Last night, colleges and universities in the Boston area sent an email to their students at the request of Boston Police commissioner William Evans. The BPD top cop's letter asks students who intend to protest in the wake of the Darren Wilson grand jury announcement to do so peacefully. Evans also warns about "outside agitators."
Subject to the lore of the cruel hazing rituals of its secret societies, and the backdrop for dozens of movies about the seedy underbelly of Ivy life, Harvard University is no stranger to controversy. But what local activists have noticed in the past few years is a more systemic and dangerous issue: the militarization of Harvard’s campus, and its tendency to arrest anyone who dissents from their version of veritas.
Three recent incidents expose the extent to which Harvard will go to protect its reputation, though these are not the first, or only, examples:
I’ve long planned on attending the People's Climate March. I bought a train ticket back in May, after I read, “A Call to Arms.” I have a confession though: I just wasn’t crazy excited about the march, certainly not compared to my friends and fellow organizers. That was, until I heard about #floodwallstreet. Let me explain because I know this might sound like blasphemy.
The energy transition. The words roll off the tongue, but what does it really mean ? Is it possible to move towards an economy based on renewable energy and to cool down global warming ?
The prospects for a new energy economy are growing, but old patterns of thought and practice around the energy industry are hindering this growth. Investment in solar and wind has gone way up in the last 5 years. It doesn't seem too long ago that these were seen as "boutique" energy provisions, nothing that would really get funded.
As I write this, the Israeli Defense Forces have begun a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip. I am a secular Jew, and myself along with millions of other Jews, hear that the state of Israel which claims to speak and act in our name - is now indiscriminately bombarding and murdering Palestinians. What stand should we take? What is the right and the wrong?
“We substitute teachers like to think of ourselves as the marines of the public education system. Whenever a breach opens in our nation’s educational front lines, off we go: The few, the brave, the stupid.” -- From Tom Gallagher's SUB
Like most of the couple hundred young people rallying at the State House Monday morning, I have never experienced a month with globally-averaged surface temperature below the 20th Century mean.
So while Governor Deval Patrick’s Global Warming Solutions Act is without a doubt excellent legislation, we young people need more. What we need from the Governor—and we will be strong supporters as he considers elected office again down the road—is a ban on new fossil fuel infrastructure.
Many of Boston’s biggest and most profitable developments enjoy decades-long property tax exemptions under a state law, Chapter 121A, created in 1945 to subsidize affordable housing in distressed areas.
Chapter 121A was amended in 1960 to apply also to commercial and luxury housing projects on sites the Boston Redevelopment Authority declares “blighted.” Only about three dozen large projects have received 121A tax agreements, but they have – and will continue to - cost us hundreds of millions of dollars.
When Somali pirates captured Captain Richard Phillips in 2009, his large Irish-American family gathered at a farmhouse in Vermont to await news of his fate.
The Open Letter
Dear Xi Jinping (China), Barack Obama (USA), Dilma Rousseff (Brazil), Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (Indonesia), Vladimir Putin (Russia), Manmohan Singh (India), Angela Merkel (Germany), Stephen Harper (Canada), Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (Saudi Arabia), David Cameron (UK), & Enrique Peña Nieto (México) —