The Bush administration's attempt to use an obsolete
"sailormongering" law to prosecute Greenpeace failed when the judge
dismissed the charges in the midst of the trial. Greenpeace USA was
under threat of being declared a criminal organization.
In April 2002, six Greenpeace activists took action to save
ourforests. After two of them boarded a commercial ship which was
bringingillegal mahogany into the port of Miami, Florida, they
pleaded guilty,were fined and sentenced to "time served" - the
weekend they all spentin jail. The judicial process had run its
Or so we thought...
Fifteen months later Greenpeace USA headquarters in Washington
wasserved notice that the U.S. Attorney General's office would
beprosecuting the entire organization for the action - the first
time inhistory that the U.S. Government has prosecuted an advocacy
group for afree-speech related activity.
We were being prosecuted under an obscure 1872 law
against"sailormongering." The bizarre law was originally designed
todiscourage owners of inns and brothels from boarding ships, as
they areabout to enter port, in order to lure the sailors into
theirestablishments. It has only been used twice in its
Ultimately, the Bush administration's case against us was thrown
outof court. Judge Adalberto Jordan acquitted us after accepting
our claimthat the U.S. government provided insufficient evidence to
Speaking from the Miami Federal Courthouse, Executive Director
JohnPassacantando said, "America's tradition of free speech won a
victorytoday, but our liberties are still not safe, the Bush
administrationand its allies seem bent on stifling our tradition of
civil protest, atradition that has made our country stronger
throughout our history.
View a wrap-up from CBS
news in Miami.
View reactions surrounding the trial from activists and
supporters in Miami in this
Greenpeace USA’s executive director, John Passacantando, has announced that he will step down at the end of 2008, capping an eight-year tenure that saw the organization weather some of its most difficult trials and achieve some of its greatest...
When you're in the business of saving the future - and you give yourself a specific deadline, such as 2050 - you need to make sure that every single day between then and now counts. Unfortunately, the G8 Summit was a waste of three whole days.
Update: All the activists have been released from jail after being arrested in front of the State Department building for participating in a global warming protest.
Read editorials and articles from The New York Times, Utne.com, The Miami Herald, The San Francisco Chronicle, Harper's, The Guardian and more.
The case has been thrown out. Follow our weblog from Miami to get courtroom updates on the trial.
Learn how the case against against us and the events surroundng it unfolded.
"On April 12, 2002 I was arrested in Miami along with several other Greenpeace activists for protesting a shipment of illegal mahogany into the United States...." Hear from some of the activists who were in Miami two years ago participating in...
Leaders from NAACP, American Friends Service Ctte., People For the American Way Join Greenpeace in Support of First Amendment Right to Dissent
The Esperanza left anchorage in Miami and is now on her way to dry dock in Greece. The Coast Guard sent a cutter out to made sure we were going in the right direction... Find out about our time in Miami.
How does it feel to be on a Greenpeace ship miles off the coast, unable to dock, with helicopters buzzing overhead and Coast Guard boats circling? Find out from the crew members on board.
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