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(en) US, NYC, All Charges Dismissed Against IWW Organizer Daniel Gross Trial Update; Scotland-Starbucks Union Solidarity Radio Clip; Radio Clip on NLRB ruling

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Tue, 18 Jan 2005 11:24:26 +0100 (CET)

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1. Trial Update January 14, 2005 www.starbucksunion.org
All Charges Dismissed Against IWW Organizer Daniel Gross
New York, NY- The Government dismissed the case against IWW Starbucks
Workers Union co-founder Daniel Gross today in the New York Criminal Court,
citing an inability to prove the charges. Mr. Gross was set to stand trial
on resisting arrest and disorderly conduct charges stemming from a march at
the Republican National Convention against the Bush Administration's
collaboration with union-busting at Starbucks. Mr. Gross previously
rejected a plea bargain to serve a week in jail. The District Attorney
later offered an ACD which Mr. Gross rejected as well, refusing to admit
even symbolically any wrongdoing. The dismissal of the
Starbucks-instigated criminal charges comes just over two weeks after the
National Labor Relations Board issued a complaint against the company
alleging that management made threats, gave bribes, and created an
impression of surveillance in a failed effort to defeat the first-ever
union of Starbucks café workers in the United States.

"We are very pleased the truth has come out today yet the troubling fact
remains that police officers falsely charged my client," said legendary
civil rights attorney, Leonard Weinglass.

Daniel Gross was snatched by NYPD Captain Mercandetti at a peaceful union
march that began and ended at the Starbucks store where he
works. Co-worker and union activist Anthony Polanco was arrested as well;
Mr. Polanco's charges have also been favorably resolved. Out of the
200-plus march participants, Mr. Gross and Mr. Polanco were the only ones

Legal observers witnessed Starbucks managers coordinating with the NYPD
before the protest began and the company has made false allegations to law
enforcement about IWW protests in the past. From the outset, Captain
Mercandetti was heard telling officers to scrutinize Mr. Gross and to
arrest him if even one foot went off the curb. As Anya Kamenetz of the
Village Voice put it, "by all indications, Daniel Gross was singled
out. What remains unclear is how long they'd been watching him."

"2005 marks the 100th anniversary of the Industrial Workers of the World, a
union that has undergone government repression for each of those 100
years," remarked Daniel Gross. "So while we celebrate the victory today
against the criminalization of dissent, we remember our sisters and
brothers who have not fared as well."

Just as Mr. Gross was concluding the march by thanking union supporters
from around the country for taking a stand against the George W.
Bush-Howard Schultz union-busting cabal, Mercandetti grabbed him from the
sidewalk and with several officers aggressively arrested him. Next,
Mercandetti and NYPD Officer Hudecek conspired to falsify the sworn
accusatory instrument against Mr. Gross. Mr. Gross and Mr. Polanco,
sitting handcuffed in the arrest bus, clearly witnessed Capt. Mercandetti
order Officer Hudecek, the cop who took credit for the arrest, to write
that he had personally witnessed the alleged misconduct. Mercandetti barked
again that Hudecek was not to report that he was informed of the arrest but
that he witnessed it personally. Mercandetti then told Hudacek what
Hudacek supposedly had witnessed, "you saw him blocking the way and

With Mercandetti gone, Hudacek began filling out the arrest report with
another officer nearby. The two officers were on the bus within inches of
Mr. Gross and Mr. Polanco. While filling out the report, Hudecek remarked
to the other officer that he was writing that he personally witnessed the
allegedly offensive conduct. The officer replied, "no you didn't, you were
informed." The matter ended when Hudecek answered, "no, Captain says I
witnessed it."

As one might expect, the charging information did not accurately reflect
what had happened. First, the NYPD claimed Mr. Gross was blocking both
pedestrian and vehicular traffic. As documented incontrovertibly by half a
dozen videos of the event, Mr. Gross was arrested from the sidewalk and
therefore could not have blocked any vehicle. Video evidence also clearly
shows pedestrians walking through the demonstration. This should come as no
surprise as the NYPD itself spaced out marchers so only half the sidewalk
in front of the Starbucks was taken up and the street corner was unobstructed.

Video and photographic evidence shows that the resisting arrest charge was
fabricated as well. The sworn accusatory instrument alleges that Mr.
Gross' arms were flailing. When Mr. Gross was arrested one arm was
immediately pinned behind his back and rendered immobile. His other arm
was essentially motionless and nowhere near "flailing."

Mr. Gross and Mr. Polanco were taken to the Guantanamo-inspired Pier 57 and
then joined the Critical Mass bike riders overnight at the infamous "Tombs"
in Downtown New York.

Statement of the IWW Starbucks Workers Union:

The story of this case is the story of solidarity. Our goals were
three-fold: 1) Take a principled stand against the criminalization of
dissent, 2) deprive Starbucks of a potent fear tactic to use against
workers joining the IWW, and 3) keep Daniel Gross out of jail.

First and foremost, Leonard Weinglass' brilliant and aggressive legal
strategy formed the cornerstone of the defense effort. Next, the
tremendous work of the National Lawyers Guild during the RNC was
indispensable. The Guild had almost a dozen legal observers taking copious
and well-organized notes at the demonstration. They also compiled six
videotapes of the event.

IWW member Tom Good organized a major petition effort demanding the DA drop
the charges. Eddie Murray of the Edinburgh IWW coordinated a day of action
in support of Daniel Gross and the organizing campaign which featured
demonstrations in front of Starbucks stores around Britain and the United
States. The General Defense Committee of the IWW provided support as well.
And of course, we will never forget the 200-plus people who chose to march
with us during the Republican National Convention.

2. Scotland-Starbucks Union Solidarity Radio Clip


3. Radio Clip on NLRB ruling

IWW segment is second on clip:


Starbucksunion mailing list

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