Showing posts with label protest. Show all posts
Showing posts with label protest. Show all posts

Thursday, May 20, 2021

New York TImes: "Lee Evans, Olympic Runner Who Protested Racism, Dies at 74"

"Lee Evans, the Black American runner who won two gold medals at the racially charged 1968 Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City and at a presentation ceremony wore a Black Panther-style beret and raised his fist to protest racism in the United States, died on Wednesday. He was 74.

His death was announced by USA Track and Field, which did not say where he died or cite the cause."
Continue reading the article online  (subscription may be required)
Coverage from The Guardian: (Continue reading the article online  (subscription may be required)

Lee Evans raised his fist after receiving the gold medal in the 400 meters at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. With him were his teammates Larry James (left), who won the silver, and Ronald Freeman, who won the bronze.Credit...Associated Press
Credit...Associated Press

Monday, August 31, 2020

In the News: some protest against State flu shot requirement; case clusters arising from smaller gatherings

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"Hundreds rallied outside the Massachusetts State House on Sunday to protest the state’s mandate for all of the Commonwealth’s students to receive a flu shot by the end of the year.

A sizable crowd had gathered on Beacon Street by 10 a.m.

People who were scheduled to speak at the protest told NewsCenter 5′s Josh Brogadir that they do not want to be known as “anti-vaccine,” but they do want to be able to make that decision for their children on their own.

On Aug. 19, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced that flu shots will now be required for all students in the state’s schools, from child care through colleges. Students older than six months will have to be vaccinated by Dec. 31, unless either a medical or religious exemption is provided."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"Images of packed beaches, lakes and bars have made the rounds on traditional and social media for much of the summer, drawing scorn from those concerned about the coronavirus spreading among those crowds.

Less prominent but also troubling are the growing instances of case clusters arising from smaller gatherings.

Contact tracing yields information about the sources of infections as the USA, by far the world leader in total COVID-19 cases and deaths, grapples with how to keep its population safe while propping up a flagging economy. More than 182,000 Americans have been killed by the disease.

The hasty reopening of businesses across much of the nation after the spring shutdown was largely blamed for a summer surge in infections, but social functions of various sizes among relatives, friends and co-workers may have been a contributing factor as well."
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Friday, June 26, 2020

Pantherbook: FHS "Student Finds Her Voice in Black Lives Matter Movement"

From Pantherbook we share the following:
"Many Franklin residents gathered at the Common on June 2nd, to peacefully show support for the Black Lives Matter movement and stand against police brutality.
At the protest, people knelt for nine minutes to honor George Floyd, a Black man who recently died at the hands of police in Minneapolis.
After the nine minutes of silence, several speakers came up to talk about Black Lives Matter. Two of these were FHS students Ndoumbe Ndoye and Kianna Thomas."
Continue reading the article online at Pantherbook:

Picked up by the Franklin radar via Twitter:

Kianna Thomas Speaks at the Common. Credit: Kianna Thomas
Kianna Thomas Speaks at the Common. Credit: Kianna Thomas

Friday, June 5, 2020

Town Council - June 3, 2020 Meeting Recap

As with most meetings in this pandemic period, I took my notes via Twitter during the meeting reporting in real-time via the virtual session.

The Twitter hashtag can be found online #tc0603

Chair Tom Mercer opens meeting
Chair Tom Mercer opens meeting

State Delegation

  • Senate President Karen Spilka present to provide some insights on State house across multiple topics, acknowledges Rupert Dubler for his fine work, happens to be a Franklin resident! #tc0603 state unemployment has not been as high since 1976
  • FY20 estimate 700m to $1b short for this fiscal year, looking at alternative ways to fill gap for this fiscal year. FY21 is not good, still uncertainty about how the pandemic will play out. Estimates on revenue will be done but currently all over. #tc0603
  • Strict rules around use of the Cares act money, hopeful of it being relaxed but uncertain. #tc0603 only $200m for schools this time around can $1b from Feds during 2009-2010 period. Don't use the gov's numbers for use in budgets (great! We did, and vote on it Thursday)
  • Hamblen C thanks for being here, doing the best we can. Food sourcing a legit issue, MA does not have an FDA approved chicken processing plant, important for Farmers and local options. Spilka will look at this, thanks for raising it. #tc0603 pick your own will be important
  • Hamblen - MA makes it mandatory about taking cash, can there be an option for business to go digital. Spilka that should be addressed, I will raise the pick your own with the Governor tomorrow. #tc0603
  • Chandler - Q on early retirement option vs layoffs, Spilka hasn't been looked at currently, it can be effective but is also costly as it adds to the long term pension benefits. #tc0603 Dellorco C - on long recovery, people are fearful and issue with opioid again
  • Rep Roy up next to provide his update; thanks for peaceful and safe event on the Common on Tuesday. #tc0603 SNETT tunnel under construction, will be done this summer; state forest parking lot construction also under way along Grove St. Contollo MA Mfg was awarded a grant
  • Approx 20% of the state money set aside was part of the grant funding. Dealing with constitute issues, particularly around unemployment claims #tc0603 Legislation passed house today on restaurants with outdoor seating to ease way. Vote by mail option and early voting on docket
  • Program on confronting COVID-19 to be broadcast next Tuesday via Franklin TV. 6/9 6 PM
  • #tc0603
  • Senator Rausch acknowledged Tuesday event on Town Common as well, in particular during the 9 minutes the group was silent, amazing! #tc0603 updates on 2 of her Subcommittee work on municipal budget and town meetings, also on election/voting
  • Open for questions to the state delegation: (participation up to 93 - note limit via Zoom is 100) #tc0603 there are other options for viewing meeting via cable Comcast/Verizon and streaming from Town web page
  • Town admin Jamie Hellen makes the case for local aid, and it's impact, re-opening will be critical to enhancing the revenue forecast and actuals #tc0603 Bissanti - Q to Rausch on homeless issue and her vote on a particular bill
  • Brianna T - Q on fast track vaccine and whether it should be mandatory? Rausch - I would defer to public health experts on matters of public health. #tc0603
  • Shawn - raising question on permit process for meeting in the common. Hellen - turn around of permit request is generally quick, police would review, depending upon nature of the event, key elements to not block the public way, like at the triangle downtown for safety #tc0603
  • Dashe Videira also raising question on vaccination due to the language removing doctor for liability and making the parents #tc0603 Rausch happy to take conversation offline, did have public hearing in December
  • Monica - Q as a local physician, question on language of immunization bill. Rausch - bill does address the concern for addressing unique circumstances for a patient, that option does not exist now #tc0603
  • John back with a question for Melanie about the possible exposure at the common, Melanie replied that she wore a mask and was in a group that did and socially distanced. The cash issue is relative to the safety of her workers. #tc0603
  • Jess Q on Community immunization act, public hearing held in Dec, more awareness now, vaccine safety for kids, are you planning on holding another hearing? Rausch - legislative process is continuing to unfold, comments are best directed to their legislative delegate #tc0603
  • Joe Evans resident and business owner, feel it is appropriate, wants to protest but meeting over ten is not allowed per governor, town allowed the gathering last night complaint about double standard, claims already reports of transmission due to the gathering #tc0603
  • Stephen R concerned about the gathering and social distance not observed, shouldn't be at the Town Common again. Hellen - thanks for the feedback, indoor options are not available now. #tc0603
  • Whitney also a Q for Rausch how does the community immunization act be funded? Rausch data is incomplete, components are incomplete, some schools haven't reported, there is a trust fund and money available. #tc0603 bill will complete the data collection
  • Abraham Q on whether there is a plan to extend legislative session. Spilka - at this time not yet, early still as it needs to be joint between house and Senate #tc0603 2nd Q on bill with public program and claim of leaving some students out in private placements

Police Statement on Excessive Force
  • Chief TJ Lynch addresses inquiry on police operations to uphold rights. Reads statement on position in support of the department and the community. Steps to reduce excessive forces, trust with Community is required, per President Obama executive order in 2014. #tc0603
  • Pillar 1 - use of force incidents published since 2014, transparency. 16000 incidents with public and only 9 required use of force in 2019. Bias and training related, profiling, officers trained over the years. Policy page and data as referenced #tc0603
  • Chief Lynch talks of the Halloween party, work with the Senior center, etc. Have full time social worker are part of the department, splits time with Medway to work cases; police career incentive pay bill creates an educated force #tc0603
  • Chandler an officer can stay out of trouble if he/she ask themselves is it right, is it necessary, is it done with respect? #tc0603
  • Minimal police presence last night, two of the officers requested and did kneel in solidarity with the group, Ben Franklin the therapy dog is a good program gaining kudos regularly, do not have a body camera due to the costs of the program #tc0603 pillar 4 Community policing
  • Earls Q on mutual support with local community neighbors as well as the MECC? Yes, not out today but have participated when requested. Hamblen - thanks for the response, hadn't realized all the info that was on the police page #tc0603 Dellorco thanks 4 the coaches of the sports
  • Joanie Q on the outdoor seating with restaurants, what is your thoughts? Chief - I have been working closely with Cathleen at the Health Dept, I do have concerns as not totally prepared just yet. Education will be important #tc0603

Community Preservation Act
  • Next up - Community Preservation act up for discussion, no vote tonight, regrouping per discussion at prior meeting to our it out (Councilor Pellegri was absent at prior meeting, hence this discussion) #tc0603 plugged in 3% due to eligibility for matching rounds
  • Kelly - concern about the high unemployment and possible opposition. For CPA, not sure of 3%, let's get it in with a smaller amount first. Bissanti - looking for additional info for why and how, education needed. #tc0603 Dellorco 3% is high, got to start the ball rolling
  • Jones do need to educate what the CPA is and does for us, money we have lost for many years. #tc0603 3 might be high, 1.5 might be better. Hellen - Council can not form an ad-hoc subcommittee to advocate for it, a 3rd party needs to do that, could do a forum.
  • Chandler was in favor of the 2 to 3 % but if folks want to start lower, I am ok with it. Pellegri suggests a special meeting for discussion on the percent, not good timing, shouldn't give it up this year. #tc0603 CPA will help the community
  • Hellen - could also borrow against the CPA, the largest vote turn out is expected in November, voter education will be key. Forum and citizen input sounds good, concern about schedule with other budget hearings and time to get decision on ballot #tc0603

Internal Audit Results - Melanson-Heath
  • Moving to internal audit update, they have been patient, a little different in that a rotation of the staff was involved per Melanson-Heath. Next year will complete the rotation of the team. #tc0603 town received a green opinion best could get
  • To follow along the doc used is at #tc0603 Norfolk liability increased, OPEB decreased due to health costs increasing less than had been forecast
  • $11m in unassigned fund balance, about 9% and fund agencies like to see about 10% of total revenues, so you are in a good position. #tc0603 slight decrease in free cash due to use of stabilization funds to balance last budget. No management letter, hence good controls!

Legislation for Action

To Closing

  • Motion made to allow Town Admin Hellen authority for temporary extension of liquor license extension for outdoor service for existing restaurants #tc0603 motion made, passed 9-0 via roll call
  • No future items, Councilors comments Pellegri thanks to Jamie for good job keeping residents informed. Kelly thanks to Chris Flynn for memorial day video. Quotes MLK Jr #tc0603 Hamblen thanks to board of health for all their work, amazing
  • Earls, nothing at this time. Chandler thanks to the residents for participating tonight. Bissanti saw so much democracy in action recently. #tc0603 Jones - great democracy in action tonight, thanks to FPD officers who knelt last night. 1st manned flight after 9 years
  • Dellorco thanks for everything going off peaceful last night. #tc0603 congratulations to the FHS class of 2020. Mercer thanks to my fellow Councilors, difficult times, I applaud your efforts, long meetings and there will be more. Motion to adjourn, passed 9-0 via roll call

The agenda and documents released for this meeting

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Melanie Hamblen: Remarks for "Kneel for Nine" - June 2

My thanks to Melanie for sharing her remarks that she prepared and delivered on the Town Common on Tuesday, June 2, 2020.

"Good evening, My name is Melanie Hamblen and I am one of your 9 Town Councilors, as well as a small business owner, here in Franklin.

Thank you all for being here, I would like to thank Joni and Justin for asking me to speak.

I have lived a privileged life, luckily I was raised by people who taught me and my siblings that Everyone, no matter what the circumstance they are born into, have the right to thrive. And that we should help people as best as we can.

When I was in grade school, growing up in Lexington, my parents signed us up to be a host family in the METCO program. I am not sure if they knew what a difference it would make in the life of our family at the time. And I am not sure how well it went over with some of the other folks in our family.

While I slept, safe in my bed in my white suburb, A young student would get up hours ahead of the start of school to get on the bus from Roxbury.
The amount of travel and sacrifice of time lost with his family, that he endured to get the education that I took for granted, is staggering.

I can only imagine what agony and anxiety his mother must have felt to see his small beautiful face disappear in the dark of the morning. Not sure if he would come back, not being able to protect him or know what his day was like. He got on that bus day after day through the busing riots in South Boston and so many more troubles. But her belief in the promise of a better education must have let him get on that bus.

And for that I am grateful, for this young student became my brother George. From whom I have learned a great deal. And this relationship has allowed me to look at life with a different lens than most of my counterparts. He told me recently that we did teach him something too. That not all people of one race are bad, there are just bad apples.

George has grown children of his own whose safety we cannot stop worrying about.

My son Tommy has a METCO brother as well, whom he met in School in Westwood. I think of Steven as one of my two sons.

Both Geoge and Steven are a part of us and we fear for them and weep with them. When their hearts are broken so are ours.

The past four months have not been an easy time for me. I have been afraid to take my dog for a walk,
Afraid to go for a run, I have been sworn at,

Had things thrown at me, Had my property spit on.
And now I have a better understanding of what my brother and son and all people of color must feel like and go through everyday of their lives. When will the next rude gesture come? Will it be in front on my WW2 veteran father? My friend’s children? Who will be the next person to attack me?

It could be anyone, even someone I have known for years.

How can generations of people survive this everyday without feeling unheard, unloved, disposable, less than human?

I thought I knew, oh but now I know.

But this is really what I want to say to you all:

That being nice and doing good deeds is not enough.
It is up to white people to realize that we have a lot of serious work to do.
We must accept the fact that we are perpetuating social injustice by doing nothing.
We must take the time to understand our part in the systemic racism of our culture and society. 
Please let tonight be the BEGINING of our journey together to understand and change the status quo.

We need to demand that the officers involved in the murder of innocent people are arrested and we must insist that all people of color are protected.

I will leave you with two quotes from our historical Franklin figures.
“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are”  Benjamin Franklin

“Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity” Horace Mann

Thank you."

Melanie Hamblen: Remarks for Kneel for Nine - June 2
Melanie Hamblen: Remarks for Kneel for Nine - June 2

“Being nice and doing good deeds are not enough"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"Ndoumbe Ndoye, 17, was in middle school when she ordered a tub of skin bleaching cream off the internet.

She bought it with a $10 Amazon gift card she was given for her birthday.

“When it came to my house, I threw that away,” she told a sea of more than 1,000 people kneeling and sitting Tuesday night on the Franklin Town Common. “On that day forward, I began to love myself again.”

The “Kneel for Nine” gathering was organized by the newly-formed Franklin Residents Confronting Racism. Spearheaded by Justin Bates, attendees knelt in memory of George Floyd, the black man who was killed on Memorial Day while in police custody in Minneapolis. The nine minutes is a response to the amount of time a Minneapolis police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

image courtesy of twitter account of Paul O'Donoghue
image courtesy of twitter account of Paul O'Donoghue

In the News: "What have Massachusetts leaders said since George Floyd’s death and the protests started in response? A recap"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
For days, people across the nation have been taking to the streets to protest George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police and the larger pattern of unarmed black men being killed by law enforcement officers. Here’s how Massachusetts’ elected officials have used their voices on Twitter.

Gov. Charlie Baker, Republican:

On Monday, June 1, he tweeted: “The murder of George Floyd at the hands of police was a horrible tragedy - one of countless tragedies to befall people of color across the United States. The vast majority of protesters today did so peacefully, toward a common goal of promoting justice and equality. I am deeply thankful for their voices and their positive, forceful message. I also want to express my gratitude to all the police officers and other first responders working to protect the people of Boston from the individuals whose violent actions, looting and property destruction was criminal and cowardly - and distracted from the powerful statement made today by thousands of Massachusetts residents.

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Twitter logo
Twitter logo

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

In the News: "Mass. lawmakers push back on Trump’s military threat"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"President Donald Trump on Monday said he wouldn’t hesitate to deploy the military into American cities to forcefully quell violence, looting and vandalism if governors can’t control the protests against police brutality occurring around the country. But the threat was met with resistance in Massachusetts, where the state’s top law enforcement official described it as illegal and a “stupid thing to do.”

Attorney General Maura Healey on Tuesday said that Trump “doesn’t have the authority to say what he’s going to do.” And based on conversations with Massachusetts police, she’s also worried that greater militarization will lead to more tension.

“We need to push for deescalation and a calming and restore a semblance of order,” Healey said in a virtual appearance before the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. “We don’t need soldiers in our streets.”

Healey’s comments came the morning after U.S. Sen. Edward Markey described Trump’s Rose Garden remarks as “un-American,” and U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy said a military response to the anger being displayed on the streets would not work."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Friday, April 24, 2020

In the News: Charles River Meadowlands study completed

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"After nearly two years of effort, the Beta Group recently completed a draft study of the Charles River Meadowlands in Bellingham, Franklin and Medway.

“Joining three communities around a shared natural asset, the Charles River Meadowlands, is what this project is all about,” said Kelly R. Carr, senior associate at BETA Group, Inc., the consulting firm that conducted the study.

Dating to early meetings in 2016, the Meadowlands Initiative ( has sought to bring focus and awareness to the hundreds of acres of public wetlands and borderlands controlled by the US Army Corps of Engineers in the three towns.

Originally acquired in the 1970s and 1980s for flood control, and incorporated in the Charles River Natural Valley Storage Area, the region has been gradually walled off from the public by roadways and rapid private development. However, each of the towns has land holdings for conservation and other purposes that abut the federal lands, effectively creating a large natural sanctuary similar in scale to the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in Concord."

View a copy of the full report:

In the News: Charles River Meadowlands study completed
In the News: Charles River Meadowlands study completed

Saturday, November 2, 2019

"we allow our signs to share our message"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"As the 2020 presidential election year nears, Democrats in Franklin and those who share their views are continuing to mount demonstrations in protest of the Trump administration. And they’re not the only ones, as like-minded people in neighboring Medway have begun to speak up, too.

Members of the Franklin Democratic Town Committee began occasionally holding peaceful protests earlier this year, and are planning their next gathering on Nov. 16. The effort has now been taken up by the Medway Democratic Town Committee, which held its first demonstration on Oct. 6 and is organizing a second from 10 a.m. to noon on Sunday on the sidewalk in front of the Medway Place shopping plaza.

“It looks as if our protest efforts are becoming contagious,” said Sue Cass, a member of the Franklin Democrats who has been a lead organizer of the Franklin efforts."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Franklin Demonstration - Saturday, Oct 19

The Franklin Democrats are planning to demonstrate against the Trump administration again on Saturday, October 19, from 10:00 to 12:00 o'clock. They will meet in front of Piezoni's Restaurant, 150 Emmons Street, at the intersection of Emmons and West Central.

As before, participants can make signs or just show up.

Franklin Democrats plan a similar protest on Nov 16. 

Monday, June 17, 2019

Franklin Democrats organized protest

If you drove through the center of Franklin on Saturday morning (June 15), the day after Trumps birthday, you likely noticed more than 40 participants with signs that ranged from "IMPEACH TRUMP" to "STOP THE COVER-UP". 

The Franklin Democratic Town Committee organized the event, and participated in a nation wide protest with, along with a number of cities and towns across the nation calling for the impeachment of Trump now. 

Organizers said, there was so much enthusiasm for the event, they may plan another in the near future.

Franklin Democrats organized protest
Franklin Democrats organized protest

Friday, March 16, 2018

“I walked out because ____”

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"Franklin High School Principal Paul Peri said that about 1,200 students at his school gathered outside to join in the 10 a.m. walkout. The students, he said, were very much the leading voice of this protest. 
Franklin High School senior Bekah Redwine organized Franklin’s walkout. Having paid attention to recent politics, she said she feels passionate about this topic in particular. 
“Seeing 17 students that were my age and (my) sister’s age that were just killed in an instant in their high school made me realize that we definitely need a change,” she said. She added she also plans to attend the “March for our Lives” event in Washington, D.C., on March 24."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Saturday, September 30, 2017

"there will be further litigation concerning such matters”

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"THE ISSUE: Several local public officials have drawn controversy over social media posts. 
THE IMPACT: When considering disciplining employees over inflammatory statements, public entities must consider many factors to avoid violating the First Amendment. 
Across Massachusetts, a series of recent posts that public officials and employees have made on social media about NFL players’ protests and President Donald Trump have sparked outrage and raised questions over the First Amendment. 
“If the government wants to try to restrict speech, it’s got to have a pretty compelling reason to do it,” said Dwight Duncan, a UMass School of Law professor who teaches courses on constitutional law and the First Amendment."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Editors note: Protests have a place in America. They are part of how we started. Recall the Boston Tea Party and other events that lead to the American Revolution. There have been other protests to advance causes from the women's right to vote to ending segregation in the South. One of the more notable sports protests was that of Tommie Smith and John Carlos with the raised black fists at the 1968 Olympics

W.D. Cooper. "Boston Tea Party."
By Original uploader was Cornischong at lb.wikipedia - Source:W.D. Cooper. "Boston Tea Party.", The History of North America. London: E. Newberry, 1789.Engraving. Plate opposite p. 58. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (40)Transferred from lb.wikipedia (all following user names refer to lb.wikipedia):2007-02-18 21:38 Cornischong 696×393× (312674 bytes) *Sujet:Boston Tea Party *Source:W.D. Cooper. "Boston Tea Party.", The History of North America. London: E. Newberry, 1789.Engraving. Plate opposite p. 58. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (40), Public Domain,

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Protesters needed for important Fracked Gas Conference in Boston Monday!

Hi, 350Mass pipeline fighters,

Now that earlier this month the DPU authorized itself to give permission to utilities to sign long-term contracts with gas companies, the vultures are circling!  We just heard about an important fracked gas pipeline conference on Monday and--guess what--we're having a protest to draw public attention to this nasty development!

image from Facebook event
image from Facebook event

We'll meet at 2:30 pm at the baseball fields at the Boston Common before heading out to the conference.  Bring signs, especially about the gas tariff.  See the Facebook event page listed below for more details and to RSVP (if you don't do Facebook, let me know you're coming).

If you have any questions, call me since time is short.


Saturday, March 1, 2008

In the new - Washington St accident, China protest, immigrant legal advice

Man killed in crash

By Joyce Kelley/Daily News staff

A 49-year-old Rhode Island man driving an 18-wheel tractor trailer died in a crash on Washington Street yesterday morning, police said.

Police declined to identify the man or his hometown until his relatives are notified, said Lt. Thomas Lynch. No one else was involved or injured in the accident, he said.

The man was dead when police arrived at the accident near 890 Washington St., in front of Temple Etz Chaim about 11:15 a.m., said Lynch. A driver behind the truck saw the accident and alerted police, he said.

The truck snapped two utility poles in half, said Fire Captain James Klich.

"We don't know exactly what happened, but ... it took out three utility poles," Lynch said.

Read the remainder of the article here


Human Rights group to use Marathon route to protest

By Michael Morton/Daily News staff

Three weeks before the Boston Marathon grabs the world's attention, a group alarmed by China's alleged human rights abuses plans to use the same Hopkinton-to-Boston route to publicize its cause: protesting this summer's Olympic Games.

"We believe the Olympic Games represent something universal and good," said Steve Gigliotti, the Massachusetts spokesman for the Human Rights Torch Relay. "The Olympics and human rights violations cannot coexist within China."

Seeking to expose alleged abuses ahead of the games, protest supporters lit a torch in Athens, Greece, in August and have since carried it to Europe, South America and Australia. The group has chosen Boston and its Marathon route to introduce its initiative to the United States and North America.

"Boston symbolizes the birthplace of freedom and liberty in the U.S.," Gigliotti said. "We decided it was a nice fit."

While he will have help carrying the torch, triathlete and marathoner Paul Guzzi, who lives in Franklin and works in Wellesley, will run the entire 26-mile route for the March 30 event. He volunteered after being told of abuses in China by his mother, who practices Falun Gong's tenets and became involved with the torch effort.

Read the remainder of the article here.


Rocky road to citizenship

By Joyce Kelly/Daily News staff

Immigration lawyer Chris Lavery sees the problem too often: an employer who hasn't paid his illegal worker for four months. Lavery has to tell the illegal immigrant what the law says: they have no recourse.

"I'd like to see some sort of cure for that," he said, responding to Librarian Margaret Ellis' question about what immigration issue he'd like to see examined during elections.

Ellis invited Lavery to speak about modern immigration law to draw out the theme in "Dark Tide," by Stephen Puleo, a non-fiction book that she urges the whole town to read.

"The book deals with immigration in the early part of the 20th century. I wanted to (see) how different is immigration today? In some ways, it's the same, just a different group of people," Ellis said.

Read the remainder of the article here.