Thoughts from a Boston-Area Labor Organizer
Thoughts from a Boston-Area Labor Organizer
What to say about Labor Day? Should I write another depressing editorial where I pull out facts and figures showing how bad the situation is for working people and our organizations in the US today? I suppose not. Should I follow the lead of the capitalist mainstream media and talk about labor in passing just one day a year - today - and then blow the subject off for the other 364 days? Well that's not possible because here at Open Media Boston we talk about labor and working people's struggles for justice all the time. So then what can I discuss?
Kudos to the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts for their recent First Amendment victory at the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit - who ruled unanimously that Simon Glik had a right to videotape police in action on the Boston Common in October 2007. According to an ACLU press release, Glik sued the three police officers involved and the City of Boston for violating his civil rights after police arrested him and charged him with illegal wiretapping, aiding the escape of a prisoner, and disturbing the peace.
As Verizon Declares Truce with Unions, Labor and Allies Need to Keep Up the Pressure in Contract Fight
Late on August 6th, as their contract expired, over 45,000 unionized Verizon workers went out on strike after management refused to budge on its demands for dozens of concessions from the leadership of the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Much grassroots excitement ensued, despite the (unfortunately typical) poor coverage of the labor fight in much of the mainstream news media.
If I was writing a standard Open Media Boston news article on last Thursday’s Rally to Make Fox History, the introduction would read something like this “Over 40 advocates from the Boston Media Reform Network held a rally in front of the Massachusetts State House to demand that Congress hold hearings on the scandal that has engulfed the media conglomerate News Corp. in the United Kingdom and now threatens to spread to the United States.
First things first. Open Media Boston encourages all of our viewers to turn out to an important protest this Thursday, August 4th at 12 noon in front of the Massachusetts State House - the Boston Rally to Make Fox History. The event is being called by the new Boston Media Reform Network that your faithful Editor/Publisher has been working rather hard on since its launch in May. The aim of the event is to do our part to pressure Congress to hold hearings on the various criminal activities that media giant News Corp.
Hot on the heels of a so-called "break" to attend my regular MFA Visual Arts residency in late June, your faithful Open Media Boston Editor/Publisher is now taking an actual week off - a rare occurrence. And one that's increasingly rare for all working Americans, I know. So, yeah, I'm fried. It's been a long time since I've gotten off the workaday hamster wheel, and I look forward to a few days off.
Over the next couple of months, we’ll be holding some fundraisers for Open Media Boston - in person and online - with the aim of building the new website that we’ve been wanting for round about two years now. We’ve long-since reached the limit of what we can do with this our first website, and feel that we can only grow and continue to present more of the progressive news and views we’ve become known for with a web presence that makes use of the latest technology.
Just a note to Open Media Boston viewers that I'll be taking a break from my editorial duties until after June 26th - while I attend the summer residency of my MFA program at an art school somewhere in a land we call America. Somewhere strange and mysterious where the r is rarely pronounced, and where history mingles with the annoying and largely pointless spectacle of victory parades for archaic northern sports that have long ceased to be enjoyed by anyone within the city limits. But I digress ... anyhow, I'm out like trout. Have fun while I'm away ... well, kinda away.
It was nice to see a victory for Massachusetts immigrants this week. Under pressure from a growing coalition of progressive organizations, Gov. Deval Patrick announced his opposition to the controversial Department of Homeland Security Secure Communities plan on Monday. S-Comm, as it was dubbed, would have mandated local police (who are generally not responsible for enforcing federal immigration law) to send the fingerprints of everyone arrested - not convicted, as the Mass.