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    THU, 5/29, 1 PM, HOLD HARVARD ACCOUNTABLE FOR UNION-BUSTING, RACISM, SEXISM & ENVIRONMENTAL DESTRUCTION

    Dear All,

    On Thursday, May 29, starting at 1 pm, workers, students and supporters will hold a visibility action at Harvard’s Commencement exercises. We will meet at the Smith Campus Center, 1350 Mass. Ave., Cambridge, steps from the Harvard Square Red Line MBTA station. Our action will begin shortly before a speech by right-wing, anti-union billionaire and ex-NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Please join us! The Facebook event is here.

    We will let attendees know about the following cases of campus worker mistreatment:

    Johany Pilar, who sued Harvard for sexual harassment, has faced threats and retaliation in Campus Services, where she was called an “embarrassing Latina,” by the boss. Johany has been denied a transfer out of the department where she was repeatedly harassed.

    Marvin Byrd, referred to as “that dirty black man,” by the same administrator, has been relegated to the lowest salary grade of any union member in his department, despite long service & a good work record. Marvin, who is partially disabled, has recently faced threats of termination.

    The same Campus Services boss also demoted HUCTW Rep Nassim Kerkache three salary grades, because his English supposedly wasn’t good enough for the job he’d done for 9 years! Nassim defended his co-workers, and the reward for his activism was to be downgraded and stripped of his responsibilities.

    Judy Rouse was terminated for being a diligent shop steward in Campus Services, an environment where managers referred to workers of color as “animals” and “monkeys.” Judy faced threats at work, called the HU Police Dept, and was subsequently fired, and slapped with a no-trespass order by the HUPD.

    Long-serving Maintenance Technician Paul Casey was laid off soon after returning from a disability leave, supposedly for “lack of work,” even though he was very busy in his job. Paul’s duties were simply distributed to other workers, and colleagues are sure he was laid off due to his needing surgery and having to take a leave.

    These abuses must be understood in the context of Harvard’s refusal to even consider divesting from the fossil fuels that directly threaten our planet, despite having a $32.7 billion endowment, massively larger than any other university’s. Harvard’s recent response to a student who dared to protest this moral blindness was to have him arrested. Harvard has come under fire for its huge timber plantation in Argentina, which has wrecked wetlands and mercilessly exploited local workers. The University is also under Federal investigation for its handling of sexual assaults on campus. 100 cases of sexual assault have been reported just over the past three years at Harvard, and activists say Harvard’s horribly flawed investigative process discourages survivors from taking action.

    Together, we can put healthy pressure on Harvard to end its immoral and discriminatory behavior! For more information, please click here: http://twoharvards.wordpress.com/about.

    In Solidarity,

    Geoff Carens, Union Rep, HUCTW
    Delegate, Industrial Workers of the World / IWW

    Guantanamo protest Friday, May 23 at NOON

    (source)

    On the Boston Common at NOON on Friday, May 23rd, concerned citizens will protest the indefinite detention of men at Guantanamo and elsewhere in the phony war on terror. This day is the anniversary of Obama’s last pronouncement that he would close Guantanamo. If you plan to come and would like to speak and sign, contact Susan McLucas, (617) 776-6524 or SusanBMcL@gmail.com. We’re looking for people who want to wear orange jumpsuits and hoods and some to explain the stories of different detainees. We’re also preparing a song that we’d like people to practice a bit. Please come!

    Flyer: Guantanamo protest May 23 2014 flier

    Two special events this weekend on (1) inequality; and (2) whistleblowers

    (contributed by jslives)

    This weekend whistleblower and author Peter Van Buren will be in Boston for two very special events at Community Church of Boston (565 Boylston), as well as at least one book reading elsewhere. Peter has a lot to say on many topics we all care about, and I hope you’ll be able to see him while he’s here.

    FRIDAY, MAY 16, 7:30-10:00PM
    An Evening with Peter Van Buren:
    Ghosts of Tom Joad in Today’s Great Recession
    With Music and Refreshments (wine, cheese, etc.)
    Suggested donation, $10–flexible; sliding fee

    Peter Van Buren, who spent more than two decades working as a foreign-service officer in the U.S. State Department, is a prolific author, as well as co-producer of the new documentary “Silenced.” He will lead a lively discussion of his most recent book, Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the #99Percent, an exploration of the causes and effects of ever-deepening economic inequality in America and how average people are getting by in today’s downsized, outsourced, and minimum-wage economy.

    Tom Joad was the central character of John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, the Depression-era classic, published 75 years ago this month. Many of the economic hardships faced by the fictional Joad family then–increased mechanization of work, home foreclosures, soup kitchens, joblessness– are similar to those faced by “the 99 percent” in today’s parallel Great Recession.

    Ghosts tells the story of radical changes in the American way of life through the experiences of a single family, living in a Rust-Belt town whose factory has closed. It is based in fact, told through fiction. (Similarly, Grapes told the story of the itinerant Dust-Bowl Joad family, forced to move from what had been a thriving farming area and to seek jobs, dignity, and hope elsewhere.)

    SUNDAY, MAY 18, 11AM ff.
    Sacco-and-Vanzetti Award Ceremony
    (Open to the public)

    Mr. Van Buren will also be accepting CCB’s 2014 Sacco-and-Venzetti Award at CCB next weekend, as a whistleblower himself and on behalf of all whistleblowers. His last book, We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People, is an honest examination of often-misguided U.S. “reconstruction” priorities and efforts in post-war Iraq. That book brought him a Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction award; but it also drew the attention and ire of the State Department, and of an administration with an unprecedented record of prosecuting whistleblowers, instead of rewarding them for telling the truth. Falsely charged with revealing classified information without government authorization via We Meant Well, Peter became entrapped in a long legal battle that ultimately cost him his government career, but fortunately, not his freedom.

    Copies of Ghosts of Tom Joad will be available for sale and for signing during both of these events. (And feel free to bring along your copy of We Meant Well, or of Why Peace–a book to which Peter contributed a section–to CCB for author autographs, too.)

    More information available on request, including book reviews, Peter’s recent articles on living from one McJob to another (a fate common to those who’ve lost their government careers in recent years), and much more. And please tell friends with #StrikeDebt and other Occupy offshoots about the Friday event; those concerned about the fate of truthtellers, about the Sunday event–or tell everyone about both!

    Community Speakout/Teach-in on Police Militarization

    (from UJP)

    When: Sunday, May 4, 2014, 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
    Where: 197A Humboldt Ave, Boston

    This weekend, May 3-4, police from all over the Boston area will gather to hold trainings called “Urban Shield.” Though the city of Boston is framing it as an “emergency preparedness” drill, regional police forces will also be training in military tactics, including home raids, surveillance, and the use of military weapons.

    On May 4th, STop Oppressive Militarized Police (STOMP) will host our own gathering and community speak out to bring together affected communities, share our experiences, and lay the groundwork for a city-wide movement that crosses neighborhood, color, and religious lines. We will say with one voice: Close the “gang” intelligence fusion centers! Stop the militarization of the police!

    Join us in sharing your story and building power to roll back militarism at home and beyond!

    Confirmed speakers:

    • Andrea James – Families for Justice as Healing
    • Laila Murad – Free Tarek Mehanna Campaign
    • KC Mackey – Black and Pink
    • Kade Crockford – ACLU Massachusetts
    • Gabriel Camacho – American Friends Service Committee
    • Ali Issa – War Resisters League, Facing Tear Gas Campaign

    Cosponsors: ACLU of Massachusetts, Black and Pink, Boston Feminists for Liberation, Dorchester People for Peace, Families for Justice as Healing, International Socialist Organization – Boston, War Resisters League – Facing Tear Gas Campaign, Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment, Youth Against Mass Incarceration/

    United for Justice with Peace is a coalition of peace and justice organizations and community peace groups in the Greater Boston region. The UJP Coalition, formed after September 11th, seeks global peace through social and economic justice.

    Contact: info@justicewithpeace.org

    National Day of Action – No Killer Drones!

    (Reposted from act-ma)

    NATIONAL DAYS OF ACTION

    NO KILLER DRONES! NO SPY DRONES!

    TUESDAY, MAY 6, NOON – 2:00 PM (rain date Wed at noon)

    MIT MAIN ENTRANCE, 77 MASSACHUSETTS AVE., CAMBRIDGE

    Spread the word and join us.

    Eastern Massachusetts Anti-Drone Network, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, MIT Western Hemisphere Project, Boston United National Antiwar Coalition, South Asians for Global Justice, Alliance for a Secular & Democratic South Asia, and Mass. Global Action

    Contact:
    Email: Info(AT)justicewithpeace.org
    UJP: (617) 383-4857

    Thousands of innocent people have been killed by U.S. drones. We will read the names of victims and speak out against the new forms of warfare and the surveillance state. We are gathering at MIT, a major center of drone research.

    Contact us

    Occupy Boston Media <Media@occupyboston.org> • <Info@occupyboston.org> • @Occupy_Boston