Friday, December 17, 2010

Community Rallies To Defend City Councilor

By Frank Neisser
Published Dec 16, 2010 10:07 PM

Cries of “Unjust!” and “Shame!” echoed through Boston City Council Chambers on Dec. 1 as an overflow crowd of community supporters protested the Council’s vote to remove progressive African-American District 7 City Councilor Chuck Turner from the office the people of Roxbury had elected him to. Prior to the vote more than 100 community supporters rallied in support of Turner outside City Hall.

Turner is a tireless fighter for justice, against racism and for the rights of the African-American community of Roxbury. He is the only Boston politician who maintained an office in the heart of the Roxbury community to serve his constituents, paying for it out of his own pocket.

When he was indicted in 2008, the community immediately knew he was innocent and the victim of the U.S. Attorney’s and FBI’s national right-wing political campaign to remove progressive political representatives elected by oppressed communities from office. In the 2009 election they returned him to office with more than 60 percent of the vote, rejecting the false charges against him. In October he was falsely convicted of one charge of taking a bribe and three charges of lying to the FBI.

The community immediately rallied behind Turner and sent hundreds of letters to City Council members, telling them a vote to remove Turner would be a vote to disenfranchise Roxbury and deny the community’s right to decide for itself who should represent it.

A letter to council members from the Boston School Bus Union, Steel Workers Local 8751 stated: “Chuck Turner has been a consistent, principled and courageous champion not only for District 7 but for the oppressed and workers of Boston, the state, the country and the globe. He has been a most powerful and many times a lone voice for justice and liberation.

“In the nearly 40 years that this union has known him, he has been an active supporter and leader in every progressive cause. He has fought against war, poverty, racism, sexism and all forms of discrimination and for jobs and rights for workers. He has been a staunch defender of equal, quality, public education. He has stood for freedom — from Haiti to Colombia, from Palestine to India.”

Turner’s supporters are continuing the struggle so that he doesn’t spend a single day in jail. For information about sending letters to Judge Douglas P. Woodlock, go to Sign an online petition addressed to the judge at

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