Monday, December 19, 2011

Encuentro 5: Physical space in Boston for cultural, political, and community organizing/programming

E5 is 2,000+ square foot multi-media event room that serves as a venue for cultural and political organizing/programming.

Located on the 5th floor at the UNITE-HERE building in Chinatown, at 33 Harrisson ave. Boston, MA 02111, E5 is conveniently reached by subway, bus, or car.

E5 hosts a range of social, cultural, radical, and political groups from the Boston area who use the resources provided by the space to promote fundamental change, revolution, and education.

Lynn has a multitude of community, social, political, and cultural groups. One of them has already presented a forum on a Lynn Coalition at E5.  How great would it be to federate the many progress-minded groups of Lynn and have monthly or quarterly meetings at a space like E5.  A compaƱero of mine, from Lynn, has told me of a space that a Chilean friend of his owns in Lynn where it may be possible to organize small events.  As soon as I can contact him, as he is quite busy with Occupy Boston, I shall discuss/share this idea with him.

In the meanwhile, there are many groups in Lynn, such as the Highlands Coalition, who already have spaces where they organize and do the good work from.  What I envision is something on a somewhat larger scale, and one that serves multifunctional purposes, that can host larger meetings to bring together a broader cross-section of Lynn's progress-minded folk.  Perhaps an abandoned union hall, school, or church may serve us, as sadly there are many of these buildings in Lynn which stand empty.

The organizers at E5 have been consistently friendly and helpful. I first heard about their venue at a memorial march for Sacco and Vanzetti, earlier this summer, from two Puerto Rican men who were impressed that I had used a Spanish slogan on a sign I held during the march.  E5 is very involved in seeking justice for the immigrant communities of Boston and the world.  As a Lynner, and a descendant of Irish and Italian immigrants, I identify with, stand in solidarity with, and consider myself an ally of the immigrants, both in my community and around the world.  Lynn has the unique demographic of being heavily represented by immigrant and refugee communities from all corners of the world, PR, DR, Chile, Mexico, Guatemala, Haiti, North Africa, Sudan, Nigeria, Iraq, Cambodia, Vietnam, Ukraine, as well as many other lands, not to mention the older communities of immigrant descendants: Irish, Italians, Jews, Russians, Poles, Greeks.  The list is too large to write here.  By some estimates, Lynn's public schools serve the immigrant children of over 60 national origins, which puts a challenge to the educators, and I salute our teachers and school-workers for attempting, with little assistance from the state, to meet this great challenge of educating and serving our diverse community.

I know I go off topic sometimes, I write like I think.

Lynners unite!  Together we can build a better world out of the ruins of the old.

On a final note:  One of my favorite things to do on a summer night in Lynn is to go to Red Rock park and try to identify as many languages as possible, even to my untrained ear I've identified about 13 different tongues one night.  Truly fascinating to live in such a global city!

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