Serve and protect indeed. Police in Rhode Island attacked a peaceful union march yesterday. In the process, they badly injured one of the marchers. Details below. Please call or email the relevant people and circulate this in your networks. Thanks.


Police Attack IWW Labor March in North Providence, RI
One Hospitalized from Attack, Underwent Surgery Last Night.

Photos of Attack

(All photos by Jonathan Mcintosh)

Vicious Police Attack on IWW Solidarity March in Providence, RI –
Support Needed!

Pictures are here:

Today (8/11/2007) at 12pm EST the Providence wobblies organized a march
on Jackie’s Galaxy, which is a restaurant chain that is being supplied
by HWH in New York City, a supplier who is notorious for its slave labor
conditions of up to 110 hours per week without basic labor rights
(minimum wage and overtime).

Roughly 30-40 wobblies and supporters (including Providence and Boston
SDSers) were marching towards Jackie’s Galaxy in North Providence when
the police began following them en mass. They told the marches to move
to the sidewalk, while this was initially ignored, the marchers listened
to the police and began slowly moving to the sidewalk.

The police then surrounded the marchers in their squad cars and began
getting out. With the police in full force, they began attacking the
marchers, one fellow worker, Alex Svoboda, was pinned down by the police
during her arrest and suffered a broken and dislocated leg and ruptured
blood vessel in the knee. These injuries will require at least two
surgeries and extensive rehab and even then may not completely repair
the damage. Jason, another wob, was arrested in during the police’
attack. Ashley, a supporter from Boston, was also severely maced during
the attack, suffered chemical burns and required medical treatment.

Despite this, the marchers continued on to Jackie’s Galaxy and
eventually spoke with the owner who at first promised he had switched
suppliers and now denies doing business with HWH although he has no
documentation to prove either claim. Business at Jackie’s Galaxy ceased
completely during the duration of the action and most bystanders were
outraged that Jackie’s would support the crimes of HWH/Dragonland.

The Providence wobblies and other supporters of workers’ rights will
continue their pressure on Jackies Galaxy until they stop doing business
with the slave labor shop HWH/Dragonland or until basic rights,
including the right to organize, are instated at HWH/Dragonland.

In the meantime they need your support! Alex Svoboda is charged with 3
felony counts of assaulting and office as well as two misdemeanors and
will be unable to work for a significant period time as a result of her
injuries. Money will be needed to provide Alex and Jason with legal
support and also to help with the medical bills and lose of income Alex
will suffer as a result of the brutality of the North Providence Police.
Please send in any donation that you, or your organization can afford to
the Providence General Membership Branch (address below) or contact Mark
Bray at 201-669-0714 or Billy Randel at 646-645-6284.

You can also do your part at pressuring the Mayor and Police Chief of
North Providence (contact info below) to at the very least, formally
apologizing to the marchers, dropping all baseless charges and paying
for the injuries and lose of income that were unjustly caused.

Photos of the action and the brutal assault can be found here:

Providence GMB:
PO box 5795
Providence R.I.

North Providence Mayor:
Charles A. Lombardi
North Providence Town Hall
2000 Smith Street
North Providence, RI 02911
Telephone: (401) 232-0900, ext. 226
Fax: (401) 232-3434

Police Chief:
Ernest C. Spaziano
North Providence Police Department
1967 Mineral Spring Ave.
North Providence, R.I. 02904
Business line: 401-233-1433
Fax number: 401-233-1438

[ PLEASE call the phone numbers! The mayor’s office doesn’t even have a
voicemail so no luck on the weekend, but the police number goes direct
to the front desk. It is a non-emergency number, but the officers may
actually start arguing back at you. Captain Dumas did just this after
overhearing my polite but firm complaint on speakerphone, and began
arguing that they were “protecting” the marchers from “traffic” when
they sent Alex to the hospital with a busted knee.

Remember, THEY ATTACKED A UNION MARCH. We have the right to free speech,
we have the right to organize.
On a side note, see if you can get one of the officers, particularly the
talkative Capt. Dumas, to tell their version of the events. Keep notes.
When you are done speaking to the front desk officer, ask for names and
badge numbers of all officers engaged in the conversation. ]

Here’s an update from Mark Bray, received Sunday…

Alex underwent surgery last night on her knee, doctors said she may not
ever walk well on it again.

They have contacted and have a lawyer from the NLG helping out.

Solidarity actions may be upcoming. Fundraising is welcome and
encouraged – Alex works at a pastry shop and disability never goes far.
We need to help our own, legally and in recovery from injuries like
this. An injury to one is an injury to all.