Good Morning from Occupy Boston!
Stories of the Day: Activists from Occupy Wall Street, the environmental movement and labor unions, along with victims of home foreclosures, had massive demonstrations at Bank of America’s shareholder meeting in Charlotte, N.C., on Wednesday morning. Occupiers have characterized the event as a test run for activism ahead of September’s Democratic National Convention … For those gathered, Bank of America has become the quintessential culprit for the Great Recession — a bailed-out bank with a bad record on foreclosures and the environment. For more, see Bank of America Protests and Thousands Turn Out to Protest Bank of America Shareholders’ Meeting. In more bank news: Retired Citigroup CEO Sanford Weill will receive an honorary doctorate, as will his wife, Joan, from Sonoma State University in Northern California, on May 12. Since the university made the announcement, students, faculty and staff have voiced outrage, describing the degree as a “dishonor” to their graduating class and a shame on the school’s ethics and reputation. They even set up a website, www.shameonssu.org to register the flood of complaints that poured in. And here’s why. After retiring as the CEO of Citigroup, the largest “too-big-to-fail” bank that got bailed out by taxpayers several years back, Weill gave $12 million for SSU’s new Green Music Center. How Weill made his money, and what strings were attached to his donation to SSU, are questions many feel still need answering – if the answers aren’t clear enough already. For more, see Amid Outcry, a Mega-Banker Gets His Degree. And did you know that banks gamble on hunger? Speculating on food prices causes spikes in the cost of staple foods, meaning poor people around the world go hungry and poverty worsens. For an infographic, see How Banks Cause Hunger. And Frankfurt’s Municipal Department for Public Order has announced a ban on all actions planned by the Blockupy Frankfurt alliance for the European Days of Action scheduled for May 16 to 19 in Germany’s financial capital. According to the Blockupy Frankfurt website, the ban is an attempt to curb any form of protest against European Union financial and political leaders whose decisions have cut deeply into the lives of millions of Europeans. For the Days of Action, more than a dozen members of the alliance have been preparing protests against the austerity policies forwarded by European governments and the Troika, composed of the European Central Bank (ECB), the European Union and the IMF. Blockupy Frankfurt had filed various requests for its protests, in the forms of demonstrations, rallies, vigils and meetings (asambleas). On the coalition’s website, Blockupiers wrote, “This ban is a scandalous incident quite unique in the history of the Federal Republic and an open insult on the right to demonstrate guaranteed by the constitution.” For more, see Blockupy Frankfurt Banned. In more news from Germany, check out this cool protest called “Wall Street to Your Street”: On May 10, 25 life-size figures appeared in front of a Deutsche Bank branch in Berlin’s Alexanderplatz. The cut-out figures were, in fact, cardboard “clones” of Occupy activists from around the world. In October 2011 two designers from Berlin visited Occupy Wall Street, Occupy DC and Occupy London to meet Occupiers and take their photos. “The protests of the Occupy movement address global issues,” said Paul. “We wanted to give protesters the opportunity to make their voice heard in other countries.” For the story and a brief video, see Deutsche Bank Protest in Berlin.
Other Occupies/Protests: MassUniting upcoming protest at State Street Bank: Tax Dodging. Prison Profiteering. Misleading Investors. Defrauding Pensions. Job Killing. For years, State Street Bank has managed to avoid accountability for their crimes against the 99% — but you can be a witness at their “trial”. Help us bring State Street to justice May 16, as their executives gather to preside over the company’s annual shareholder meeting. WHEN: Wednesday, May 16 @ 9:30 AM, WHERE: Meet at Dewey Square (across from South Station).
“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
- 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/
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.
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…
- May 12, 8pm-11pm, Alewife Station: “We, The People of Color Group of OCCUPY Boston, in solidarity with the entire OCCUPY BOSTON community, extend this invitation to join us for a ceremony to preserve the last standing grove of Silver Maple trees that are slated to be cut down for the “redevelopment” of the Alewife green space into luxury apartments for the benefit of the 1%. This sacred parcel of land is privately owned, yet is accessible to the masses and has a connection with all people who enjoy the natural wild life habitat. Land that was used by the indigenous Americans before their genocide. In protest we will have a ceremony to protect the land consisting of readings, performances and a universal “ohm” that will persist for 15 minutes at the closing. The walk to the sacred trees will begin at 8:15pm. Everyone is welcome to attend and we suggest bringing a flashlight, water, and/or an musical instrument. This is a peaceful protest that is meant to call attention to the gravity of the destruction of this sacred land that holds the last of these beautiful trees. We are asking that you please make every effort to attend this event for the sake of preserving our precious planet.”
- 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.
- Occupy Boston’s People of Color, Anti-Oppression, and Decolonize to Liberate Working Groups all endorse the participation of Occupy Boston in the annual Mothers’ Day Walk for Peace, Sunday, May 13th. Registration starts at 7AM and the walk begins at 8:30AM from Townfield Park in Fields Corner, Dorchester. The walk is nearly 4 miles long and is generally completed by 10AM.This is the 16th annual Mothers’ Day Walk for Peace, organized by the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute in Dorchester. The Peace Institute is a small grassroots, survivor-led agency that serves over 90% of the families of homicide victims in the Greater Boston area. The Peace Institute is renowned for its crisis management services as well as empowerment of parents and siblings in the aftermath of homicide through court education and political advocacy (such as testimony given before Boston City Councilors and the Governor). The Peace Institute is also known for their peace curriculum used in local Boston public schools, and they are beginning to become known for their new healing center using art therapy and other alternative holistic modalities such as massage and acupuncture.Working groups are encouraged to register teams for this walk and raise some funds and/or provide volunteers as needed. Go to www.ldbpeaceinstitute.org to register (note that info on the walk is currently still from last year, so use the above info). Please also remember that this is not an Occupy Boston event but one in which we are continuing humbly to build relationships with marginalized communities impacted by structural oppressions and legacies of colonialism. Any signage used that day should be small and respectful. The walk is open to the public and many join in from all segments, but the leaders are the families who have lost their loved ones to street violence and who have their own chants that they use as they lead the march. Please join in with humility and respect.
- 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, email@example.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)
- 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/
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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.
- Planning the Next Occupation: June 1, 7pm-11pm, Parkman Bandstand on the Boston Common. We call on every supporter (past and present) to come to this popular assembly. We ask that you help be the change we all want to see in this world. We ask you to come ,and share YOUR VOICE as occupy begins it’s next step towards SOCIAL JUSTICE! Oh and bring a tent 😉 (who knows what we all will together decide!)
Friday, May 11, 2012
1) Our friends at Centro Presente, the Boston May Day Committee, and many others are taking action to oppose the federal imposition of the anti-immigrant and racist “Secure” Communities program on Massachusetts — despite the express opposition of most communities, the Boston mayor and the governor! More information, from boston.com. And – see this blog post from the Mass ACLU.
When: Friday, May 11th at t 11:00 a.m.
Where: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
John F. Kennedy Federal Building
Government Center, Room E-160
Boston, MA 02203.
Say NO! to S-Comm in Massachusetts! *
*For the reunification of immigrant families!*
*Not more criminalization of immigrant families!*
2) At 4pm, join us for another rally:
Justice for Janitors: Union Busting is Disgusting!
Where: 31 St. James St (Arlington St. T station)
Why: this union of janitors is being unilaterally fired from their jobs, to be replaced by an irresponsible private contractor that pays low wages and little to no benefits. Last time we came out 50 people strong, and protested alongside SEIU 615 (and giant puppets!) — join us for what’s next!!
3) On May 11th, 6pm-8pm, the Decolonize to Liberate WG will be discussing the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Please read, print out, and bring with you the documents from the following links: Full Document: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/documents/DRIPS_en.pdf (It is 18 pages long FYI). FAQ sheet: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/documents/faq_drips_en.pdf. We will discuss the declaration and consider possible actions. Mark will be facilitating and he will need someone to step up as a process facilitator. Please bring snacks/juice to share for the meeting if you can! Regular location: The First Parish in Cambridge, corner of Mass Ave and Church Street, enter far door on Church Street and ring the doorbell for the inner door, accessible via Harvard Square T Stop.
Calendar for Friday, May 11, 2012
5:30pm – 7:00pm, Women’s Caucus Working Group Meeting, 14 Beacon St, First Floor, Boston.
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.
1) FREE BUS TRIP TO CHICAGO FOR NATO SUMMIT: 99% Solidarity, a Working Group of Occupy Wall Street, is excited to participate in nonviolent direct actions in Chicago from May 18 to 22, 2012. We have secured buses to bring people to these actions from several U.S cities. So far, there are buses leaving from the following cities: New York City; Washington, D.C.; Boston, MA; Providence, RI; Burlington, VT; Salem, NH; Philadelphia, PA; Atlanta, GA; Oakland, CA; Los Angeles, CA; San Francisco, CA; Portland, OR.
– The Bus trip is free
– 50 people from each city must sign up and board the bus for the trip take place. If a city has less then 50 sign ups, then we may have to cancel the bus for that city.
– Meals will be provided on board the bus to and from Chicago
– We are working on housing and meals while in Chicago
There are several direct actions and events that we will participate in while in Chicago including:
– May 18 – The People’s Summit
– May 19 – the 99% Solidarity People’s Convention
– May 20 – CANG8 rally and march.
Please visit 99solidarity.net often to get the most up to date information and be sure to invite your friends and fellow occupiers to join you on this exciting, historic trip. In addition, please follow us on Facebook and Twitter: @99solidarity. http://
2) WANTED – PHOTOS AND SHORT VIDEOS OF OCCUPY BOSTON FOR EXHIBITION IN GERMANY! DEADLINE MAY 19. During late June and July, 2012, the German-American cultural institution in Freiburg, Germany (Carl-Schurz-Haus, deutsch-amerikanisches institut Freiburg) will be sponsoring a group exhibition of photos and short videos entitled Occupy Wall Street/Occupy Boston. It will focus on events in Boston. Anyone with good photos or short videos is encouraged to send their work in digital form. Exhibition space will be limited; the goal will be to present a collection of visuals that give a wide range of positive viewpoints about Occupy Boston. Photos will be printed and framed in Germany. An exhibition catalogue will be produced to accompany the show.
PLEASE SEND to Boston P.O. Box listed below:
Digital files of up to 10 photos (color or b&w) sent on disc or stick.
Digital files of short videos (5 minutes or less) on disc or stick.
ALSO PLEASE SEND as text file:
1) Your name, contact info, and email address.
2) A short bio or a note about your Occupy participation, 50 words or less.
3) A photo title or sentence in English to appear as caption next to the photo. The caption will be shown in English, and also will be translated into German.
4) Any copyright info that should appear in the catalogue
It is hoped that this exhibition concept and catalogue design might easily be used for other Occupy exhibitions about other cities, by other people.
Photos can show any aspects of Occupy Boston.
Short videos can be interviews of people at Occupy, visuals of poets reading their Haiku poems, videos of speakers at Occupy, assembly meetings, or any other documentation that would round out a presentation about Occupy Boston.
Send visuals directly to this address:Woods c/o Evans
Occupy Boston Exhibition
PO Box 505718Chelsea Mass 02150If you want the disc sent back to you afterwards, please include a self-addressed, stamped mailer. (Sorry. There are no funds for return mail.)
Firm deadline for receipt of materials: May 19, 2012.Any questions, please contact curator, Bonnie Woods at email@example.comPlease do not send any visuals to the email address or to address in Germany! Use PO Box only.
3) 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
** 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 email@example.com.
4) 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.
- 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.