[act-ma] [UJP Activist] Wednesday: Boston City Council Hearing: Stop BSL4 Research in Boston

United for Justice with Peace info at justicewithpeace.org
Mon Apr 14 17:00:03 PDT 2014

UJP Activist: Wednesday: Boston City Council Hearing: Stop BSL4 Research in  
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*When:* Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm *Where: *Boston City  
Hall - City Hall Plaza • City Council Chambers - 5th floor • State St. or  
Park St. T --Govt. Center T is closed   There will be a hearing on the  
Ordinance to Prohibit BSL4 Research in the Boston City Council chambers at  
City Hall.  The Coalition to Stop the BU Biolab is very excited that we  
finally have an opportunity to stop the lab. 
We have three sponsors -- Charles Yancey, Tito Jackson, and Ayanna Pressley,  
 on record opposition to BSL4 research by the mayor, and statements of  
support from a majority of the Council.

The Boston City Council Committee on Government Operations, chaired by  
Councilors Michael Flaherty and Tito Jackson, will  hold a public hearing  
in the Council Chambers which is located in the 5th floor in Boston City Hall  




Sponsors: Councilors Charles Yancey, Tito Jackson & Ayanna Pressley

* *



This is a culminating event in the long struggle to make sure that Biosafety  
Level 4 research will *never* be done in Boston. The Center for Disease  
Control defines Biosafety Level 4  containment as ”required for work with  
dangerous and exotic agents that pose*/a high individual risk of  
aerosol-transmitted laboratory infections and life-threatening disease that  
is frequently fatal/*, *and* */for which there are no vaccines or  
treatments/*.””  Disease-causing organisms used in BSL4 laboratories  
include viruses such as Ebola, Marburg virus, Lassa and Hemorrhagic fever.


Boston University’s  BSL4 laboratory, like those established in the  
immediate years following the 2002 anthrax scare, aims to fulfill a  
biodefense, not a public health mission.  Excessive concern with  
bioterrorism led to the proliferation of high containment labs which has come  
at the expense of much needed funding for public health research.


The  NEIDL laboratory (National Emerging Infectious Disease Lab) on Albany  
Street in Roxbury/South End is located in a designated environmental justice  
neighborhood which already suffers from an excess of environmental hazards.   
The lab overshadows the community’s most at-risk groups, including guests  
at Rosie’s Place, children enrolled in Orchard Park Elementary School, and  
residents of the Cathedral Housing Development Residents of Roxbury,  
Dorchester, and other surrounding communities have repeatedly demonstrated  
their opposition to the NEIDL during 12 years of efforts to stop the  
lab.  It is difficult to fathom the decision to pursue such dangerous  
research in a densely populated, low income area in the middle of the city. 


Inadvertent or intentional release of pathogens has been named by the Centers  
for Disease Control as one of the top five health threats of 2013.   
Accidents and other alarming incidents at BSL3  and BSL4 labs are numerous  
and continue to surface.. The Marathon bombing raises  awareness of the  
NEIDL as a potential terrorist target.   Improbable events do occur and  
when they do, they may have terrible consequences.


Please share this information with your friends and lists, particularly to  
people who live in Boston. We have a chance of stopping Level 4 research in  
our city if there is enough public awareness and action!


All who oppose this research can have input by emailing their testimony to:


Michael.F.Flaherty at boston.gov
[1]Tito.Jackson at cityofboston.gov [2] 
Ayanna.Pressley at cityofboston.gov
[3]Charles.Yancey at cityofboston.gov [4]


Your message can be as simple as,"I support the  Ordinance to Ban BSL 4  
research in the City of Boston or it can be far more involved. What is  
important is that you let the City Councilors know you oppose this research."


Please attend if possible. We need to fill the Council Chambers with those  
who support the ban.


If you live in Boston be sure you cc copy to your district councilor and to  
at large councilors Michelle Wu and Stephen Murphy.


If you live outside of Boston please email your statement to the first four  
councilors listed above. Also cc copies to your State Senator,  
Representative, Mayor, Alderman, or Selectman as the case may be.



United for Justice with Peace [5] is a coalition of peace and justice  
organizations and community peace groups in the Greater Boston region. The  
UJP Coalition, formed after September 11th, seeks global peace through social  
and economic justice.

/Help us continue to do this critical work! Make a donation to UJP today.  

info at justicewithpeace.org [7]

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[1] mailto:Michael.F.Flaherty at boston.gov
[2] mailto:Tito.Jackson at cityofboston.gov
[3] mailto:Ayanna.Pressley at cityofboston.gov
[4] mailto:Charles.Yancey at cityofboston.gov
[5] http://justicewithpeace.org
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