North Providence Police In Action

Update: 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.

Alex has no health insurance. If you can help, send what you can to:
  • Providence IWW GMB, PO Box 5795, Providence, RI 02903.
  • Or contact Mark Frey at 201-669-0714 or Billy Randel at 646-645-6284.
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."

Update: Projo coverage: here, here, here, here and here. A video and more here.


  1. I live in Warwick, RI, and was on hand to see this incident. I have a couple comments.

    First, the protesters were being very obscene, yelling insults at the police. If you are going to do a protest, that's not the way to make yourself look good.

    Second, anyone who has done any protesting knows that when you organize things like this, you need to get a routine permit. It's a very simple thing to do, I've filled out the paperwork myself. These protesters did not do so. You have a right, legally, to free speech. You do not have a right to march down the middle of the street, without making the arrangements.

    Finally, the woman whose leg was broken was clearly resisting arrest, striking at police officers with a drumstick and resisting being pulled to the sidewalk. At one point, she and the officers trying to restrain her all took a tumble. That's when it appears her leg was broken. Is it possible one of those officers deliberately broke her leg as they all fell? I suppose so, but it certainly didn't appear that way.

    As someone who has engaged in and helped organize peaceful protests on several occasions, this was a debacle on the protesters' part. They did pretty much everything wrong that you can do - not acquiring the permits, not listening to police, yelling obscenities at the police, striking at them. While I feel sorry for the young woman whose leg was broken, I honestly don't think it should be a surprise to anyone.

    If you're going to take a lesson from this, make it a simple one: jump through the negligible hoops, and if it comes to it, allow yourself to be peacefully arrested.

    I honestly don't really get involved in labor issues much, so I'm not aware of the validity or lack thereof of the particular complaints about this NYC company. So for the record, I'm not saying they SHOULDN'T have marched, I'm just saying that they should have gone about it the right way.

    (And FYI, I am cross posting this to a few blogs, so yeah, you might see it again.)

  2. Hi, Anon.

    Thanks for your comment.

    Well, being obscene isn't a crime. As for the permit, let's assume they didn't get one. (I actually don't know whether they did or not.) That makes it a direct action/civil disobedience. Thus, if anyone was arrested -- well, that's the point. If someone was resisting arrest, that, too, is the point, and that person takes the punishment (that's part of civil disobedience, of course).

    I guess it comes down to two big issues: did Alex strike a police officer, and, if so, was her leg broken through intent, negligence, or accident?

    Even if you strike a police officer with a drum stick, you can't have your leg broken -- I'd say that's unnecessary use of force.

    Thanks again for your comment!

  3. Too fucking bad. Boo hoo! She is lucky she only got a broken leg. They should have pepper sparyed, tazed, and clubbed this fool. Protesters need to get a life, or a job, or laid, or something. Stop with the phony self righteous save the world act and do something productive. Why make life tough for the Police. Who would you liberal siisies call if someone was breaking into your house, or robbed you or assaulted you, Huh? Michale Moore? I think not.

  4. Why protest a company from New York in North Providence, RI? If you really want to do something, Go to NY and protest there. Im not a fan of NP Police, but i cant stand protesters that stand for unions either.

    Take any of you union wacko's and go open a business, you would never open a union shop. you would go broke before you started.

    on this one i support the police. although i feel bad for the girl, because that looks like it hurts. she could have spent the day on the back of someones Harley, riding in the wind and having fun!

  5. O.k. first of all to all these "anonymous"... and I got several to talk smack to... from top to bottom. First of all to the guy above me. What makes you think that the people are protesting a company that only exists in NYC? Did you catch the part about there being some of these restaurants in RI? Maybe the people that wrote the intro are just lying? Yeah...
    Also anyone who sees union members as wackos proves themselves both stupid and ignorant. Stupid cuz your using a blanket statement which makes you sound like a dumb ass. For instance its a FACT that many of the Tea Baggers ARE racist. But if I said they ALL are then i would be an idiot for using a blanket statement like that. We all know its only around 95% are secret members of the Klan (that's called humor dumb shits). Also being against unions shows that you are a heartless super rich shit bag, or that you know jack all about the history of how we got things like minimum wage, overtime, safety standards through the creation of organizations like OSHA... you know ... the basic protections our labor force are provided so we don't look like Cambodia..... were given to us through the efforts of LABOR UNIONS!! And where do you get wack jobs from? Id get it if you regurgitated some bullshit from Fox news like "commies" or the somehow evil.."progressives", but wack jobs? They are the sanest and most well behaved out of all the protesters in this movement. Their the ones giving a legitimate face to all the protesters so that it doesnt look like a bunch of hippies with bongos. You apparently skipped history so you could go ride around on your cheese dick Harley with your "momma" in her proper place for a woman (which is obviously on the back), and the wind in your hair... yada yada yada... seriously. Where did your red neck ass grow up..... Arkansas? What does that mean "youd never open a union shop."? What that even be. What product would they sell. Do you even know what a union is?
    Maury Harms

  6. to the anonymous guy two above me... I bet it would have turned you on to see this girl get raped by these cops. I wrote you a long ass response but my computer crashed so i just wanted to come back and quickly say that your an ignorant piece of shit who obviously is down for violence against women and if I had the chance would pay a million dollars to see you be sodomized by a cop with his nightstick. And for the record im a total liberal and own more guns than you and actually get paid to fight for a living. Not sure where you get the impression that all of us liberals are pussies. or why you think that this protest is against cops. Did you bother to read the article? dumfuck
    Maury Harms

    1. Maury Maverick, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    2. All i have to say is we live in a world of hate, Point the finger at the you Foo man Shu shit. For real people! The sinkhole of dwelling on ignorance needs to stop. Respect is the word how u used it that's the verb use it , We're all AMERICANS and this is AMERICA. Fight to protect not to oppress. Elephant or Donkey. You win to lose in this world sometimes. My point of view is what is right and true is the way. You know what is right and what is wrong.

  7. I've recorded and posted footage of protest marches and picket demonstrations, and when the number of people exceeds ~ 50-60, the police are actually less aggressive - here in the Metro Atlanta region. They kettle the people (or, try to, but folks find exits and pull an E n E on the cops), but the violence really tends to increase exponentially as the number of offending protesters in the street decreases or if there are stragglers at the rear or end of a street crowd.

    If this woman really was beating the cops with the drumsticks, then she deserves a little force.
    As for the breakage? Seems like F=MA took its toll on her leg :/


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