Reportback on Boston Activities and Happenings

From Boston members of NEAN

There is a ton happening in Boston. The local Anarchist Black Cross recently held a fun benefit show with live music, food and fun games for the ABC Network’s RNC legal defense fund. The turnout was underwhelming, however, and only $200 was raised. The local branch of the Industrial Workers of the World held a more successful fundraiser the next night for the family of a pro-union worker fired from the Harvest Coop. The IWW has an organizing drive at Harvest and, contrary to the small chain’s reputation as a progressive business, organizers have been met with threats, disciplinary actions, and even firings. A widespread fliering campaign at the store’s two locations has brought a lot of pressure on the management.

Hundreds of anarchists participated in both May Day marches: one on the Boston Common, complete with feeder marches to the rally and a Red and Black/anti-capitalist block after; and one in East Boston/Chelsea, where the majority of the areas’ immigrants rallied. The Boston Anti-Authoritarian Movement (BAAM) hosted radical children’s games on May 3 at the long-standing community festival in Jamaica Plain (a southern Boston neighborhood) called Wake Up the Earth. Despite the rain and cold, hundreds of kids came out and played “Smash the Wall of Capitalism,” “Throw Away Your Vote,” and the “Iraq Exit Plan” maze, which, of course, had no exit. One BAAM member also spent all day painting hundreds of happy kids’ faces.

The Allston/Brighton Neighborhood Assembly held a “community picnic” a few weeks before, using some of the same games. It was a beautiful day and a lot of fun, though again with a frustratingly low turnout. Their fight continues to preserve the neighborhood against Harvard’s invasion.

This winter, the Sacco and Vanzetti Commemoration Society got a plaque reinstalled on the building that housed the Sacco and Vanzetti Defense Committee (the original plaque mysteriously disappeared decades ago) and planned a May 12 benefit for a Borglum made Sacco and Vanzetti memorial monument with Howard Zinn, though the event had to be postponed due to a Zinn family illness. The Society is also starting to gear up for the 3rd annual Sacco and Vanzetti memorial events in late August.

BAAM and the BU Collective are becoming increasingly involved in the campaign against Boston University’s proposed L4 bio-terror lab that would bring deadly incurable pathogens into the low-income neighborhood of Roxbury, administered by a staff with a history of outbreaks in lower level labs. The Stop the Biolab Coalition, a longstanding community organization, has invited BAAM and our allies to escalate the message against the bureaucrats and politicians pushing an institution condemned by reputable researchers and scientists. Joint protests and actions against the lab will be underway by the time this paper goes to print and will continue throughout the summer.

The Suffolk and Emerson Anti-Authoritarians recently held their own Hand-Me-Down-Night in protest of Emerson’s official Hand-Me-Down-Night, a gala event which cost tens of thousands of dollars of tuition money. SEAA’s event was a huge success, with lots of people bringing and exchanging clothes and other free stuff, many taking home SEAA’s “Urban Pirate” newsletter and a comic about the Gift-Giving Economy. SEAA is also starting to talk about a November 5th “Day After the Elections/Guy Fawkes Day” protest on the Boston Common, irrespective of which corporate politician wins.

The ABC hosted a Northeast day of workshops and trainings to prepare for this summer’s conventions, complete with know your rights, street tactics, legal observing, police tactics, affinity group medic trainings and more. ABC Boston is also going to be hosting the ABC Network gathering this summer. Up the Network!

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