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More Great News! (Legal Update)

As you know, the Pirates have tried to use intimidation to the keep our "No Sweatshops, Bucco!" campaign away from PNC Park. Specifically, Michelle Gaffey, Kevin Mayle, Kenneth Miller and I were arrested at the Open House six weeks ago. The American Civil Liberties Union filed this week by filing for a temporary federal injunction which would prevent us from being arrested in the near future.

False charges of "defiant tresspass" are still pending against the four of us who were arrested on March 2, but that's only a nuisance. The fundamental questions raised on March 2 were settled today, as public access to the sidewalks around the Park has been secured. In other words, we won! Virtually all areas in which I could imagine wanting to leaflet and petition are now open to us.

Here are the details: The four of us arresed on March 2 have entered into a consent agreement with the Sports and Exhibition Authority, the people who lease PNC Park to the Pirates. Political activity will be permitted during events (and for one hour before and after) on all sidewalks and similar areas around PNC Park, except for those located directly in front of a ticket window, a gate, or an eating area. (It appears that we are also prohibited from loitering in stairways or otherwise failing to use our heads.) The agreement defines the spaces which are off-limits in great detail, and copies will be available tomorrow.

For its part, the attorney representing the City of Pittsburgh testified that the Chief of Police will disseminate this agreement (along with a map) to all officers under his command. In exchange, we've withrawn our suit for a federal injunction.

This is an important victory for our campaign, and it may also enable similar campaigns in other cities. All thanks are due to Vic Walczak (ACLU) and our attorney Mike Healy, who generously took up our cause without any guarantee of compensation. They handled the case in a way which will inspire confidence among activists and strike fear in the hearts of bosses. As a small token of our gratitude, and on behalf General Defense Committe of the Industrial Workers of the World, Kenneth Miller presented Vic and Mike with much-appreciated IWW buttons.

No Sweatshops, Bucco!
--Joel Woller.