MIAMI (AP) - When prosecutors brought charges against Greenpeace for protesting a shipment of Amazon mahogany, they dusted off a 19th century federal law enacted to stop pimps from clambering aboard ships entering port.
Environmentalists call the charges a heavy-handed attempt to stifle free speech and say the government is retaliating against Greenpeace for previous in-your-face protests against the Bush administration.
Environmentalists want a judge to throw out the indictment and release Justice Department records on why charges were brought under an 1872 law that had not even been used since the 1800s. The judge is expected to rule sometime early this year on the requests by Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, the American Civil Liberties Union and other supporters.