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Union by LawFilipino American Labor Activists, Rights Radicalism, and Racial Capitalism$
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Michael W. McCann and George I. Lovell

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226679877

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226680071.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 19 January 2022

The Trials of Tragedy

The Trials of Tragedy

Turning Anguish into Anger

(p.271) 5 The Trials of Tragedy
Union by Law

Michael W. McCann

George I. Lovell

University of Chicago Press

This chapter documents the legal and political efforts initiated by a coalition of leftist workers’ rights activists allied with the ACWA to seek retribution for the murders of two beloved young radical labor leaders, Silme Domingo and Gene Viernes. While prosecutors, police, and mass media blamed the murders on internecine infighting among Asian gangs, the activists formed the Committee for Justice for Domingo and Viernes (CJDV) and offered evidence of political assassination by a conspiracy involving the Local 37 union president, Philippine President Marcos, and complicit U.S. officials. Following successful criminal state prosecution of several gang members, the CJDV filed a civil lawsuit against the alleged conspirators. After many fascinating twists and turns, the CJDV legal team triumphed, winning a landmark ruling that proved the conspiracy allegation and generated a substantial monetary award. The chapter interprets this decade of dramatic court battles through the lens of legal and political mobilization theory. Considerable attention is granted to the heroic efforts of CJDV leaders Cindy Domingo and Terri Mast as well as lawyer Mike Withey, among others, in this story of anguish, anger, and triumph.

Keywords:   Committee for Justice for Domingo and Viernes, criminal trial, civil trial, Ferdinand Marcos, Cindy Domingo, Terri Mast, Mike Withey

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