BLACK LIVES MATTER protesters get the run-around from CM Augustus and the WPD

By Gordon Davis

Did you know? … Worcester City Manager Ed Augustus and Worcester Deputy Police Chief Sargent  met at least one of the protesters from the MLK Day Black Lives Matter protest at Kelly Square and that the City Manager and the Deputy Chief proffered the deal that if there were no more of the same protests, then the City of Worcester would not seek criminal charges against the 40 to 50 people who participated in that Kelley Square protest?

The Black Lives Matter people turned down the deal.

The protesters told City Officials that the civil rights movement would not be intimidated by threats of arrests. At that point the City Officials said they would seek charges against the protesters. They did not say which charges they would seek.

In the meeting there was no discussion of the reform of the Worcester Police Department. Or any remedy to the claims of Black Lives Matter protesters re: racial profiling and police misconduct by the Worcester police.

Over a 12 month period, October 2013 to October 2014, there were at least 134 complaints made against the Worcester Police by “civilians.”

Most of these complaints were adjudicated as unsubstantiated by the City Police’s Standards Department.  

What is interesting is that the number of complaints seems to be increasing.  

This might be a sign that the Black Lives Matter protests are mitigating the fear of so called “communities of color” to step up and speak our grievances.

Although not racist on its face, the threats of arrest made by City Manager Augustus and the WPD Deputy Chief will likely have a disparately racist impact on the community.

The outcome of the meeting was predictable.

The public announcements by City Manager Augustus and Worcester Police Chief Gary Gemme, which preceded the meeting, were not predictable.

Police Chief Gemme said in a news article he was compelled to seek charges against the BLACK LIVES MATTER protesters because of a video he saw on Youtube.

A day later the City Manager said Police Chief Gemme did not act on his own when he said he was going to charge the protesters. The City Manager said in his interview that he had public safety concerns.  The City Manager then said he had not seen the video because it was locked on YouTube.

This raises the question of the accuracy of City Manager Augustus and Police Chief Gemme’s statements. How is it possible for Police Chief Gemme to look for something for which to charge the protesters based on a video when the City Manager said that he ordered Chief Gemme to do so – before the City Manager ever saw the video?

Sometimes it is hard to get their story straight! Especially when the Worcester City Council asks for the “protocols” of protests.

After reviewing the YouTube video, here is my inexpert opinion: There is nothing on which to charge the BLACK LIVES MATTER protesters at Kelley Square.

The Worcester City Council will have to make up a new ordinance on which to charge the protesters! Such as “spending too much time in a public cross walk”!

As with the Worcester panhandling issue, the Worcester City Council will use the pretext of “public safety.”

It’s not just the BLACK LIVES MATTER protesters … Poverty in Worcester, homelessness in Worcester, racism in Worcester – these are all issues that Worcester City Officials would prefer to keep out of sight.

So many easy, simple ways to live cruelty-free!

None of these lovely soaps were tested on white bunnies crammed into cages in “labs”! A few of these companies have stores in the Auburn Mall and other malls in the area, making animal-rights very mainstream!   From PETA.ORG.        - R.T. 

1. LUSH
LUSH soaps are all handmade with fresh, organic fruits and veggies and have invigorating scents such as ginger, sea vegetable, and even porridge. Vegan products are clearly labeled on the company’s website, too, so shopping is a breeze. The soaps are available in LUSH shops and online. Find a store.

2. Kiss My Face
Classic and long-lasting, Kiss My Face soap is the first natural soap I used when I started buying only cruelty-free products. There are several nourishing olive formulas, including chamomile, lavender, green tea, and more. Find a store.

CLICK HERE to read entire article! 

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Cute, tasty and cruelty-free!

Top 5 Vegan Super Bowl Recipes (Videos)

CLICK HERE to watch these perky cooking videos!

Adorable pygmy hippo dies in travelling show!

Why can’t America do right by wild animals? Why so much pain, suffering and death?      – R.T.

From PETA.ORG …

Written by Jennifer O’Connor | January 29, 2015

Animals continue to suffer and die while in the “care” of the notorious Carson & Barnes Circus. A hippopotamus named Katie, whom the circus had hauled around the country, was found dead. Her spine and hip bones were protruding, yet the circus had never weighed her and wasn’t tracking her body condition before she died. … CLICK HERE to read more! 

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FREE trees from the Worcester Tree Initiative

Stormwater Trees in the Quinsigamond Village and Main South neighborhoods

In the spring of 2015 the Worcester Tree Initiative, in conjunction with the City of Worcester and the Blackstone Headwaters Coalition, will plant 100 new trees in the Quinsigamond Village and Main South neighborhoods.

The goal is to reduce stormwater runoff using green infastruacture.

If you live in these areas and would like a Street Tree in front of your property or a tree for your yard, please contact Derek or Ruth at the Worcester Tree Initiative: staff@treeworcester.org

Worcester’s DCU center and animal cruelty

January 29, 2015

Editor:

It’s a shame that organizers of the Kids Fun Fair and Zoo [at the DCU center] are offering camel and elephant rides.  Such cruel animal exploitation should be condemned, not condoned.

Elephants forced to give rides are controlled through fear.

Elephants obey or know they will be hit with bullhooks, heavy batons with a sharp steel hook on the end – picture getting whacked with a fireplace poker.

Handlers strike elephants on the most sensitive parts of their bodies – behind the ears, their face and feet.

If we look at what life on the road means to elephants compared to their place in nature, we can see how far we have degraded these complex and keenly intelligent animals.

There is nothing more important to an elephant than family. Births are joyous celebrations; deaths of loved ones are mourned. Youngsters are nurtured in close-knit family units in which aunts babysit, grandmothers teach youngsters life skills such as how to use different kinds of leaves and mud to ward off sunburn, and siblings roughhouse and play.

Elephants have the largest brains of any mammal on Earth and think, plan and remember. Elephants truly never do forget; their memories are extraordinary.

Young camels used to provide rides are often ripped from their nurturing mothers when they are only days old so they can get “used to” public contact.

Camels are naturally free-roaming animals and fare very poorly when kept continuously in transport trailers and small pens. They can be skittish and unpredictable.

Both Bactrian and Dromedary camels have a poor tolerance for rough handling. This presents a potentially hazardous situation for both the riders and the animals.

Please think about the poor quality of life for these animals, who are hauled around in trucks and forced to plod in endless circles all day long.

There’s little respite between events, and when not working, they spend their lives in cages and chains.

Renting animals out for rides does nothing to foster respect. Children learn that animals can be exploited for their fleeting distraction and amusement.

The Kids Fun Fair and Zoo should stop supporting cruel animal displays.

Yours truly,

Jennifer O’Connor
Senior Writer
PETA Foundation
501 Front St.
Norfolk, VA 23510

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From the editor:

PLEASE BOYCOTT THIS DCU EVENT! Exotic animals NEVER BELONG IN TRAVELING “SHOWS”!   To be EXPLOITED, WHIPPED, HAVE THEIR SKIN TORN BY BULLHOOKS! Please!  Don’t take your kids to this “fun” event.      – R. Tirella

Ending child poverty in America

From The New York Times.

“… surely we can all agree that no child, once born, should suffer through poverty. Surely we can all agree that working to end child poverty — or at least severely reduce it — is a moral obligation of a civilized society.

“And yet, 14.7 million children in this country are poor, and 6.5 million of them are extremely poor (living below half the poverty line).

“Today, the Children’s Defense Fund is releasing a report entitled “Ending Child Poverty Now” that calls this country’s rate of child poverty “a moral disgrace.” ” …

CLICK HERE to read entire column.

Vernon Hill: 2015 events at Stanley Kunitz house

By Carol Stockmal, Owner & Curator, Stanley Kunitz boyhood home

Happy New Year! 2015 promises to be another rewarding and creative year at 4 Woodford St.

Did you know?

Poet Stanley Kunitz (1905-2006) was born in Worcester and went on to receive the Pulitzer Prize and the National Medal of Arts, and to become Poet Laureate of the United States (1974,

Stanley Kunitz lived at 4 Woodford Street from 1919 until 1925. Powerful memories from this time found their way into his poems, several of which directly reference the house, garden and the surrounding neighborhood. When he walked into our home after a 60 year absence, he wrote, “There was no mistaking, the moment I stepped inside, that this was indeed the house of my childhood, the one I still dream about.”

In 2009, Clark University Archives and Special Collections accepted The Stanley Kunitz-Stockmal Collection of correspondence, memorabilia and ephemera, which documents our twenty-year friendship.

4 Woodford Street was designated as a Literary LandmarkTM in 2010 by the American Library Association.

Between June 1st and September 30th, my home is open for free, one hour docent-led tours, which can be arranged by appointment.

Groups can learn about Stanley Kunitz’s life and poems, as well as see early 20th century architecture and furnishings. Tours can be tailored to the interests of your group.

During 2015, I will host several events at 4 Woodford Street that honor the legacies of Stanley Kunitz and my husband, Greg Stockmal. All events are co-sponsored by the Worcester County Poetry Association.

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Season Three of the Stanley Kunitz Boyhood Home Summer Writing Series

The series has been scheduled for June 13th, July 11th, August 15th, and September 12th. Look for complete details in April.

The Annual Open House on Sunday, September 20th will offer five house tours, an open mic and refreshments.
I look forward to personally welcoming you into my home to honor the poetry of Stanley Kunitz.

For more information go to http://kunitzhome.org

CONGRESSMAN JIM MCGOVERN APPOINTED RANKING DEMOCRATIC MEMBER ON NUTRITION SUBCOMMITTEE

U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern today was named the Democratic Ranking Member on the House Committee on Agriculture’s Subcommittee on Nutrition.

The Subcommittee’s jurisdiction includes policies and statutes relating to nutrition, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and domestic commodity distribution and consumer initiatives.

The Republican Chair of the Subcommittee is U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski of Indiana.

Rep. McGovern has been a long-time champion in the fight against hunger. “I am honored by this appointment and ready to keep fighting for critical anti-hunger programs,” Rep. McGovern said.  “I look forwarding to working with Chairwoman Walorski and my other colleagues on the Subcommittee.  There is a lot to do – despite the economic recovery millions of American families are struggling to put food on the table.  We can end hunger once and for all if we muster the political will to do it.”

Rep. McGovern was also named a member on the Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture and Research.