Wednesday, August 15, 2007

What Happened in North Providence...

Welcome to the Support Alex Svoboda blog. We welcome comments.

Please support Alex! She has had two operations on her knee at Rhode Island Hospital already. 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 ""
Thank you!

(Projo coverage: here, here, here, here and here. A video and more here.)

This is what autocracy looks like. The Providence IWW, along with workers from the warehouses that supply Jackie's Galaxy restaurants in RI (who work 100 hours/week for subminimum wage, etc.), held a march, picketing the North Providence JG.

Here's what the cops, who were clearly out of their depth, did to a protester, who didn't move back to the sidewalk fast enough, reportedly.

(Click the title of this post for a slideshow of all the photos from this event.) Here's the North Providence Police Department Mission Statement:
The members of the North Providence Police Department are dedicated and committed to providing the highest quality police services to our citizens. We are dedicated to the concept of personal excellence at the highest level, uncompromising integrity, continuous improvement in order to enhance public safety, protection of life and property, and the reduction of crime and the perceptions of crime. We will fulfill this mission by developing a partnership with the community in a manner that inspires confidence and trust.

We acknowledge a community commitment to resolve issues and improve the quality of life for all residents. Members of the North Providence Police Department take pride in our professional accomplishments and abilities.

We are individually accountable for the reflection of the following core values in both our professional and personal lives:

  • Respect for human life;
  • Treating all people with the highest regard and respect;
  • Honesty and integrity through ethical behavior;
  • Professionalism and excellence demonstrated in all areas of duty;
  • Cooperation with all agencies of Federal, State and Local Law Enforcement and government;
  • Strengthen partnerships with the community.
Every citizen contact is an opportunity to demonstrate the mission and the values of the North Providence Police Department.

Touching, no? This is what hypocrisy looks like.

The victim, Alexandra Svoboda, has already had one operation on her broken, dislocated knee, and the affected vascular artery, at Rhode Island Hospital.

Another is scheduled for Wednesday.

If you can help Alex, send what you can to:
  • Providence IWW GMB, PO Box 5795, Providence, RI 02903
  • Or contact Mark Bray at 201-669-0714
  • Or for readers wanting to use PayPal, you can address contributions to our account, which is named "".
If you'd like to tell the mayor and chief of police of North Providence what you think of their protection of citizens availing themselves of their constitutional right to free speech and assembly, or if you'd just like to compliment them on the top-notch training their officers have obviously received, you can contact them here:

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

Or use this nifty form (PDF).

(From the NPPD site: "The Commendation/Complaint form must be submitted to the Police Department. The form can be submitted in person, by mail at the above address, or by Fax at the above number.")


Anonymous said...

I can't believe how third-world the North Providence police are conducting themselves. How could they be any more pathetic? "Three counts of assault" with a drumstick? "resisting arrest" while her leg is on backwards? "We want to know what led up to this event" says the chief. Where did he go through damage control training, Beirut? what an incompetent fool, doesn't he have a decent lawyer? How can you even fathom responding to an event as grave as this using those words. Did you finish high school? Can you even pronounce the bones your department broke? can you name any parts of the anatomy that aren't genitalia? I could imagine such a response coming from an officer in Russia, or in Brazil, but how can North Providence be so ridiculous as to talk to the public in that way. I can't believe we are being protected by such incompetence. I demand that the whole department sits for a psychological evaluation, these "men" are too surreal for words; I bet they evaporate as soon as they leave North Providence, how could they exist anywhere else?

Anonymous said...

Like most neanderthal societies, youhave to hit these people where it hurts the most: their pocketbooks.

I propose an international ban on Rhode Island tourism, and suggest we inform the city and state of RI Tourism division, hotels, vacation spots and chamber of commerces that we will be boycotting their backwards state until such time they can prove themselves worthy of ensuring proper citizen protections without bodily harm. The mayor and police statements are every bit as arrogant, ignorant and butt-covering pathetic as the previous commenter has alluded. This sort of city and society deserve NONE of our tourism and tax dollars. NONE. I am from out of town, so if someone could post the names of the popular vacation spots, fancy hotels, convention centers and tourism-related organizations, businesses and agencies, we could all begin a letter writing campaign informing them of our BOYCOTT.

buiobuio said...

start here:

Anonymous said...

Last time I checked, the last refuge of communism in the western hemisphere was Cuba. Maybe you all should go there and pound some sand. Or better yet, take your protests to Venezuela and go see Chavez.

Only in a country this free can people like you get away with crap like this. Ironically, it's the police that defend such freedoms. Oh, and no one really gives a crap about your cause.

Doug said...

Intelligent comment, Anon. The IWW, by the way, is not only not communist, it's anti-communist. has been since before the Russian Revolution, which you'd know if you knew any history. Anarchists in general don't dig what's been called "communism."

Judging from your comments, you know very little -- of American or of any other country's or kind.

You might want to check out the long history of police and FBI interference with free expression...but methinks you won't.

Given that you think "police defend these freedoms," you seem to be unreachable. That's a typically totalitarian line to take (right, left, whatever): people gain freedoms from governments and must remain ever-vigilant about those freedoms.

As for police, well, speaking for myself, it seems to me there are three levels of analysis.

1. Police perform certain functions to which no rational person would have an objection. Even a bona fide member of the IWW would halt at a busy traffic intersection if a cop raised his hand; otherwise there's chaos, not anarchy.

2. Police perform many functions which are objectionable but don't yet rise to the level of principle such that you would want to commit an act of civil disobedience. These functions fall into two categories: (a) those which reinforce the extant distribution of power in relatively insignificant ways; (b) those which reinforce the extant distribution of power in relatively significant ways but where most people don't yet recognize them as injustices, and still need to be convinced.

3. Police perform certain functions that are manifestly criminal, and where acts of civil disobedience are warranted.

I know this probably sounds "communist" to you, but limitation of governmental power is not only a left-libertarian, but is also a right-libertarian concern. You know, "conservative." See Wilhelm von Humboldt's Limits of State Power, for example.

Or you can keep worshipping power and put the silk hat of "freedom" over the object of your worship.

Anonymous said...

Not that I'm defending police brutality or anything but haven't you people ever heard of an accident? People get arrested for less every day and if she tried to pull away she could have tripped the officer or herself and broke her leg on the way down. They're not beating her with billy clubs in the pictures are they? Who are you going to call on when your shit gets stolen by a crack head? The Cops... who are you gonna call when you're assaulted by some prick on the street? The Cops... Who put their life on the line to get shot in the head trying to protect other people. Think about it. They were doing their job, they have guidelines and rules to follow just like everyone else. If you're going to resist law enforcement, and that's what they are, we have laws and People to Enforce them, Stupid shit is going to happen. And for god sake it's a broken leg they didn't vacuum a fetus out of her in broad daylight now did they? THAT would put all your panties in a twist.

Doug said...

Ah, another "Anonymous." It seems impossible to you to believe that police brutality occurs in general, let alone in this case. Well, it's in the courts; we shall find out. Meanwhile, you might want to read up on police brutality. My brother-in-law is a cop; yes, I realize they are not all evil incarnate. Institutional, racial, class-based issues do tend to push cops into bad behavior. And sometimes, they, themselves are the "pricks on the street." A sane oversight of police functions would be a nice first step. As is protesting when a kid with a sign, two drumsticks, and a plastic bucket is taken down by four cops and suffers massive injuries, multiple surgeries, and endless legal battles.

Anonymous said...

It's 2018. That ' it`s just a broken leg' is much more complicated. The lady is undergoing constant pain, still not able to walk and now raising funds to amputate her leg due to that pain.

I am sorry to say this but sometimes the Police know they are crossing the line way too much. Hopefully what comes around goes around. Karma is a b****h! So take care, officers.

Doug said...

God, that’s horrible news.

Jenny Lee said...

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