Many years ago, in a situation that still produces much pain, close friends were thinking through treatment for their gravely ill child. They had exhausted conventional and experimental therapies; their doctors were urging them to do what they could to make their son feel comfortable and loved. Then, suddenly, after years of suffering, our friends had smiles on their faces. A cure was available! For a brief moment, I shared their joy but then realized that we were victims of quackery.
Earlier in my career I worked in the Boston financial services industry, specifically in the investment management and brokerage areas. Frequently the SEC would conduct “sweep reviews/examinations” of the industry to ensure that regulated entities were in compliance with securities laws and that the interest of the public was protected. The SEC coined the expression “let the light shine in” as a mission statement for these industry-wide examinations.
Somerville residents and union members seeking union jobs and a commitment to hire local people shut down the MaxPac housing construction site with a large rally and picket line. The event was held at the Cedar Street entrance to the where 199 units of housing are under construction.
"Do the developers really think they can bust unions and hire out-of-state workers to build MaxPac?" asked Rand Wilson, a Somerville resident and union activist. "Well, we've got news for KSS and Gate Residential: Not in Somerville. Not now. Not ever!"
The Nobel Laureate and the Labor Lawyer
Nobel Laureate and Egyptian Presidential Candidate, Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, objected to the BBC reporter attributing recent events in Egypt to the “Youth Movement.” ElBaradei complained that calling the “revolt” a “youth movement” was a gross distortion of the truth, and did not in any way describe the range of ages, occupations and incomes represented by the protesters demonstrating in Tahrir Square for eighteen days.
In another important solidarity development, seven Boston-area Verizon employees who are members of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 2222 left on Friday afternoon for an eighteen hour drive to Madison, Wisconsin to join the massive labor protests scheduled for this weekend.
Remember when Republicans were falling all over each other praising first responders in the wake of 9/11? Fire fighters, cops and EMT's could do no wrong back then. Perhaps you also recall a whole lot of working class people supporting Republicans at the polls during the Bush era as well. More than a few working class folks were climbing aboard the Bush war machine and voting for right-wing candidates. Like they say: times sure have changed!
A half dozen community supporters greeted shoppers at Rite Aid's Davis Sq. store in Somerville on Valentine's Day to focus public attention on the company's culture of corporate greed and its assault employees' health care benefits and job rights. The action in Somerville sent management a Valentine's message in support of workers' rights.
Dozens of similar actions were planned at Rite Aid locations across the country, including other stores in New Jersey, Ohio, Colorado, California and Washington.
Last night I attended a large gathering of activists who came together in Arlington Center, Massachusetts, to listen to MIT Professor Emeritus Noam Chomsky and Institute for Policy Studies fellow Phyllis Bennis discuss how to reinvigorate and expand the Peace Movement. Both speakers emphasized the need for anti-war activists to make links with other groups working for change, and particularly to get involved in supporting the majority of Americans who are overwhelmed by the ongoing economic crisis.
The Cambridge City Council unanimously passed a resolution on January 31 supporting strong workers' rights language in the city's next cable TV agreement with Comcast. The resolution urges Comcast to, "comply with the National Labor Relations Act and all applicable state and federal wage and hour laws." The city's previous ten-year contract for cable and internet services expired on December 29, 2010.
Neither rain nor snow… could keep the members of the Mass Alliance Against Predatory Lending away from the State House!
Amidst inches of snow this past Tuesday, January 18th, scores of Massachusetts residents from different walks of life slogged to the Massachusetts Statehouse for speak out about the ever-increasing foreclosure crisis and talk to their legislators about four bills to reverse this crisis.