In just a few weeks, eight Greenpeace activists, who last March participated in a peaceful protest at Procter & Gamble’s Cincinnati headquarters to protect Indonesian rainforest1, will be going on trial.
They’re each facing two separate felony charges — burglary and vandalism — and if convicted, they could spend almost ten years in prison.
These are crimes they did not commit. The charges in this case are an attempt to intimidate us and prevent more people from taking action — especially when it relates to large corporations like Procter & Gamble. The eight individuals on trial in Cincinnati are prepared to accept the consequences of their actions for a cause they believe in. But they aren’t burglars. And they aren’t vandals. That’s why they’re going to trial.
I’ll be there in person in Cincinnati during the trial doing everything I can to support the eight individuals and their case. You have a role to play too.
Add your name to our statement of support today and show these individuals that they’re not alone and that you believe in the right to peaceful protest.
When I took the job of Executive Director of Greenpeace USA, I didn’t think that this would be how I’d introduce myself to you. But this is a very serious moment, and we need your help.
I’m Annie Leonard. You might know me from my most recent project, the Story of Stuff, but I actually got my start in the environmental movement at Greenpeace over 20 years ago. And I’ve seen firsthand the power that peaceful protest can have.
I’ll be delivering your messages of support personally to the activists. It’s important that they know they’re not alone and that the there is broad support for the action they took. And it’s important that we work together to protect the right to freedom of speech which allowed this action to take place, and which will continue to allow other activists to take direct action in the future.
Add your name to our statement of support today and show these eight individuals that they’re not alone and that you believe in the right to peaceful protest.
The right to peaceful protest is one of the single most important tools at our disposal, not only to protect the environment, but to bring about positive social change in a democracy. It should be allowed to be exercised without the fear of unjust legal consequences.
Carmen, I can’t tell you how excited I am to have come home to Greenpeace as its Executive Director. Or how excited I am to work with you in the days, months and years to come to make our world a greener and more peaceful place.
Thanks for all you do. I’ll be sure to keep you updated as we get closer to the trial and the proceedings begin.
Greenpeace USA Executive Director
1. For more information on the protest and why these activists did what they did, check out this blog post.