As encuentro 5 transitions to a new location, we will be using this site to post testimonies and comments from our community... Visit our regular site for event information, upcoming activities, and ongoing organizing.
In the wee hours of December 10th, I watched as the Boston Police Department ripped what was left of the Occupy Boston encampment in Dewey Square to shreds...
Read Robin Jacks' full testimony here.
A Safe Space for Immigrants...
In October 2005, 400 immigrant students, teachers, and parents gathered on the steps of the Grand Staircase at the State House to fight for an equal right to higher education...
Read Renata Teodoro's full statement here.
For a Global Youth Voice
"As an activist, I have been inspired by the e5 community to continue to fight for social justice and work in solidarity with the voiceless to find their voice" - Ayan Hassan, 19 years old, Global Potential 2011 youth fellow graduate.
Read Sarah Gogel's full statement here.
Chelsea Uniting Against the War / Chelsea Uniéndose En Contra de la Guerra (CUAW) is a community anti-war organization based in the working class immigrant community of Chelsea, Massachusetts, just north of Boston. We are writing this letter to express our support for e5...
Read CUAW's statement here.
Proyecto Hondureño has participated in many meetings at E-5 where we have joined together with other progressive and justice-minded organizations in the greater Boston area to work for our common goals. We have appreciated the fact that UNITE-HERE has rented to community groups. We believe it has been a good example of much needed community-union unity in our struggle for justice.
Read Proyecto's statement here.
I've attended many meetings/events at e5 over the years. It's an amazing space that shifts from separate work spaces where individual groups "live" to larger spaces for short term groups meet, to even larger spaces for performances and parties. I remember a group of people in their 20's, organized by a couple of Harvard University students, facilitated by Nancy Murray, who gathered to combat torture and educate people about other physical abuse on both personal and system scales.
Read Pat Westw ater-Jong's full statement here...
An Antiwar Vet
e5 was essential in helping me get the Justice for Fallujah Project off the ground. They helped me organize our first fundraiser, and create our website. Without the good people at e5, I wouldn't have been able to organize Remember Fallujah Week in several US cities for the past two years.
- Ross Caputi, Justice for Fallujah Project
encuentro 5 has been, from its very beginning, a nexus of action, ideas, and most importantly, relationships. It has been a space for movement-building magic in Boston and beyond. And while its physical space is a major key to this magic, the real key is the spirit that has infused the physical structures with meaning.
When Massachusetts Coalition for Healthy Communities was looking for office space, my relationships with the E5 community brought me in. Conversations with other resident organizations and staff led to rich cross-collaboration and ultimately to finding our new board president. The open-mindedness and general solidarity, along with a deep commitment to issues of justice and peace, has made for a vibrant community of activists that have only just begun to transform the political scene around Boston. The interruption to this momentum is unacceptable yet unsurprising. But with so many people having gotten a real taste of how things could be in a more collaborative and cooperative movement-building space, I am confident that e5 will emerge in a new space, only stronger and more resolved than ever.
- Eli Beckerman, Massachusetts Coalition for Healthy Communities
An IT Activist
My first visits to E5 came out of my involvement with the Free Software Movement. The Free Software Foundation held a few conferences at E5; I came to these conferences to talk about free software, but I went away thinking "Wow ... this is a really neat space, and I like how they support all of these different activist groups." Today, I'm a member of Occupy Boston's Information Technology group, and we meet at E5 at least once a week. The more we meet here, the more I appreciate how valuable an asset E5 is. At E5, we have the essential resources that we need for doing tech work; namely, a whiteboard, a table to sit around, and a wireless internet connection that allows secure shell and IRC traffic. That may not sound like much, but it's very difficult to find publicly-available meeting spaces that offer this combination of resources. And then there's the community aspect. E5 is home to twenty or so residents, and serves as a meeting space for many other organizations. Some days, I'll talk with the guys at Techschange (E5 residents) about computer hardware and internet privacy. On other days, I'll overhear a group meeting across the room, having a deep, serious discussion about political theory. Or say `hi' to a group of people sitting around a table, stuffing envelopes for an AIDS awareness campaign. I've met some really amazing people at E5, and it's inspiring to see the work that they're doing. In short, a lot of incredible work comes out of E5, done by very diverse groups of people. It's a tremendous asset to the community.
- Steve Revilak, Occupy Boston IT
Worker Powered Unionism
My group, the Boston Branch of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) uses E5 for office space, as a place to hold monthly branch meetings, and as a venue for public events, fundraisers and concerts. The IWW is a union for all workers, engaged in active solidarity campaigns and workplace organizing. Having such a large, accessible, conducive space has been instrumental in the growth of our local branch from just a few members to the 7th largest section of our international organization. It's impossible to imagine the activist community in Boston being as vital as it is without E5. In such an expensive city it is a huge challenge to find affordable space for initiatives centered on workers' rights. Encuentro Cinco is absolutely indispensable.
- Geoff Carens, Member, Industrial Workers of the World
A Peace Movement Leader
E5 is one of the most important venues in Greater Boston for progressives and leftists to gather for programs, meetings and office space. The central city location is convenient for activists from the inner city as well as the nearby towns and communities. I have been there often since its opening several years ago and every time I am impressed with the buzz and hubbub of activity. Always open to a broad range of groups, E5 has recently been home for many of Occupy Boston’s working groups. E5 provides a critical service for social change; the Boston area progressive community needs to show its appreciation by coming together to support the relocation effort
- Duncan McFarland, Treasurer, United for Justice with Peace (Boston)
Referendum Organizer Speaks
E5 is right at the core of our movement for peace and social and racial justice here in greater Boston. It is a de-facto movement center. First, at a time when finding a venue in which to hold events has reached crisis proportions, E5 stepped into the breach. I doubt anyone even knows how many hundreds of times organizations have been allowed to hold events at the E5 facilities. Second, E5 played the key role in allowing Occupy Boston to continue to operate after the eviction in the late fall. Third, E5 plays a central role in the immigrant rights movement in the state. Fourth, E5’s imaginative programming provides activists with cultural and educational events that sustain and enhance our work. And fifth, E5 hosts groups of all kinds who would not otherwise be able to afford office space. It is hard to imagine the blow that the loss of E5 would mean to the movement in so many ways. I know I count on E5 for space for events I organize as well as a venue for events and discussions of the issues we need to face. Hopefully we will not have to contemplate the ramifications of such a loss because there will be a groundswell of support for relocating E5 at a new, central location where it can continue its essential work.
- Paul Shannon, Peace Activist and Budget-for-All-Mass Referendum Organizer
Knowing Our Histories
I am part of El Moviemento/The Movement and we focus on putting ethnic studies into the Boston Public School system. We are also expanding
into other states. It is important to our education that we know our history and our cultures. It helps us relate to and engage in our classes. When students are able relate to something, they become
focused and can do better in school. E5 has helped because it gives us a place to be and have meetings. It became the home of the
organization. E5 has also helped us with as a space where we can have events and workshops to further demonstrate our organization and cause. E5 made it possible for El Moviemento to be better known and more successful even though our organization is only 2 years old. E5 has helped us grow into a stable organization.
- Armando Barragan, Member, El Moviemento
Proposing a Radical and International-ist Agenda
The Boston May Day Committee has existed from its founding in 2006 at E5 and maybe because of E5 has been able to propose a radical and internationalist agenda on the matter of migrant workers rights and workers rights in general. Let's come forward and support the effort being made to continue the struggle with a place to meet, to decide on strategies, to have access to media for the movement, to rest for a moment, to give and receive the talent of people's culture.
- Sergio Reyes, Boston May Day Committee