Occupy Boston Daily Digest for 5-8-12

Good Morning from Occupy Boston!

Stories of the Day: The growing number of “ag gag” bills being passed state by state actually stem from “model legislation” prepared by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). These bills make it illegal for undercover investigators, concerned citizens, journalists, or anyone with a camera to capture “behind the scenes” footage of factory farms. Invested corporations are concerned that if Americans could see exactly where their food comes from and the horrors from within, we wouldn’t purchase from those companies anymore. For more, see ALEC’s Influence Over U.S. Food Policy. And ALEC has been under fire lately after the 15 major corporations and organizations pulled their support for the conservative organization, which helps quietly implement corporate-backed legislation in statehouses across the country. Now, the watchdog advocacy group group Common Cause has released a complete list of corporations on ALEC’s task forces. See a 5-minute video, ALEC Explained, for easy–to-understand information on ALEC. To see the trailer for a film project on GMOs, click here: http://www.gmofilm.com. And even before the hospital bills started coming, Lori Duff and her family were living paycheck to paycheck. So when the debt collector called and demanded $1,800 for the prenatal visits she’d had while pregnant with her third son, she panicked. The collector said the local Catholic hospital Duff had gone to could garnish 25 percent of each of her paychecks to pay off the bill. She offered to make a $20 payment—all she could afford at the time—but the collector told her the minimum was $400 down. “I was like, ‘I don’t have that. You can have everything in my account right now. It’s $1.25,’” Duff recalls. Duff was likely eligible for free care under the Mount Carmel Health System’s financial assistance policy, which offers medical care at no charge for patients earning less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level. But the debt collector kept calling and soon informed her that the hospital was planning to sue her for the money. For more, see Sued Over An $1,800 Hospital Bill. And in positive news: Grameen Bank in Bangladesh does what most conventional banks fail to do: provide credit to the poorest people without any collateral. The underlying vision of Muhammed Yunus – founder, managing director, and Nobel laureate – is to lend to people based on their potential, rather than material possessions. For a short video, see Grameen Bank Lifts its Borrowers Out of Poverty. And check out the trailer for the film project American Autumn: An Occudoc.

Other Occupies/Protests: From W0men Occupying Wall Street (WOW): May 17, 6:30pm-9:30pm, Washington Square Park, New York City: Women Occupying Wall Street (WOW) invites people and organizations of all gender identities to the first Feminist General Assembly! Together, let’s stand for justice and disarm the war on women. It’s time to rise up! Misogyny is flagrant in our patriarchal society, not only from the politicians, but even from our comrades. It’s time for us to join, support, and empower each other by amplifying all our voices. This will be the beginning of what we hope will become an ongoing discussion throughout the nation and worldwide. Through this assembly we will create a public space for collaborating to address patriarchy, violence, and hierarchical structures that harm everyone. In the spirit of cooperation and transparency of Occupy Wall Street, we have been meeting, and continue to do so once a week, on various days of the week, and at various locations, to openly plan the event, and make participation in planning accessible to as many as possible.

Please RSVP to us at wowsnyc@gmail.com to let us know if you’d also like to take part in planning with us. And of course, feel free to please pass this along!

Find us on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/WOWSNYC
http://www.facebook.com/events/175078435948082/?ref=ts

Follow us on Twitter: @wowsnyc

On Tumblr:
http://wowsnyc.tumblr.com/

“The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.” Gloria Steinem

 Upcoming Events:
  • AMEND! – a MassOccupy/Brookline public forum the national movement to amend, what the amendment should contain, and how to bring it about.  Wednesday, May 9, 7:00-9:00 p.m. Selectmen’s Hearing Room, 6th floor, Brookline Town Hall, 333 Washington Street, Brookline, MA. Take Green line D Train to Brookline Village, you have about 3 blocks to walk.Featured speakers will be two of the nation’s foremost spokespeople for the movement:• LAWRENCE LESSIG, Harvard Law School professor, author of “Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress – and a Plan to Stop It” and arguably the nation’s leading academic campaigner to end the corrupting influence of money in politics.• JOHN BONIFAZ, leader of the successful 1998 campaign for Clean Elections in Massachusetts and numerous other voting rights struggles in the US during the past two decades, co-founder and director of Free Speech for People, a lawyer highly experienced in conducting public campaigns, and a compelling speaker. Contact:Frank Farlow frank.farlow@verizon.net 617-232-9654David Klafter dbklafter@gmail.com 617-734-2593Bruce Wolff, balobo@verizon.net617-232-8215

  • May 9, 4pm-6pm, Community Picket to Support Janitors. What’s disgusting? Union busting! Where: We will meet at the corner of St. James Ave. & Dartmouth and will head over together to 31 St. James to picket. Why: Come out and support union janitors who face layoffs this Friday May 11because they are being replaced by another contract company that plans on using non-union labor. This is a typical tactic used by bosses to fire union workers to be replaced by workers who will have to labor under deteriorated working conditions, less pay, and little to no benefits. We want to make it clear to Capital Properties (the owner/s of the Park Square building at 31 St. James Ave.) that union busting will not be tolerated in Boston.Article about May 1st, 2012 picket: http://siglo21.com/massachusetts/conserjes-exigen-prosperidad-renovada/. Info post by the SEIU: http://www.seiu615.org/2012/05/03/may-day-international-workers-day-coverage/. Facebook event: http://www.facebook.com/events/116331365165236
  • The Bank Working Group will host: Understanding Wall Street Banking & How OCCUPY Can Do Better for the 99%

    Saturday, May 12th, 5-6:30 pm,  Occupy Boston-General Assembly, Community Church of Boston, 565 Boylston Street, Boston. Speakers include: Professor Fred Moseley, Mt. Holyoke and Professor Jim Campen, (ret.) UMass-Boston

    Developing a common knowledge base and steps for transparent financial institutions committed to the public good

  • 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…) Facebook event page: http://www.facebook.com/events/330778876980716/

    This is, a non-violent protest, but just be aware the Worcester PD has a reputation of conducting political related intimidation tactics and may be tempted to arrest people as a result the second they perceive people step out of line. Occupy New England has answered the call of the global day of action by various groups in Spain, the anniversary of last year’s 15M protests in that country.  More info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011%E2%80%932012_Spanish_protests or http://www.may12.net

    Preliminary timeline of events: (Please note times/actions are subject to change.)

    9 am: Begin gathering at Worcester Common

    10 am: Second New England Solidarity March.  We will take to the streets (or sidewalks, since we don’t have permits) and join our comrades around the world in protest against corrupt government, corrupt banks, austerity measures, and other related issues of the Indignants.  March will include protests outside various bank branches (notably Sovereign/Santander and Bank of America) with corrupt and greed driven leadership.  Any CD will be considered autonomous actions, or the result of Worcester PD intimidation and hostilities.

    Midday: Occupy New England gathering.  Come meet your fellow Occupiers from around the region, plan out regional strategies, discuss what your local Occupy group has done and has planned coming up.  Some food will be provided for lunch, it is also encouraged those who can please assist Worcester Food Not Bombs with the lunch efforts.

    1 pm: Occupy Worcester’s Women and Queer Caucus presents: Women’s Health Matters!  Held at the YWCA of Central Mass. (a block from the Common down Franklin St.), Workshops include:  Men as Allies, Supported Pregnancy and Empowered Birth, Healthy Families, Slut Shaming, Women over 50, and Lies and Truths about Abortion.  Bring your knitting supplies and come learn about the Snatchel Project.

    Facebook event page: http://www.facebook.com/events/333705343363009/

    The regional gathering and the Women’s Health Matters events will likely run concurrently, at least for parts of the early afternoon.

    Late afternoon: Neighborhood cleanup around the Common and Downtown Worcester (if enough interest).

    If anyone is interested in providing musical entertainment for the march and other parts of the day, please reply to Occupy New England or Occupy Worcester on Facebook.

  • May 13, 12pm-2pm, Cape Exit of the Sagamore Bridge. No Escape from the Cape: Cape Codders will mobilize to call attention to the serious dangers of the continued operation of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Reactor in Plymouth and the fact that the Cape Cod bridges will be closed in the event of a radiological accident. The Emergency Planning Zone plans call for both Cape bridges to be closed (with one lane open only to emergency vehicles only). There is no escape from the Cape and the population will be at great risk. In Japan, the NRC recommended evacuation within 50 miles of Fukushima. Cape Cod is 12 miles from the Pilgrim reactor. We call upon the NRC to deny the re-licensing of the reactor and for Entergy Corporation to put people before profits and close down the Pilgrim reactor.
  • Restoring the Dream of Democracy – Reversing Citizens United.  A forum with State Senator Jamie Eldridge and attorney Jeffrey Clements.  Arlington Center for the Arts, 41 Foster Street  Arlington.  May 14, 6:30 – 8:30pm. Sponsored by Progressive Democrats of America and co-sponsored by Occupy Arlington. This will be an education session talking about what people can do from a grassroots perspective.
  • Understanding Wall Street Banking & How OCCUPY Can Do Better for the 99%Saturday, May 12th, 5-6:30 pm,  at the beginning of the Occupy Boston General AssemblyCommunity Church of Boston, 565 Boylston Street, BostonAlready on board: Professor Fred Moseley, Mt. HolyokeProfessor Jim Campen, (ret.)UMA-BostonDeveloping a common knowledge base and steps for transparent financial institutions committed to the public good
  • Nonviolence WG will be meeting on May 15 4-5:30 and May 30 3-4:30 at the Clear Conscience Cafe, Central Square, Cambridge. Agenda items include follow-up on support to opposition to the potential BU biolab for level 3/4 hazardous substances; planning for 2 upcoming trainings: one in conjunction with other local community organizations and one for trainers. Contact: Linda Jenkins, Linda Jenkins, lindajenkins177@yahoo.com.
  • 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 8 12
  • Please join the “Decolonize to Liberate” Working Group of Occupy Boston for a special screening and discussion of a newly-released groundbreaking film, “2012: La Palabra Maya (the Mayan Word).” Hear the voices of the Mayan people as they share their perspectives on the prophecies of their ancestors and their fight to defend Mother Earth and their culture from destruction.Friday, May 18th, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
    First Parish (UU) Church in Harvard Sq.
    3 Church Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
    As with all Decolonize/Occupy events, this is FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!“2012: The Mayan Word” is both a message of hope and a call to action. Featuring testimonies from contemporary Mayans throughout Mesoamerica, from spiritual guides to activists, community leaders, farmers, artists, teachers, and children, this film is an extraordinary journey into the heart of Mayan struggle and spirituality.Watch the Trailer, here http://youtu.be/11KdG4z5FuY
    You can also watch the entire film for free, here http://youtu.be/UwvpsVsawMgThe film (64 Minutes) will be followed by discussion with special guests, including Carlos Aceves (via Skype), author of “Nine Seasons: Beyond 2012” and other in-person guests To Be Announced. Attendees will also learn how they can join with Cambridge-based non-profit Cultural Survival (cs.org) to help legalize community radio in Guatemala. Organizers are performing outreach to invite members from local Mayan and Mexican/Guatemalan communities, and are planning to arrange for adequate translation. If you can help with either of these efforts, please contact decolonizeboston@gmail.com.
  • Shut Down Pilgrim Now! May 20, 1pm-2pm. Groups of concerned citizens from across New England will gather in Plymouth to demand that the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Reactor 40 year license expire. The General Electric Mark 1 Boiling Water Reactor is the same design that failed in Japan. Loss of electricity was an activating factor and, according to NRC officials, could happen here. The nuclear waste spent fuel pool was designed to hold 880 highly radioactive rods and currently holds 3,270. The aging reactor is susceptible to embrittlement with inherent problems. The terrible disaster of Fukushima has mobilized citizens to come out in the streets to demand the shut down of Pilgrim. We will march to Entergy Co. and deliver a citizen’s petition to cease and desist putting our lives and our beautiful environment at risk and call for the shut down of Pilgrim now.
  • 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.

Calendar for Tuesday, May 8, 2012

1pm – 2pm  Occupy Harvard Think Tank, Dudley House Cafe (no ID required), Harvard Yard, Cambridge, Cafeteria entrance is at the TOP of the stairs.

3pm – 4pm  Signs WG Meeting, Encuentro 5, 33 Harrison Avenue, 5th Flo0r, Boston
5pm – 6:45pm, Facilitation WG Meeting, 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.