Saturday, August 09, 2008

In August of 2007 the Providence Rhode Island Branch of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) held a peaceful solidarity picket meant to protest the fact that local Jackie's Galaxy restaurant was buying supplies from a supplier known to use sweatshop labour. The march en route to the picket was attacked by the local police, and serious injury resulted to one protester, Alexandra Svoboda. Tomorrow the IWW plans to hold another march to commemorate this event and to highland the police brutality used against this labour event. The following article is taken from the A-Infos website and slightly edited to correct typos. See the main IWW website for further developments.
Hi friends, please come in solidarity with Alexandra Svoboda and the Providence IWW as we rally in commemoration of the one year anniversary of the police attack on Alexandra and the Providence IWW's picket line!
---- We need YOUR SOLIDARITY to make the phrase "an injury to one is an injury to all" a living reality!
Any questions or if you need directions please call Justin Kelley at 508 367 6434
---- Please join us this Sunday (august 10th ) at 2pm, at Donigian Park off Valley St Providence RI, [ map ] as we celebrate the tenacious recovery of Alex, and rally against police brutality
.Say no to police brutality and political repression! Yes to building a new world in the shell of the old!
Solidarity donations are gladly accepted at PO box 5795, Providence, RI 02903 with checks made out to Providence IWW
Full press release:
On August 11 2007 the Providence branch of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) held a peaceful solidarity picket down Mineral Spring Avenue in North Providence to Jackie's Galaxie restaraunt. The Providence IWW held the picket to bring attention to the fact that Galaxie owner Jackie Cho refused to drop Queens, NY based HWH/Dragonland as his supplier. Cho refused even after the sweatshop and union-busting conditions endured by IWW workers at HWH were revealed to him.
En route to the North Providence Galaxie location, North Providence Police officers arrested Providence IWW members Alexandra Svoboda and Jason Friedmutter. During the arrest the North Providence officers also pepper sprayed several peaceful and compliant marchers. Alexandra Svoboda sustained serious injuries to her left knee while three North Providence police officers arrested her. Svoboda underwent emergency surgery the night of Aug. 11 as had three other operations in the next two weeks to prevent amputation as well as to treat a torn popliteal artery in her knee, a fractured tibia and fibia, multiple torn ligaments, and tears in both meniscus as well as nerve damage from her left knee down.
On August 28th 2007 the IWW held a peaceful, positive rally at North Providence High School garnering community support for Alex and condemning the tactics and actions of the NPPD.
On August 10 of this year, the IWW has scheduled a celebration and rally one day before the one year anniversary of the Aug. 11 IWW labor picket and the injury of Svoboda. The Providence IWW plans to celebrate Svoboda's recovery thus far as well as her still deep commitment to social justice and labor issues. The IWW also plans to call attention to the acts of Police Brutality that have, and continue to effect people all over RI, and the world. The celebration and rally is to be held August 10th 2008 at Donigian Park on Valley St. (at the intersection of Atwells Ave.) at 2pm, featuring music, speakers and a community gathering.
Svoboda has not been able to work for the past eleven months and has been undergoing intensive physical therapy since her release from the hospital last year. She has a series of surgeries tentatively scheduled for the fall of 2008 to begin to repair the ligaments and fractures in her knee. Donations to help support Alex and for the IWW Legal Defense Fund may be sent to the Providence IWW; P.O. Box 5795; Providence, RI 02903.
Alexandra Svoboda is a resident of Providence, RI and current member of the Providence branch of the Industrial Workers of the World. Until her injury she was a full time student at CCRI and worked at a local cafe. Jason Friedmutter is a resident of Providence, RI, a current member of the Providence branch of the Industrial Workers of the World, and works in the construction industry.
The Providence IWW is a local branch of the world-wide Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) with international headquarters in Cincinnati, OH. The IWW is a grassroots, worker organized, industrial union, advocating workplace democracy. It's motto is "An Injury to One is an Injury to All."

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