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Opeñas Folklóricas

Every 2nd Sunday (2010)

Celebrate the great traditions of Latin American and local radical culture through song and music in our next Opeña Folklórica, combining traditional Peñas with an Open mic. Bring your voice, history, song and spirit!

Musicians: Rafael Medina, Sergio Reyes et al. + Open Mic.

Light snacks and refreshments offered for suggested donations by MESA sin fronteras, a burgeoning worker-run social club @ e5.

Peñas take historical root in Chilean social gatherings during the 60s and early 70s that expressed the spirit of creativity and resistance in melody, poems, and artwork under a brutally repressive regime. They began to sprout all over Latin America in a time when songs resounded with a collective heart beat for a more just society and they continue to weave a fabric of solidarity through generations. Each peña at MESA sin fronteras will be dedicated to a musician from this great tradition who fought with the spirit of song that defied borders.
Our first Opeña (Peña + Open Mic) on May 9th was dedicated to the song and struggle of Violete Parra, who was one of the first musicians in Chile to host and perform in such Peñas. Her radiant songs are a testament to a creative and rebellious spirit who loved much too much, inspiring listeners with her bold, defiant lyrics and gentle voice, her enduring rhythms and volcanic passion for social justice.

Join us in the heart of Boston to commemorate our new series of Opeñas!

MayDay Movie Festival Week

April 25th to April 30th, 2010 (At encuentro 5, Lucy Parson's Center, & Haley House) Leading up to the MayDay 2010 rallies and marches, join us across the city for six days of movies and discussion on the topics of workers' struggle, immigration, history, political analysis, and alternatives. Featuring an exhibit of Justice Artwork at encuentro 5 from local worker-run cooperative Red Sun Press!

Festival Schedule (read more):

Climate Justice, South Africa & the World Bank

Friday, April 9, 2010, 12 noon - 2:00 p.m. South Africa now has its 4th post-Apartheid president... But the country is more unequal than ever! It is also under consideration for a World Bank loan to “modernize” it ailing electrical power infrastructure. Revamping its grid would normally be a rare opportunity to set a new course, redress inequalities and implement a green strategy. But activist-intellectual Patrick Bond warns that the opposite seems likely with the Bank loan. It will strengthen the private sector and increase the gap between rich and poor: urban residents prepay their electricity at 4 times the discounted rate available to large corporations. Further, the proposed loan will finance the world's 4th largest coal-fired plant—just the opposite of what is required by our climate crisis—and raise rates on working people. (see attachment for civil society's reaction).

Medea Benjamin: Growing the Peace Movement

Wednesday, March 31, 2010, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm The continued wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the conflict in the Middle East and the bloated Pentagon budget are sucking billions of tax dollars that should be spent on health, education, jobs and the environment. Yet under Obama, the peace movement has lost its steam. What strategies can be effective to rebuild the peace movement? Where can we find new allies? What are the most effective tactics we can use?

Recent Experiences in Gaza: Discussion over Dinner

Saturday, March 27, 2010, 7:00 p.m. Join us for a talk and photo presentation with economist, Garry (ommiting last name for security purposes), who has just returned from Gaza. Dinner catered by MESA sin fronteras.*

What is the current political and socio-economic situation in the Gaza Strip? What were the transformative points in the conflict's history? And what is the role of international aid agencies? Garry will be sharing his thoughts and experiences with a photo presentation in an informal Q&A setting open to discussion.

For the past three years, Garry has been working as an economist on poverty-, vulnerability-, and labor-market- related issues in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in various organizations. Recently he completed his first assignment in the Gaza Strip for the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. More generally, as a social scientist, Garry studies dynamic complexity and change in social systems.

Haiti On Our Mind: Strong in Struggle & Survival

Saturday, February 20th, 2010, 7:00 p.m. Join us for a fundraising night with live music, discussion, and Haitian food in solidarity with our Haitian sisters and brothers in their struggle and survival.

Guest Speaker: Dumas, a local Haitian artist and organizer, who has just returned from Haiti, will share his firsthand experiences and his thoughts on Haiti's struggle with economic imperialism.

Featuring: Op from the Foundation Movement, Sergio Reyes, Brian O'Connell & other local artists.

Suggested Entry Donation: $5 to $15 + donations for food and beverages.
Money will go to Haitian grassroots organization: Batay Ouvriye.

A Night of Music to Benefit Witness for Peace

Friday, March 5, 2010, 8:00 p.m. [Updated flyers attached] Join Paul Baker Hernandez (from Nicaragua), Sergio Reyes, Dave Scandurra & The Excited People, The Grass Gypsys.

Paul Baker Hernandez - Eco-Minstrel performing Songs of Loveliness and Courage

Paul has invaded Queen Elizabeth II’s private castle heading a posse of bishops and other church leaders protesting nuclear weapons, confronted popes with protest songs for global justice, joined Hollywood stars on Central American picket lines in Los Angeles, and helped fight off death squads attacking Salvadoran exiles right in the heart of the USA.

He now lives in Nicaragua where he has founded Echoes of Silence, a network of “artists with broken nails” who support community health, education, ecological and cultural projects, and with whom he continues to write irreverent songs about cell phones, dictators, Starbucks, and more.

Venezuela Speaks! Voices from the Grassroots

Venezuela Speaks! coverThursday, January 28, 2010, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. While Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez continues to capture headlines, a much larger story involving a wider cast of characters has gone largely ignored. Venezuela Speaks!, published by PM Press, is a collection of interviews with activists and participants from across Venezuela’s social movements. From community media to land reform, cooperatives to communal councils, from the labor movement to the Afro-Venezuelan network, Venezuela Speaks! sheds light on the complex realities within the Bolivarian Revolution.

Joel Kovel: Overcoming Zionism - Creating a Single Democratic State in Israel/Palestine

Thursday, October 29, 2009, 7:00 p.m. Join Overcoming Zionism author, Joel Kovel, in challenging the notion of "exceptionalism" and the resultant alienation of people and environment. Joel weaves together deep historical and structural analysis with insights into the development of the psyche. Wikipedia provides a useful overview of his thinking. However, it fails to provide a full account of the price that he is paying for publishing his critique of Zionism. For a complete list of his books, see Joel's website.

Mining Resistance in Central America: An Evening with Grahame Russell

Thursday, October 22, 2009, 7:00 p.m. Grahame Russell of Rights Action, recently returned from Honduras and Guatemala, speaks about popular resistance to mining and the coup in Honduras. The event is a kickoff for the Committee in Solidarity with People of El Salvador (CISPES)'s anti-mining campaign. Contact the organizers, Boston CISPES [e-mail bostoncispes speakeasy net], for more information.

A Night in Solidarity with the Honduran Resistance

Friday, August 14, 2009, 7:00 p.m. Come hear reportbacks & updates from eyewitnesses of the Honduran coup. A fundraiser for groups fighting the business/military dictatorship, we will have food, dance, & drink, plus live musical performances to be announced. Visit Honduras Resists! for latest the news and updates.

Greek Uprising Six Months Later

Friday, July 17, 2009, 7:00 p.m. Join Chris Spannos and Nick Stylopoulos to look back at the Greek uprising triggered by the police killing of 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos.

Nick moved to the USA from Greece, 10 years ago and he is now an Instructor at Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA. His passion and pleasure is being an activist, a grassroots media reporter and a blogger. He is a member of the Greek antiauthoritarian movement and the Greek antiauthoritarian newspaper "Babylonia", which translates and publishes in Greek, many articles from ZNet/ZMagazine every month. He is an advocate of Participatory Society and Participatory Economics and works on the Hellenic Project for Participatory Society.

Chris Spannos is fulltime staff member with Z Communications and ZNet. He is editor of the book Real Utopia: Participatory Society for the 21st Century (AK Press, 2008).

Trade Union Leaders from Haiti & Guadalupe

Monday, July 6, 2009, 7:00 p.m. Come welcomeleaders of the Haitian and Guadeloupan trade union movement to Boston. Meet Elie Domata, General Secretary of the General Union of Workers of Guadeloupe, and Fignolé Saint Cyr, General Secretary of the Autonomous Confederation of Haitian Workers.

This event is sponsored by Chelsea Uniting Against the War/Chelsea Uniéndose en Contra de la Guerra and endorsed by the Bolivarian Circle of Boston, the Boston May Day Committee, Greater Boston Stop the Wars Coalition, Mass Global Action, Proyecto Hondureño, and United for Justice with Peace.

The Guatemalan Dream: Fair Trade & Fair Politics

Thursday, June 18, 2009, 7:00 p.m. Omar Mejia, co founder of Café Conciencia and filmmaker Willy Barreno, will present their work creating economic development and awareness by weaving a network of community run cooperatives in Guatemala, the Guatemalan migrant
community in the United States and the American consumer who is interested in Fair-Trade and Organic principles. They will speak about connections with rural and indigenous communities who will self-preserve and grow by having equal access to food, shelter, employment and education. We are invested in the hopes that Guatemala’s producer community and U.S. market will cultivate a relationship that generates a sustainable and dignified way of life so that immigration in exchange for food is not the only option.

This event is organized by the Boston Interpreters Collective.

The Global Economic Crisis: from North to South

Venezuelan scholar-diplomat Escalona discusses crisis w/ a stellar panel of economists

Friday, June 12, 2009, 7:00 p.m. Venezuela's Adjunct Ambassador to the United Nations and economist Julio Escalona returns to e5 to address the global economic crisis and preview the upcoming UN Assembly's Special Session on the crisis. Joining the conversation are Richard Freeman (Harvard's National Bureau of Economic Research), Julie Matthaei (Wellesley College) and Arthur MacEwan (UMass Boston).

Program details to follow. See attachments below for the flyer and details of the UN conference; click to read the speaker bios.