Tuesday, March 10, 2015

IWW (Wobblies) Need Help In Boston-An Injury To One Is An Injury To All  

Dear All,
Please click here to help IWW Delegate Jason, assaulted by Cambridge & Harvard Police and slammed with phony charges. You can also send checks to: Boston IWW, PO Box 391724, Cambridge, MA 02139 (please indicate your check is intended to assist Jason).
Background: One night in November '13, I was picketing with other union members in front of Cambridge's Insomnia Cookies. Insomnia workers had joined the IWW and gone on strike in August due to long shifts ending after 2 a.m. with no breaks, for pay below minimum wage. They demanded health benefits, $15/hr and a union, and were all promptly fired.* The cops had been trying to shut down our pickets for months, becoming ever more aggressive in their attempts to help crush the fledgling Insomnia Workers' Union.

That night in November, scores of Cambridge and Harvard cops swarmed our picket and demanded we shut down our portable PA. We promptly turned it off. The cops surrounded me (I'd been holding the PA) and began to push me backwards into the street. Concerned for my safety, my friend and fellow IWW delegate Jason cried out to the cops that they should let me be. Immediately four of them piled on Jason, one of them seizing him by the throat and covering his mouth and nose. They threw him down on the ground and pinned him partially under a car. It was terrifying because none of us could see what was happening as the cops roughed Jason up, punching and bloodying him. We started chanting against the brutality, only to be threatened with pepper spray by the goons in blue. Finally they dragged Jason away.
Predictably Jason was falsely charged with a variety of offenses including assaulting a cop. Bravely refusing to accept a disadvantageous "deal" that could limit his employment opportunities, Jason has held out for a trial. The fact that he has open charges means he cannot find regular work, and is relying on odd jobs for income.
Jason goes on trial starting March 18, 2015, after months and months of appearing in court due to the frame-up. All proceeds from this fundraiser will go towards Jason's living and legal expenses. Many great IWW and labor-themed perks await contributors. Please forward this email as widely as possible.
An Injury to One is an Injury to All!
--Geoff for the Boston Industrial Workers of the World

*The union's campaign ultimately won back pay and offers of reemployment for the strikers.

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