[act-ma] 04/11: BU Biolab hearing - Pack the Courthouse!

myprofessor at aol.com myprofessor at aol.com
Mon Apr 1 17:08:52 PDT 2013

Some Background:
The struggle to prevent the opening and operation of a bioterrorism laboratory in the South-End/Roxbury neighborhoods of Boston, which would work on the most deadly Level-3 and Level-4 pathogens, such as Anthrax bacteria and Ebola viruses, is reaching a new peak. Residents filed lawsuits against the location of this lab in their densely populated backyard, complaining that it would pose serious health risks from accidental escape or deliberate release of the pathogens -- the anthrax attacks of 2001 were reportedly deliberately released by a scientist from a military bio-lab. Safety measures during transit of the deadly pathogens through Boston's busy roads were not explained well enough either.

What's the latest? Residents' complains around Environmental Justice and City Ordinance violations triggered a legal battle that led to a court ruling that ordered the proponents to carry out a risk assessment and publish it. NIH approved their risk assessment soon after it was published, and the residents appealed NIH's approval of the risk assessment.

Now, the Federal Court has just notified the complainants (residents) that it is holding a hearing on the residents' appeal of the NIH approval. This is much sooner than expected. It is very important to demonstrate to Judge Saris, so she can see with her own eyes that opposition to this lab and its location is widespread among members of the community and how strongly opposed people are to the lab. If she rules for the Defendants (proponents and supporters of the lab) on the papers —summary judgment—residents will be forced to appeal to a less sympathetic panel, which is unlikely to reverse the Chief Judge. This is a crucial moment to show your opposition.

When?    April 11, 2013 at 2:30 PM
Where?    Courtroom 19 at the Federal Moakley Courthouse in Boston

This is for you to mark your calendar and to spread the word. More info or how you can work with the coalition to follow.

Rasheed (posting for the Coalition against the biolab)

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