by Jim Byagua
After three hours of testimony by prosecution witnesses, Judge Lyons dismissed all charges against Miami University Fair Labor Coalition activists Nicolle, Nick, Ian and Jon because of a lack of evidence.
The four students were arrested back on 10 October 2003 by the Miami police during a protest in support of a strike by AFSCME Local 209, the union representing nearly 900 service workers at Miami University in Southwest Ohio.
The charges against two were that they were "tampering with a salad bar".
One was "throwing food and/or drink".
The fourth was "dumping food on a table" at Hamilton Dining Hall on 29 September.
Much of the testimony alternately centred around the tone and pitch of Nicolle's voice in asking to see the manager, her alleged - and false - attempt to "steal" bagels, and the use of Ian or Nick's bare hands in taking raisins for consumption.
Dining hall manager Diana Byrd testified that sanitation was her "number one priority". Her scabs were not trained, and were not wearing gloves and a hair net, as was standard procedure until the strike.
"President Garland, Provost Crutcher, Vice President of Student Affairs Dick Nault, MUPD chief Cathryn House, and Detective Steven Truitt, received over 250 e-mails and faxes from people around the country who understood, as we did, that these were baseless politically-motivated charges meant to harass and intimidate us," states Nick Robinson.
- More: www.nosweat.org.uk