation  

  • Occupy New England – M12 Day of Action and Regional Gathering. 9am-5:30pm, May 12: Come join Occupy groups from all around New England as we converge in Worcester for a day of action and networking! The day will have four core key components to it: getting as many Occupy groups and participants in one centralized location at the same time for a day of networking and planning, direct actions and public visibility, continued actions against corporations backing ALEC, and finally the flared up “War on Women” – discussion on women’s issues (rights, health care, etc…) Preliminary timeline of events:
    (Please note the following is a rough draft discussed by Occupy Worcester and the M12 working group. More details will be released later on, and times/actions are subject to change.)
    9 am: Begin gathering at Worcester Common
    10 am: Second New England Solidarity March
    Late morning: Direct Action (w/ CD potential)
    Midday: Occupy New England gathering. Have lunch and talk a lot to each other.
    Mid afternoon: Occupy Worcester’s Women’s Caucus event, details TBA
  • May 17 – nationally recognized transgender activist and member of Occupy Boston Gunner Scott will be honored with The Theater Offensive’s Out on the Edge award. As Executive Director of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, Scott led the battle for passage of the Massachusetts Transgender Equal Rights Bill in November. The Transgender Equal Rights Bill, also known as An Act Relative to Gender Identity, makes it illegal to discriminate on the basis of gender identity in the areas of employment, housing, public education and credit & lending.Who: Transgender activist Gunner Scott. What: The Theater Offensive honors Scott with Out on the Edge award. When: Thursday, May 17 @ 6:30 pm. Where: Hibernian Hall (184 Dudley St, Roxbury). Open to the Public: Yes (with ticket purchase) Occupy Boston Daily Digest for 5 3 12
  • Sponsored by the Howard Zinn Memorial Lecture Series: Book launch for Truth and Revolution by Michael Staudenmaier. May 22 at 6 pm at Encuentro 5, 33 Harrison Ave, Boston. Michael Staudenmaier speaks on the Sojourner Truth Organization/STO. STO was Founded in Chicago in 1969 from the rubble of the recently crumbled SDS, the Sojourner Truth Organization (STO) brought working-class consciousness to the forefront of New Left discourse, sending radicals back into the factories and thinking through the integration of radical politics into everyday realities. Through the influence of founding members like Noel Ignatiev and Don Hamerquist, STO took a Marxist approach to the question of race and revolution, exploring the notion of “white skin privilege,” and helping to lay the groundwork for the discipline of critical race studies. Michael Staudenmaier is a doctoral candidate in history at the University of Illinois.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Event Highlight:

Lecture at MIT: THE ILLUMINATOR PROJECT: Developing Best Practices for Public Projection Interventions, MARK READ of New York University

May 3, 2012 (Thursday)
5pm-6pm
Room 14E-310, MIT

Free and open to the public, light dinner to follow

The Illuminator is a white cargo van equipped with video and audio projection, as well as a fully stocked infoshop and mini-library. It is a tactical media tool available to the Occupy Movement, both useful and beautiful. It is a shapeshifter,  a transformer of public space which disrupts the patterns of everyday life, and embodies the social and political transformations for which the Occupy Movement continues to fight.

Mark Read is an artist, activist, and educator based in Brooklyn, New York. He is perhaps best known as the creator of the “99% Bat Signal” that was projected onto the Verizon Building in New York City on November 17th, 2012. His films have been shown internationally in a variety of venues, from the Piazza de Ferrari in Genoa Italy, to the Halls of the Whitney Museum.  He is an adjunct professor of Media Studies at New York University.

Sponsors: MIT Cool Japan research project and Comparative Media Studies.
Contact: Prof. Ian Condry, condry@mit.edu

Calendar for Thursday, May 3, 2012

5pm – 6:45pm, Facilitation WG Meeting, at City Place Food Court in the Transportation Building – Boylston, Charles and Stuart Streets

7pm – 10:30pm, General Assembly, Boston Common – Soldiers and Sailors Monument Hill,  the hill southeast of Soldiers and Sailors Monument, facing the Bandstand. Here’s a link to a Google map showing how to walk there from Park Street T. http://g.co/maps/tj4kr

Please note! Meetings and their locations are subject to change. We encourage you to check the Occupy Boston Calendar for the most up-to-date information. There are events scheduled all day for the May 1 General Strike and regularly scheduled events may not be held.

Volunteer Opportunities/Announcements: 

1) Issue 7 of the Boston Occupier is out now, and we need your help distributing!!

We rely exclusively on YOU, the broader Occupy community, to get our papers out there to the 99%. So…

** We would love for you to join one of our planned outreach/distribution efforts on the T.

** ANYTIME you’re going to a progressive or Occupy-related event, try to pass out papers. These are the most effective occasions to connect sympathetic readers to our paper. Copies of the issue are stored in the OB cubicle at E5, so PLEASE remember to grab a stack.

** Get them to readers in your community. We recommend small stacks in small stacks in cafes, libraries, bookshops, laundr0mats, community centers, waiting rooms, campuses, etc. Be creative!! But we’ve found that the BEST way to get papers to readers is to hand them out face to face, combining outreach and distribution.

** If you are a part of another local-area Occupy movement, a union, or a community organization that is willing to distribute papers — let’s make it happen! You can just come by E5 (between 9 am and 7 pm most days) and grab a stack, or coordinate with us if you’re not able to do so. Send questions or suggestions about distribution to Julie O (juliettejulianna@gmail.com).

** We’re also trying to raise funds so that we can continue printing the stories of the 99%! To that end, we’ve started a subscription service. Read about it online here. I hope you’ll encourage those you know to subscribe to the paper as well!!

As always, we welcome questions, suggestions, and distribution ideas — send to juliettejulianna@gmail.com.

2) Needed: Volunteers who might be available with to help with technical expertise and equipment in the next two weeks for Occupy participants without computer access or computer skills. Project: an upcoming exhibition of photos and short videos of Occupy Boston to be held in Freiburg, Germany. This will be the first Occupy documentation project to be shown in Europe. Please email Bonnie Woods, woods_bonnie@hotmail.com if you are available.

3)  GA locations: 

The following proposal passed the General Assembly of Occupy Boston on April 17, 2012:

Facilitation Working Group proposes the following changes to the current General Assembly schedule:

  • Tuesdays: We propose that, effective May 1st, all Tuesday GAs be held outside. We propose the Boston Common as a temporary location with the idea that location may change in the future. We will give Arlington Street Church notice that our last night using ASC space will be April 24, 2012.
  • Thursdays: We have ended our relationship with Emmanuel Church and therefore propose that all Thursday GAs be held outside effective April 19, 2012, at the Boston Common as a temporary location with the idea that location may change in the future.
  • Saturday: We propose to continue to hold GA at Community Church of Boston on Saturdays in order to ensure that at least one GA per week is held indoors. FWG is in the process of asking CCB whether it would have space available on Tuesdays. If so we would ask the GA to decide whether that one GA indoors should be on Tuesday or Saturday.
  • Community Gatherings will remain on Mondays and effective May 14, 2012, will be held at CCB.

This schedule is subject to review by the GA at any time.

Amendments:

  • FWG will seek access to the web banner and text service to ensure that any change in GA location or time will be widely communicated.

To join the Occupy Boston Community Forum email list, a general discussion list, click here! 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! For contact info for other Occupies in the area, 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. To view past issues of The Daily Digest, click here. And subscribe to the Occupy Boston Media Rundown, a daily listing of Occupy-related news, by contacting JohnM@OccupyBoston.org.