This site is a static archive. Visit the current IWW website at ▸
Skip to main content

IWW continues organizing and free speech fight in Providence


I.W.W. Victory: Jacky's Galaxy Discontinues Business With Dragonland Trading Inc.

On Thursday August 16, 2007,  "Jacky Ko", members of the Industrial Workers of the World and their respective lawyers appeared in Superior Court in Providence. Under oath, Ko stated that he no longer does, nor will he ever again, knowingly do business with Dragonland. Considering Ko stated this under oath, the IWW considers this sufficient evidence of Ko's divestment.

Furthermore, New Buffet restaurant in Providence confirmed that they have also divested in Dragonland. This is a clear and absolute victory for the IWW, union rank and file at Dragonland and Alexandra Svoboda, who was brutalized on the picket line. Alex will undergo her third surgery tomorrow at RI Hopital and will be operated on at least one more time.

The IWW plans to march, permitted, on August 26th to protest police brutality and violation of civil rights and to celebrate the recent victories of the IWW and workers everywhere. The Providence branch of the IWW is currently seeking a permit for the march.

Alex has just finished her third operation and awaiting a fourth.  We don't know yet how the latest operation went.  We'll keep you informed.



This is the paypal e-mail address we are using for her support funds: [email protected]
If sending mail, please send it to

Providence GMB:
PO box 5795
Providence R.I.



  • Join Alex’s union ­ the IWW. For more information on the Industrial Workers of the World visit HYPERLINK "" For more information about how to join the local Providence IWW contact Mark Bray at HYPERLINK "mailto:[email protected]" [email protected]
  • Attend solidarity actions organized to support Alex, including the Anti-Police Brutality March on Sunday, August 26 at 1:30 at the North Providence City Hall
  • Make a donation to support Alex. There are three ways to send whatever funds you can:
  1. Providence IWW GMB, PO Box 5795, Providence, RI 02903
  2. Or contact Mark Bray at 201-669-0714
  3. For readers wanting to use PayPal, you can address contributions to the account named  HYPERLINK "mailto:[email protected]" [email protected]
  • Call your local representatives voicing your outrage over the North Providence Police’s brutal attack on Alex.
  • Write letters of support for Alex addressed to:
  • 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, RI 02904 - Business line: 401-233-1433  Fax number: 401-233-1438
  • North Providence Police Department Professional Standards Unit, 1967 Mineral Spring Avenue, North Providence, RI 02904 - (401) 233-1433 Ext. 114  Confidential Fax (401) 233-1425
  • Attorney General Patrick Lynch, 150 South Main St., Providence, RI 02903 (401) 274-4400
  • Governor Donald L. Carcieri, Office of the Governor, 222 State House, Providence, RI 02903-1196
  • Contact friends, associates or organizational affiliates and urge them to write letters as well
  • Do you have connections to national groups? If so, urge them to support Alex by writing a letter
  • Put an announcement about Alex’s situation on a listserve you belong to
  • Download flyers from the website and distribute them; Ask local organizations to distribute them. To download flyers, visit HYPERLINK ""
  • Download the petition on the website and get signatures
  • Table at local events with literature and the petition; Notify the providence GMB about events where we can table
  • Make an announcement about supporting Alex’s case at a meeting or public gathering
  • Write a letter to the editor to your local newspaper or media outlet
  • Make a donation to help with legal fees
  • Pass the hat, take up a collection at your place of worship, union hall, school, etc.
  • Organize a fundraiser/ outreach event such as a dinner party, musical event, film or lecture
  • Offer to donate your skills (artistic, writing, music, research, outreach, canvassing, phone banking, etc)
  • Ask a band or entertainer to donate proceeds of a performance to Alex
  • Check the website often for updates and events!
  • Ask friends and associates to do all of the above!

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing to express my concern and outrage over the North Providence Police Department’s handling of the August 11th protest organized by the Industrial Workers of the World on Mineral Spring Ave. The responding officers’ over-reaction and escalation of this situation that resulted in such a serious injury to a non-violent peaceful protestor will not be tolerated by those who hope for and actively work toward a better community.

It is no doubt that officers face many difficult situations in the line of duty; however, the judgment exercised by the officers present during this incident clearly indicates a lack of education about basic civic liberties and training on appropriate responses to minor infractions.

Clearly, Alexandra Svoboda is not a criminal, but an activist, whose actions fall within the historic tradition of protest against injustice. That is not the kind of activity that should lead to such a serious injury or criminal charges. Ms. Svoboda is a social justice advocate and has a record of important community service. She is a good, dearly loved, peaceful member of the community who was brave enough to take a stand against injustice and inequality.

The pictures that capture this unfortunate incident are horrific. I find it nauseating to look at the photo of the one officer bearing his weight on what is clearly her grotesquely broken leg while trying to handcuff her. Instead, the humane thing to do would have been to find medical attention for this victim. I hereby demand that you take action against the offending officers; order a full-scale, independent investigation into the incident; issue a formal apology to Ms. Svoboda and all who were present that day; and dismiss all charges against Ms. Svoboda and fellow union organizer Jason Friedmutter.

In this digital age where news stories can be passed around the world in seconds quite literally, I can say in all honesty and conviction that THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING and looking upon the City of North Providence with shame. It is not too late to rectify this situation by holding the officers accountable for the abuse of power that was exercised that day and issuing a formal apology to Ms. Svoboda and all who were present at the demonstration that day.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.



Mayor Charles Lombardi and Colonel Ernest Spaziano,

We, the undersigned, disapprove of the North Providence Police Officers’ handling of the demonstration organized by the Industrial Workers of the World on August 11, 2007. Two members of the IWW union were arrested during the incident while exercising their constitutionally protected rights of freedom to dissent and free speech. In addition to the blatant disregard for basic civil liberties on which America was built, I am outraged that the incident resulted in an eruption of police brutality and misconduct which caused such a severe injury to Alexandra Svoboda. We demand that you conduct a full-scale, independent investigation into the actions of the participating police officers; issue a formal apology to Ms. Svoboda and dismiss all charges against her and fellow union members; and take appropriate measures to make sure police brutality will not occur in North Providence ever again.

The Undersigned


Please return completed petitions to: Support for Alex, c/o Providence GMB, PO Box 5795, Providence, RI 02903




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



The New England chapters of the National Lawyers Guild, in Maine, Massachusetts and Connecticut, as well as the regional leadership, have joined with Rhode Island members to condemn law enforcement violence against protesters at an August 11 protest march in North Providence.

Last Saturday, a group of about 40 people were taking part in a march organized by the Providence International Workers of the World (IWW or “wobblies”) in support of HWH Trading Corporation warehouse workers. HWH, now called Dragonland, is a warehouse in Queens, New York, known for its sweatshop conditions and flagrant disregard for workers rights. Jacky’s Galaxie, a restaurant chain in Providence and surrounding areas, continues to do business with HWH, despite knowledge of the company’s illegal practices.

On Saturday, the peaceful marchers were walking down a side of the road and, when making their way to the sidewalk at the request of law enforcement, suddenly found themselves being pushed backwards by police. Alex Svoboda, a Providence wobbly, was violently pushed to the ground and sustained a broken leg, which had been bent in an awkward while she was pinned face down to the ground. Not only was Ms. Svoboda’s leg broken, but she required surgery for a burst blood vessel in her leg. Despite Ms. Svoboda’s significant injuries at the hands of law enforcement, she was subsequently arrested on multiple charges. Another wobbly was also arrested and two other marchers were pepper sprayed by the police.

The National Lawyers Guild condemns the violence shown by law enforcement towards these peaceful marchers who were exercising their first amendment rights in solidarity with workers. Rather than those who were attacked and arrested, it is the companies that provide sweatshop conditions for their workers and the companies that purchase goods from these vendors.

We call for all criminal charges resulting from this lawful march to be dismissed, and for those law enforcement personnel responsible for the injuries to Ms. Svoboda to be held professionally, and financially, responsible. Furthermore, we call on Jacky’s Galaxie to finally, and permanently sever its connections to HWH Trading Corporation and to commit to only dealing with vendors which have a demonstrated commitment to the rights of workers.