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take action - ashcroft vs greenpeace

Re: The Justice Department's Unprecedented Attack on Greenpeace
From: John Passacantando, executive director Greenpeace USA



In the past you have been there to support Greenpeace. Now we need you
to make your voices heard. It's important that you know about a serious
battle we are facing to continue to do the work you support us for:
taking action to stop crimes against our environment.

Yesterday, MV Esperanza, arrived in Miami Florida. However, rather than
pulling into port, as Greenpeace ships do throughout the world, she will
remain at anchor.

The Port of Miami has refused us entry because John Ashcroft's Justice
Department is prosecuting us for a protest action last year. The
prosecution is unprecedented. Never before in U.S. history has an
entire organization been prosecuted for a peaceful protest of its
supporters.

As you know, for years we have worked to end environmental destruction
and human rights abuses in Brazil's Amazon rainforest. Destruction of
these habitats threatens clean air and water, animal and plant species,
and the people and cultures who depend on forests for their way of life.
Large criminal enterprises, using bribery, extortion, slavery, and
murder, continue to ravage the Amazon and export their contraband.

Last year, two Greenpeace activists climbed aboard a ship carrying
Amazon mahogany wood. They held a banner that said "President Bush: Stop
Illegal Logging."

Amazingly, instead of halting the shipment, the government is
prosecuting Greenpeace in federal court in Miami. It has charged
Greenpeace under an obscure 19th century law never intended for this
purpose. A trial is now set for December.

Leading legal experts, quoted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles
Times, and publications around the world, agree that this prosecution is
disturbing and poses a threat to free speech.

From the Boston Tea Party to the civil rights movement, public protest
actions have helped bring positive change in the U.S.

Our actions worldwide have played a critical role in, for example,
stopping atmospheric nuclear testing, protecting Antarctica from
exploitation, and banning radioactive waste dumping at sea.

But if this prosecution succeeds, non-violent protest may become yet
another casualty of John Ashcroft's attack on civil liberties.

Please help us to ensure that freedom of speech isn't taken away from
all of us.

-- Take action:

Contact President Bush and John Ashcroft and tell them to prosecute
illegal loggers, not Greenpeace:
 http://www.greenpeaceusa.org/bin/view.fpl/10048/action_id/195.html

For more information and to stay updated as events unfold, visit:
 http://www.greenpeaceusa.org/trial

Sincerely,
John Passacantando
Executive Director
Greenpeace USA