Justice Prevails for Greenpeace, Peaceful Protest

Selective prosecution, Ashcroft style.

Federal Judge Tosses Out Ashcroft Effort to Stifle Greenpeace, Peaceful Protest

The Justice Department’s prosecution of Greenpeace, sparked by the environmental group’s peaceful protest against the importation of illegally harvested mahogany, was thrown out yesterday afternoon in Miami.

Federal Judge Adalberto Jordan accepted Greenpeace’s contention that the U.S. government provided insufficient evidence to support its claim that Greenpeace had violated an 1872 law against “sailor-mongering.”

The Ashcroft Justice Department brought the charge some 15 months after two Greenpeace volunteers boarded a ship three miles off the Miami coast in February, 2002. The volunteers were attempting to hang a banner calling on President Bush to stop illegal logging. They were arrested and served one weekend in jail.

The cargo ship was carrying 70 tons of mahogany that had been illegally cut in the Brazilian Amazon. The Justice Department brought no charges against the shipper, despite the fact that the importation violated both U.S. law and international treaties.

via Bush Greenwatch

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