This afternoon the Bush Administration's case against Greenpeace USA was thrown out of court. Judge Adalberto Jordan acquitted the environmental group after accepting Greenpeace's claim that the US government provided insufficient evidence to the court.
A Greenpeace activist (Tom McCabe) protests against the APL Jade to highlight its cargo of illegal Brazilian mahogany outside the city of Miami.
Speaking from the Miami Federal Courthouse, Greenpeace USA
Executive Director John Passacantando said, "America's tradition of
free speech won a victory today, but our liberties are still not
safe, the Bush administration and its allies seem bent on stifling
our tradition of civil protest, a tradition that has made our
country stronger throughout our history.
"Greenpeace is grateful to everyone who stood with us, from Al
Gore and Julian Bond to the citizens of Miami and people around the
world. We will never give up the struggle to protect our forests,
our air and oceans, and to build a green and peaceful future."
In February 2002, Greenpeace volunteers carried out a peaceful
protest against a cargo ship which was transporting illegal
mahogany from the Brazilian Amazon.
Greenpeace was being prosecuted under an obscure 1872 law
against "sailormongering". The bizarre law was originally designed
to discourage owners of inns and brothels from boarding ships, as
they are about to enter port, in order to lure the sailors into
their establishments. It has only been used twice in its'
A record of over 100,000 people world wide sent protest messages
to George Bush and John Ashcroft the US Attorney General demanding
that the case be dropped.