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Briana Waters, 32 was sentenced to six years in federal prison and ordered to pay $6 million in restitution by U.S. District Court Judge Franklin Burgess, who also declined her lawyer’s request that Waters be released on her own recognizance pending appeal. Here on Law and Disorder weâ€™ve discussed how (since December 2005) environmental activists in the United States have been targeted and handed unusually harsh prison sentences. Itâ€™s been called Green Scare.
Briana was accused of acting as a lookout in the conspiracy to set fire to the University of Washingtonâ€™s Center for Urban Horticulture in 2001. This, despite evidence presented by the defense that she was 60 miles away at the time of the arson. Others claimed responsibility for the fire. How the Government Targets Eco-Activists. Listen to NLG event.
Federal â€œconspiracy lawâ€ is often used by prosecutors to take down drug dealers, the same legal approach is used to charge environmental protesters. Once the judge accepts the charge of conspiracy, here-say is admissible making conspiracy and very easy to prove in court.
Last year the NLG established a hotline 1-888-NLG-ECOL for activists who had been targeted by the FBI for environmental activism.
Taking Back The Right To Dissent: The Case of the Bangor Six
Recently, jurors in the Case of the â€˜Bangor Sixâ€™ brought back a decisive verdict of â€˜not guilty.â€™ The six veterans for peace, anti war protesters were arrested in March of last year after refusing to leave the federal building where their senator, Republican Susan Collins has her office. The six activists were among 12 that say they were protesting Bushâ€™s proposal to increase troops in Iraq to support a military strategy known s the surge and also urged Collins to vote against continued funding for the war. Collins did not vote against funding for the war and did not meet with activists. Six of the activists were later arrested. (Collins Watch)
During this trial, the jury was allowed by the judge to decide whether the defendants believed that they were not guilty in making a conscious choice to break Maine law because they thought international law was being violated. The jurors decided unanimously that the protesters did believe they had the â€˜license and privilegeâ€™ to act as they did, in rendering the â€˜not guiltyâ€™ verdict.
Guest – Bar Harbor attorney Lynne Williams, also with Maine Lawyers for Democracy a group of 65 Maine lawyers, calling for the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney.
This past week, Amnesty International USA hauled a life size Guantanamo cell replica to the National mall in Washington DC.Â Activists and tourists gathered to experience the bleakness of being held in such confinement without hope. The cell replica visited the nationâ€™s capital as a U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee heard testimony on harsh interrogation techniques from Vice President Dick Cheneyâ€™s chief of staff David Addington and former U.S. Justice Department lawyer John Yoo.
We listen to voices of tourists, activists and James Yee, former US Army chaplain, who ministered to Muslim detainees held at GuantÃ¡namo Bay Naval base. Yee as listeners may know, was the subject to an intense investigation by the United States. A special thank you to Karen Miller for gathering the audio for this segment.