Boston welcomes Puerto Rican freedom fighter

first_imgWWP Boston delegation with Oscar López Rivera.Boston — Puerto Rican activists, freedom fighters and supporters gathered here on April 28 in the Villa Victoria Center for the Arts to welcome freedom fighter Oscar López Rivera, released from a U.S. prison in 2016 after almost 36 years. A delegation from Workers World Party-Boston was among those greeting this heroic freedom fighter.Villa Victoria has been the heart of the Puerto Rican diaspora in Boston since 1968, when a struggle stopped the city of Boston from bulldozing the apartment complex in the South End where the diaspora was concentrated. This victory gave the area its current name and led to the establishment of the Villa Victoria Center for the Arts to encourage cultural development in the community.Fittingly, the first cultural performance of the night consisted of two poems by “poet laureate of Villa Victoria” Pedro “Flako” Cruz. The night ended with a performance by local hip hop group The Foundation Movement, who credited the Villa Victoria Center for the Arts as the place where they met.Banners decorating the walls called for the release of all political prisoners, prominently featuring Black liberation fighter Mumia Abu-Jamal and Native freedom fighter Leonard Peltier. Kazi Toure, a former political prisoner and longtime leader of the Jericho Movement, introduced Oscar, whom he had met while the two were in Leavenworth.Oscar stated that he owed his freedom to the support and solidarity he had received while in prison. He highlighted the many Puerto Rican political prisoners who had been freed, stating that the Puerto Rican people should feel proud of this achievement. He also called for supporters on the outside to express their solidarity and love with political prisoners still behind the walls.Speaking on the imprisonment of Ana Belén Montes, a former U.S. intelligence analyst who was convicted of giving secrets to the Cuban government, Oscar emphasized: “The United States government is one that cannot do anything but provoke hatred and fear. And it is that hatred and fear that is used against Cuba. And it is used for countries like Syria and for every nation that it cannot control, from the Rio Grande all the way to Tierra del Fuego — any place in the world that it cannot control.“This nation was founded on hatred and fear, and it will continue doing the same thing unless we choose to struggle to end hatred and fear in this country,” Oscar elaborated. “Until this government that tries to rule the world is brought to an end, we will continue having a world full of hatred and fear because that’s what this country promotes.”Ending on a message of hope, Oscar stated, “We should think of the world as one. We should see the world for its potential. We should do everything to make sure that we live in harmony among ourselves and with love in our hearts and to make this planet one that will guarantee every future generation lives in peace and in dignity, and lives not to destroy life but to enjoy life.”FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Take A Sneak Peek At The Sweet New Phish Poster Exhibit In Burlington, VT [Pro-Shot Video]

first_imgA new art exhibit opening in the Phish motherland of Burlington, VT on Saturday, October 5th, entitled “Phish In The North Country” will display the visual artwork that has existed alongside their musical endeavors throughout their 35-year career. From hand-drawn flyers for early-80’s shows at local bar Nectar’s, to rare and valuable prints from some of the many decorated artists the band has worked with over the years, the exhibit takes its guests backwards down Phish’s numberline through the art that has always accompaniedYou Can Own The Most Important Building In Phishtory, The Burlington Home Of Nectar’sIn a video tour given to the Burlington Free Press, Phish archivist Kevin Shapiro takes viewers on a sneak preview of the exhibit and explains a little more about its significance. As Shapiro explains in the video, “The band has played a lot of shows in ‘The North Country.’ We in ‘The North Country’ know what that means, but not everybody does, so I’ll define it: To me, [a show in] ‘The North Country,” at least in terms of Phish, is a show that you can run to maybe after work or school, see the show, and–assuming that you’ve stayed safe enough to drive home–drive home after the show and be back before daylight.”Shapiro will deliver a special talk at the exhibit’s location on November 4th from 1-3pm for those who want an even closer look into the history of Phish in Burlington and the rest of the Northeast. For more information about the exhibit, visit the Flynn Center‘s website.Watch Kevin Shapiro’s sneak-peek video tour of the new “Phish In The North Country” exhibit opening Saturday, 10/1/17 at the Flynn Center in Burlington, VT below:The exhibit looks at the band’s 30-plus year history, starting in Burlington bars and nightclubs like Nectar’s, and Hunt’s to stages in Boston, Albany and Saratoga Springs, with a focus on shows within a driving distance for Vermont fans.Fine art pieces will accompany concert posters, as well as special edition posters in honor of the 20th anniversary of the WaterWheel Foundation, the band’s charitable organization.“Phish In The North Country” Exhibit InfoWHAT: “Phish in the North Country”WHEN: Gallery exhibit showing Saturday through Dec. 30. Special event: Talk with Phish Archivist Kevin Shapiro, 1-3 p.m. Nov. 4. WHERE: Amy E. Tarrant Gallery, 153 Main St., Flynn Center, BurlingtonADMISSION: Free. 863-5966, More information: www.flynncenter.org[h/t – Jambase][Cover photo – Left: The flyer for the band’s first-ever club date, on display at “Phish In The North Country; Right: Phish circa 1987, photographer unknown]last_img read more

Community contact tracing

first_img Harvard to help track the virus Related Baker said that while local health boards in Massachusetts already are contact tracing, the collaborative will bring “a much more robust, targeted approach” that is “working toward a goal of getting staffed and ready to go … by the end of this month.”The collaborative is part of the state’s multifaceted preparation for an expected surge of COVID-19 cases in coming weeks.“When you start getting into numbers like the types of numbers we’re talking about in our projections, you need a larger organization with a much larger infrastructure,” Baker said. “The difference is between doing this for a few thousand people and doing it for tens of thousands of people.”“We are living in a difficult and unprecedented time, and it is imperative that all of us in the commonwealth contribute to controlling this epidemic,” said Partners In Health CEO Sheila Davis. “We’re humbled to be part of the team selected by Gov. Baker to fight COVID-19 and hope that PIH’s experience fighting pandemics around the world will help stem the grim tide of the COVID-19 epidemic in Massachusetts.”This story is adapted from a news article from PIH. Read more about PIH’s response in Massachusetts and what PIH co-founders Farmer and Jim Yong Kim have to say about this unique partnership. Students from Chan School are helping to boost the volunteer public health workforce At virtual seminar with municipal leaders, stresses that clear communication is vital during pandemic To stem the coronavirus crisis, Harvard Medical School scientists forge ahead on six key fronts Obama: In trying times, truth first Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced an initiative April 3 to accelerate the state’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 by dramatically scaling up the state’s capacity for contact tracing through a new collaboration with Partners In Health (PIH) in which Harvard Medical School faculty will play key leadership roles.Joia Mukherjee, Harvard Medical School (HMS) associate professor of global health and social medicine in the Blavatnik Institute at HMS and PIH’s chief medical officer, cited the organization’s experience in responding to disease outbreaks around the world.“Whether fighting Ebola in West Africa, tackling HIV and tuberculosis for a generation, or facing the sudden emergence of cholera in Haiti, we at Partners In Health know that even as we prepare the hospitals in the commonwealth to provide safe and effective care to all the people who are sick, we must simultaneously stop the ongoing spread of COVID-19 if we are to end this terrible pandemic,” she said at the State House during a Boston press conference announcing the collaboration.The Massachusetts COVID-19 Community Tracing Collaborative (CTC) is designed to not just flatten the curve but to bend the curve downward to more rapidly reduce the number of cases in Massachusetts.The CTC is a partnership of four groups: Massachusetts COVID-19 Response Command Center, Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and Partners In Health.PIH will coordinate closely with the state’s Department of Public Health and Executive Office of Health and Human Services to support the state’s efforts by training and deploying hundreds of contact tracers, who will call people who have been in close contact with confirmed COVID-19 patients. The CTC’s work will be combined with the state’s response initiatives and will provide support to people in quarantine to contain the spread of COVID-19.Mukherjee, who is also associate professor of medicine in the Department of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, spoke about how effective contact tracing can help people learn their COVID-19 status, or possible risks, and take appropriate steps to care for their families.“Access to this information helps contacts to know how to protect their loved ones, and to get tested or cared for themselves,” she said. “Without knowing our own status, without being able to specifically protect our loved ones, we are all living in the dark. And we know that there is significant anxiety in this darkness.”Mukherjee spoke about her own experience, sharing a home with her elderly mother and wanting to keep her free of COVID-19.“We believe that people want to know if they have been in contact with this disease,” she said. “Knowing one’s status will shine the light on this epidemic and make it possible for Gov. Baker’s great vision — of having the commonwealth lead on stopping transmission — to happen.”Mukherjee and Paul Farmer, the Kolokotrones University Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard and co-founder and chief strategist of PIH, both spoke about how the collaborative will approach contact tracing with love and compassion, to humanely inform people of their risks and provide access to social support and resources.“I am grateful as a citizen, I am grateful as a Brigham and Women’s physician and Harvard Medical School professor, to join this effort with the expert mercy that is called for in these times,” Farmer said.“Enhanced tracing capacity is an enormously powerful tool for public health officials to rely on in their battle against COVID-19,” Baker said. “By monitoring and isolating through an enhanced community tracing program, our state can be positioned to reduce the number of cases in the long run.” Organized to fight the pandemiclast_img read more