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Preview: Industrial Workers of the World - Providence IWW

Industrial Workers of the World - Providence IWW


Sex workers of Rhode Island, unite!

Thu, 05 Nov 2015 00:15:09 +0000

By Andrew Stewart -, November 3, 2015

(image) It is called the oldest line of work in the world and yet it is consistently denied legitimacy. But here in Rhode Island, where prostitution was legal from 1980 until 2009, some local sex workers are re-asserting their agency by organizing a labor union.

“You see women get raped, you see women get murdered,” said Madeira Darling, an organizer, whose name has been changed in this story to protect her identity. “Criminalization itself is violence. It means women can’t seek protection either from the law or from one another. Occasionally you will get guys who think they are in love with you stalking you. And police will often blame sex workers for violence even if they aren’t in criminalized industries.”

Madeira began work as an exotic dancer at age 19 in New York before becoming a dominatrix and relocating to Rhode Island, labor she continues to perform here. She and several of her colleagues are working towards something radically inclusive: the creation of a statewide sex worker labor union.

Interested in creating a truly industrial union, the group is open to allowing all sex workers join her in the effort, reaching out to strippers, escorts, camera/phone workers, porn stars, strip club bouncers, bar workers, masseurs/masseuses, actors, directors, and crew in adult films, and any other laborer in the industry, including the internet workers. As of this point she has contacted four other workers, but hopes that publicizing this effort my grow the ranks.

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Judge orders new trial for Providence Rhode Island IWW Member Alexandra Svoboda

Sun, 09 May 2010 03:48:51 +0000

Disclaimer: This story and its accompanying image are reprinted in accordance with Fair Use guidelines

By Katie Mulvaney - Providence Journal Staff Writer, Friday, May 7, 2010

(image) PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Superior Court Judge Joseph F. Rodgers Jr. Friday ordered a new trial for the woman accused of assaulting North Providence police officers during a protest in August 2007.

Rodgers ordered a new trial for Alexandra Svoboda on three counts of simple assault on the officers. Rodgers said he did not feel convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that Svoboda had assaulted the officers by striking them with drumsticks during the protest, despite a jury's finding last week that she was guilty on all three counts.

Rodgers did, however, let stand the jury's verdict that 25-year-old Svoboda had resisted arrest while picketing Jacky's Galaxie on Mineral Spring Avenue that hot August day.

Then the union secretary of the Industrial Workers of the World, Svoboda and others were protesting because the restaurant had purchased rice and takeout containers from a New York supply company accused of mistreating its employees.

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Working Class Hero: Alexandra Svoboda - Maimed By Cops, Charged With Felonies

Thu, 09 Oct 2008 01:52:01 +0000

By DANIEL GROSS - Counterpunch, October 8, 2008

A peaceful union march is brutally attacked by police. A union activist’s leg is horribly disfigured and nearly amputated. Maimed possibly for life, she is charged with multiple felony offenses.

The battleground is not the coalfields of Harlan County in the 1930s or 1970s; it's not an example of anti-union violence in Colombia or the Philippines. Our setting is present day Providence, Rhode Island.

On that brilliant Saturday, August 11 of 2007, Alexandra Svoboda didn’t do what she was supposed to do. She didn’t stay home and watch TV. She didn’t go shop at her local Wal-Mart. She didn’t waste away hours on MySpace.

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IWW Rally Marks Bitter Anniversary

Tue, 12 Aug 2008 23:02:34 +0000

(image) From The Providence Journal

By David Scharfenberg

Journal Staff Writer

PROVIDENCE — A year after a confrontation with police officers in North Providence left her with severe leg injuries, union organizer Alexandra Svoboda arrived at a rally yesterday with a cane, a knee brace and a message of defiance.

“This is the true spirit of resistance,” she said. “This is people saying, ‘no.’ ”

Svoboda, secretary of the Providence branch of the Industrial Workers of the World, was among a group of protesters who clashed with the police Aug. 11, 2007, while marching on Jacky’s Galaxie, a pan-Asian restaurant on Mineral Spring Avenue.

Union members were targeting Jacky’s because the eatery purchased rice and takeout containers from Dragon Land Trading, a restaurant supply company in Queens, N.Y., with a reputation for treating its employees poorly.

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