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Funeral Procession against state violence in Providence Rhode Island

category north america / mexico | imperialism / war | news report author Sunday January 11, 2009 02:39author by Juice - NEFACauthor email juice at nefac dot net Report this post to the editors

Folks gather to stand against state violence and be in solidarity with the people of Gaza and Greece

On a cold January Friday afternoon, about 40 people gathered to march in
solemn funeral procession through Providence. Folks from throughout
Providence responded to the call to action from the radical queer "What
Queer" collective and gathered at Burnside Park to stand against
government violence and mourn the victims of the state here, all over the
nation and abroad.

Write up about a quick anarchist initiated action that happened today in Providence RI

Ill try and upload some pictures too .

here is a link to the Providence Journal video footage that was taken.

On a cold January Friday afternoon, about 40 people gathered to march in
solemn funeral procession through Providence. Folks from throughout
Providence responded to the call to action from the radical queer "What
Queer" collective and gathered at Burnside Park to stand against
government violence and mourn the victims of the state here, all over the
nation and abroad.

As we prepared to march to locations throughout Providence people
displayed banners and signs reading "End all occupations" , "End US aid
to Israel" as well as the Palestinian flag. The banner that lead the
procession read "End Government Violence" with two hands interlocked in
solidarity with the words "Providence, Athens, Gaza" forming a triangle
around the hands, the banner was the fabulous banner of the "What Queer"

The procession got underway with our own funeral march band, playing
mournful tunes of remembrance. At the end of the procession three pallbearers carried a child sized coffin, reminding all that in Gaza and all
over, children are too often the victims of war and state violence. Since
the initiation of Israeli bombing and invasion starting the 27th of
December hundreds of children have died, according to UN statistics.

The first stop was a recipient of corporate welfare, Bank of America.
There a member of the Industrial Workers of the World Providence chapter
spoke about the violence done of the behalf of BOA by the state, detailing
the evictions of working people all through out Providence and across the
United States. He mentioned the warning given to BOA by the residents of
one foreclosed property, along with the wider community that any attempt
to evict the tenants would be met with direct action, a blockade of the
house preventing eviction by sheriffs. A memorial was left at the bank
office reading : " In solidarity with those who have lost their homes to
foreclosure, and for our planet who’s mountains are being destroyed with
Bank of America's funding of mountain top coal removal. We struggle for
accessible housing, and environmental justice, and against all institutions
that think nothing of denying our basic needs"

Next the funeral procession made its way to Textron , manufacturer of arms
used by US and Israeli militaries in wars around the world. Another
speaker gave notice to Textron that their continued war profiteering will
not be tolerated. He drew attention to the cluster bombs that Textron
provides, which have been banned by many nations such as France as
'inhumane'. These cluster bombs have a disproportionate affect on
civilians particularly children attracted to the brightly colored
unexploded ordinance. The militaries that use these bombs care not that
they can not be effectively aimed and classify the civilian deaths with
that chillingly Orwellian term, as "collateral damage". A memorial shrine was assembled with a plaque memorializing those killed by weapons made by war profiteers.

As the procession continued through the sunny cold streets we next came to
the facilities of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement building. The
assembled folks, let ICE once again know that we will not tolerate their
kidnapping of our brothers and sisters without papers. The solidarity with
all immigrant people was expressed as two speakers from Providence SDS spoke
about the recent history of ICE in RI. They detailed the terrorist tactics
used by ICE, the detention of workers without papers and the subsequent
community outrage. Once more a plaque was left stating: "In solidarity and
mourning with all people who live in the shadow of ICE terrorism. We will
not soon forget or friends and neighbors and fellow Rhode Islanders who
are imprisoned and awaiting deportation. We mourn all those who have died
crossing a border. We struggle towards a world without borders and state
violence. Luchamos por n mundo sin fronteras y violencia del estado. "

The band played as we marched forward, attracting many passers by who were
given fliers informing them about the demonstration the happenings in Gaza
and recently in Greece, and decrying all government violence , ending with
a plea to fight for a better world. As we arrived at our next stop a
police substation, the police arrived with us. They were quickly engaged
by the police liaisons who talked to the officers while another sister
delivered a speech about police profiling and violence here and
everywhere. She talked about the profiling that people of color deal with,
mentioning the detainment of several community activists from Direct Action
for Rights and Equality for driving while black. She went on to pay homage
to the murdered victims of police everywhere. In particular 22 year old Oscar Grant III , who was murdered by the Bay Area Regional Transit police on new years day, and to 15 year old Alexandros killed in Greece by police gunfire on December 6th.

A memorial for Oscar, Alex and all victims of the police was left at the
substation, the plaque reading: " In loving memory of Alexandros shot by
Athens police for no reason, Dec 6th 2008, We will sustain your struggle"
and "In loving memory of Oscar Grant III a young black father killed by
Bay Area Transit Police on January 1st 2009 for absolutely no reason. We
mourn your loss and struggle towards a world without police and state
violence. NO JUSTICE NO PEACE. "

The procession then moved across the street to our final destination the
military recruitment center. There multiple speakers called out the
recruiters and talked about the need to end militarism's reign over civil
society. The final memorial read as such" In mourning of all those coerced
into the US military out of economic necessity or by false advertising by
military recruiters who relentlessly follow teenagers present in school
cafeterias, on the TV and in our mail boxes. We struggle for a world free
of military conquest, poverty, and the glorification of machismo."

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