Things sometimes come in to our Contact Us form which don’t seem to fit anywhere, or we get contacted by other Occupies, or in other ways things come to us. This page will collect them, most recently added on top in this “index.”
- Arrested Futures: The Criminalization of School Discipline in Massachusetts’ Three Largest School Districts
(Boston, Springfield and Worcester)
May 2, 2012
American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Massachusetts, Citizens for Juvenile Justice
By Robin L. Dahlberg
From the Executive Summary:
On October 23, 2007, a 14-year-old boy at the Kennedy Middle School in Springfield, Massachusetts, was arrested after he refused to walk with a teacher to her office and instead returned to his classroom. According to the police report, he yelled at the teacher, bounced a basketball in a school hallway, failed to respond to a police officer’s request to go with the teacher and slammed his classroom door shut. He was subsequently taken into police custody, handcuffed, transported to the police station and charged with “disturbing a lawful assembly.”
This incident illustrates a matter of growing concern to educators, parents and advocates: the extent to which the permanent on-site presence of police officers in public schools results in the criminalization of disruptive behavior. While other research has focused on zero-tolerance policies and the overuse of out-of-school suspension and expulsion as significant factors in feeding the “School-to-Prison Pipeline,” this report focuses on the additional problem of arrest, in particular the use of arrest to address behavior that would likely be handled in the school by school staff if not for the presence of on-site officers.
While all three districts appear to overuse “public order” offenses as a justification for arrests, Springfield had significantly more such arrests than Boston or Worcester, as well as a much higher overall arrest rate than either of the other two districts. Although the number of public order arrests fell during the three years covered by our study, they fell the least in Springfield and remain unacceptably high.
While there are undoubtedly many reasons why there are more public order arrests in Springfield than in Boston or Worcester, it appears that the manner in which Springfield deploys police officers in its public schools is a contributing factor. Springfield is the only district that has armed, uniformed police officers from the local police department stationed in selected schools for the entire duration of the school day. These officers report to the Chief of the Springfield Police Department, not the Springfield school district. Although Boston has officers stationed in selected schools, these officers are employed by the Boston Public Schools, are answerable to the Public Schools’ superintendent, and are unarmed. Worcester does not have any officers with arresting authority permanently stationed in its schools.
Youth with behavioral and learning disabilities were disproportionately affected by the policing practices in Boston and Springfield. The schools with the highest rates of arrest (arrests per 1000 students) in these districts were schools for students with diagnosed learning and behavioral disabilities, raising serious questions about the manner in which these schools are administered.
In all three districts, children as young as 11 or 12 were subject to arrest, often as the result of childish outbursts. In one case, an upset 11-year old was charged with assault and battery on a public employee, disorderly conduct, and disturbing a lawful assembly after he left his classroom, ran outside the school building, and threw a snowball at a teacher.
- Call to Action: It is critically important that you support a Voters? Rights Amendment to the Constitution of the United States to transform its government into one that is responsive to those who elect it, rather than to the corporations and wealthy elite who purchase the people?s representatives. (continue reading below)
- Here’s a proposal to reduce the massive inequalities between public and private higher ed in MA: Let’s create a digital library for the 99%
- Hi. We are a collective in Grass Valley, CA who produce educational outreach literature for the movement. We spent hundreds of hours creating these glossy, info cards on various topics. Please check them out on our website. We think these have great potential to grow the movement. Also, send us a snail mail address and we will send you some free samples. Thanks! Email: email@example.com web: http://www.occucards.com
- Bank of America in Trouble?
- Susan’s notes from meeting planning the next W MA GA
- Minutes from the W MA GA during OccuBus Days
- Help Tell Congress To End Congressional Campaign Fundraising While In- Session – a petition
- Dylan Waylef sends a message saying, “I am a 62 year old movement veteran and I fully support OWS. I proudly pass the torch to a new generation. Collision Point is my legacy to you in hopes you will learn from our mistakes and successes. Corruption is not Capitalism. Thanks. CollisionPoint1969.com “
- Help save a home – appeal from Occupy Birmingham
- Notes from the first Mass Occupy General Assembly held at Boston
- What is the Occupy Movement? A pamphlet from Occupy Northampton
- To All Concerned Progressive And Socially- Concerned Activists And Organizations: The Saint Patrick’s Day Peace Parade On March 18th In South Boston (details)
Name: William John Cox
Comments: To: The General Assembly of Occupy Amherst:
Regarding: A matter of critical national importance ? the ability of American voters, of every party, to control their own government.
Call to Action: It is critically important that you support a Voters? Rights Amendment to the Constitution of the United States to transform its government into one that is responsive to those who elect it, rather than to the corporations and wealthy elite who purchase the people?s representatives.
Background: The bipartisan outrage over the Supreme Court?s decision in Citizens United has led to a number of proposals to reverse it through an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The best known of these is the effort by Move to Amend, which restricts constitutional rights to natural persons only and which disallows the equation of money and free speech.
Problem: The Move to Amend proposal is a good start; however it does not go far enough. In fact, after a long and difficult amendment process, it only returns the electoral process to where it was the day before the court decision, which wasn?t so great for the People of America.
Solution: The Voters? Rights Amendment (USVRA) includes the Move to Amend proposal, but goes further to clearly establish that the right to cast an effective vote is an inherent right under the Constitution. In addition, it provides for a national paid voting holiday, a national hand-countable paper ballot, and a process for the people to have a more direct role in the formulation of public policy. Finally, it mandates voter registration and prohibits voter suppression.
Consequence: The USVRA will result in a transformation of the U.S. government into a more representative democracy in which the power of money and corporations will be curtailed and the power of the people will prevail.
USVRA requests: (1) a vote by your general assembly to support the USVRA; (2) encouragement of other Occupy groups to support the USVRA; and (3) encouragement of your individual members to show their personal support at the USVRA website and on the Facebook page (Voters? Rights Amendment US).
Contact: JasonJames81@gmail.com of Occupy Long Beach for more information and to confirm your support.
See: <a href=”http://www.usvra.us”>http://www.usvra.us</a> for more background and discussion, including a list of other Occupy supporters.
Sender IP: 126.96.36.199
To All Concerned Progressive And Socially- Concerned Activists And Organizations: The Saint Patrick’s Day Peace Parade On March 18th In South Boston
Hello, I am a member of Veterans For Peace (VFP) and of the Saint Patrick’s Day Peace Parade Committee initiated by VFP to plan a peace-oriented action/parade on March 18, 2012 as an alternative to the official parade. (See below for details and contact information.) As you may know VFP (and others) have been denied permission to march in the official parade (see below for an account of the history of this struggle). I have volunteered to help with outreach to other progressive and social concern activists and organizations. We are looking for endorsements for our action but, more importantly, others to organize contingents and participate in the march in order to spread the word of social activism and freedom of expression.
Among those organizations which have already endorsed are Occupy Boston and some of its working groups who will form their own contingent in the parade. This is the model we are proposing for other groups as well. Organize and participant as a contingent. Or individuals can link to organized groups on that day. I have provided the contact information below and I fervently hope that you and your organization will formally endorse our action and organize and participate in the Saint Patrick?s Day Peace Parade on March 18, 2012 in South Boston.
In solidarity- Al Johnson for the Saint Patrick’s Day Peace Parade Committee
Saint Patrick’s Peace Parade: Peoples Parade …
Public Event - By Smedley D. Butler Brigade of Veterans for Peace
o Sunday, March 18, 2012
o 2:00pm until 5:00pm
Saint Patrick’s Peace Parade: Peoples Parade for Peace, Equality, Jobs, Social and Economic Justice
When: Sunday March 18, 2012 (2 p.m.)
Where: South Boston, same route as the “official parade”
Assembly-Broadway, MBTA Redline-Look For Veterans For Peace flags
VFP: Pat Scanlon 978-475-1776 firstname.lastname@example.org
Cole Harrison 617-354-2169 infor@MassPeaceAction.org
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/events/242916262450591/
From Veterans For Peace:
Saint Patrick’s Peace Parade-History
Peoples Parade for Peace, Equality, Jobs, Social and Economic Justice
Saint Patrick, the patron Saint of Ireland was a man of peace. Saint Patrick’s Day should be a day to celebrate Saint Patrick and the Irish Heritage of Boston and the contributions of the Irish throughout American history. In Boston the parade should be a day to celebrate the changes in our culture, the ethnic, religious diversity, points of views and politics of our great City of Boston. For on Saint Patrick’s Day we are all Irish.
Saint Patrick Day parades have been held in Boston since 1737 (Unofficial parades). In 1901 Evacuation Day was declared a holiday in the City of Boston. Because of the coincidence of the proximity of the two holidays the celebrations were combined and for the past forty years the Allied War Veterans Council have been organizing the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, turning what should be the celebration of Saint Patrick, the Irish Heritage and History into a military parade.
In 2011, the local chapter of Veterans For Peace, the Smedley Butler Brigade submitted an application to march in the traditional Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. Veterans For Peace is a national veterans organization with 130 chapters across the country. The Smedley Butler Brigade has over 200 members locally. It’s members range from veterans from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf, Iraq and the Afghanistan War. All Veterans For Peace wanted to do was to march in the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade and carry their flags and banners. Their application was denied by the “Allied War Council”. When the organizer of the parade, Phil Wuschke, was asked why their application was denied, he stated, “Because they did not want to have the word peace associated with the word Veteran”. They were also told that they were too political, as if the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade and other activities surrounding the parade are not political.
Veterans For Peace subsequently filed for their own permit for the Saint Patrick’s Peace Parade. Seventeen years ago, the gay and bisexual community (GLBT) had also applied to march in the parade and like the veterans were denied. GBLT sued the Allied War Council and the case went all the way to the US Supreme Court, resulting in the Hurley Decision, named after Wacko Hurley, the ruler supreme of the parade. This decision states that whoever is organizing the parade has the right to say who is in and who can be excluded from the parade, no questions asked. Even though the City of Boston will spend in excess of $300,000.00 in support of this parade, they have no say in who can be in the parade. The Saint Patrick’s Day Parade should be sponsored by the City of Boston and not a private group, who have secretive, private meetings, not open to the public and who practice discrimination and exclusion.
In the case of Veterans For Peace, if you are carrying a gun or drive a tank you can be in the parade, if you are a veteran of the US Military and carrying a peace symbol, you are excluded. Once Veterans For Peace had their parade permit in hand the first group they reached out to was the gay and bisexual community in Boston. “You were not allowed to walk in their parade seventeen years ago, how would you like to walk in our parade” The response was immediate and Join the Impact, one of many GLBT organizations in the Boston area enthusiastically joined the Saint Patrick’s Peace Parade, the alternative peoples parade. Because of another Massachusetts’s Court decision the “Saint Patrick’s Peace Parade” had to walk one mile behind the traditional parade. With only three weeks to organize the parade when it stepped off this little parade had over 500 participants, grand marshals, a Duck Boat, a band, veterans, peace groups, church groups, GBLT groups, labor groups and more. It was a wonderful parade and was very warmly welcomed by the residents of South Boston.
This year, once again, Veterans For Peace submitted an application to the “Allied War Council” for the inclusion of the small “Saint Patrick’s Peace Parade” into the larger parade. Once again the Veterans were denied;
“Your application has been reviewed, we refer you to the Supreme Court ruling on June 19,1995your application to participate in the March 18,2012 Saint Patrick’s Day Parade had been denied”
No reason given as to why, just denied. This should be unacceptable to every citizen of Boston, especially the politicians who will be flocking to the Breakfast and Roast on March 18th. This kind of exclusion should not be condoned nor supported by anyone in the City of Boston, especially our elected political leaders.
Just in case the Allied War Council has not noticed, South Boston is no longer a strictly Irish Catholic community. In fact the Irish are no longer a majority in South Boston. The community is much more diverse in 2012 in ethnicity, life styles, religion, points of view and politics then it was forty years ago. Times have changed, the City has changed, the population has changed, social norms have changed. People are much more accepting of those that may be different, have a different religion, customs or ideas. We are a much more inclusive society, everyone that is except the antiquated Allied War Veterans.
It is time for the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade to be inclusive of these differing groups. It is time for the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade to be reflective of the changes in our culture. It is time for this parade to include groups of differing life styles, points of views and politics or the City of Boston should take back this parade. There is no place in Boston or anywhere in this country for bigotry, hatred, censorship, discrimination and exclusion. This should be a day of celebration, for all the peoples of the great City of Boston to come together, to celebrate Saint Patrick and our Irish History and Heritage. In 2012 this parade should be inclusive and also celebrate what makes us Americans, what makes this country great, our multi-ethnic diversity, differing life-styles, religious affiliations, differing politics and points of views. All of us should wear the green, no one should be excluded, since on Saint Patrick’s Day we are all Irish.