An interesting twist
January 9, 2002 5:01 PM   Subscribe

An interesting twist in the trial of a bunch of Greenpeace protestors. The government drops felony charges in return for a guilty plea to misdemeanors and a promise from Greenpeace USA not to conduct any illegal demonstrations in the US for the next five years. Any bets on whether or not the deal will hold, and if we'll see this tactic used in the anti-globalization arena?
posted by jaek (5 comments total)
If the group breaks the deal, they'll be up for criminal contempt of court, which is a pretty serious felony.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 5:19 PM on January 9, 2002

promise from Greenpeace USA not to conduct any illegal demonstrations in the US for the next five years.
Am I the only one who finds this ironic? Isn't it already a given that you're NOT supossed to do anything illegal?
posted by jmd82 at 5:39 PM on January 9, 2002

i wonder, if those members leave greenpeace, can they still be held accountable for the actions of a international org? that seems like a strange deal. Doesn't sound like a deal i would take...especially since, as Steven notes, it gives the govt. the option of a [easily proved] felony case.
posted by th3ph17 at 5:51 PM on January 9, 2002

They're agreeing not to trespass or otherwise break existing laws around military bases, e.g. relating to perimeter and logistics security. They're not being asked to give up their right to free speech.

Particularly given the increased concern about terrorism aimed at US infrastructure or military targets, this seems like a smart thing for the government to ask for. Does Greenpeace really want to come up against MPs who just got a terrorism red alert and went to FPCON Delta? If their actions cause the perimeter defenses of the base to be compromised or a personnel distraction that permitted a terrorist attack, would they still try to claim protection under the First Amendment? There are other ways to get your political way in our society.

th3ph17, the individuals will not be liable if Greenpeace violates the agreement; Greenpeace will be. They are linked only in the sense that the one agreement is necessary for the other, but enforcement is not linked.
posted by dhartung at 11:44 PM on January 9, 2002

Couldn't members of Greenpeace (other than these few) conduct illegal demonstrations individually or under a different name ("Green Peas" would be fun)? If Greenpeace and its leadership cannot be shown to have encouraged or helped them, how could Greenpeace be held responsible? (I suspect that's what they're thinking: "Greenpeace will not change its targets or its objectives in any of its campaigns including nuclear disarmament. There are many other ways in which we can protest.")
posted by pracowity at 4:56 AM on January 10, 2002

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