The annual public ritual of rendering homage to Martin Luther King Jr., the man, while obfuscating - if not actively betraying - his message, is de rigueur for elected officials, with or without the gospel choirs. Once a year, these officials issue their compulsory paeans to Dr. King's legacy, or to what passes for his legacy these days. Their homilies secure that legacy firmly within the civil rights realm - King's later writings and speeches are not exactly on the tips of their tongues.
A handful of Massachusetts legislators have offered some solutions to the state's budgetary woes, fearlessly pursuing the criminals who enrich themselves at public expense but pay little or no state taxes. The big banks, you might ask? The pharmaceutical companies bilking the state's Medicaid system of tens of millions of dollars? Well, no. It turns out that the most serious pillagers of public funds, to judge by these proposals, are not predatory lenders or tax-dodging corporations, but the poor. Not exactly a new idea.
Quick note to say that Open Media Boston will be on a break while your faithful Editor/Publisher is attending his semi-annual graduate school residency. We'll be back after January 18th. However, if there's anything major happening in the Boston area labor and non-profit sectors before that date, be sure to flag us at info [at] openmediaboston [dot] org - and we'll do our best to cover it. And, as always, feel free to submit opinion pieces anytime.
Our colleagues at South End Press put out the following call for financial support this week, and we're republishing it here it in hopes that Open Media Boston viewers will send them some money at speed. There aren't very many left-wing publishing houses in the U.S. and we can't afford to lose another one. Especially in times like these. So please check out their pitch and then dig as deeply as you can to help them out.
Read on and thanks,
Open Media Boston
As is usual for a largely volunteer-run publication like ours Open Media Boston will be slowing down our production schedule for the rest of December and much of January. We won't stop our news operation entirely but we will be in a sort of journalistic fugue state while we all catch up with our families have some down time and wait for the activists we cover as our main beat to start taking it to the streets on a more regular basis again.
#OccupyBoston: Some Thoughts on the 12/10 Raid Restrictions on Press Freedom the Greenway and the Future
It should come as no surprise to regular Open Media Boston viewers that I found the City of Boston’s destruction of the Occupy Boston encampment in Dewey Square on Saturday morning unnecessary and ill-considered. Moreover the way the Boston Police Department raid on the camp was conducted - while less violent than their destruction of the Occupy Boston extension camp in October - was highly problematic.
For the last few weeks I’ve been meaning to find a moment to write a brief editorial on the poll numbers that the Occupy movement has been generating since its inception in September. Today’s boston.com piece on the just-released Boston Globe/Suffolk University poll on Occupy Boston impels me to say something on the subject at last.
One of the least credible attacks on Occupy Boston by local politicians pundits and press has been the idea that its Dewey Square encampment - judged to be a form of protected free speech last week when Judge Frances McIntyre issued a temporary injunction preventing the City of Boston from dismantling it - is costing the public a large amount of money. Due mostly to police overtime costs. The figure currently being tossed about for the ongoing police presence at the Occupy Boston camp is roughly $600 000 to date.
There has been a great deal of interest by progressive unions, labor federations, community-labor coalitions, and non-profits of many kinds in the rise of the Occupy movement. A lot of this interest is positive, and represents the leadership of existing progressive organizations understanding the importance of expanding their efforts at this particular moment in history - and reaching out to the new movement in the best spirit of mutual aid and solidarity.
A Somewhat Entertaining Line-by-Line Analysis of the Harvard Adminstration's 11_10_11 Letter to Its Community on #OccupyHarvard
It's always important to read between the lines of any official document coming from any significant societal institution - especially during times of crisis. So when the following missive from the Harvard University administration crossed our screen earlier today, we thought it was a good idea to do a line-by-line commentary in the public interest. We also thought it proper that we should do so with tongue at least partly in cheek. Because we get bored easily when reading stuff like this, and we're sure you do too.