Category Archives: Audio / Video

BWA Celebration & Fundraiser

We thank our supporters for joining the BWA in our Annual Celebration & Fundraiser on November 9, 2012!

We celebrated our accomplishments and our members, recognized our founding director Aaron Tanaka, and welcomed Chuck Wynder as our new executive director and member of the BWA family!


State Street Bank’s Economic Crimes

I.  State Street Bank Protest - Report Back

On Wed, May 16, BWA joined our MassUniting partners to take over the
State Street Bank’s Annual Shareholders Meeting.  State Street is
responsible for dodging corporate taxes, investing in private prisons,
defrauding pensions and outsourcing American jobs.  We bought over 50
shares and had our members attend the meeting as legitimate
stakeholders.  Once the meeting started, teams of protestors
interrupted the proceedings and demanded changes to State Street
Bank’s practices.  As protestors were escorted out of the meeting,
they joined a crowd of supporters outside who held a “public trial”
for State Street Corp, finding them guilty of major “corporate

CORI Reform Celebration and Sealing Day

On Friday May 4, BWA hosted a CORI Reform celebration at the Dudley Branch Library.  Over 300 people attended the event, receiving assistance from attorneys to order, review and seal their CORIs. Because of the CORI Reform victory, felonies can now be sealed in 10 years and misdemeanors in 5, and any probation or parole now counts towards those waiting periods.  Continued Without Findings (CWOFs) can now be sealed without waiting a time period, and most dismissals will not be sent out to employers.

The celebration included food and speakers, including Rep. Liz Malia, Pauline Quirion (GBLS), BWA members Terri Hinton and Sunni Ali and EPOCA member Luis Bajana.

We thank our co-sponsors (partial list): American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) Healing Justice Program,  Boston Public Health Commission, Boston Workers Alliance (BWA), Coalition for Effective Public Safety (CEPS), Criminal Justice Policy Coalition, Ex-Prisoners and Prisoners Organizing for Community Development (EPOCA), Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS), Haley House, Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery (MOAR),  National Association of Social Workers, MA Chapter, The Real Cost of Prisons Project, Rosie’s Place, SPAN, Inc, Union of Minority Neighborhoods

Consider donating to BWA to support our work:

Tax Day Action Success!

On April 17, 2012 members of Boston Workers Alliance joined over 1,000 protestors to tell corporations and the 1% to pay their fair share of taxes. The rally, called Boston Tax Day Action, brought together concerned citizens from Dorchester to the North Shore.  BWA members marched from Dewey Square to the Financial District, telling local corporations such as General Electric, State Street, Bank of America and Verizon that they are  tired of them getting tax refunds and not paying taxes; taxes that would go toward things in the community like education, jobs, fair housing and community programs.

Despite billion-dollar profits, these corporations have managed to avoid taxation altogether, with some even raking in hundreds of millions in tax refunds.  General Electric alone managed to draw in a federal tax refund of $3.7 billion over the last three years, despite posting profits of more than $19.6 billion!  This rampant corporate tax dodging is bankrupting our communities, forcing mass layoffs, slashing vital services and closing schools and community centers.

BWA member Damon Kiser spoke to the crowd, saying “It’s hard to hold a job these days.  I work in IT (information technology).  They (my former job) laid me off. Shipped my job overseas.  Why?  So they could make more money.  So they could make more profits. And pay not taxes!”  Hard working people in our community are being put out of a job by these big corporate big wigs who receive huge bonuses and perks.

Enough is enough!  It’s time to put people over profits and it’s time for big businesses and the wealthiest amongst us to pay their fair share, just like the rest of us do.

BWA on National Public Radio for CORI Reform

Making Contact, National Public Radio: Massachusetts Leads the Way on CORI Reform:

BWA Executive Director Aaron Tanaka is interviewed by Making Contact, a nationally syndicated radio program.  BWA played a leading role in passing nationally recognized “Ban the Box” in Massachusetts.

Campaign to Stop 3-Strikes

Download Stop 3-Strikes Fact Sheet 2012 *click to download*

Send an easy email to your legislators and the Conference Committee:

Rally and Lobby Day Report Back

On March 15, over 400 people came to the State House to stop the controversial 3-Strikes bill and demand Smart on Crime Sentencing Reform.  A broad range of 70 organizations endorsed this action and demanded new policies that would reduce the prison population and re-direct funds towards jobs creation, housing, rehabilitation and education for ex-offenders.

The energized crowd chanted “Stop 3-Strikes, Jobs Not Jail!” and heard speakers from NAACP, EPOCA, Boston Workers Alliance, and Blackstonian.  Faith speakers included Rev. Dickerson of Greater Love Tabernacle and Rev. Dan King of UU 1st Congregational Parish in Kingston, MA. Legislators and City Councilors including Sen. Brownsberger, Sen. Chang-Diaz, Rep. Henriquez, Rep. Rushing, City Councilors Arroyo and Pressley all spoke in support of our advocacy.

Hundreds of participants then entered the State House to lobby their Reps and Senators and to bring the community message to our elected officials.  Residents spoke to over of 60 legislators and dropped post-cards and fact sheets at all 200 offices.

Key Advocacy:

YES: [+] Repeal Mandatory Minimum Sentences for Drug Offenses, and [+]
Shrink School Zones to 100ft
NO:   [-] Stop 3-Strikes, and [-] No Mandatory Parole for All Prisoners

We thank the 70 organizations that supported this pivotal action and
call on all concerned residents to intensify our advocacy against this
dangerous bill.  Join the movement to Stop 3-Strikes and win Smart on
Crime Sentencing for our state.


Take Back the Capitol


December 5-9th

BWA joined MassUniting to bring 250 people from Boston to DC for a week of protest!

All across the country, people have taken to the streets to demand change. From New York to LA, from Wall Street to Dewey Square, we have made our voices heard loud and clear — the 99% are here to stay. But even after thousands of marches and people willing to take arrest for the cause, our leaders aren’t listening.


Right to the City

On Friday Sept 30, BWA was proud to co-sponsor the Take Back Boston march and rally that gathered over 3,000 people and resulted in 24 arrests at Bank of America downtown.

As an unemployed workers organization, we organize against banks and corporations that are making record profits while leaving the rest of the country poor and less secure.  The action was organized by a broad coalition of under Right to the City, which is a national alliance of progressive base-building organizations that fight for social and economic justice.

BWA Featured in Boston Globe

On the long road up, the past is close behind

Step off the bus and into the world of job-seekers determined to put early misdeeds behind them, the critical first step to getting right with life.


By Patricia Wen
SEPTEMBER 25, 2011

Second in a series of occasional articles chronicling the people, and the world, of Bus 19.

The young man stood outside a street corner office, near a shelter for drug-addicted prostitutes, a boarded-up natural herbs store, a Bus 19 stop. He had left home early that summer morning, crossing Dorchester to pick up his 4-year-old son and take him on a 3-mile bus ride to preschool, then returned home alone to get ready for this.

He’d put on a pressed blue shirt and an oversized Red Sox cap, and before heading off, grabbed the backpack in which he’d stuffed the papers he would need.

His resume. And a copy of his criminal record.

The easy part of Clayton’s journey was over. A longer road lay ahead, one he didn’t know how to travel alone.


Make Redistricting Fair - End Prison Based Gerrymandering

BWA is working to ensure that the Massachusetts Redistricting process is fair and transparent.  In particular, we are working to ensure that prisoners are correctly counted in their home districts instead of their place of incarceration.   See the video on how to adjust for this problem, and a statement prepared by the Black Empowerment Coalition on prison-based gerrymandering.

Testimony Against Prison-Based Gerrymandering and Solution Development