House arrest lifted for Charleston Five
October 19, 2001 | Page 10
THE CHARLESTON Five were freed from house arrest as Socialist Worker went to press, thanks to a defense campaign that has stretched from the U.S. to Europe to South Africa. The release came less than a week after South Carolina Attorney General Charles Condon withdrew from the case after mounting pressure for him to stop this politically motivated attack on the five dockworkers and their union.
The five--members of International Longshoremen's Association (ILA) Locals 1422 and 1771--spent more than 20 months confined to their homes between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. except to work and attend union activities. This harsh treatment followed a police attack on ILA picket lines against a nonunion operation on January 20, 2001.
The retreat by the prosecution marks a major step for the defense campaign. However, trial is scheduled to proceed next month--with an International Day of Action set for November 14. And the struggle won't be over until all the charges--which carry sentences of up to five years in prison--are dropped.
ILA Local 1422 President Kenneth Riley has continued his speaking tour--including a stop October 12 in New York City that drew 150 people and raised more than $5,000 for the Five's legal defense, including large contributions from several union locals. All out November 14!
For more information about the Day of Action, contact the South Carolina AFL-CIO at 803-798-8300.