Direct Action Civics and Biodefense
Chapter 4 relates response in Roxbury, Massachusetts—a section of Boston where a group formed in opposition to Boston University’s bid to host an NBL. Civic partisans there invoked a direct action style of civics and discourse reflective of local civic history, ongoing civic relations, and resonant civic virtues. In this context, the NBL was regarded as an environmental injustice insofar as its placement in Roxbury reflected the political disenfranchisement of neighborhood residents based on their race and class positions. Risk acceptability and dispute therefore echoed social and political history in which de facto segregation, municipal neglect, and ongoing marginalization of the neighborhood’s minority residents left them suspicious of both “white” trustee institutions and those from outside their neighborhood. Chapter 3 demonstrates that in Roxbury claims making emerged from a specific civic and political legacy where claims were not new even if the proposed NBL was.
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