After Dewey Sq: Where is The Occupy Movement Going in MA?

Sunday, March 4, 1:30-3:30 PM  The Democracy Center    45 Mt Auburn St (Harvard Sq.), Cambridge

Panelists:
Chris Faraone, The Boston Phoenix
Katie Gradowski, Occupy Boston
Betsy Boggia, Occupy Natick/Occupy the ‘Burbs
Moderator: David Knuttunen, Occupy Newton, Occupy Boston’s Free School University, and Boston DSA

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Right to the City March in Boston–Amazing and Broad-based

by David Knuttenen

Boston DSA managed to get a modest contingent out to a “Right to the City” rally and march in Boston on Friday, Sept 30. The primary organization behind the march was the Right to the City coalition, whose Boston membership includes Alternatives for Community & Environment, City Life/Vida Urbana, the Boston Workers Alliance, and the Chinese Progressive Association. But the march was an amazingly solidaristic event. The people organizing this had done a LOT of bridge building.

There were labor, grassroots anti-foreclosure groups, an urban mass transit alliance, lots of others. Young and old, black, white, Latino and Asian, gays and straights, liberals, socialists and anarchists. We started with a rally on the Boston Common, then the march snaked thru Downtown Crossing, stopping for momentary solidarity with coordinated demonstrations occuring outside Hyatt, whose 100 housekeepers, fired from three Boston-area Hyatt hotels on August 31, 2009 are still not back at work (“Shame on Hyatt! Shame on Hyatt!”) and a Verizon Wireless store, protesting a company seeking concessions from its unions despite its record profits (“Shame on Verizon!”). Eventually, we arrived and stayed for a long time outside Bank of America’s Boston HQ at 100 Federal Street. At BoA, some 20-25 people were arrested for sitting-in in the lobby, or for blocking the doors. (Arrestees included at least one DSA member wearing his union “hat”.)

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Boston DSA Awards Reception to Honor Rocio Saenz and Matt Taibbi

Boston DSA’s annual awards reception will honor a long-time advocate for low wage workers and community empowerment along with a best-selling author — Rocio Sáenz and Matt Taibbi.  Co-Chairs for the June 11 reception are Lisa Clauson, Co-Director of  Community Labor United  and Chuck Collins of the  Institute for Policy Studies.

Date: Saturday, June 11
Time: Social 3 PM; Program 4 PM
Place: 56 Perkins Street, Jamaica Plain
Directions: www.dsaboston.org

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Boston to Wisconsin to Sacramento!

by David Duhalde and David Knuttenen

In Boston on Tuesday 22 February, DSAers joined over a thousand union members and supporters demonstrating outside the statehouse in solidarity with Wisconsin workers.

Wisconsin has been in the forefront of our minds, as tens of thousands of people have poured into the streets to resist the Republican governor’s attempt to effectively eliminate all collective bargaining rights for public employees.

The energetic and enthusiastic Boston rally was attended by a healthy mixture of public and private sector union members.  Continue reading

In Memory of the Foxconn Suicide Victims

by Paul Garver

In Memory

On June 13, as part of an event honoring progressive community and union activists, fifty members and friends of Boston DSA commemorated the suicide victims at Foxconn in Shenzhen, China. After paying tribute to them and to the courageous strikers at China Honda, persons present signed the following statement:

Remembering the suicide victims at Foxconn

We wish to commemorate the ten young workers who committed suicide so far this year at the Foxconn factory in Shenzhen, China. We extend our deepest condolences to the victims’ families and friends.

We call for a comprehensive, independent investigation into Foxconn’s management systems to determine their connection to employee suicides.

We welcome the announcement that hourly wages will be increased in Foxconn to reduce the need to work excessive overtime hours to earn a basic living. We call upon the global electronic companies for whom Foxconn supplies products to facilitate that wage increase by paying Foxconn an adequate price.

These global companies are squeezing their suppliers worldwide with no concern for the effects on the people who produce their products. For instance, industry sources suggest that Apple awarded 2009 iPhone orders to Foxconn when Foxconn agreed to sell them parts at “zero profit”.

We call on Apple CEO Steve Jobs, head of one of the world’s most successful technology businesses and a major buyer of Foxconn products, to promptly reform Apple’s purchasing practices to support the enforcement of workers’ rights at its suppliers.

We propose that this reform rest on the building block of workers’ involvement in decisions that concern them. Workers’ participation will build the community resources to reduce suicides. Strengthening the participation of workers in enterprise management will help monitor and improve working conditions .

We stand in solidarity with citizens of the world to fight for decent work in China and other countries.

Signed on June 13, 2010 by members and friends of the Boston Local of the Democratic Socialists of America.

2010 Debs-Thomas-Bernstein Reception to Honor Isman and Clark

Georgia Hollister Isman and Jack Clark, longtime Boston progressive stalwarts, will be honored at this years Boston DSA Debs-Thomas-Bersnstein reception on Sunday, June 13, at 3:00 pm at 56 Perkins St., Jamiaca Plain, Massachusetts.  Isman is director of Mass Alliance while Clark, the first national secretary for DSOC (DSA predecessor organization), is currently Director of Workforce Development for the union-funded Transportation Learning Center.

Honorary Co-Chairs for the  reception are Massachusetts AFL-CIO President Robert Haynes  and Senator Patricia Jehlen (D-Somerville). Special guest is Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz (D-Boston).

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Boston DSA to honor health care workers for justice

Boston DSA

We hope you can join us in honoring Professor, author, and health care reformer Rashi Fein, along with the winners of an inspiring union election at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Brighton, by attending this year’s Debs-Thomas-Bernstein Awards. Sponsored by the Boston chapter of Democratic Socialists of America, the awards reception will take place Tuesday, June 30, 6:30—8:30 P.M., at the historic home of Marcia Peters and David Karaus, 56 Perkins Street, Jamaica Plain.

Last April , after a long campaign, 73% of the employees of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital—respiratory therapists, surgical and x-ray technicians, clerks, nursing assistants, housekeepers and dietary workers—voted to join Local 1199 of SEIU, the state’s largest union of health care workers. This was the largest union win at a Boston area hospital in decades, and gave a giant boost to ongoing efforts to organize all Boston area workers. Accepting the award on behalf of the St. Elizabeth’s victory will be Sonia Marshall, patient care assistant and key organizer of the campaign.

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April 2 Boston Demo Targets Bank of America

by David Duhalde

Bank of America is one of the largest recipients of government bailout money and is using its funding to lobby against working people’s right to unionize. It is also foreclosing on homes and not allowing renters to stay even if it’s the landlords who are insolvent.

As part of the Massachusetts Coalition for Free Choice, the Boston Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) is taking part of “Resistance and Recovery” week of action. In our effort to support the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) we are joining with the labor movement and Jobs with Justice to rally outside of the Bank of America located at Copley Square.

Please join the picket between 4 and 6 PM on Thursday, April 2nd at 557 Boylston Street near Copley Square. You can take any Green line train to Copley Square station.

When: Thursday, April 2nd between 4 and 6 pm.

Where: 557 Boylston Street in Copley Square (Take Green line to Copley Square Station)

Boston Forum: Labor’s Last Stand?: The Employee Free Choice Act and the Fight Against Inequality

A February 25 forum  of the Boston Democratic Socialists of America focuses on the Employee Free Choice Act.  It is co-sponsored by United for a Fair Economy and Western Mass Jobs with Justice.

Speakers: Join the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA); Harris Gruman, Massachusetts SEIU Political Director; DSA Vice-Chair, Dr. Elaine Bernard, Executive Director of the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School; and a speaker  from United for a Fair Economy for analysis and arguments about the importance of this legislation in challenging inequality and expanding democracy in these historic times.

Details after the break.
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Boston Activists Renew Campaign for Employee Free Choice Act

by David Duhalde

Robert Haynes President Mass AFL-CIO

Robert Haynes, President, Mass. AFL-CIO

At SEIU Local 615 Boston union hall, on December 10, the 60th anniversary of Human Rights Day, nearly 75 trade unionists and community organizers gathered for a campaign kick-off session for the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). This bill would make it easier to form a union when a majority of workers sign an authorization card stating their desire for unionization. The law would also increase penalties for illegal union-busting.

Russ Davis, director of Eastern Massachusetts Jobs with Justice (JwJ), reviewed the campaign’s goals: 50 community groups signatures, 50 community and religious leaders in support, 2000 pledge cards, and a visible public message that engages communities. Eastern Massachusetts is the coalition’s primary target, but it plans to connect with the whole state and other parts of New England as well.

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