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News and reports

January 20, 2006 | Page 11

OTHER STORIES BELOW:
End executions
Defend abortion rights

Stop the Nazis
By Mike Schwartz

BOSTON--With one week's notice, 200 came out January 14 in the pouring rain to protest the Nazi group White Revolution and defend the Afro-American Meeting House and the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King.

This was White Revolution's "return" to Boston--after all eight of them got booted by 300 counterprotesters last May.

The loud, confident multiracial crowd arrived early, and this show of strength scared off the Nazis and kept them from even showing up. An hour and a half after they had planned, 10 or so Nazis appeared at the State House a couple blocks away.

The crowd quickly mobilized to find them and shut them down, but the racists were promptly given a ride back home to Cambridge by the friendly Boston Police Department (since when do cops give people rides home?).

A post on a local Nazi Web site lamented that the day was a "total defeat." "It's definitely important that we don't ignore the Nazis," said student Rick O'Halloran, who spent the previous night making signs for the demonstration. "If we do that, they get to spread their message, and they look strong."

After their humiliation, the Nazis planned to return two days later on Dr. King's official birthday, but about 60 counter-demonstrators organized in two days and returned once again to greet the Nazis. This time, they didn't show up at all.

This was a major victory against the right in this city. Groups including the International Socialist Organization, the Progressive Labor Party, the International Action Center and several college and high school students from the region mobilized to pull off this event.

Out of these two demonstrations, a statewide antiracist coalition was formed. A kick-off meeting has been called for January 29 at Northeastern University.

Contact [email protected] for more information.

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End executions
By Alison McKenna

LOS ANGELES--A multiracial crowd of about 55 people came out to Bethel AME Church on January 7 to a "Live from Death Row" event featuring Kenneth Clair, who spoke via speakerphone from San Quentin's death row.

The event was organized by the Campaign to End the Death Penalty and Clair's private investigator C.J. Ford. It was attended by several of Kenneth's family members; Bonnie Williams, the former wife of the late Stan Tookie Williams, who was executed in December; and Doris McClain-Russell, the mother of California death row inmate Herbert McClain.

McClain's mother spoke about how she believed "in the American way" and how now her innocent son "is locked up in a concrete grave."

Inmates' family members took the opportunity to network with one another. Representatives from Community Call to Action, Death Penalty Focus, the International Socialist Organization and the Nation of Islam were present. Family members and activist groups in California will continue to put pressure on this racist system as the moratorium bill is voted on.

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Defend abortion rights
By Amanda Maystead

SAN FRANCISCO--Planned Parenthood and about 30 supporters showed up outside Sen. Dianne Feinstein's office for a January 9 press conference to oppose the confirmation of Samuel Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Despite the fact that Feinstein has said she saw no need for a filibuster of Alito's nomination, all of the speakers praised her for her "courage" and "good work" defending our rights. But Tim Paulson, executive director of the San Francisco Labor Council, did point out the wide-ranging threat to workers' rights--from a woman's right to choose to environmental protection to safety on the job--that a nominee like Alito represents.

This weekend, anti-choice bigots will return to San Francisco for a January 21 "Walk For Life." Last year, thousands of pro-choice activists turned out and matched the bigots person-for-persons, but this year, organizations such as Planned Parenthood, NARAL and NOW have announced that they don't plan to participate in any response. Nevertheless, pro-choice activists are organizing a demonstration.

The January 21 pro-choice protest begins at 11 a.m. at Pier 1. For more information, go to www.bacorr.org.

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