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CHARGES AGAINST NIKETOWN SEVEN DROPPED

Charges were dropped against seven Loyola University students,
who were arrested on January 27th at Niketown for civil disobedience
in support of workers at the Kukdong factory in Puebla, Mexico.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 27, 2001

CHARGES AGAINST NIKETOWN SEVEN DROPPED.

Contact: Jamie Leslie 773-907-8021 jlesli1 (at) luc.edu
Victoria Welle 773-338-1739 pazvic (at) onebox.com

Chicago, IL: Charges were dropped against seven Loyola University students,
who were arrested on January 27th at Niketown for civil disobedience
in support of workers at the Kukdong factory in Puebla, Mexico. While
trying to organize and independent union, workers at the factory went
on strike and were subsequently attacked and fired. To help bring attention
to this situation, the students entered the store, dropped leaflets,
and hung a banner. After attempting to deliver a letter of the workers'
demands to the manager, the seven members of Loyola Students Against
Sweatshops were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and criminal
trespassing.
The worker rights activists had asked for a jury trial and prepared
seven months for it. During those seven months the defendants were prohibited
from returning to the Niketown store in violation of their first amendment
rights. "Although we are happy to have the charges dropped, we know
that Nike did this only because it was a lost battle for them either
way. The thought of having seven university students found guilty for
civil disobedience would have created more bad press for them and raised
more awareness of the situation at the Kukdong factory," said Tom Strunk,
a fifth year Ph.D. student.
Workers at the factory are still fighting to obtain recognition of their
independent union, SITEKIM. Contrary to precedence, most of the workers
who were initially fired have been rehired due to the workers' ongoing
struggle and the international solidaritycampaign being lead by United
Students Against Sweatshops.
 
 

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