The Party of Open: Open Government, Open Culture, Open Innovation & People First

Monthly archive: November 2016

Wednesday, Digital Security 101 Workshop

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On Wednesday, the monthly Somerville Cryptoparty this November will offer a Digital Security 101 workshop that will focus on getting new folks up to speed on protecting their privacy on-line. It will be November 30th at The Sprouts, 339R Summer Street, Somerville. We will start at 6pm and end at 9pm. It is free.  Kids are welcome to join. Please bring your phone, tablet and/or laptop so we can help you get software installed and setup.  To prepare in advance,you can check out the EFF’s Surveillance Self-Defense Guide: https://ssd.eff.org. Topics will include: Threat identification Choosing good passwords and using password managers (+ two-factor authentication) Disk encryption for your devices Using https and installing HTTPS Everywhere Using Tor Using secure Skype/phone/text replacements Smart phone security We are always looking to work with partners to host cryptoparties like this one. Contact us at info@masspirates.org if your organization or community is interested. If you want to help out with other CryptoParties in Massachusetts and New England, join our cryptoparty@masspirates.org email list. You can sign up at https://lists.mayfirst.org/mailman/listinfo/cryptoparty_masspirates.org/. Anyone who wants to organize CryptoParties and share ideas for making them better is welcome to join.

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Pirate Podcasts – Episode 9: How to run for town meeting

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Town Meetings are a common form of town legislature in New England, and they’re also a working example of direct democracy. In this podcast, Steve Revilak talks about the ins and outs of Massachusetts town meetings. The first half covers town meeting as an institution, and the logistics of getting elected: pulling nomination papers, gathering signatures, and campaigning. The second half covers the mechanics of how town meetings are run: the moderator, the warrant, motions, substitute motions, and parliamentary procedure. Steve’s talk was recorded at the Democracy Center in Cambridge, MA on Nov 12th, 2016. It’s part of the Massachusetts Pirate Party’s Run Local in 2017 campaign. You can listen below, or download the podcast from the Internet Archive. Are you interested in local office in 2017 — town meeting, city council, board of alderman, or school committee? Do you have a civic engagement itch that you’d like to scratch? Drop us a line at info(AT)masspirates.org and we’ll do what we can to help you get started!

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Leslie James Pickering and the FBI: a Tale of COINTELPRO

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I spent the evening of Nov 12th at the Democracy Center in Cambridge, MA, listening to Leslie James Pickering talk about his activist work, and years of FBI surveillance. Pickering’s career as an activist began in the mid 1990’s, doing civil disobedience to protest animal experiments. His first direct action took place at a facility which was studying cats. The researchers would take a cat and drop it, from high enough to cause minor injuries. They’d observe the cat’s behavior, and drop it again, and again, and again. Pickering and his colleagues felt this was cruel and abusive, and they “lock-boxed” themselves together in the facility in protest. He was arrested for something along this lines of trespassing and disturbing the peace. Later, Pickering became the public (press) face of the Earth Liberation Front. The ELF is a group of more radical environmental activists, who have been willing to break the law to protest exploitation and destruction of the environment. You can’t easily go to the press when you’re doing illegal acts, or when the FBI has classified your group as domestic terrorists. Instead, ELF members sent statements to Pickering, who then presented them to the press. This irritated the FBI to no end. They wanted Pickering to provide information on ELF activists, but Pickering had no idea who his sources were. The FBI is a very top-down authority-oriented kind of organization, and they have a tough time wrapping their heads around autonomous groups and independent action. Pickering slammed the door in the face of agents who visited his home, and even ran out the back door to avoid being served with a subpoena. Pickering talking about grand jury subpoenas. They’re one of the governments tools for forcing testimony. A grand jury does not charge you with a crime, and … Read more

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Digital Security 101 Workshop, 11/30, Somerville

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The monthly Somerville Cryptoparty this November will offer a Digital Security 101 workshop that will focus on getting new folks up to speed on protecting their privacy on-line. It will be on Wednesday, November 30th at The Sprouts, 339R Summer Street, Somerville. We will start at 6pm and end at 9pm. It is free.  Kids are welcome to join. Please bring your phone, tablet and/or laptop so we can help you get software installed and setup.  To prepare in advance,you can check out the EFF’s Surveillance Self-Defense Guide: https://ssd.eff.org. Topics will include: Threat identification Choosing good passwords and using password managers (+ two-factor authentication) Disk encryption for your devices Using https and installing HTTPS Everywhere Using Tor Using secure Skype/phone/text replacements Smart phone security We are always looking to work with partners to host cryptoparties like this one. Contact us at info@masspirates.org if your organization or community is interested. If you want to help out with other CryptoParties in Massachusetts and New England, join our cryptoparty@masspirates.org email list. You can sign up at https://lists.mayfirst.org/mailman/listinfo/cryptoparty_masspirates.org/. Anyone who wants to organize CryptoParties and share ideas for making them better is welcome to join.

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How to Run Workshop Today, Now with Slides

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As part of the Massachusetts Pirate Party’s “run local” initiative, today we are organizing a series of workshops on how to run in a local election.  We’re talking town meetings, city councils, and school committees.  It doesn’t take a fortune to run, you don’t need an army of volunteers, and the work you do can make a real difference in your community. This event will be held in the Mandela Room of the Democracy Center, 45 Mount Auburn St., Harvard Square, Cambridge, from 1:00 – 4:00pm today, Saturday November 12th.  The Democracy Center is an awesome place, but unfortunately it is not wheelchair accessible. Please show up or email us if you want to attend a future training.  We are planning to offer this training around the Commonwealth and maybe other New England states.  Please get in touch with info(AT)masspirates.org if you’re interested in having a training in your area Here are some of our slides. Your Community needs you a presentation about running for local office. What you can do as a town meeting member If you’ve ever considered running for local office, then this workshop is for you — even if you’re still on the fence.  We’ll talk about logistics (filing paperwork and gathering signatures), ideas for running small but effective campaigns, and what happens after you’ve won the election. The schedule is: What you can do in local government; Running for town meeting; Running for other town and city offices; Discussion on what a local Pirate platform should look like. People who’ve served in local office are also encouraged to attend, regardless of party affiliation.  We hope you’ll share your experiences, and the things you learned while running. Thanks!

published under Elections, Main Topic | 2 Comments

Aaron James earns 2635 votes

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Thanks to Aaron James for running for 27th Middlesex State Representative.  He earned 2635 votes, 13% of the vote, and ably took the baton from First Officer Noelani Kamelamela who ran in 2014. A big congratulations to the Yes on 4 campaign.  Massachusetts is now the 6th state to legalize cannabis and has taking a big step in ending the drug war. Congratulations also to the No on 1 & 2 campaigns and the Yes on 3 campaign for their wins. For 2016, we are 4 for 4 on the ballot questions. We aren’t stopping! We will have a How to run for local elections workshop this Saturday.  It will be in the Mandela Room of the Democracy Center, 45 Mount Auburn St., Harvard Square, Cambridge, from 1:00 – 4:00pm on November 12th. Unfortunately, the Democracy Center is not wheelchair accessible. If you’ve ever considered running for local office, then this workshop is for you — even if you’re still on the fence.  We’ll talk about logistics (filing paperwork and gathering signatures), ideas for running small but effective campaigns, and what happens after you’ve won the election. The schedule is: What you can do in local government; Running for town meeting; Running for other town and city offices; Discussion on what a local Pirate platform should look like. People who’ve served in local office are also encouraged to attend, regardless of party affiliation.  We hope you’ll share your experiences, and the things you learned while running. We would appreciate it if you signed up so we can plan accordingly.  If you miss this one, don’t worry, we are working on holding this training in other parts of the Commonwealth. If you want to help by finding a location near you and telling people about it, please email us.

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Help Convince US Rep. Moulton to oppose the TPP

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With Kennedy coming out against the TPP, the only hold out amongst the Massachusetts congressional delegation is Rep. Moulton. It is expected that a vote on the TPP will be introduced during the lame-duck session, so we need to get Moulton on our side. There are two events coming up outside Moulton’s Office at 41 Front St., Salem: Picket line on Wed. Nov. 9th, 3:00-5:00pm Rally against the TPP on Friday Nov. 18th 4:00-6:00pm at Derby Square across from his office If you live in his district or nearly, please come out for one of these events. For rides or information, please call Liz King 617-787-0165 or Barbara Clancy 978-760-4123. If you cannot attend, please call Rep. Moulton’s office at (978) 531-1669 and urge him to oppose the TPP.

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Vote Aaron James for State Representative

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On election day, November 8th, we are running Aaron James for the 27th Middlesex State Representative district. He is continuing the tradition started by fellow Pirate, Noelani Kamelamela, in 2014. If you have time this weekend to help flyer or time on election day to stand out or poll watch, please email his campaign or contact them at their Facebook page. If you are in the neighborhood join us on election night to celebrate. Thanks!

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Further information

June 10th, Boston LGBTQ Pride Parade

Save the Date: June 10th, Boston LGBTQ Pride Parade

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IRC Meetings Tuesday Night

The Mass. Pirate Party weekly chat is every Tuesday at 9pm, Eastern time. To get on:

  1. Go to https://webchat.pirateirc.net/
  2. Fill out the web form with the Nickname of your choice and enter #masspirates in the Channel box next to it, then click the Connect button
  3. Start typing and reading

You can also connect via your IRC client at one of the servers listed at http://pirateirc.net/servers.

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