As in most highly publicized conflicts in which people publicly chew the scenery, hysterically and shrilly assessing blame, the verdict is simple: they are all guilty.
P&J refer, of course, to the farce being presented to us in Nawt Prov, and the clash between the local constabulary and a Vo Dilun cohort of the Industrial Workers of the World.
What began as a labor protest by the Wobblies and their partners, a branch of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), became a forum for accusations of excessive force when a marcher suffered a badly broken leg in an encounter with the police.
This resulted in a slapdash public display in the parking lot of North Providence High School two weeks later, not exactly threatening Love Canal or the Washington Monument reflecting pool in the media-grabbing hit parade of great visuals.
(A quick note about the SDS: Despite a noble ancestry in the early Port Huron Statement/Tom Hayden era, the organization deteriorated within a few years with the violent likes of Mark Rudd and the Weathermen. Jorge, who met Rudd back in ’68, can assure you that he was a fascist hatemonger of the foremost order. One hopes that this latest SDS incarnation takes its cues from the founders and not the boneheads that followed.)
The initial encounter seemed to show that the Nawt Prov cops were in over their heads. With the potential for a lawsuit, with millions in damages, the city and police were backpedaling like Ali in the Rumble in the Jungle.
But P+J think the IWW protesters and their pals have been naïve. (Forgive us if we question where the Wobblies’ work, and if the businesses that employ them do indeed have a union shop.) When it came to the initial action, who in God’s name thought it was a great idea to march down Mineral Spring Avenue sans permit?
Yes, the issue of a New York City-based restaurant supplier accused of violating labor laws is a worthy issue, yet hardly one which the average Rhode Islander can relate. We implore the protesters to use tactics that might better win the hearts and minds of the many Vo Dilunduhs who would naturally support this cause. Good intentions ain’t always good enough.
It was just about 28 years ago when the Cool, Cool World began its publishing career. At that time, there was no organ (pardon us) to proclaim the various points of view in the GLBT community. Since this was an area we cared deeply about, we became, for a few years, one of the only venues for superior thought and activities.
Into the breach came Options, a terrific and lively publication that has well represented the Biggest Little’s vibrant GLBT community for (gulp) 25 years. Options has slated a big fundraising birthday party at the Providence Biltmore on Sepember 14. Make your plans for what will undoubtedly be a fabulous celebration. There are a few folks (a big shout-out to longtime Casa Diablo regular Michael Guy) who have been involved the whole way. Here’s to you, Options, a first-rate publication.
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: Phillipe And Jorge
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