Thursday, May 20, 2004
Greenpeace Beats Prostitution Rap
OK, technically Greenpeace was not charged with prostitution. It is just that the law under which the environmental group was prosecuted was originally aimed at the control of slightly offshore solicitation. From ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) News Online:
Passed in 1872 to prevent "sailor mongering," the law has been gathering dust since it was last prosecuted in 1890.
Sailor mongering was common in the 19th century, when brothels sent prostitutes onto ships before they had reached harbour to lure sailors ashore with booze and promises of warm beds.
The case stemmed from a day in April 2002 when two Greenpeace activists climbed onto the APL Jade freighter just off Miami to hang a sign reading: "President Bush: Stop Illegal Logging".
Two Greenpeace members were charged and pleaded guilty after the incident and 15 months later, prosecutors targeted the entire organisation with a grand jury indictment.