Boston remembers Martin Luther King Jr’s 50th anniversary of assassination
Today marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) when he was shot in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4, 1968. On Monday, City Hall Plaza served as a place to gather and remember MLK’s legacy. Speakers of all ages and backgrounds came together to read MLK’s last speech, the “Mountaintop” speech. It was originally delivered in Memphis at a sanitation workers’ strike and addresses the topics of economic inequality and race. These themes are especially relevant to the city of Boston, where the average black family only has $8 to its name while white families have $245,000, according to a report by The Boston Globe. This anniversary is also special to Boston because MLK attended Boston University and was an active member of Boston’s black activist community.
Representative looking to change General Hooker entrance at State House
State Representative Michelle DuBois sparked controversy three weeks ago when she tweeted about the General Hooker entrance to the State House on Beacon Street. She tweeted on March 14, “R U a ‘General Hooker’? Of course not! Yet the main entrance of the Mass State House says otherwise.” In the same message Rep. DuBois, a Democrat who represents the 10th Plymouth District, tied the statement to the #MeToo movement, a hashtag demonstrating the prevalence of sexual assault and harassment. “It’s not all about rape [and] harassment but also women’s dignity. A ‘funny’ double entendre misrepresented as respect for a long dead general?” Her tweets drew ire from constituents, including one who tweeted back, “I would consider taking this down and doing some homework. If you don’t do that I would consider resigning.” The Hooker in question is Joseph Hooker, a Civil War commander who was defeated by Confederate Robert E. Lee at the 1863 Battle of Chancellorsville. DuBois further defended her statements by referencing Beacon Hill’s own issues of sexual harassment. In an interview with The Boston Globe, Dubois said that there are “good old boy, school year jokes about [the sign].”
Red Line and Blue Line might connect in future
The Red Line and the Blue Line are slated for a revamp that would include connecting the two lines by extending the Blue Line to connect with the Red at the Charles/MGH stop. Currently, they are the only two lines of the subway system that do not connect with each other. As part of the Big Dig project, which revamped the transportation infrastructure of Boston through the 1990s to the early 2000s, the state was going to be required by the federal government to connect the two, but this goal was officially dropped in 2015. Now, with the possibility of an Amazon headquarters coming to the city, the goal has been revived. Even if the headquarters does not come here, Suffolk Downs, the now-closed racetrack, is slated for redevelopment as Boston continues to expand. The Red Line is one of the most used and far-reaching components of the subway, so allowing for easier access to the Blue Line, and therefore Suffolk Downs, would help further connect the growing city.
Protesters chain themselves to Israeli consulate in Boston
On April 3, protestors chained themselves to the door of the Israeli Consulate in Boston in a bid to convince Israeli officials to denounce the use of live ammunition against Gaza Strip demonstrators. Eight of the protesters were arrested by Boston police before the consulate was able to respond to their demands. The protest was organized by the IfNotNow organization, a “community of young American Jews aimed at ending American Jewish support for the occupation [of Gaza and the West Bank by the Israeli government],” said Adam Greenberg, a member of the organization, in an interview with The Boston Globe. IfNotNow organized the protest after a confrontation between Palestinian protesters and Israeli military in the Gaza Strip last week killed at least 15 people. In the same interview, Greenberg continued, “The Israeli occupation of Palestine is an ongoing daily nightmare for Palestinians and a moral crisis for the Jewish community both in Israel and the US.”