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TO: All ILWU Locals, Regions and Affiliates

FROM: ILWU International President Jim Spinosa
SUBJECT: Victory and vindication for the Charleston Five
DATE: November 8, 2001

Realizing they had no case and fearing the wrath of the international labor movement, South Carolina prosecutors caved in and offered a plea bargain to the Charleston Five that gives them a complete victory and vindication of their cause. For the last year and a half South Carolina Attorney General Charles Condon has been aggressively pushing for felony charges of rioting and conspiracy to riot that carry up to five years in prison. He has called for jail, jail and more jail for the Five. But this week the prosecution offered a plea bargain a misdemeanor that carries no prison time and only a $100 fine. The defendants were allowed to plead nolo contendere or no contest, to the charge, which means they never had to admit any guilt. And the offense will be expunged from their record in three years if they have no other arrests in that time.

Charleston ILA Local 1422 President Ken Riley called the settlement a tremendous victory and gave the credit to the unrelenting pressure of the movement. He has called for the cancellation of the demonstrations planned for the International Day of Action Nov. 14.

I would personally like to thank and congratulate all the ILWU members and activists who gave so much time, energy and money to the cause of the Charleston Five. The ILWU s firm resolve and organizing strength helped free these brothers, and halt in its tracks the right-wing attack on labor and workers rights to picket in defense of their jobs. Even in these times when civil liberties are being limited, we held our position and won.


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