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Judge delays ruling on Sept. 7 ILWU trespassing case

Attorney for ILWU Neil Fox shows that demonstrators were their legal right to exercise their Free Speech rights on Sept. 7, 2011.

Attorney for ILWU Neil Fox shows that demonstrators were within their legal right to exercise their Free Speech rights on Sept. 7, 2011. The Daily News reported that the Cowlitz County deputy prosecutor admitted in court at Cowlitz County Hall of Justice that he wasn't certain what areas were illegal for protesters to enter. About 90 people, mostly longshoremen and supporters, packed the courtroom during the hearing. Another 50 held signs outside.

A Cowlitz County District Court judge is considering a longshore union request to dismiss criminal trespassing charges against dozens of dockworkers and their supporters who are alleged to have participated in a Sept. 7 protest at the EGT grain terminal at the Port of Longview.

Union attorneys Wednesday argued that protesters were exercising their First Amendment rights to assemble on public, port-owned property. They also argued that port officials did not clearly identify what territory was off-limits to protesters, identifying only a small swath of land south of the tracks underneath the overpass.

District Court Judge Ron Marshall took the request under advisement but did not indicate Wednesday when he will make a ruling. However, he said he’s not sure the prosecution has enough evidence to prove criminal charges.

Read the rest in the Daily News

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