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(en) US, IWW Starbucks Union Rally, IWW Arrests in NYC, 8/28 by x356012 IU 660 (IWW) on Saturday August 28 2004

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Mon, 30 Aug 2004 07:10:05 +0200 (CEST)


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Industrial Workers of the World member and Starbucks Union
organizer Daniel Gross was arrested today after addressing an
IWW rally outside of Starbucks' 36th and Madison store and
Starbucks' regional headquarters on Park Avenue. Another IWW
organizer who works with Daniel at the 36th and Madison store,
was also arrested. These were the only two arrests at the rally and
happened within minutes of each other between 3:30 pm and 4:00 pm EST.
Nearly an hour before the march and rally began, at 1:00 pm
EST, a plainclothes NYPD detective was present in the store. He
briefly spoke with the manager and other workers at the store,
asking questions about the upcoming rally. That same detective
spoke outside with two uniformed NYPD officers who joined him
at the store. Within half an hour, the detective left the store and
the two uniformed cops began talking.

"What do the protesters usually do?" the first asked.

"I dunno," the other said, "Bang on the windows?"

"Hey, what's the color for today?" (Either having to do with
internal NYPD alert levels or with undercover officers).

"Yellow," the second said.

At 1:30 pm EST, 20-30 undercover/plainclothes police officers
on scooters rode up Madison Avenue and turned the wrong way
down 36th, parking halfway down the block. The scooters are the
NYPD's latest budgetary excuse: each cost $2800.00 which the
city insisted were needed for, ahem, homeland security
operations during the Republican Convention.

At 2:00 pm EST, demonstrators gathered on the sidewalk in front
of and to the side of the Starbucks location, quickly swelling to
dozens within 15 minutes. Clearly underestimating the turn out,
police called for backup in the form of riot police transported by
van.

As IWW members and supporters chanted, "What's disgusting?
Union busting! What's outrageous? Starbucks' wages!"
on-lookers expressed sympathy and many more continued to join
the rally. At this point, Daniel Gross, who works at the 36th and
Madison Starbucks, addressed the crowd and stressed the need
to continue this campaign at this and other Starbucks' stores
across the country, for better pay and raises, guaranteed hours
with full time status, regular schedules and an end to
understaffing.

By this point the group had swelled to between 100 and 150
Wobblies and some very vocal supporters with red and black
flags. At least a dozen legal observers from the NY Civil Liberties
Union and the National Lawyers Guild were also present. A brief
verbal interchange happened between a senior NYPD officer at
the scene and Wobblies, where the officer told the crowd to move
away from the street (many mainstream media reporters took to
the street, though) and a few participants simply said, "Okay,
we're marching down the sidewalk away from here anyway."

The march headed east on 36th Street toward Park Avenue,
flanked by undercover cops driving the wrong way down 36th on
their scooters and uniformed police in riot gear on foot. After a
brief rally outside of Starbucks' ragional headquarters, the march
returned to the 36th and Madison store, highly spirited but with
no incidents along the way. At that point, police attempted to
cordon the rally, still on the sidewalk, into two sections. The first
section remained on the 36th Street side of Starbucks, the other
smaller section on the Madison Avenue side. Police then
proceeded to arrest Daniel Gross as he attempted to peacefully
walk across the street away from the rally, on the crosswalk and
at the "walk" signal. The other arrest, of a fellow worker and
Starbucks organizer, happened just after that when the organizer
put his foot off of the curb for a moment.

A stand-off continued from 3:30 pm to 4:00 pm outside the store
until police announced their intentions to arrest everyone at the
rally if they persisted in exercising their freedom to assemble
peacefully on the sidewalk. Still, the crowd dispersed of its own
accord because, as one protestor put it, "Hey, we still have a
week to go, you know? See ya on Tuesday! (A31)"

There seems to be little coincidence that the NYPD did
Starbucks bidding by arresting two of the most active organizers
with the IWW's unionizing campaign. Both organizers are very
active and high profile. Daniel Gross recently received a warning
of his impending termination for allegedly blocking the entrance
to the 36th and Madison store at a previous rally, a claim that is
disputed by a video tape of the previous rally.

But having already hired a union-busting law firm to represent
Starbucks' against the IWW (Akin-Gump...yes, that is the real
name), having already secured an indefinite suspension of a
union vote through its corporate puppet friends at the
Bush-appointed federal National Labor Relations Board (see
www.starbucksunion.org), Starbucks Coffee has revealed once
again that it has no respect for its workers or their rights or
well-being, no respect for civil liberties (identifying individuals for
arrest before hand with detectives), and absolutely no idea that
the Industrial Workers of the World never go down without a
fight.

Some may say that the days of free speech fights and union
organizing struggles by Wobblies and others, where they stood
up, fought like hell for the rights of their brother and sister
workers and held hard to the motto "an injury to one is an injury
to all," are long past. I would say to them, no. Those days are
long overdue.

Solidarity Forever!

For more info:

http://www.iww.org

http://www.starbucksunion.org

http://nyc.indymedia.org/newswire/display/105609/index.php

starbucksunion.org

http://nyc.indymedia.org/newswire/display/105609/index.php
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Copied from infoshop.org


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