1.Greenpeace goes on trial in terror case
2.New campaign for George Fox 6
Couple of follow ups below on earlier items on attempts to suppress protest.
Unbelievably, Greenpeace has now gone on trial in Denamrk as the first organization charged under new Danish anti-terror laws introduced after the 9/11 attacks.
Their heinous crime, you may remember, was going into the headquarters of the Danish Agriculture association and hanging up a banner against GMOS! (item 1)
You may also remember the George Fox 6 - the students and graduates at Britain's University of Lancaster who are facing charges of criminal trespass over peacefully protesting a meeting on campus (in the George Fox building) involving arms dealers, Lord Sainsbury, GM firm Dupont, and Shell - the devastators of the Niger delta, amongst others.
The critical point about the criminal trespass law the protesters are being charged under (Section 68 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994) is that the offence depends on the landowner (ie the University) considering that criminal trespass has taken place. It is therefore entirely down to the University to proceed with this prosecution or cause the charges to be dropped.
At the very least, please sign the on-line petition they've just launched - it needs more signatures! http://www.petitiononline.com/gfox6/
1.Greenpeace goes on trial
The Courier Mail, 09 June 05
THE environmentalist group Greenpeace has gone on trial in a Copenhagen court as the first organization charged under new Danish anti-terror laws introduced after the attacks in New York and Washington on September 11, 2001.
Greenpeace was charged under the new legislation last month following a protest by a group of activists in October 2003 at the Copenhagen headquarters of the Danish Agriculture association against genetically modified organisms (GMOs) used in the Scandinavian country's booming pork industry.
The individual protestors, who entered the Danish Agriculture building and reportedly hung a banner reading "No to GMO swine" from a window, have been accused of violating domestic peace.
The new terror legislation allows the courts to hold organizations responsible for the actions of their individual members, which according to prosecutors clears the way for the charges brought against Greenpeace.
The group has meanwhile claimed that the charges constitute a violation of the new laws, which it insists are meant to lay responsibility for terrorist acts on the organizations that support them, and not punish "peaceful" groups for activist protests.
"When the terrorism laws were introduced, the rule was that organizations could be punished for doing something illegal. But it was clear that the aim was to target organizations that supported terrorism," Greenpeace lawyer Steen Beck said in an interview on Danish public radio.
"Now, they are trying to use the laws against a peaceful group like Greenpeace," he added.
Parties in opposition to Denmark's right-leaning coalition government have also criticized the application of the laws, pointing out that they risk stifling the political debate in the country.
"Greenpeace hopes that the court will acquit the organization on the basis that the law is not and should not be directed towards the civil society," Greenpeace Denmark spokesman Sebastian Ostenfeld Jensen said.
The trial was scheduled to wrap up on Friday, but it remained unclear when a verdict would be handed down.
2.New campaign for George Fox 6
Subject: Phone-in week: Sign our petition and Phone Lancaster University
Don't let them ignore our letters! Phone Lancaster University June 20th-24th: 01524 592001.
Despite a national letter writing campaign in support of the students charged for peacefully protesting against a conference involving arms dealers and GM companies, the university are refusing to engage with our concerns. They are sending a duplicated response to our letters and emails, suggesting that most of them are not even read. It's time to step up the campaign! We are calling for people to phone up during the week June 20th-24th.
Please ask them to:
1. Drop all charges against the George Fox Six.
2. Adopt a proper freedom of speech policy which protects the right to protest on campus.
3. Sever links with arms dealers, GM companies and other unethical organisations.
Phone calls are harder to ignore than emails, so please call the Vice-Chancellor's office on 01524 592001.
We also now have a petition to sign at
Please circulate this, and the phone-in campaign, among your contacts.
What else can you do?
- If you are a member of a union, political party or non-governmental organisation, please ask your organisation to support us. See our website for a sample motion.
- Support us officially by letting us put your logo on our website.
- Link your website to ours, and to the petition.
- Inform all your members about the phone-in campaign and petition in your newsletter.
- Write a short statement of support we can put on our website.
- Send out a national press release during the phone-in week - contact us for a draft version.
- Suggest other organisations and/or public figures who may support us.
- Any other ideas?
A few people have asked us about the standard reply the university have been sending to everyone. The letter calls the George Fox Six criminals and implies that they used intimidation, but to quote one of the six: "The university is accusing us of intimidation - but our actions were peaceful. The university itself is using intimidation to try to suppress criticism of its links with arms dealers, GM companies and other highly unethical multinationals". Your support so far has been brilliant but if they're ignoring us let's give them a call.
Thanks for your support,
The George Fox Six Supporters Group
More information: http://www.free-webspace.biz/GeorgeFox/
Please sign the on-line petition: http://www.petitiononline.com/gfox6/
Tel: 01524 383012