Today in labor history: Rally in support of Charleston Five

On this day in history in 2001, 5,000 demonstrators rallied at the State Capitol in Columbia, South Carolina in support of the Charleston Five.

The Charleston Five were labor activists; they were longshoremen and union members of the International Longshoremen’s Association Local 1422. While protesting a freight company’s use of non-union workers, a fight broke out between they and police officers, who fired gas shells and charged an armored vehicle at the longshoremen.

The Five, along with four others, were arrested. After worldwide protest and international worker solidarity, the Charleston Five were freed in November 2001.

Photo: The Charleston Five.



Special to People’s World
Special to People’s World

People’s World is a voice for progressive change and socialism in the United States. It provides news and analysis of, by, and for the labor and democratic movements to our readers across the country and around the world. People’s World traces its lineage to the Daily Worker newspaper, founded by communists, socialists, union members, and other activists in Chicago in 1924.