The Mapping Project
What is the Mapping Project?Welcome to the Mapping Project. We are a multi-generational collective of activists and organizers on the land of the Massachusett, Pawtucket, Naumkeag, and other tribal nations (Boston, Cambridge, and surrounding areas) who wanted to develop a deeper understanding of local institutional support for the colonization of Palestine and harms that we see as linked, such as policing, US imperialism, and displacement/ethnic cleansing. Our work is grounded in the realization that oppressors share tactics and institutions – and that our liberation struggles are connected. We wanted to visualize these connections in order to see where our struggles intersect and to strategically grow our local organizing capacities.
Our interactive map illustrates some ways in which institutional support for the colonization of Palestine is structurally tied to policing and systemic white supremacy here where we live, and to US imperialist projects in other countries. Our map also shows the connections between harms such as privatization and medical apartheid, which are often facilitated by universities and their corporate partners. Since local universities engage in these multiple forms of oppression and produce much of the ruling class, and because they are major land holders in our area, we've emphasized the university as a central nexus that ties together many of the harms traced on the map. (For more on what we think the map reveals, see What We See page and read our articles.)
We acknowledge that our map is not a complete representation of local institutions responsible for the colonization of Palestine or other harms such as policing, US imperialism, and displacement. We also recognize that the struggles of local Indigenous nations against US colonization are underrepresented on our map. We would be grateful for suggestions and knowledge shared with us by those who engage with our map, and hope it can continue to grow and improve through your contributions.
This map is intended first and foremost to cultivate relationships between organizers across movements and deepen our political analyses as we build community power. Building community power, for us, has meant seeking the knowledge of those organizing in community with us and highlighting the radical analyses and resistance of earlier generations which have been suppressed.
Our goal in pursuing this collective mapping was to reveal the local entities and networks that enact devastation, so we can dismantle them. Every entity has an address, every network can be disrupted.
View maptotal of 483 entities, 1366 links
- View the interactive map
- View the plain-text version
- Read our definitions of entity types, link types, and harms.
- The Architecture of Banishment
Displacement (or "gentrification") is often incorrectly conceptualized as an unintentional consequence of inevitable transformations which occur in urban areas over time. The Berklee College of Music's "homeless spikes" are a stark reminder of the intentionality behind the efforts of local universities and tech, biotech, and pharmaceutical corporations to reshape the Boston area into a haven for majority white and professional populations, through the planned banishment of preexisting (Black and Brown, working-class) communities deemed undesirable.
- Boston's Colonial
Universities Grab Land for Profit, War, and Medical Apartheid
Universities in Cambridge and Boston colonize land and put it to work for private profit, imperial war, and perpetuation of medical apartheid. These land grabs increase property values and rent, fueling the displacement and ethnic cleansing of local communities. Yet history shows that this colonial loop can be disrupted, and has been challenged at every stage by organized resistance of the people it seeks to push out.
- Zionism, Policing and Empire: A Dispatch from the Mapping Project
Examines the networking of police agencies across Massachusetts as highly militarized forces that share resources and information to enforce the intersecting systems of white supremacy and capitalism, and reveals their connections to universities, weapons companies, and certain NGOs. It highlights the role of the Department of Homeland Security, with its use of "counterterrorism" as a catch-all for programs of surveillance and militarization, in organizing and funding these networks, often using Israel as a point of reference for ideology, policy, technology and organization.
- Mapping US
US imperialism is the greatest threat to life on the planet. This article explores the vast and complicated network of US imperialism, both hard and soft power, then turns its focus to the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, a local institution that demonstrates the level of ideological and material cooperation required for the machinery of US imperialism to function.
- Massachusetts' Imperialist Landscape
Visualizing Massachusetts' imperialist landscape with a few maps.
- The Police Executive Research Forum, the ACLU, and
The Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) brings together police executives from across the country for yearly meetings at Boston University, and also organizes meetings between US police executives with their counterparts in Israel and in other colonial and repressive regimes. This article looks at their 2018 handbook The Police Response to Mass Demonstrations as an example of a counterinsurgency doctrine aimed at isolating leaders and radicals, and reveals the role of the ACLU in helping police to develop policy.
- Charity is Theft: The Gann Foundation and Boston’s Zionist NGO circuit
Charity is fundamentally misconstrued as a selfless and generous act. In reality, charitable donations are supporting the colonization of Palestine and violence worldwide. This article provides an introduction to united states tax law as it applies to charitable donations, highlighting legal tax evasion, the ways in which taxes nurture wealth building, and the transfer of wealth to the political darling projects of the rich.