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May 16, 2003

Dear Mayor Brown:

The police actions that occurred in the port of Oakland on April 7th, brutally suppressing a peaceful anti-war demonstration by shooting protesters and longshore workers without warning, is an affront to all those who cherish civil liberties.

We, who have expressed our opposition to war and defend others' rights to protest, demand that:

1) All charges against the protesters and ILWU longshore union official Jack Heyman be dropped immediately.

2) There be an independent investigation into this unprovoked attack with appropriate justice being meted out to those responsible for the planning and implementation of the assault.

3) Oakland police be directed to refrain from further violent actions which deny peoples' democratic rights of freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of association.

Mumia Abu-Jamal, author and death row inmate; Tony Benn, former Labour Member of Parliament; 9,000,000 member Brazilian Unified Workers' Confederation (TUC), Alexander Cockburn, author and co-editor of Counterpunch; Jeremy Corbyn, Labour Member of Parliament; Bob Crow, General Secretary of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (Britain); Paddy Crumlin, General Secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia; Ossie Davis, actor; Ruby Dee, actress; Danny Glover, actor; Asher Harer, ILWU Strike Committees'46 and '48; Walter Johnson, San Francisco Labor Council, John McDonnell, Labour Member of Parliament; Bob Middleton, Chaplain, Port of Oakland; Jimmy Nolan, Chairman, Liverpool, England dockers; Jeffrey St. Clair author and co-editor of Counterpunch magazine; Alice Walker, author.

This Open Letter was initiated by the Rank and File ILWU Anti-War Action Committee and originally was posted in the April 26/27, 2003 issue of Counterpunch (www.counterpunch.com).

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