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

Monthly archive: December 2016

It took seven legislators

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Seven legislators is all it took to delay selling cannabis legally in Massachusetts.  The voters agreed that one year is enough to figure out the regulations for cannabis stores. But less than two handfuls of legislators decided to delay the inevitable for six more months. Their excuse is that that we need to figure out what regulations are needed for cannabis stores and for arresting people for driving under the influence of cannabis. While breathalyzers don’t work for cannabis, every day police deal with drivers under the influence of many legal and illegal substances, or who refuse to take a breathalyzer. Have them walk a line for a start! Strangely absent from the discussion is that we have had 83 years of regulations on alcohol that could easily serve as a starting point for cannabis regulations. Make common sense regulations and iterate as we encounter any real problems. Unfortunately for us, that is too hard for our legislators. We need your help in getting pirates in the legislature and other offices. We train people and groups on how to protect their privacy on their devices and in their communications. An effort we will expand in the months ahead since the next administration is no friend of personal privacy or the First Amendment. The monthly Somerville cryptoparty has been a success with 30 people attending in November and 22 in December. We need more of them and we need to help more vulnerable groups. We continue to help people prevent banksters (and their assistants in the legislature) from stealing their homes, an effort that will unfortunately be more rather than less urgent in 2017. We need your help, whether it is your time and skills, whatever money you can spare or especially being a candidate. Thanks and may 2017 be a … Read more

published under Cryptoparty, End the Drug War, Help Needed, Main Topic, Organizing, Privacy | Comments Off on It took seven legislators

Stop banksters from stealing people’s homes

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Over 70,000 people were foreclosed on in Massachusetts due to the financial crisis. The banksters were responsible to keep track of the paperwork on who owned the property that they sold. But they didn’t. Instead they created foreclosure mills where employees made up paperwork the banks were responsible for keeping. Paperwork, without which, it is illegal foreclose on someone’s home. Faced with the deluge of foreclosed properties, the Massachusetts legislature helped the banksters hide these illegal foreclosures by changing the time a person can contest a foreclosure from 20 years to 1 year for anyone foreclosed on before 2014. Besides helping the Massachusetts Alliance Against Predatory Lending (MAAPL) setup a website to make it easier for people to contest their foreclosure, we are helping MAAPL set up anti-foreclosure clinics around the state. We need your help. The next clinic is in Athol today. It is from 5:30-7:30pm at the Athol Public Library on 568 Main Street. MAAPL has a flyer for this event if you live in the area and can get a few up in prominent places or just email to people who would be interested. There are at least three more clinics scheduled: Thursday, December 22, 5:00-7:30 pm in Springfield [Download PDF flyer] Tuesday, December 27th, 5:00-9:00 pm at the Somerville Public Library, 79 Highland Ave. Wednesday, December 28th, 5:00-9:00 pm in New Bedford [Download PDF flyer] We need your help to spread word about these events, setup more clinics before December 30th and call people who have been foreclosed on to tell them about these clinics. Email us if you can help. If all you can do is spread the word, then share this page or There are versions in Español and Português. We aren’t talking about helping some speculator who tried to flip houses.  We are talking about thousands of families who’s primary asset was their house. A house the banksters are trying to steal … Read more

published under Main Topic | Comments Off on Stop banksters from stealing people’s homes

Today, come out to celebrate Cannabis legalization

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Cannabis is legal today! Thank you to the 1.7 million voters who approved Question 4 to legalize Cannabis. Thank you and congratulations to the thousands of volunteers who put in years of work to make this day possible. A decade ago, getting cannabis legalized was only a dream, but today it is a reality because of the tremendous work of so many! The prohibitionists are still active, whether they are looking at holding up implementation of the law or threatening to raise the age for legal purchase from 21 to 25. Unfortunately the struggle will continue, but we can still be happy with this day and the progress we have made in ending the Drug War. Today from 3 p.m. to 4:20 p.m. pro-cannabis groups have invited people to attend an open mic at the State House steps to celebrate legalization of Cannabis in Massachusetts. We hope you will make it.

published under End the Drug War, Main Topic | Comments Off on Today, come out to celebrate Cannabis legalization

Saturday, 1pm, Manning Birthday Standout

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This Saturday, the 17th, we will join Chelsea Manning supporters for a stand out on her birthday. It will be from 1-2pm in front of the Park St. MBTA stop in downtown Boston. Please send her a birthday card and support her struggle.

published under Main Topic, Out And About, Transparency | Comments Off on Saturday, 1pm, Manning Birthday Standout

Tell Boston to shut down the BPD’s social media spying program

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We join 20 civil rights, civil liberties, religious, and community organizations in calling on Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Police Commissioner William Evans to drop their plan to spend $1.4 million on high-tech social media surveillance software. “We need money for community wellness, not surveillance. This high-tech spying program runs counter to the Boston Police Department’s mission, which is to do community policing, not ‘pre-crime’ monitoring of speech and associations.” -Kade Crockford, director of the Technology for Liberty Project at the ACLU of Massachusetts Tell Mayor Walsh and the Boston City Council to shut down the Boston Police Department’s social media spying program before it starts: American Friends Service Committee Arlington Street Church – Unitarian Universalist Bill of Rights Defense Committee Defending Dissent Foundation/ Bill of Rights Defense Committee Black and Pink Boston Student Advisory Council (BSAC) Brazilian Women’s Group – Grupo Mulher Brasileira CAIR Massachusetts Charles Hamilton Houston Institute RestoreTheFourth Fight For The Future Jewish Voice for Peace Boston MIRA (Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition Mass Trans Political Coalition (MTPC) Muslim Justice League No Drones Massachusetts Union Of Minority Neighborhoods UU Mass Action Youth on Board

published under Main Topic, Privacy | Comments Off on Tell Boston to shut down the BPD’s social media spying program

Tech Meeting Today, Manning Standout the 17th

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November was a busy month. We helped Aaron James earn 2635 votes, the most of any Pirate in Massachusetts. Our first campaign training was well attended. Over 30 people attended the Somerville cryptoparty. We aren’t stopping.  Whether the issue is Trump getting his hands on the massive surveillance state Obama perpetuated, the Department of Defense hiding that it wastes at least $25 billion a year or banksters stealing people’s houses, the US needs Pirates. And we need you. Today from 2 to 4pm we will have a tech hackathon to work on our website and other tech projects. Email for the directions if you plan to attend. Next Saturday the 17th, we will be join Chelsea Manning supporters for a stand out on her birthday.  It will be from 1-2pm in front of the Park St. MBTA stop in downtown Boston. Please send her a birthday card and support her struggle. Wednesday the 28th will be the last Somerville cryptoparty of the year. Email if you can help find a site for this meeting. We put up our slide decks and audio recordings for two of the talks at our campaign training: What you can do as a town meeting member (audio) Your Community needs you to run for local office (audio) If you haven’t told us that you are interested in running for office, please do so. As always, we need your help and any money you can spare. Thanks!

published under Main Topic, Out And About, Transparency | 1 Comment

TODAY: Boston PD wants $1.4m to spy on you online. Come oppose it!

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The Boston Police Department secretly tried to buy $1.4 million dollars of social media monitoring software to spy on Bostonians free speech. Since the Boston Regional Intelligence Center (BRIC) is in Boston PD headquarters, this software will not be limited to just Boston, but will affect all surrounding communities at a minimum. The Public Safety Committee of the Boston City Council found out from press reports. If the Boston City Council wasn’t notified of it, then it is very certain that the BPD wants to use this software with no oversight. Today, Monday December 5, the Boston Public Safety Committee is holding a public hearing on this and related issues. It will be from 1:30 PM to 2:00 PM EST at Boston City Hall in the Iannella Chamber on the 5th Floor. You can take the MBTA to the Government Center stop on the Green Line. It is important that people who live or work in Boston attend this meeting. If you decide to speak against it, please identify yourself as a Pirate. Come and let them know you don’t want the police watching everything we say online!

published under Freedom of the Press, Main Topic, Out And About | Comments Off on TODAY: Boston PD wants $1.4m to spy on you online. Come oppose it!

Pirate Podcasts – Episode 10: Your Community Needs You (to run for office)

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James O’Keefe is the Captain of the Massachusetts Pirate Party, and a former Green Party candidate for Massachusetts Treasurer. In this podcast, James talks about organizing campaign for local and state offices, with an emphasis on running local. Topics include building a network of supporters, developing a core message, campaign logistics, fundraising and planning finances, the importance of communicating with your supporters, and organizing get out the vote efforts. James’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. Lots of things happen at the local level, and they affect the lives of everyday people in your community. You can listen below, or download the podcast from the Internet Archive.

published under Main Topic, Podcasts & Pirate News | Comments Off on Pirate Podcasts – Episode 10: Your Community Needs You (to run for office)

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