(by Freeman Z)
I knew Felix as a man who sponsored and showed up, (often speaking) at more people's rallies and marches than any other Councilor, with the possible exception of ("Bright Black and Bald") Chuck Turner.
When the MBTA "Police" made a fake case against me, literally for committing journalism on Boston Common, Felix signed a letter of support, as did Councilors Turner and Yancey.
I spoke with Felix at a rally in late august of 2007, and he indicated to me that his re-election prospects were waning.
Shortly before Felix lost the office in 2008, I spoke with Councilor Turner at a Noam Chomsky speaking event. Felix had been attacked by the puerile Boston Herald, (a paper that uses manipulative means to tell the working class what to think, the old rhetorical trick that goes: "You are a free thinking individual ...you know what's happening, and you know what you want! an then proceeds to tell them what they "want.") ...A paper so bad, it makes the Globe look good by comparison.
The Herald had printed a milk carton depicting Arroyo as in as a missing child, asking his whereabouts. I can answer that question. Felix was not taking calls from the Herald because he's been out in the real world ...with the people he represents.
The People of Boston's Ongoing Struggle for a Police Review Board
The loss of Arroyo's council seat is another episode in a sad tradition of Boston, where the voices of the people are silenced, and the corporate and other elite write the laws and run the city in their own interests.One of Felix's issues in which he invited me to participate, was an effort to create a city civil review board that would oversee police conduct issues. He knew that my case was a shinig example of why we need this in Boston. (I moved out of Boston after the phony prosecution, to the safety and comfort of a good analyst's couch.) Predictably, Felix was unseated by the elites before this happened.
The attempt to oversee the Boston Police has been made many times, and has always been defeated by the same political groups, primarily the mayor.
I don't disparage everything the Boston cops do, and my fight is with the MBTA "police," but a review board is sorely needed, not only here, but as a standard method in a Democracy.
The Mayor's Goon Squad
Ironically, the one time I had a problem with one of this Mayor Menino character's henchmen, the Boston Police acted appropriately, refusing to charge me at the Mayor's henchman's request.
The episode occured on Boston City Hall Plaza, the vapid space at the foot of the controversial exercise in rough-cast brutalist architecture known as Boston City Hall in the portion formerly known as Scollay Square, which was "cleaned up" by developers, causing the prostitution and pornography industries to move toward Chinatown, establishing the "Combat Zone."
I was reporting on a people's rally opposing the Boston "University" (I say it's a real estate scam parading as a university) Bio Lab. BU wants to put a dangerous lab righ in the middle of population ...but far from where their President lives, of course.
Two City Hall privatized security guards were at the edge of the demo. Having been a guard myself years ago, I had no reason not to say hello to these fellows, and one of them spouted some disparaging words about my role at the demonstration. My role of a radio reporter is to enable the broadcast of those who wish to be heard, so I offered the mic to the guards, introducing them by their insignia and extending the mic. guard panicked, and grabbed the mic (felony battery) telling me to "get back where you belong. I reminded him that "I am right where I belong, reporting from City Hall Plaza!
Eventually he released my microphone, but because of my exercise of free choice to remain on my preferred portion of the pyblic space, he called for backup, and some goons poured out of City Hall. One slyly pulled back his coat to reveal a holstered automatic pistol (felony assault, ...threatening)
In the meantime, Boston Police had been called. When the Officer and his team arrived, he asked some questions. The City Hall Goon Squad had fabricated a charge that I had poked the guard in the face with my microphone! I was asked to show my mic, which that day was a very small one with a huge padded windscreen, making it appear pillowey-soft. I was free to go.
On my way out of the Plaza, working toward another event on the Common, the guard and I shook hands and I believe we parted as friends.
In this exchange, the Goon with the Gun tried to engage me in some verbal entrapment. His failure in this attempt amused the police, and he stooped to calling me an asshole, an attribution I am proud to bear, considering the source!