Corporations & Militarism
Jobs & the Economy
Immigration & Globalization
Voices from the Edge
Boston Social Forum
June 27 - July 1, 2007
Local Winter Soldier Event - Saturday, March 15, 2008
America's Winter Soldiers promise to cut through the propaganda by
testifying to their first-hand experiences in Occupied Iraq and
Afghanistan. Across the United States, activists are likely to mark the
5th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq by attending screenings of the
Winter Soldier hearings. In DC, where the testimonies go live on
Thursday, 3/16, Mass Global Action will be represented by Susie Husted
who has been working on Iraq
Veterans Against the War's ally team. In Boston, MGA is working with
United for Justice with Peace
and the Stop the Wars Coalition
(STWC) to host a local screening of the testimonies on Saturday, March
read the press release
download the flyer
Movement Building Space in the Heart of Boston
2006, Mass Global Action launched encuentro 5, dubbing it a
"movement-building space in the heart of Boston." The project is
now home to 10 "resident organizations" and 5 city-wide
coalitions; It is also an event/meeting/organizing space for
numerous other organizations involved in social change work. We
recently completed a review of encuentro 5's first year. For us,
the review proved to be a morale booster as it recalled a year
of wide-ranging, but intense activity that we believe to be both
necessary and efficacious for networking the social change and
The 22 Mb report
is available for download in pdf format. The website,
lists ongoing activities, enables site visitors to reserve
space/book an event and learn more about the issues covered in
the many teach-ins and discussions.
The United States Social Forum - Atlanta - June 27 -
July 1, 2007
USSF marks a significant milestone in the World Social Forum process: it
is the first national forum in the United States. Moreover, under the
initial guidance of the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, the USSF is
a genuine expression of the organizing capacity of grassroots
communities of color, working class and immigrant organizations. The
Forum has also prioritized the active involvement of young people and
the First Nations. In the process, hundreds of organizations and
movements have been drawn into the process… ourselves among them!
Massachusetts Global Action (itself born of a similar albeit much
smaller effort, the Boston Social Forum, 2004) has participated in a
modest way, limited only by resources, in the organizing of the USSF
since August 2005. One of our projects, the North American Alliance for
Fair Employment is a member of the USSF’s National Planning Committee.
Our staff and board—especially Kim Foltz, Susie Husted and Suren
Moodliar—have also been involved at the Northeast regional level.
Now we have a chance to enjoy the forum via a number of events that
we are helping organize. The following list of workshops represents a
wide range of topics and collaborations. This is consistent with MGA’s
broad concern with corporate globalization and democratic alternatives.
It also represents our belief that strategic collaborations are
necessary to mobilize the kinds of energy needed to bring about
progressive social change. There are a total of 6 workshops in which we
will have a significant role, including 3 directly sponsored and
organized by MGA.
For background information on the USSF and the WSF,
slide show that MGA compiled as a backgrounder. A list of
MGA-related events at the WSF can be
here. Back in March, Kim Foltz and Suren Moodliar wrote
a short introduction to the social forum process and the place of the USSF.
May 1, 2007 - Stop the Raids and Deportations!
May Day, across the United States, the international workers'
holiday will be marked as a Day of Action, and for some, "No
Work, No School, No Buying" or "El
Segundo Gran Boicot Americano." With scores of other
organizations, MGA is supporting marches and demonstrations in
Where last year's unprecedented marches mobilized millions to
oppose a draconian turn-out-the-vote piece of legislation that
criminalized migrant workers, this year's action comes in the
face a corporate-sponsored reform agenda—embodied by both the
"Strive Act" and President Bush's plan—that would make "legal"
immigration prohibitively expensive while continuing to
criminalize foreign-born job seekers. Both plans also reinforce
the sense that "America is under Siege" from outsiders.
Accordingly, there is a heavy emphasis on new prisons and
reinforcing border controls on people.
If the threat of new
reforms were not enough, the Bush Administration's continued,
selective enforcement of federal legislation has resulted in
nationwide raids on low-income workplaces. For residents of
the pain came most forcefully on March 6, 2007, when 360
people were forcefully removed from their workplace, community
and families to federal detention centers. This domestic
enforcement surge comes not as part of any effort to expand
opportunities for the native-born working poor, whose numbers
have been expanding since the 1970s, but out of an attempt to
satisfy a right-wing constituency that, "something is being
April 19, 2007 - March for Jobs & CORI Reform
the best of circumstances, finding a good job is major challenge. The
hurdle is raised much higher for young people of color when the Criminal
Offender Record Information database comes into play. Employers in
Massachusetts use the system which maintains entries even where a case
is dismissed, the accused is found not guilty. Arraignments and arrests
may also lead to a CORI record. Moreover, the
Boston Workers Alliance
(BWA) cites a study showing that employers use criminal records more
heavily against applicants of color than against white applicants in
making hiring decisions. For these reasons, Massachusetts Global Action
is supporting the BWA's March for Jobs & CORI Reform on April 19, 2007.
the BWA website
download the march flyer
Local Activist List Marks a Decade of Service
local peace and justice e-mail list founded by Charlie Welch of
TecsChange and David Sangurima back in 1996 is now entering its second
decade of service to the New England activist community. With several
hundred MA-area activists signed up and regularly posting carefully
screened and moderated announcements, the list has proven to be among
the most effective ways to reach activists across a broad spectrum of
ideas and perspectives quickly.
Water May Become an Issue in State Senate Race
Activists in Lee, Massachusetts inform us that Christopher J.
Hodgkins, who was general manager and vice-president of Veolia
Corporation (the world's 3rd-largest water corporation) is running for
Senate.Hodgkins was involved in the effort to build a new sewer system
under private control in Lee. The seat being contested involves 48 towns and cities in three counties, Berkshire,
Hampshire and Franklin. Chesterfield, Cummington, Goshen, Huntington,
Middlefield, Plainfield, Westhampton, Williamsburg in Hampshire County,
and Ashfield, Charlemont, Conway, Hawley, Heath, Monroe, Rowe in
Update: In September, voters rejected Hodgkins' candidacy according
to local activists.
Strategic Nonviolence: Gandhi Circles at your meetings
Our friends at the Boston-Cambridge Alliance for Democracy are
marking the centenary of Gandhi's nonviolent campaign by organizing
"Gandhi Circles." They are calling on all organizations to "Fight
corporate and political oppression" at their meetings this month. To
facilitate the activity, they have put together a series of
"participatory readings from Gandhi, Gene Sharp, Brian Martin, Peter
Ackerman, and others. Visit
www.NewEnglandAlliance.org to download the readings.
Hampshire Gazette Asks: Should private companies manage public
In Holyoke, Mayor Michael J. Sullivan and some City Councilors
endorsed a wastewater plant contract with Aquarion Operating Services of
Bridgeport, Conn., saying that it will provide both cost savings and
Our Communities, Our Water: Connecting the Local and the Global
Join us September 22-24th, 2006, at the University of Massachusetts/Amherst
for a gathering of New England grassroots activists and water workers;
we plan to:
- connect grassroots activists and water utility workers
- share information on work strategies and activism struggles
against municipal water privatization, bottled water, and bulk
- build an understanding of the links between local, national &
- discuss how and where to frame/organize/coordinate around
municipal water privatization—given differing international,
national, state and local legislations
- map out clear action plans for future collaborations and
establishing a regional support network
This event combines internationally renown speakers and effective
workshops on on water privatization. Whether you are a seasoned water
activist or looking to learn more about the "oil of the 21st century,"
this is an event that you don't want to miss.
Look for more details at the
page as they emerge. Alternatively, you can call
Until Justice Runs Down like Water: Report back on the World Water
Save Our Groundwater
(New Hampshire) activist, Olivia Zink attended the March 2006, World
Water Forum in Mexico City. The Forum, where governments, corporations
and other special interests, gather to divvy up the world's freshwater
supply was met by a strong contingent of grassroots community
activists demanding an end to the privatization of water. Olivia,
who helped organize the
Boston Social Forum's activities on water will present an account of
the World Water Forum and the latest thinking from international social
Thursday, April 13, 2006, encuentro5, 33 Harrison Ave, 5th flr,
Boston, MA 02111, 7:00 to 9:30 p.m.
Download the flyer here.
The Logic of Withdrawal from Iraq w/ Anthony Arnove and Howard Zinn
Come hear the case for complete withdrawal of US troops from Iraq
from: Howard Zinn is a professor emeritus at Boston University. He is
the author of numerous books, including A People's History of the United
States. Anthony Arnove is the editor of Iraq Under Seige and the
co-editor, with Howard Zinn, of Voices of a People's History of the
United States. Anthony is currently on tour promoting his groundbreaking
new book, Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal. Friday, 14 April 2006, 6:00 PM
- 8:00 PM, Northeastern University School of Law, Cargill Hall Room 97
In the Name of Democracy: American War Crimes in Iraq and Beyond
Brookline PeaceWorks, MassGlobalAction and the Stop the Wars Coalition in welcoming editors, Jeremy
Brecher, Jill Cutler and Brendan Smith on their stop in the Boston area:
Saturday, April 8, 2006, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Download the flyer here
(Adobe Reader requ'd).
Book description: Until recently, the possibility that the United
States was responsible for war crimes seemed unthinkable to most
Americans. But as previously suppressed information has started to
emerge—photographs from Abu Ghraib; accounts of U.S. attacks on Iraqi
hospitals, mosques, and residential neighborhoods; secret government
reports defending unilateral aggression—Americans have begun an
agonizing reappraisal of the Iraq war and the way in which their
government has conducted it.
Drawing on a wide range of documents—from the protocols of the
Geneva Convention to FBI e-mails about prisoners held in Guantánamo Bay
to executive-branch papers justifying the circumvention of international
law—In the Name of Democracy examines the legality of the Iraq war and
the occupation that followed. Included in this powerful investigation
are eyewitness accounts, victim testimonials, statements by soldiers
turned resisters and whistle-blowers, interviews with intelligence
insiders, and contributions by Mark Danner and Seymour Hersh.
The result is a controversial, chilling anthology that explores the
culpability of officials as well as the responsibilities of ordinary
citizens, and for the first time squarely confronts the matter of
Challenging the US Commission on the Future of Higher Education
MGA's Jason Pramas testified
before the US Commission on the Future of Higher Education by drawing
attention to its pro-corporate make up, its failure to include students,
staff and faculty and the neo-liberal nature of its mandate: to prepare
the US for competition in the global market place by driving down the
wages of higher skilled workers. He also called attention to the
structural changes in higher education that have created a system based
on the super exploitation of part-time and contingent faculty.
read the full
text of Pramas' statement
Inside Higher Ed's coverage
read the Boston Phoenix's Big Blog on Campus coverage
It Happened in Caracas! A Report Back Event on the 6th World Social
Mass Global Action, members of the
2006 WSF Boston Delegation to discuss and debate the World Social
Forum that took place in Caracas, Venezuela. Four speakers, including
MICHAEL BLANDING, JANET REDMAN and KAVERI RAJARAMAN will provide
their take on events. In addition, 2 short videos will be premiered at
the event, one by NILDA ORTIZ & LIAM LEAHY and another by TIM LEDWITH &
TAINA VARGAS! To download a pdf flyer for this event,
Friday, March 10, 2006, 6:30 - 9:30 P.M.
45 Mt. Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA 02138. The Center is about 5
blocks from the MBTA
Red Line's Harvard Square Subway Stop. Suggested donation: $5.00
Protest War Criminal Henry Kissinger - Saturday, March 11, 2006: JFK
Library, 10:00 a.m.
Henry Kissinger and Al Haig are coming to Boston…to reflect, no less,
on their greatest crime: the Vietnam War. Kissinger, wanted in Europe
and Latin America for questioning in connections with war crimes and
human rights violations, is responsible for, among other things:
- Secretly bombing Cambodia & Laos in the late 1960s
- Prolonging the Vietnam War by at least 7 years
- Facilitating the overthrow a democratically-elected government
- Supporting the invasion of and genocide in East Timor
- Fueling a decades-long “civil” war in Angola
- Architect of the U.S policy that supported Pol Pot’s terrorist
campaign against Cambodia
As this history repeats itself in the Middle East and beyond, Mass
Global Action joins with the Stop the Wars Coalition and other area
peace and justice organizations to demand that Kissinger be brought to
justice. Download the event
Back from Caracas! World Social Forum VI
Five MGA organizers joined with a number of local organizations to organize a
delegation of more than 50 local activists to attend the
Forum in the Americas. The January 2006 Forum is being held across 3 venues—Caracas
(Venezuela) and Bamako (Mali) in January, and Karachi (Pakistan), in
April—organized to address
6 themes ranging from "power and politics" throuh "resources for and
rights to life." The website for the local organizing drive is hosted by
Latinas and Latinos for Social Change.
See also our online gallery which is being
updated regularly with photos taken by delegation members. On March 10,
2006, MGA will release a video documentary directed by Tim Ledwith and
Latest from the MGA Blog
Support Communities in the Gulf
If you'd like to donate money to the victims of Hurricane
Katrina--particularly to the people of New Orleans who have seen their
city destroyed by Bush administration policy--we recommend checking out
American Friends Service Committee, and
International Union Hurricane Relief Funds. The
Project has also organized a page with resources organizing support
for the Gulf.
Boston to France: Immigrants Rights Non-negotiable!
2, 2005: A vigil marked concern with the crackdown on immigrants’
rights in France and the anti-immigrant climate in Europe. It also
protested the death of 2 immigrant teenagers who were allegedly pursued
by French police.
MGA director, Jason Pramas noted that, “it is ironic
that just as the French Foreign Ministry paid tribute to Rosa Parks,
observing that her struggle concerns ‘mankind as a whole,’ the French
police and Interior Minister are prosecuting a draconian crackdown on
immigrants. Just as we demand Massachusetts does right by immigrants, so
too do we expect the French. If France provided moral leadership by
rejecting the war in Iraq, it is clearly abandoning it with its
treatment of immigrants.” See the media
See MGA's early take
on the situation.
October 29th: Boston Anti-War March and Rally
Thanks to all the 2000+ folks who attended the march and rally to end the
illegal U.S. occupation of Iraq. For more info, go to the website of the
October 29th Coalition--including
numerous MGA members.
Reclaiming the Ivory Tower - Book Party
In the last twenty years, higher education in the United States has
been eroded by massive reliance on temporary academic labor—professors
without tenure or the prospect of tenure, paid a fraction of the
salaries of their tenured colleagues, working without benefits, offices,
or research assistance, and often commuting between several campuses to
make ends meet. Contingent instructors now constitute the majority of
faculty at U.S. colleges and universities.
MGA joined with a number of allies to sponsor a book release
event on this topic. Reclaiming the Ivory Tower author, Joe
Berry, spoke at UMass Boston on October 26, 2005.
See the flyer.
Two Trips to the State House: Water and Privatization & Students
During the week of October 24, 2005, MGA
visited the Massachusetts
State House to testify on and support progressive pieces of legislation
that both advance the cause of social justice and provide models for
other states. On Monday, 10/24, MGA testified in support of a
bill that will increase local control over water resources and restrict
the power of corporations to privatize water. See
related press release. Later in the week we'll
supported students who are denied access to the state's colleges based
on their immigration status, despite their communities' great
contributions to this state. For more information on the bill,
see the In-State Tuition
supporters' website and
MGA's pages on water.
Disaster Capitalism - India, the Dominican Republic & Massachusetts
9/29&30/05—This recent panel discussion featured Father Thomas Kocherry (India), Victor
Geronimo (Dominican Republic) and Maria Elena Letona (from
Massachusetts' Centro Presente). Panelists looked at how corporate
globalization has left many people vulnerable to "natural" disasters.
Two discussions were held in Boston's Chinatown and Northampton, MA.
Jason Pramas for audio tracks of the presentations.
Tsunamis, Hurricanes, and Global Apartheid
9/15/05—Basav Sen of the Washington, D.C.-based Mobilization for
Global Survival spoke at our presentation on the politics, economics and social
structures that affect who lives, who thrives and who dies in the face
of "natural" disasters on September 15th. He was joined by the political rock band,
The Murder Elite.
Download the flyer here.
Holding TIAA-CREF & Coca-Cola Accountable
MGA joined with several other organizations to protest TIAA-CREF's
inclusion of Coca-Cola on its portfolio of "ethical" investors. Read
May Day Rally for Immigrant Rights a Success
5/2/05—Over 500 immigrants and citizen supporters
attended the May Day Rally for Immigrant Rights in Boston's Copley
Square on May 1st—after a 3 month organizing effort spearheaded by MGA.
A great time was had by all (ok, maybe not by the handful of nativist
counterdemonstrators). Enjoy the following articles for more background:
Search MGA Site (using Google)
December 14, 2006
What's Next? Creating Another World in a Time of
War, Empire and Devastation: featuring Noam Chomsky. Emmanuel
Church, 15 Newberry Street, Boston.
December 9, 2006
United States Social Forum Northeast
Consultation at the
Brecht Forum in New York City.
December 2, 2006
Preparing for Nairobi, Kenya, WSF 2007 w/Boston
Organizing Committee for the World Social Forum at encuentro
November 18, 2006
March against the War Profiteers w/Stop
the Wars Coalition. Beginning at the Boston Common
November 12, 2006
Strategy Session on the Rights of Migrant
May Day Coalition
encuentro 5, noon - 6:00 p.m.
November 4, 2006
Artists against the War Profiteers w/Envizion
Stop the Wars Coalition at encuentro 5
12 noon to 12 midnight
October 27, 2007
A Report Back from the Border Social Forum: On the Global Movement for
Migrant Workers' Rights w/Kim Foltz and Gabe Camacho
September 22-24, 2006
Our Communities, Our Water: Connecting the Local
and the Global. UMass,
June 4, 2006
Anti-war Strategy Session, encuentro 5, 12 noon - 6:00 p.m. (Sponsor:
Stop the Wars Coalition).
June 2, 2006
Fundraising party for the Greater Boston Stop the Wars Coalition at
encuentro 5, 8:00 p.m. till late.
June 1, 2006
How Many More? Campaign Banner Unfurling; Stop the Wars
Coalition; Location TBA
May 22, 2006
Speaking Truth to Power: Challenging Condoleezza Rice; Boston College
May 17, 2006
Organizing for Immigrants' Rights
Demonstration; Boston Common 4:00 -
April 28, 2006
"Weapons of Mass Deception" Screening--featuring Director Danny Schecter, Emerson College,
April 28, 2006
Benefit Party for Encuentro 5
(new home of MGA), 33 Harrison Ave., 5th Flr., in Boston's Chinatown,
8ish until late.
April 29, 2006
Peace, Justice & Democracy, New York City
MGA is working with the
Stop the Wars coalition to organize
transportation from Boston to NYC
April 19, 2006
Boston-Cambridge Alliance for Democracy’s Report back on the WSF
2006. Cambridge, MA
April 14, 2006
Howard Zinn & Anthony Arnove - Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal, Northeastern School of Law,
April 13, 2006
Runs Down like Water: A Reportback on the World Water Forum.
April 8, 2006
Meet the Editors: In the Name of Democracy - American War Crimes in
Iraq and Beyond. (Brookline, MA)
March 18, 2006
Stop the Wars Coalition: Celebrating the Anti-War Movement -
After-Rally Party • Boston, MA
March 18, 2006
Stop the Violence - Stop the War at Home & Abroad
Rally/March, Boston, MA
March 10, 2006
It Happened in Caracas! Documentary Premier, Exhibit & Discussion of the
February 24, 2006
WSF - Boston Delegation Reportback.
New England Institute of Art, Brookline
Delegation to the World Social Forum
Water Privatization: Global and Local Issues in the 21st Century - Panel
discussions featuring Karl Flecker of the Polaris Institute.
November 19, 2005
Boston Proposal for the WSF. 2pm to 6pm
Boston City Hall - Piemonte Room
November 17, 2005 Screening of Thirst in
North Easton, MA at the Unity Church, 7 p.m.
November 2, 2005
Candlelight Vigil outside French Consulate in solidarity with immigrant
youth killed in France.
October 31 - November 4, 2005
Campus Equity Week - Focus on rights of
contingent faculty. Continent-wide activities.
October 29, 2005
Anti-War March & Rally.
October 26, 2005
Reclaiming the Ivory Tower
Book Release event Co-sponsored with
and the UMass
Labor Extension Program. Boston, MA
October 24, 2005
Hearing on MGA bill to preserve public water and sewer systems. MA State House.
September 30, 2005
Disaster Capitalism Panel Discussion w/50 Years is Enough! Tour.
September 29, 2005
Disaster Capitalism Panel Discussion w/50 Years is Enough! Tour.
September 18, 2005
Screening of Thirst in Arlington, MA
September 15, 2005
"Tsunamis, Hurricanes and Global Apartheid" featuring Basav Sen &
the Murder Elite. Boston.
July 11, 2005
Protest at TIAA-CREF's Boston Office.
July 3, 2005
Economic Justice Hearing at Boston's Franklin Park.
June 28, 2005
Screening of Thirst in Springfield, MA