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(en) US, Video: Fight for your Right to Shop: Riot Cops Illegally Detain Wobblies* at Mall of America

Date Wed, 24 Sep 2008 10:39:49 +0300



The Starbucks Workers Union of the Industrial Workers of the World announced
today that it is filing Unfair Labor Practice charges against the Mall of
America, Metro Transit, and the City of Bloomington after fifty of its
supporters were sealed onto a train by police at the Mall of the America station
and denied the right to escort a union barista to his first day back on the job
after an anti-union termination. The union delegation was headed to the Mall of
the America Starbucks location on August 31st after a rally to celebrate the
reinstatement of barista Erik Forman which had been won through a combination of
direct action, a legal filing, and media advocacy.

Starbucks Workers Union Files Unfair Labor Practice Charges against Mall of
America, Metro Transit, City of Bloomington over Illegal Detention of Supporters
day before Republican National Convention

The Starbucks Workers Union of the Industrial Workers of the World announced
today that it is filing Unfair Labor Practice charges against the Mall of
America, Metro Transit, and the City of Bloomington after fifty of its
supporters were sealed onto a train by police at the Mall of the America station
and denied the right to escort a union barista to his first day back on the job
after an anti-union termination. The union delegation was headed to the Mall of
the America Starbucks location on August 31st after a rally to celebrate the
reinstatement of barista Erik Forman which had been won through a combination of
direct action, a legal filing, and media advocacy.

“It was a surreal and deeply distressing experience to encounter heavily armed
riot cops blocking the doors of the train car and trampling on our right to
assembly. They even refused to let a diabetic child leave the train to get
medical attention,” said Jake Bell, a barista and member of the Starbucks
Workers Union. “They told us the ‘Mall doesn’t want you here,’ locked the doors,
and rerouted the train back to Minneapolis.”

In the Mall, it became clear that a massive police buildup had been coordinated
with the FBI and Starbucks management to pre-empt a supposed ‘protest’ in front
of the Mall of America Starbucks. The Industrial Workers of the World had been
explicit with police that no protest was planned. The Union has released video
evidence documenting the unlawful interference with constitutional rights and
international law, available here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnK3I_zDuk0

Forman had been illegally fired on July 10 for union activity, sparking an
outpouring of anger and disgust from baristas, customers and the general public.
The delegation escorting him back to his first day back on the job received
confirmation from transit police at both the Lake Street and Bloomington rail
stations that they should be allowed to enter the Mall provided that they did
not carry signs or disrupt business.

This is not the first time the IWW Starbucks Workers Union has experienced
rights violations during a political convention. At the Republican National
Convention in 2004, two IWW baristas were unlawfully arrested during a rally in
front of the Starbucks location in New York City where they worked. The charges
were successfully resolved and a lawsuit stemming from the event is currently
pending against various governmental defendants.

New Video documentation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnK3I_zDuk0
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Copied from infoshop.org
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* An antiauthoritarian anticapitalist syndicate
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