Tag Archives: protest

Protest tomorrow!


Boston – On January 19, 2016, a broad-based coalition of public education stakeholders made up of families, students, educators, community members and groups representing public schools throughout Boston will come together at Mayor Walsh’s 2016 State of the City Address to protest budget shortfalls which negatively impact all of our Boston Public Schools.

We are protesting the Walsh administration’s failure to aggressively advocate for adequate funding and to make the investments needed to create success for every single student in all of our Boston Public Schools.

DATE: Tuesday, January 19, 2016

TIME: 4:30 pm

LOCATION:  Intersection of Westland Ave and Mass Ave, Under BSO sign

We are demanding that Mayor Walsh, at a minimum, do the following:

Join in solidarity with Boston’s students, families and community members to aggressively advocate for our Boston Public Schools at state and federal levels;

Through strategic planning and ambitious revitalization, reduce the BPS budget shortfalls of $50 million this year and $140 million over the last three years;

Invest in fully-resourced community public  schools with wraparound services for Boston’s children;

Work with the true stakeholders of Boston Public Schools: students, families, educators and community members to fully audit BPS’ budget in order to assess community needs and address inequalities;

and, Collaborating with the true stakeholders, demand democratically controlled public schools through an elected Boston School Committee.

In Boston, the stakeholders have come together to build a new vision for our public schools and our children—one that champions great public schools as the heart of our neighborhoods and ensures that every student, regardless of zip code, receives the highest quality education available.

Our stakeholders have developed a community-driven movement for the benefit of all of our students  and we will hold all of our elected officials accountable to us as their constituents and voters.

Contact: Karen Kast-McBride Mary Lewis-Pierce (617) 877-2871 857-891-3271
Karen.Kastmcbride@gmail.com lewispierce@gmail.com

Black lives matter! BLACK LIVES MATTER!

Political Trial 3 (1)
photo: 2015

editor’s note: I’ve made some paragraphs bold. – R.T.

A Bogus Trial of Retaliation

By Gordon Davis
The Kelley Square 4 BlackLives Matter protesters charged with disturbing the peace during the 2015 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day protest had their day in court today. It was pretty clear from the start of the trial that something unusually wrong was going on.

The trial judge prevented the defendants from having a jury trial. He said case law allowed him to change the nature of the case from criminal to civil.

In a criminal case the defendants can choose a jury trial. In a civil case the prosecution can choose not to have a jury trial. In either case, it can be inferred that the trial judge did not want to go through the hassle of a jury trial or he did not think that the charges rose to the level of criminality.

In a civil case, the prosecution only has to achieve the standard of “preponderance of evidence” and not the more difficult standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

The prosecution witnesses were, in my opinion, not credible and perhaps racists.

The truck driver said he was five hours late for a delivery due to the four and one half minutes blocking of Kelley Square. He said this got him fired from his job. Another witness said that the driver’s firing had nothing to do with the Kelley Square demonstration.

A woman driver who encountered the demonstration testified to yelling out to the protesters you would not block me if my granddaughter was Black. This witness could recognize a photo that showed her car during the protest. 

Worcester Police Department supervisor, Sergeant  Maddox, said he would not have arrested anyone at the Kelley Square demonstration – as he did not see anything criminal taking place.

Police Officer Maddox said he did not start to write his report until two and one half months after the incident, when ordered to do so by his superiors.

Maddox then said his report was partially based on a police report written by Worcester Police Officer Brace who did not testify.

Two of the defendants, Julius Jones and Robert Gibbs, gave as a defense their compelling political need to protest the unjust killings of people, especially unarmed young Black men. Defendant Kevin Ksen also spoke of his political motivations and the fact that he did not block any traffic. Defendant Conner did not testify, but her attorney indicated that Officer Brace misidentified her and there was no evidence that she blocked traffic.

The Worcester city officials who initiated the charges against the defendants did not testify.

There is speculation that they brought charges in order to retaliate against and intimidate BlackLives Matter protesters and the Black community.

The judge said he will mail out his decision to the KS4 defendants. The maximum for a civil case of disturbing the peace is a fine of $150.

There were a good number of people who came out in support of the BlackLives Matter protesters. They expressed a sentiment that no matter what the judge rules, the protests would continue and they would not be intimidated.

A March Against Racism is being planned for this year’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – January 18, 2016 – at 12 Noon. 

The march will go from St. John’s Church on Temple Street to Kelley Square.

Be there! Protest to take place at Worcester Walmart on Black Friday!

Over 30 actions planned in solidarity with workers demanding higher wages, benefits

On Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year, Walmart workers and their allies will take part in protests outside stores across the state as part of the 1,500 nationwide protests that are planned to take place. These actions follow a wave of strikes that swept across the country, as workers demanded an end to illegal retaliation at work. Three workers from Massachusetts took part in the strike, walking off the job on Sunday.

Over the past month, Walmart has faced a growing amount of negative publicity. The National Labor Relations Board announced that they will charge the company for its illegal retaliation against workers who took part in last year’s strike. Soon after the NLRB announcement, a story of Walmart holding a food drive for its own workers went viral and caused public outcry across the country.

In Massachusetts, the Black Friday actions are being coordinated by the Massachusetts Stands Up to Walmart campaign – a coalition of workers, community organizations, and faith and labor leaders that led the successful effort to stop Walmart’s planned expansion into the Greater Boston Area and organized dozens of solidarity actions on last year’s Black Friday. The group also supports the Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart), the worker group that is leading the national fight to improve conditions at Walmart.

Walmart Quincy

Friday, November 29 @ 12:01am*, 10:00am

301 Falls Blvd, Quincy

*This event will include a light display at a nearby intersection

Walmart Chelmsford

Friday, November 29 @ 12:00pm

66 Parkhurst Rd. Chelmsford

Walmart Lynn

Friday, November 29 @ 10:00am

780 Lynnway Lynn

Walmart Raynham

Friday, November 29 @ 11:00am

36 Paramount Dr. Raynham

Walmart Worcester

Friday, November 29 @ 12:00pm

25 Tobias Boland Way, Worcester


Walmart Hadley

Friday, November 29 @ 3:00pm

337 Russell St, Hadley


Protesters will draw attention to Ringling Bros. Circus’ violent treatment of baby elephants!


What: An “injured elephant” will lead PETA protesters on Wednesday as Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus prepares for its opening show in Worcester. The protesters will display signs that read, “This Is Ringling Baby-Elephant Training,” alongside banners emblazoned with compelling photos taken inside Ringling’s training center. The photos expose how baby elephants used by Ringling are stretched out, slammed to the ground, gouged with steel-tipped bull hooks, and shocked with electric prods. These abusive sessions go on for several hours a day in order to force the baby elephants to learn to perform circus tricks out of fear of punishment. Actor Alec Baldwin recently narrated avideo  exposé that focuses on how circuses abuse elephants.

“Worcester residents would run screaming from the big top if they knew how baby elephants are violently forced to perform difficult, confusing, and sometimes painful tricks,” says PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Delcianna Winders. “Since children love  animals, the last place that parents and grandparents should take them to is the circus.”

Late last year, Ringling Bros. paid the largest fine in circus history—$270,000—for violations of the Animal Welfare Act.

Where: DCU Center, at the intersection of Major Taylor Boulevard and Foster Street, Worcester

When: Wednesday, October 3, 12 noon

For more info,  call or email, David Perle at 202-483-7382, extension 2194, orDavidP@peta.org.

For more information, please visit PETA’s website RinglingBeatsAnimals.com.



From Grace Ross …

From “The Grace Team”:

Massachusetts Alliance Against Predatory Lending

maaplinfo@yahoo.comwww.MAAPL.info The statewide Alliance working to reverse the foreclosure crisis in Massachusetts, expressed concern yesterday about an unexpected development in the handling of post-foreclosure evictions.   “We are finally getting the word out to families that you do not have to leave at foreclosure. Our state protects your rights to a legal eviction,” explains Grace Ross, Coordinator of the Mass Alliance Against Predatory Lending. “We were dismayed then to hear from our local affiliates about the arrests without warning in Brockton. In general, police (like fire and other municipal workers) have experienced enough foreclosures in their ranks to be more respectful of housing rights they are only recently being dragged into address. We stand ready with training materials for police forces across the state. We trust this was just a single incident mistake that will be corrected today and that those facing foreclosure will feel safe to stay post-foreclosure knowing their legal rights will not be violated.”

Brockton Family Evicted and Arrested after Tense Standoff Arraignment in Brockton District Court Brockton – Yesterday Tyrone Hubbard and his two sons were arraigned in Brockton District Court.  They are facing charges of trespassing stemming from a Fannie Mae eviction on Friday September 28th, at their 137 Walnut Street home in Brockton.  Approximately 40 people supporting the Hubbard family protested and formed an eviction blockade, leading to an intense standoff with police.  Supporters included members from City Life/Vida Urbana (CLVU), Brockton Bank Tenants Association, the Coalition of Social Justice and Lynn United for Change. Brockton City Councilor Jass Steward, who was also at the location, made courageous efforts to amicably resolve the issue without eviction.

At approximately 11 am, Brockton police formed a line, marched through protesters, entered the home and immediately arrested Mr. Hubbard and his two sons.  Two protesters sitting in the doorway – Sue Parsons and Annie Hunt, were pushed aside and not arrested.  Rev. Stewart Lanier, who was also sitting in the doorway willing to risk arrest, was also arrested.  Rev. Lanier, an extremely disciplined and mild-mannered man, has been charged with trespassing, and as reported by the Brockton Enterprise he is also charged with assault and battery on a police officer along with interfering with a police officer in the performance of his duty.

At no time was a warning given to any one to “leave the premises or be arrested.”

In addition to Mr. Hubbard, his two sons and Rev. Lanier, the police  also took into custody a young mother and her 6-week old baby who are members of the Hubbard family.  They were secretly taken out the back door, through a hole in the back fence and later to the hospital.  Police alleged that there was carbon monoxide in the home.  No appreciable amount was found in either the mom or the baby at the hospital.   During protests, City Life always emphasizes that the fight is with the bank, not the police.  The Brockton police have made their behavior an issue and in doing so, gave 3 different reasons for arresting the family:

·        First, police said the family refused to leave when ordered; but they received no such order. The family was fully prepared to leave – they were scrambling to get medicine etc., when arrested. This is the first family EVER arrested in a City Life eviction blockade.

·        Second, police maintained the family had been trespassing ever since 9 am, the time the constable said he was arriving.  This is a suspect legal rationale.  But even people who are trespassing are told to leave or face arrest.

·        Third, supporters and City Life members were told the police decided to arrest the family because they were nervous about protesters and believed that the protesters would disperse once the family was arrested.  City Life blockades are loud but extremely disciplined, and there is never a hint of violence.  City Life never leaves members in jail without supporting them.

For the following reasons, Fannie Mae is completely responsible for everything that happened on Friday September 28th, as well as the arrest of Rev. Stewart Lanier and the entire Hubbard Family.  Fannie Mae rejected 3 different alternatives to resolve this case without eviction:

·        Fannie Mae refused to offer principal reduction to avoid foreclosure, even though their own studies show it’s cheaper to reduce principal than to foreclose and evict.

·        Fannie Mae accepted the Hubbard’s rent for 11 months (through September) but refused to continue to take rent and allow them to stay.  As a result of a CLVU protest against Fannie Mae in DC, one of Fannie Mae’s national attorneys called to agree that the Hubbard’s had paid rent through September, BUT they still planned to evict them!

·        Fannie refused to wait for the outcome of the Hubbard’s application for a new mortgage from Boston Community Capital, a non-profit that Fannie Mae has previously worked with.

As the city of Brockton continues to be hit hard by foreclosures and bank evictions, the bank tenant movement will continue to grow.   As a result, there will inevitably be more protests. So, the Brockton Bank Tenant Association, City Life or is supporters will not be intimidated or deterred from organizing or conducting eviction blockades in the city of Brockton.

WPI students fight Exxon Mobil CEO’s planned commencement address

Worcester- There’s a storm brewing on the campus of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) over the invitation by the administration to ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson to deliver this year’s commencement speech on May 14.

According to WPI’s Students for a Just and Stable Future (SJSF), ExxonMobil, the world’s largest private oil company and a major funder of climate deniers, has given over $1.3 million to the school. The invitation appears to have more to do with future funding aspirations than aspirational future vision.

After a decision by WPI’s President Dennis Berkey to prevent protesting students from receiving diplomas drew negative media attention, Berkey withdrew the threat and agreed to endorse an alternate commencement speech by Richard Heinberg, Senior Fellow of the Post Carbon Institute. Invited by SJSF, Heinberg will deliver from the main stage directly following Tillerson’s address.

Richard Heinberg’s work is a powerful symbol of our wishes for WPI: a university which, in line with its budding green image, chooses to honor someone with leadership and vision, rather than a baron of the past, a force of the status quo.” – SJSF Leadership

However, the fact remains that the CEO of the world’s most profitable company, one that has destroyed entire ecosystems around the globe, will be addressing the next generation of parents, thinkers and leaders.

Protesters, whose ranks will be swelled by organizations including 350.org and a number of Boston/Worcester area allies, have vowed to oppose Tillerson’s speech directly.

March with Grace this Labor Day!

Scores of unemployed working people, together with family members and supporters, will be marching in the Marlborough 2010 Labor Day Parade on Sept. 6 together with two-time gubernatorial candidate Grace Ross and the direct-action organization she helps lead, the “Grace Team”.

This colorful and noisy contingent will meet at Chestnut and Pleasant Streets in Marlborough at 11am, and will march wearing work uniforms and union colors, carrying tools of our trade, banners and signs, behind the Grace Team banner which reads: “We don’t sit idly by … We’re not going to take it any more!”

In calling this action together, Grace Ross – who polled at 27% in the May 12 Rasmussen Poll in a three-way matchup with Baker and Cahill, but who failed to win a place on the Democratic Ballot – said:

“Hundreds of thousands of Massachusetts residents are without jobs, and ten thousand are coming to the end of their unemployment benefits every week. We started this recession behind the average of the rest of the country by 83,000 jobs that we should have re-created by the high of the last upswing in 2007. Continue reading March with Grace this Labor Day!

Protest at Clark U tomorrow (Sat., April 17)

Cafeteria workers, students, community groups to protest tomorrow civil rights violations by food service giant Sodexo at Clark University.

Cafeteria workers employed by food service contractor Sodexo at Clark University will be joined by student groups and community supporters in a march and rally on Saturday, April 17, near the Clark campus. The workers have been trying to form a union with SEIU Local 615.

The support for Sodexo workers has been escalating in Worcester. Recently three protesters were arrested on Main Street, Worcester during a protest of Sodexo’s legal violations. Saturday’s event at Clark is one of several across the country this week intended to protest Sodexo’s attacks on employees trying to form a union. Sodexo cafeteria workers, janitors, students, religious leaders and elected officials in 11 states will participate in rallies and lead strikes in some locations; and some individuals may participate in civil disobedience. Events are planned for Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, Illinois, Colorado, Louisiana, Georgia and California.

Sodexo is the 22nd largest employer in the world, with more than 80,000 workers in the U.S. Sodexo made more than a billion dollars in profits in 2009, yet SEIU leaders note that the company pays its U.S. workers as little as $7.50 an hour and does not offer affordable healthcare options. Continue reading Protest at Clark U tomorrow (Sat., April 17)