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Caravan against police violence and evictions in Providence on Saturday



We are out here because we share the same conditions, the same struggles – We see the same injustices throughout our city and the surrounding communities…

The Party for Socialism and Liberation held a car caravan as a part of a national day of action to “Stop Evictions and Foreclosures, Cancel the Rents and End Racist Police Terror!”

“With more than 50 million people having lost their jobs a wave of evictions and foreclosures is beginning to sweep the country,” wrote organizers. “The number of homeless is growing. Instead of providing real relief the government is unleashing police departments to evict people from their homes, harass the homeless and continue to carry out routine acts of violence and brutality in Black, Latino and Indigenous communities.”

The caravan drove from the Price Rite in Eagle Square, making stops at the Big Top Flea Market, Dexter Training Grounds, and the Temple to Music in Roger Williams Park before ending at the Rhode Island State House where a Solidarity with Portland was taking place. Members of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, DARE (Direct Action for Rights and Equality), Tenant Network RI and PROVX spoke at each location.

Price Rite in Eagle Square:

“Instead of protesting to politicians, we’re driving through some of the neighborhoods of Providence that have been hardest hit due to the worst effects of the pandemic to let the people know we are here to fight…”

“The United States has seemed like a Hellscape for many poor and working people, since the pandemic began. But the pandemic didn’t bring anything new. It just made old inequalities worse…”

Big Top Flea Market:

Enrique Sanchez spoke in both Spanish and English, on behalf of the working class people of Providence. “We are out here because we share the same conditions, the same struggles – We see the same injustices throughout our city and the surrounding communities…”

“I’m glad to see all my brothers and sisters out here that have showed up to continue the fight for and with those that are in trouble of losing their apartments, losing their jobs, and… those who don’t have enough,” said Malchus Mills vice-chair at DARE.

Dexter Training Grounds, near the Armory:

“I have a ten-year old son. Like many parents, I’m left in limbo for the coming school year. Earlier this week Governor Raimondo said she’s pushing to reopen schools in August. She says she is not willing to say it is safer for us to keep our kids at home, because she doesn’t know if it’s true…”

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“Mass evictions are cruel in a normal state when we don’t have a killer pandemic,” said Autumn from Tenant Network RI. “But in a killer pandemic it’s genocide.”

Temple to Music in Roger Williams Park:

“On Thursday I was yanked, tackled and made to feel helpless,” said Najeli Rodriguez of PROVX, describing her arrest outside the Providence Public Safety complex. “They made me out to be an aggressor when all I was doing was exercising my right of freedom of speech. This system is corrupt and the people who are supposed to protect and serve are wolves. They need to be defunded and abolished. That money needs to go to the community, the youth, because we are the future…

“FTP. Free the people. I am the people, and you freed me…”

The Party for Liberation and Socialism is running candidates for President and Vice President in the 2020 election, Gloria La Riva and Leonard Peltier. You can find more information here.

About the Author

Steve Ahlquist is Uprise RI's co-founder and lead reporter. He has covered human rights, social justice, progressive politics and environmental news for nearly a decade.