Over a thousand people gathered this weekend on South Beach, Miami to create a massive 'human art' image in creative protest against the unprecedented prosecution of Greenpeace by the Bush Administration. Supporters of the international environmental organization gathered Saturday afternoon in support of the 'Endangered Forests, Endangered Freedom' campaign, replicating the 1950s Picasso work of art, of a dove flying past a jailed man.
Over a thousand supporters recreat Pablo Picasso's 'Amnistia' on South Beach in Miami, Florida, to protest Bush Administration attempts to silence Greenpeace.
The event, the largest of its scale to take place in the Miami
area, comes as Greenpeace faces a serious federal indictment in
South Florida, following a protest against the importation of
illegal mahogany from the Brazilian Amazon in April 2002. Activists
boarded the timber ship as part of our on-going campaign to save
the world's ancient forests from destructive logging, work that
continues despite the extraordinary prosecution.
federal government has levelled charges under an obscure 1872 law
originally intended to prevent "sailor-mongering"; a law only
enacted twice since entering into force, most recently in 1890. The
indictment has drawn criticism from many quarters -- from negative
ink in the Washington Times to criticism from the American Civil
Liberties Union and Al Gore -- and accusations that the Bush
administration seeks to silence us and our vocal criticisms of the
administration's environmental policies.
"This is a chance for the people of Miami to show their support
for Greenpeace, and to creatively protest the Bush administration's
decision to silence its critics," said Ginger Cassady, Greenpeace
campaigner in Miami. "The hundreds of people gathered here today
represent the desire of people all across the world who are willing
to take a stand for the world's forests and for the right of
citizens and Greenpeace alike to peacefully protest," affirmed
Picasso created the image as an appeal for amnesty for Spaniards
who were persecuted under the Franco regime.
slideshow of the making of the image.
background (on the Greenpeace USA website).
New York Times: "Typical
Greenpeace Protest Leads to Unusual Prosecution."
"The extraordinary effort made to find and use this obscure law
strongly suggests a campaign of selective prosecution - the
greatest scourge of the First Amendment."
--George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley,
special to the
Los Angeles Times in Arbiter Online
Tell the US Government to prosecute illegal loggers, not