Tom Boland wgcp@earthlink.net
Sun, 25 Feb 2001 22:24:24 -0800 (PST)


FWD  24 Feb 2001 via Boston Global Action network:
     From: Mike Prokosch <mikeprok@ziplink.net>

For your immediate action

To people on the BGAN list:

Normally BGAN only sends out one notice per week. But this demonstration is
extraordinary. I urge you get down there, show your support, and build the
local-global connections that will make our (larger) movement grow.


Starting on Thursday, Feb. 22 at 1pm, demonstrators have been in the
Massachusetts DPH non-violently protesting the new DPH regulations on the
CORI (Criminal Offender Record Investigations) check.  Currently, there are
five freedom fighters who have been locked down in the building, including
councilmember Chuck Turner, former political prisoner Kazi Toure, Jamie
Suarez-Potts, Mary Moore, and Mary Corcoran.

CORI is a shorthand nickname for "criminal offender record information,"
which the Department of Public Health along with other public departments
and private social service agencies have been required to do a check on for
all potential employees or volunteers. If applicants have committed any of
the crimes listed from perjury to murder, they can be permanently
disqualified from employment in those agencies.  This means that people who
have already served their time in prison will have an extremely difficult
to impossible time getting jobs in any agency or organization that relates
to social service, or receives federal or state funding.  This is a
historical throwback to the Jim Crow era which kept draconian control over
the lives of people just coming out of slavery.  Like Jim Crow, CORI
regulations are another form of slavery seeking to keep people of color the
poor people under strict control and remaining disempowered. Our society
continues to punish people even after they have served their time in prison
and paid for their crimes.  This obsession with punishment leaves little
avenue for people to restore their lives after incarceration, and in fact
only stimulates more prison growth as people face more dead ends and are
incarcerated again.  We need to stop the growth of prisons, stop the
stigmatizing of communities of color as criminal, stop the obsession with
punishment, and stop the virtual enslavement of our communities.

On Thursday, 27 people met with the commissioner of the Department of
Health to persuade him to oppose the CORI regulations.  He said that
morally he was against the regulations, but he was too scared to do
anything.  As of now, the five locked down protesters are currently on the
second floor of the Department of Health, with State Police keeping anyone
else out.  They have stayed overnight and are planning to stay until
Tuesday.  We have called them the Washington Five.

This action will challenge the dominant mindset the continues to
criminalize, penalize, and incarcerate people of color and the poor. Come
Stand With Us!

We need:

1.  More people to join those who are locked down.  They have a way of
getting you in.
2.  A demonstration is scheduled for Monday 12 noon outside the
building.  Show solidarity!
3.  A public hearing and demonstration is scheduled for Tuesday 10
am.  Show solidarity and give your testimony!
4.  Food, clean socks, soap, and blankets are needed for the five
locked down, and those who choose to join them.

Location:  250 Washington Street (Downtown Boston), Near Boston City Hall

For more information, call Kazi Toure at (617) 257-7518.

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