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The Ballad of Chuck Turner

The Ballad of Chuck Turner

EMBATTLED ‘HYMN’: Members of the Raging Grannies serenade Chuck Turner yesterday at an event in Cambridge.
By Jessica Fargen / Pols & Politics  |   Sunday, January 23, 2011  |  http://www.bostonherald.com  |  Local Politics
Photo by Christopher Evans

Singing activists dubbed “The Raging Grannies’’ yesterday serenaded Chuck Turner, the ex-Roxbury city councilor, as their “hero in a pinch” and vowed to stand by him when he is sentenced Tuesday in his federal corruption case.

The rallying song, which was sung to the tune of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” was performed for an adoring Cambridge audience at a United for Justice with Peace conference.

“We are singing for Chuck Turner! We are standing with Chuck Turner! He was fighting for the poor until the FBI stepped in. Now he’s off the City Council; we’re all taking it on the chin.”

Turner said little about his criminal case, reserving most of his remarks to address the “oligarchic democratic system” born of the U.S. Constitution, which he described as a “business contract” that does not provide “economic rights.”

He also discussed the Department of Justice, which he said was established to ferret out “enemies of the state.”

“Our Justice Department is the instrument of the oligarchy, I think, to survey and keep control; to identify those who are enemies of the oligarchy and to deal with them,” Turner said.

Federal prosecutors want Turner to spend 33 to 41 months in jail for taking a $1,000 bribe from a businessman seeking inside help to get a liquor license. He was voted off the Boston City Council last month and is now suing the councilors who ousted him.

Turner declined to speak with the Herald about his criminal case.


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