Lines in the sand

Greenpeace USA is celebrating a legal victory against the US Government after bizarre charges brought against the organisation were thrown out of court. Over 1,500 people recreated Picasso's 'Amnistia' on Miami's South Beach earlier this year to protest against the case that began in 2002, when two Greenpeace activists peacefully boarded a ship that was carrying illegal mahogany wood from the Brazilian Amazon into Miami. The Justice Department filed criminal charges against Greenpeace in 2003, the first time that the US Justice Department had indicted an entire organisation for the peaceful protest activities of its supporters.

Greenpeace USA was charged under an obscure law against 'sailor-mongering', designed to prohibit prostitutes and owners of inns luring sailors from their ships as they drew into port. The law has not been used since 1890.

The Florida judge dismissed the case on the second day of the trial.

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