Workers Hammer No. 218
Protest state vendetta against Longview ILWU and its allies!
In the course of their battle against EGT, ILWU members and their allies engaged in the kind of militant labour struggle not seen in the US in years. In retaliation, leaders and members of ILWU Local 21 were met by a campaign of police violence, detentions and surveillance. More than 200 arrests were made, including several on felony counts. These workers are being dragged through the courts with many being pressured to plead guilty to misdemeanours or face more serious felony charges.
Even now, after a settlement has been reached between the ILWU and EGT, Cowlitz County prosecutor Susan Baur, working hand in glove with the county sheriff’s department and local police, continues to escalate the anti-union vendetta. New charges, including felonies, are being manufactured over events that occurred many months ago. This vindictive prosecution is a shot at all of labour, aimed at creating a chilling effect on trade unionists who were inspired by the power ILWU members brought to bear during their fight against EGT’s union-busting in Longview.
These longshoremen and their supporters fought with courage and determination. Now we must fight for them! The Partisan Defense Committee, a non-sectarian, class-struggle legal and social defence organisation associated with the Spartacist League/US, has written a protest letter to the Cowlitz County prosecutor demanding that all charges be dropped immediately. We urge unions, both nationally and internationally, as well as all opponents of the bosses’ war against the unions, to do the same.
Letters demanding that all charges be dropped and fines and other penalties rescinded should be sent to:
Cowlitz County Prosecuting Attorney
Hall of Justice, Room 105
312 SW 1st Avenue, Kelso, WA 98626
Fax: (+001) 360 414-9121
Copies should be sent to:
Governor Christine Gregoire
PO Box 40002 Olympia, WA 98504-0002
Fax: (+001) 360 753-4110
Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna
1125 Washington Street SE
PO Box 40100 Olympia, WA 98504-0100
Fax: (+001) 360 664-0228
Additional copies should be sent to:
President Dan Coffman, Executive Board and Members of ILWU Local 21
617 14th Avenue, Longview, WA 98632
Fax: (+001) 360 423-0642
President Robert McEllrath, IEB and Coast Committeemen
1188 Franklin Street, 4th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94109-6800
Fax: (+001) 415 775-1302
Partisan Defence Committee
BCM Box 4986
London WC1N 3XX
Telephone: 020 7281 5504