Youth Lobby Day this Wed. on crime bill

Lobby Day this Wed. at the State House at Noon
Let’s hear from our young people.
Get the guns off the street now!  Pass the Governor’s crime bill.

WHAT: Youth-led Lobby Day to support Governor Patrick’s crime bill H. 4102
WHERE: Massachusetts State House
CONTACT:  (617) 233-5363

Join us for a Lobby Day/ press conference/ rally at the STATE HOUSE THIS WED., JUNE 23 AT NOON to support the Governor’s crime bill.

Let’s showcase youth activists and garner positive media and public attention too often overshadowed by the headlines.

We’ll gather outside, hear from young people about the urgency of getting the guns off the street, and take our message directly to lawmakers inside the building.  (Check out our growing list of supporters, attached.)

“I was hanging out with a friend in the afternoon and later that day he was shot and killed.  I don’t want to end up like that.” –17-year-old Jamaica Plain student

Don’t let the Governor’s bill die—so our kids can live.

Citizens for Safety is a community coalition working to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and youth
while supporting the rights of law-abiding Americans to own firearms.

Nancy Robinson
Phone: (617) 233-5363
Fax: (617) 467-4604

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Mass Hope 2010 - UPCOMING EVENTS

Mass Hope 2010 is now on Day 14/Night 14 of our ongoing 24-7 vigil protesting the hateful anti-immigrant redundant and costly Senate budget amendments.

This week has been exciting: On Thursday, Lara gave us a workshop on “Communicating your Message and Talking to Press,” Justin facilitated a chat on immigration, nationalism/nativism, and good books to read, and The Boston Interpreters Collective, Cecily and Fedelma, gave an excellent workshop on interpretation. Yesterday, Voices of Liberation and El movimiento para estudios latin@s put on an Open Mic night and we were all repeatedly surprised by the beauty and power of their dance and spoken word. And today, we finished an intense game of futbol with the Boston Interpreters Collective. The front steps of the State House are now REAL public space-- a community space where people can feel safe and draw energy from others and wonderful groups and organizations can meet, get to know one another and share strategy and resources.

And we need to community and movement as we continue. We are now at a time of great urgency and we need to mobilize and act NOW.

The Conference Committee will make their decision (or already have made their decision) this Monday on June 21st and we will be ready for their decision. We need to show our strength and power in the upcoming days with our events:

Monday June 21st
10 AM- Meet at State House and go on legislative visits to Six leads of Conference Committee to pass in petitions (over 1,000 signatures!)
12Noon- Press Conference in front of the State House
ALL DAY- Flood Conference Committee with calls and emails
Please tell your members to call their respective Senators and Representatives as well as Governor Patrick, 617-725-4005
House Speaker Robert DeLeo, 617-722-2500
Rep. Charles Murpy of Burlington, 617-722-2990
Rep. Barbara L'Italien of Andover, 617-722-2380
Senate President Therese Murray, 617-722-1500
Sen. Steven Panagiotakos of Lowell, 617-722-1630
Sen. Stephen Brewer of Dorchester, 617-722-1540
Even if your Representative and Senator voted against these anti-immigrant amendments, please call them anyways! And support them!)

Tuesday June 22nd
4PM- Rally in front of the State House

Wednesday June 23rd
1PM- Public Hearing inside the State House

We are committing to hold this vigil if the budget contains any of these amendments because they are all dangerous and hurtful to our immigrant and greater communities. We won't stop and we will maintain our ongoing vigil until there is justice, until Massachusetts is a welcoming home for all, and until these amendments are retracted or vetoed by Governor Patrick.

Thank you.

Student Immigrant Movement, ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) Coalition, Arlington Church, Asian American Resource Workshop, Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, Boston Interpreters Collective, Boston May Day Committee, Brazilian Immigrants Center, Cambridge Community Services, Centro Presente, Chinese Progressive Association, Cooperative Metropolitan Ministries, Deported Diaspora, El Movimiento Estudiantes Latin@s, Immigrant Worker Center Collaborative, International Action Center, International Socialist Organization, Irish Immigrant Center, Jobs with Justice, Massachusetts Metropolitan Interfaith Congregations Acting for Hope (MICAH), Matahari : Eye of the Day, MIRA Coalition, New Sanctuary Movement, Party for Socialism and Liberation, Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts (PHENOM), Resist the Raids, SEIU 615, Sociedad Latina, Student Labor Action Network (SLAM), Veterans for Peace, Voices of Liberation

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Voices of Liberation in solidarity with Student Immigrant Movement Present:
"Todos Somos Arizona/We all Arizona"
Speak Out/Open Mic

Friday June 18, 2010

Location: Steps of State House! 

Contact: Lily

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SIM holds a 24/7 Vigil In protest of MA Immigration Amendments

Support the action Student Immigrant Movement (SIM) is organizing against the MA amendments that were just passed in the Senate.

These budget amendments, if accepted by the House of Rep, would detrimentally affect our immigrant and greater community. These amendments include:

  • Requiring businesses that work with the state to use some system (like E-verify) to verify paperwork, or the business will lose contract with government and be fined. (Verifying immigration status for employees is the federal government's responsibility, not our state's job.)
  • Fining higher penalties for being caught with false documents, for example from $50 to $250 for ID's
  • Denying access to assisted housing programs for undocumented people (This would leave many U.S. citizen children and family members homeless and increase government spending on motels, shelters and housing in the future.)
  • Requiring stricter requirements for housing, social security and health benefits, documented or undocumented (This is redundant for undocumented peoples because they currently receive no social security, welfare nor food stamps, receive basic necessary health insurance and do not benefits in the federal housing projects and vouchers. This requirement would make receiving benefits for all, especially poor and lower income people, more difficult and stricter.)
  • Creating an anonymous tip line to report suspicious people using false documents, business hiring undocumented people and people who are undocumented and mandating investigations of all no matter how uncredible the reports are. (This is a hateful part of the law, requiring neighbors to spy and report on neighbors, ex-partners, students and hearsay. This is putting the federal government's job of immigration reform in the hands of the MA state investigators and in individuals' hands which would bankrupt and use tax dollars to follow up on less than credible reports.
  • Barring undocumented students from receiving In-State tuition. (This is redundant since MA undocumented students do not receive In-State tuition but it would block the five years of work that the Student Immigrant Movement has done to push for In-State tuition for undocumented students.)
  • Blocking limited and basic health care for undocumented people. (This is hateful and dangerous for the immigrant community as well as public health, creating barriers to basic health care for all, which is a human right, and therefore putting us all at risk for higher emergency costs, communal diseases and sicknesses.)
  • We need to do something about these amendments and tell our Representatives and Senators that they do not represent what the people of MA want or need, we do not want Arizona in Massachusetts, we do not want the most hateful and anti-immigrant bill created in the last five years and we do not want to scapegoat our immigrant community for greater socio-economic issues. 
Because our friends were hurting and thousands across MA are scared and already talking about the repression and the pressure to leave, we had to turn our fears into hope and action. Student Immigrant Movement is holding an day and all night vigil in front of the State House that will not end until the Senate, House of Representatives and Governor Patrick address the amendements and understand that this is not what MA wants.

Press Coverage of the Vigil
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3rd Annual 10,000 Strong Boston - June 20th - Franklin Park Playstead

Please take this opportunity to use this community event as it was meant to be! Many are concerned about recent violence and lack of opportunity for our youth Use this event to speak to the community, join with existing efforts, develop or unveil plans. GET INVOLVED!!! BE PART OF THE SOLUTION.

3rd Annual 10,000 Strong Boston
Sunday, June 20th 2010 | Franklin Park Playstead
10,000 Strong Boston - STOP THE VIOLENCE Sun. 6/20/10 noon-5pm

12Noon – 5pm (Speakers begin at 3pm)

For more information, details about the schedule and speakers, visit

Greetings! This is a formal invitation requesting your presence and your words of wisdom for the 3rd Annual 10,000 Strong Boston! Feel free to use your own experience to deliver an uplifting message to empower, inform and inspire the community.

Since 2008 (each year held the day after Boston’s Roxbury Homecoming and Juneteenth Celebration) 10,000 Strong Boston has brought together Black, Latino & Cape Verdean Community Members, Clergy, Educators, Activists, Parents, Youth, Elders and Elected Officials for this one of a kind community event standing for Justice & Peace in Boston.

Each year 10,000 Strong Boston has garnered crowds of 100-400 all standing in Unity for Peace & Justice with speakers, food and fun for the entire family. 10k Strong Boston has received excellent coverage in the Press and has been featured in the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Boston Phoenix, Boston Banner and Channels 4, 5 and 25.

PAST EVENTS: photos, videos, past speakers and media from 2008 & 2009 10,000 Strong Boston
please see our website:

10K AGAINST: 10,000 Strong Boston takes a stand against Racism, violence, drugs, guns, gangs, prostitution, domestic abuse, sexual abuse, police brutality and more!!

10K FOR: 10,000 Strong Boston stands for Strong Families, Education, Political/Civic Engagement, Leadership Development, Prison Reform, Fair Housing, CORI Reform and more!!

10,000 Strong Boston is coordinated by Jamarhl Crawford and organized in conjunction with the Blackstonian Community Newspaper, which has grown into a website and internet radio station

For this 3rd Annual 10k Strong Boston, the newly formed Boston Black Men’s Leadership Group is also taking a lead role in fulfillment of the group’s commitment to grassroots community efforts.

Please consult your schedule and confirm your availability ASAP as we will begin heavy promotions and press in the first week of June.



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Latin@ Studies Youth Conference

El Movimiento Estudiantes Latin@s Presents: Latin@ Studies Youth Conference

Friday, June 18
10:00 AM - 2:30 PM

Wheelock College
150 The Riverway
Boston, MA

Student Immigrant Movement (SIM)
Lissette Castillo
Nurys Carmago

Sasha De La Cruz - 857.417.1744
Judy Garcia - 978.566.2096

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Live coverage of Israeli raid of Gaza Aid Flotilla and Aftermath

Early Monday morning, Israel attacked a flotilla of aid ships bound for the Gaza Strip; up to 10 people were killed in the pre-dawn raid, according to organisers and media sources. Find up to the minute coverage of the Israeli raid of a Gaza Aid Flotilla and the aftermath on Al Jazeera.

Live coverage: Aftermath of Israel's flotilla raid

Live coverage: Israel's flotilla raid

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Deadly Israeli raid on aid fleet

Israeli soldiers have attacked a flotilla of aid-carrying ships off the coast of the Gaza Strip, killing as many as 10 people on board.

Dozens more were believed to be injured when troops raided the convoy of six ships, dubbed the Freedom Flotilla, early on Monday.

But those figures were hard to confirm as the flotilla was being held in the Israeli port of Ashdod on Tuesday, with 700 passengers from 30 countries either being detained or in hospital.

Israel said activists on board attacked its commandos as they boarded the ships, while the flotilla's organisers said the Israeli forces opened fire first, as soon as they stormed the convoy.

Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, gave his "full backing" to the military forces after the raid, which he said "was to prevent the infiltration of thousands of rockets, missiles and other arms that could hit our cities, communities or people".

"I give my complete backing to the army, the soldiers and commanders who acted to defend the state and to protect their lives." He also said Israel regretted the loss of life in the raid.

Protests worldwide

Israeli media reported that many of the dead were Turkish nationals.

Hamas, the Palestinian group which governs the Gaza Strip, said the assault was a "massacre" and called on the international community to intervene.

The Hamas leader in Gaza, Ismail Haniya, urged Arabs and Muslims to show their anger by staging protests outside Israeli embassies across the globe.

The call came even as demonstrationsdenouncing the Israeli raid were being held in many cities around the world, including the capitals of Syria, Jordan and Lebanon.

Thousands of Turkish protesters tried to storm the Israeli consulate in Istanbul soon after the news of the operation broke.

Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, officially declared a three-day state of mourning.

The United Nations Security Council  met on Monday afternoon for an emergency session to discuss the matter.

Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, the chief foreign policy official of the UN, called on Israel to end its "counterproductive" and "unacceptable" blockade of Gaza.

Live ammunition

Al Jazeera's Jamal Elshayyal, on board the flotilla's lead ship, the Mavi Marmara, said in his last report before communications were cut off, that Israeli troops used live ammunition during the assault.

The Israeli military, 10 of whose soldiers were reportedly wounded in the operation, said troops opened fire after "demonstrators on board attacked the IDF naval personnel with live fire and light weaponry including knives and clubs".

Our correspondent said that a white surrender flag was raised from the ship and there was no live fire coming from the passengers.

Al Jazeera's Sherine Tadros, reporting from the Israeli port of Ashdod, where the aid ships were taken after the assault, said the Israeli army was not giving any details of who had been killed, injured or detained.

"As soon as [the ships] land here, the goods [will be] taken [and] put into a terminal, and the passengers [made to] undergo extensive security checks," she said.

"[They will be] given the choice either to go home straight away, in which case they will be taken to Tel Aviv airport. Or if they resist deportation, they will be taken to a nearby detention centre where, we understand, they will [remain] for at least 72 hours."

More than 80 activists had been detained by mid-evening, Sabine Hadad, the spokeswoman for Israel's immigration police, told AFP.

"So far, 83 have been detained, of whom 25 have agreed to be deported. The rest are going to jail," she said.

Hadad said the Israeli authorities were expecting "hundreds more" arrests through the night.

Israeli defence

Defending Monday's military raid, Mark Regev, the Israeli government spokesperson, said the Israeli commandos came under fire from people on board the flotilla whom he branded as "violent extremists".

"Israel was totally within its rights under international law to intercept the ship and to take it to the port of Ashdod," he told Al Jazeera.

"Unfortunately they were met by the activists on the boats with deadly violence, knives, metal clubs, even live fire on our service people. They initiated the violence."

He said the people on board the flotilla were not peaceful activists.

"They are part of the IHH, which is a radical Turkish Islamist organisation which has been investigated by Western governments and by the Turkish government itself in the past for their links with terrorist organisations."

But Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's prime minister, said the flotilla was carefully inspected before departure that there was no one on board "other than civilian volunteers.

"I want to say to the world, to the heads of state and the governments, that these boats that left from Turkey and other countries were checked in a strict way under the framework of the rules of international navigation and were only loaded with humanitarian aid," he said.

Israeli 'cover-up'

Murat Mercan, the head of Turkey's foreign relations committee, said that claiming activists on board had links to terrorist organisations was Israel's way of covering up its mistake.

"Any allegation that the members of this ship is attached to al-Qaeda is a big lie because there are Israeli civilians, Israeli authorities, Israeli parliamentarians on board the ship," he told Al Jazeera.

"Does he [Regev] think that those are also attached to al-Qaeda?"

Dozens of activists were seriously injured in Monday's Israeli raid on the high seas [AFP]
The flotilla, aiming to break the Israeli siege of Gaza, was attacked in international waters, 65km off the Palestinian coastal enclave.

Avital Leibovich, an Israeli military spokeswoman, confirmed that the attack took place in international waters, saying: "This happened in waters outside of Israeli territory, but we have the right to defend ourselves."

Mark Taylor, an international legal expert, told Al Jazeera that every state, including Israel, has the right to self-defence.

"In situations in which the state feels that it needs to take an act in international waters to defend itself, it will do that," he said.

"But that doesn't necessarily mean that it's legal under international law.

"In this case, we're looking at a humanitarian aid convoy, with prominent people and activists, clearly not a military target in any way whatsoever."

'Dire need of aid'

Israel said the flotilla boats - carrying 10,000 tonnes of humanitarian aid - were embarking on "an act of provocation" against the Israeli military rather than providing aid, and issued warrants to prohibit their entrance to Gaza.

But Adnan Abu-Hasana, a spokesman for UNRWA, said the Gazans are in dire need of aid after Israel's war on the territory in December 2008-January 2009 destroyed buildings and infrastructure.

"We need hundreds of thousands of tonnes [of aid] to rebuild Gaza," he told Al Jazeera.

"We need more of building materials ... We need spare parts for machines in the agricultural and industrial sectors, for the fishermen, all these sectors are nearly collapsed.

"Eighty per cent of the Gazans are dependent on humanitarian aid coming from UN organisations such as UNRWA."

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All Power to the People