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    This Monday: Ride the Rails & Rally At Copley to Save the T!

    On Monday, February 13, 2012, activists from Occupy Boston and other local Occupations will ride their respective train lines and converge on Copley Square for a mass rally at 4:30 PM to Save the T.  At the rally, Occupiers and advocates for Boston’s working-class, seniors, students and  environmental justice will demand “No Service Cuts!” and “No Fare Hikes!” After the rally, demonstrators will attend a public hearing sponsored by the MBTA and voice their concerns directly to agency representatives.

    The public transit system that the 99% relies on has been underfunded by the Massachusetts Legislature for years, and is now threatened with staggering debt – much of it transferred to the MBTA from Big Dig projects. Currently, every penny of our fares is spent paying off this debt – not on the maintenance we need to keep an aging system in working order.  Meanwhile, the big bailed-out banks have exploited the MBTA’s financial situation, raking in untold millions of dollars by underwriting the MTBA’s bonds and profiting off of interest rate swaps with the agency.  Despite the dire situation, the MBTA’s two proposals would do nothing to shore up the long-term sustainability of the T while devastating local communities by raising fares and slashing services.

    “The proposed MBTA service cuts and fare hikes are the perfect way to appease elected officials and their corporate partners by draining the remaining resources of the 99%,” said Brett West, an organizer for Occupy Boston. “For us, affordable and accessible public transit is a necessity, not a luxury.  We say ‘none of the above’ to the MBTA’s so-called solutions and demand a permanent funding solution that does not attack the resources of Boston’s elderly, students or working-class people.”

    Monday’s Day of Action will offer activists a number of ways to have their voices heard.  Several local Occupations and community groups will ride their respective trains and buses to the rally and engage other riders about the cuts and hikes through live streaming, flyering, mic-checking, singing, and conversation.  Confirmed meeting times are as follows:

    • Occupy Boston will meet at Downtown Crossing at 3:00 PM (contact brett@occupyboston.org for more info.)
    • Occupy Somerville will ride the rails in from Davis Square at both 4:00 PM and 5:00 PM (occupysomerville@yahoo.com).
    • Occupy Dorchester will meet at Fields Corner at 3:45 PM.
    • Occupy Quincy will be leaving at the Quincy Center T station at 3:30 PM (brykoulouris@gmail.com).
    •  Occupy JP and Occupemos El Barrio are planning similar actions; check back here or contact your local Occupy for meeting times and locations.
    • Students Against the T Cuts will meet at the Boylston T Stop at 4:00 PM (media@studentsagainsttcuts.org).

    At Copley, the Occupiers will join the T Riders Union and a coalition of dozens of community, student, senior and environmental groups for a rally to say “No!” to the MBTA’s draconian proposals of service cuts and fare increases and demand that the Legislature fund a transit system that benefits everyone.  At 6:00 PM, the rally moves indoors for the MBTA’s public hearing.

    Whether you can make one or all of the above actions, we need you on Monday. The T is a lifeline for our communities and vital for building a strong, sustainable economy. A strong public transit system is a linchpin of a society that prioritizes the needs of all before the profits of a few. Join us!

    This Sunday: The Occupy Boston Student Summit

    On Sunday, February 12, 2012 at 12:00 PM, students from more than twenty campuses across  New England will gather at Harvard University for the first Occupy Boston Student Summit.  The Summit, which will be held at Emerson 105 in Harvard Yard, will bring together a diverse array of students to strengthen relationships and exchange ideas among those who have been or want to be involved with the Occupy movement.  All students, whether officially enrolled anywhere or not, are encouraged to attend.

    Occupy Boston has provided student activists from varying backgrounds the opportunity to meet and work with others who wish to unite to reform both our political and economic systems.  The Student Summit will offer participants a chance to delve deeper into issues that affect student occupiers, including systemic oppression within the occupy movement, the roots of education inequality, the history of radical student movements, and the organizational future of Occupy Boston Students.  The summit will also include a session on how student loan debt is used to enrich banks and needed systemic changes — including forgiveness — to the student loan structure.

    Whether you’re a seasoned Occupy veteran or just curious about the movement, please join us at the summit on Sunday!

    For more information, please visit: http://www.facebook.com/events/374522779228867/.  The agenda for the summit is available here.  http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2722240691032&set=o.159369867486219&type=1&theater

     

    No War on Iran: March and Rally, Saturday, February 4

    On Saturday, February 4, The Action for Peace Working Group of Occupy Boston will co-sponsor a rally and march as part of an international day of action to demand NO WAR ON IRAN.  The march, which begins at Park Street Station at 1:00pm, will include a visit to the Israeli Consulate and will end with a rally at Copley Square.  Saturday’s Boston action is one of fifty-five demonstrations taking place in the United States and in six countries to demand, “No War! No Sanctions! No Assassinations! No Intervention!”  All members of the 99% who want peace, not war, are encouraged to attend.

    “The United States is now following the same path of aggression with Iran as it did with Iraq – using the false pretext of WMDs to start a war whose real goal is control of oil by the 1%,” said Marilyn Levin, a member of the Action for Peace Working Group.  “The costs of war – in lives and to the economy — are staggering.”

    The United States went to war in Iraq after twelve years of crippling sanctions using the fabricated claim that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.  The costs of that war were devastating:  thousands of lives, trillions of dollars, and the destruction of a country that posed no threat to the United States.  The war also unleashed a decade of endless war with a massive war budget, cutbacks on social services, and attacks on our Bill of Rights.

    The campaign of demonization against Iran – including brutal sanctions and threats of war from Israel and the United States – mirrors the run-up to the war on Iraq.  This time, the false claim is that Iran is developing nuclear weapons when there is absolutely no evidence that Iran is doing anything but developing nuclear power, a legal act that poses no threat to other nations.  Once again, we are seeing the 1% threatening to start a horrible war to dominate the flow of oil from that region.

    Added Levin, “To prevent that disastrous history from repeating itself, we need the voices of the 99%. Join us on February 4.”

    The march and rally are co-sponsored endorsed by many peace and justice organizations in the Boston area, including Boston United National Antiwar Coalition, United for Justice with Peace Coalition, International Action Center, and Dorchester People for Peace.  For more information, please visit http://www.facebook.com/events/214341975322807/.

    Occupy Boston Responds to Anniversary of Citizens United Decision With Rally & Summit

    On the January 20–21, the anniversary of the Citizens United decision, Occupy Boston will stand with a wide coalition of groups for GETTING MONEY OUT OF POLITICS, two days of events and rallies.

    On Friday, January 20th

    • 12:30-2:00 PM – Move to Amend’s “Occupy the Courts” rally and Operation Woof at the Federal Courthouse at 1 Court House Way in Boston, MA. Operation Woof encourages dog owners to bring their dogs to protest and international superstar Snoopy has endorsed Dogs Against Corporate Personhood’s participation in Move to Amend’s “Occupy The Courts” rally.
    • 4:00PM-8:00PM Citizens United Working Group of Occupy Boston on will host “Rally and Summit to Unite Citizens for Democracy” at St. Paul’s Cathedral, 138 Tremont Street in Boston

    On Saturday, January 21st

    • 10:00AM-4:00PM – day two of “Rally and Summit to Unite Citizens for Democracy” at Suffolk University in Donahue Hall, 41 Temple Street in Boston.

    These events are designed to educate participants on the complex issues of money in politics and explore and engage in solutions to this problem.

    “Whether you identify with Occupy because of housing, jobs, health care, the environment or because of any of the other myriad of problems facing this country,” said Heleni Thayre, an organizer of the event and a member of the Citizens United Working Group, “They are all just a symptom of a greater problem—the excessive influence of money on public policy, elections and the law.”

    Speakers for Friday and Saturday include: Senator Jamie Eldridge and Representative Cory Atkins, both sponsors of a resolution in the State House to overturn Citizens United; John Bonifaz, co-founder of Free Speech for People; Julius Levine, BU Law Professor Emeritus and Clean Elections activist; Donna Palermino, a Civil Liberties professor at Suffolk University and writer for Fire Dog Lake; Pam Wilmot, MA State Director for Common Cause; Grace Ross, former gubernatorial candidate and founder of Massachusetts Alliance Against Predatory Lending; Melia Lazu, MIT professor and co-founder of MassVote.

    Speakers will examine the complex issue of corporate personhood and how special interest money negatively impacts democracy.  Some of the solutions that will be presented and discussed are; state and local resolutions calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, consumer strategies to target the worst offenders, clean elections, running citizen candidates and citizens lobbying training.

    All events are free and all are welcome to attend. For more information about this event, please email citizensunited@occupyboston.org or visit http://www.campaignfinancereform.us/take-action/rally-summit for full schedule of events.

    Martin Luther King Occupied: An Occupy Boston Community Gathering to Explore the Radical Legacy of Dr. King

    On Monday, January 16, 2012 at 6:00 PM, the Occupy Boston People of Color Working Group will host Occupy Boston’s weekly Community Gathering at Arlington St. Church, 351 Bolyston Street in Boston. This MLK Day gathering will encourage participants to think about what Occupy Boston and the public can learn from the ideas, campaigns, and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


    “People of Color are disproportionately affected by the rule of the top 1%, in everything from housing, jobs, education, health, and prison incarceration,” said Brian Kwoba, an organizer of the event and a member of the People of Color Working Group of Occupy Boston.  “That is why issues of race and racism must be taken seriously by the Occupy movement. The People of Color Working Group is excited to be hosting a community gathering on MLK Day to project more of our culture, our voices, and our stories into the forefront of the movement.”

    Speakers include, Kwame Somburu, who helped to organize mass protests in the 1960’s and Harlem’s Freedom Now Party. The gathering will also feature a reading of excerpts from MLK’s beyond Vietnam speech, musical performances from Earthdrum Council, a presentation on the State of the Dream from by United for a Fair Economy, slam poets, a teach in on the 3-Strikes Bill, and a ‘fishbowl’ discussion with People of Color from Occupy Boston, and the Optimus of the Foundation Movement.

    Occupy Boston’s Community Gatherings are held every Monday evening and are open to the public. The intention of these Community Gatherings is to build and strengthen the Occupy Boston community through ongoing dialogues, presentations, workshops, and facilitated conversations, in order to build a resilient, widespread and inclusive social movement.

    This event is free and all are welcome to attend. For more information about this event, please email occupybostonmedia@gmail.com or visit https://www.occupyboston.org

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