Greenpeace members face federal, state charges in Houston protest

Erwin Seba

HOUSTON (Reuters) – Federal and state authorities on Friday criminally charged climate change protesters for shutting down the largest U.S. energy-export port for a day by dangling from a bridge.

The protest organized by Greenpeace closed part of the Houston Ship Channel on Thursday. The Harris County District Attorney’s office said its charges were the first under a new law that makes it a felony to disrupt energy pipelines and ports.

“This action cost our community many, many millions of dollars in lost commerce,” said Sean Teare, a Harris County prosecutor, citing day-long shipping disruptions.

Those charged include 31 people who dangled on ropes off a bridge or who provided logistical support, said Teare. Most of the protesters were expected to appear Friday before a magistrate for a probable cause hearing, he said.

All 31 face up to a $10,000 fine and two years in prison if convicted. The district attorney’s office plans to convene a grand jury to consider other criminal charges, he said.

Federal prosecutors separately charged 22 members of the same group with misdemeanor obstruction of navigable waters, according to a filing on Friday. They could face up to a year in prison on the federal charges.

“This is a bullying tactic that serves the interests of corporations at the expense of people exercising their right to free speech,” said Tom Wetterer, Greenpeace’s general counsel.

Texas was one of seven states this year that passed laws seeking to curb protests over energy projects such as the Dakota Access Pipeline and Bayou Bridge pipeline.

Full article here.

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104 thoughts on “Greenpeace members face federal, state charges in Houston protest

  1. I wish they’d charge ’em with conspiracy too. Load ’em up with charges that could bring 20 years, and let their attorneys get things pled down to doing 5.

    • There is no a chance that damaging a business or commerce is free speech. These idiots know that and are counting on the wishy-washy public and courts to give them a pass. A 20-year sentence would clearly take them out of the mix. But, then, more fools are born every day.

      • They are called useful idiots. There are armies of such easily led delusionals, who prefer virtuous belief to harder to grasp reality. But yes, fine them AND lock them up, and go after Greenpeace corporately for organising them. And do what other sensible countries do and ban Greenpeace.

        • Agreed. The conspiracy charges should include their lawyers as INDITED co-conspirators. Put them ALL on the terror watch list. Obtain FISA warrants to obtain their voice and data communications previous to this attack on commerce, I am sure the NSA has all of that stored in Utah.

        • We need to put locks on our public school system because they are manufacturing useful idiots ever day.

          And then we need to ban these University Wet Wipes who set the useful idiots to their idiotic purposes.

          Then Greenpeace will collapse due to lack of interest. They threw a protest but nobody came.

          • ” Many millions of $$$$$$$$ lost , GET IT BACK make the idiots pay, and then next time MAYBE ??? they might thimk (yep thimk )

      • Charles makes a person miss the good old days when P.T. Barnum drew the fools to the circus so they weren’t annoying the rest of us.

      • Yes. Decades of being given a free pass by all branches of law enforcement means that it will probably take a generation to reeducate environmentalists such that the supply of ‘useful idiots’ will dry up.

        In the meantime, removal of money is something Greenpeace will understand. In Russia they have already learned that removal of their ships is something they should try to avoid by not breaking the law so freely. and frequently.

    • Look, you can’t call everyone you disagree with a “terrorist”. No one was terrorised or even mildly scared by this display. Unless you view Stalinist Russia as a model society, you need to make some kind of sense.

      I don’t support the climate BS this clowns are putting forward but this kind draconian law for “disruption” makes me very nervous. You are unlikely to even get 4 or 5 years for violently raping and murdering someone but up to 20y for hanging off a bridge to disrupt traffic.

      This is NOT a good road to go down.

      • “Greg September 15, 2019 at 1:01 pm”

        Definition;

        terrorism
        /ˈtɛrərɪzəm/
        Learn to pronounce
        noun
        the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.
        “the fight against terrorism”

        I won’t mince my words Greg, but lets not start apologising for these people. These people wilfully prevent others from engaging in their daily life choices, getting to and from work, recreation and travel (Airports, Heathrow, drones?) etc, especially against civilians, I would consider that to be intimidation. That falls under the definition of terrorism and people who engage in terrorism are terrorists and should be treated as such.

      • According to US Dept of Justice report published in Nov 2018 and based on statistics through 2016, the mean prison time served (not sentenced) for murder was 15 years and rape/sexual assault was 6.7 years. A maximum fine of $10,000 and 2 years in prison doesn’t seem excessive for the premeditated acts these Greenpeace climate terrorists committed.

      • You are correct. Violent rape and murder should come with the death penalty. That way we are sure the perpetrator will not be a repeat offender. The left has caused us to go soft on crime, which means there is no deterrent any more. How do you expect people to follow the law when there are no consequences?

      • Tis unfortunately true Greg but in your analogy Murder/Rape affects “A” person or a small group for a serial offender while disrupting commerce traffic (Air Traffic or shipping) harms society by driving up the costs of goods and services.

      • What does it cost to rent an oil tanker for a day? Can’t say how many ships were delayed a day, but I’ll bet it was more than one.

        Greenpeace is a big bucks, deep pocket outfit. Should be some slip&fall lawyers around looking for a big bucks payday.

  2. Apparently some people believe if your motives are pure enough you can break laws and cost people lawfully going about their business lots of money. If the authorities don’t make examples of these people, we will see lots more of this.

  3. Throw them in jail, set bail at $1 Million dollars each. Convict them and make them serve their full jail sentences on every charge consecutively. Put them on a No Fly list and then take their passport so they can’t travel anywhere else by any means to disrupt anyone else. After they realize that these types of severe disruptions to people, jobs and commerce are really a type of economic terrorism and treated as such, they will find a different way to protest. If we molly coddle these misfits, they will just continue their evil ways.

    • Greenpeace is in it for the money. Charge them for the losses incurred by their actions. It’s that simple. If you break someone’s window you have to “make them whole”.

      Unless the action brings in more money than it costs (which is a possible business case) they will stop such disruptions. Like drones over airports – if organised by a legal entity – have them restore those affected. Shutting down an airport with drones is a rather expensive pastime.

  4. Huh, governments across the world hate protesters, who protest about the “climate”… Yet the worlds governments are happy to tax (steal) our money to fight climate change… What has 40 years of climate change aka global warming money (Billions) done to fight the imaginary climate change?? What have the actually done apart from tax us?

  5. Now we have their names and addresses maybe it’s time to force them to comply with their own policies. Go to their homes and disconnect the electricity, gas and water supply. A general disconnect of services from all properties owned or rented by greenpeace disrupters could also apply. Then cancel their car registrations and drivers licenses. Then they can show us how to live ‘green’ style.

  6. You have the right to speak and protest all that you want. You do not have the right to instruct me in my lawful business.

      • Yup, obviously ‘obstruct’. Auto-corrupt strikes again.

        I turn off Auto-Corrupt but leave spell check on. Yeah, I make errors that pass spell check, but it’s all on me. It’s worth it to avoid the uncontrolled changes I don’t want.

  7. Good. They need to receive the maximum penalties, and additional charges, if warranted. Eco-terrorism can not and must not be tolerated. Hilarious how they try to hide behind the First Ammendment. Maybe they should re-read it. Nothing in there about breaking the law.

    • They put themselves in danger thus preventing the circulation of maritime traffic. That is NOT terrorism. Just think for a minute about what the word means and whether anyone was terrorised by this action.

      Are you terrorised by the fact that someone may have a different opinion than you do?

      It is an act of civil disobedience and disruptive but that does not make it “terrorism”.

      Nothing in there about breaking the law.

      Neither can there be. The constitution is above law, it is what all other laws springs from.

      Clearly this is not a first amendment issue either, no one is preventing them from speaking.

  8. I’m betting they’ll try for a necessity defense, i.e., their perceived need justifies their illegal action. Doubt they’ll get it in TX.

      • Protesters at the Kingsnorth power station in the UK got away with their protest because they really, really believed in it.
        I think James Hansen flew over to give evidence on their behalf.

        • True, StephenP.

          But really they got away with it because the Government in power found them useful in their stupid ideological fight against fossil fuels and to raise huge stealth taxes from the working and middle classes.

          Witness the absurd Climate Change Act 2008, supported by all but 5 MPs, still in force and ‘doubled down’ on by Treason May before she left office.

  9. I think the governments, State and Federal, need to look into RICO charges and should investigate who is financing all this lawbreaking.

    There are a lot of leftwing billionaires from around the world who are trying to stir up trouble in the USA (and other places) with their money, and they are not innocent bystanders to this criminality. They should be held accountable. They don’t have the right to impose their will on the rest of us just because they are rich.

  10. “All 31 face up to a $10,000 fine and two years in prison if convicted”

    ………….“This action cost our community many, many millions of dollars in lost commerce,”

    I give up….

    • Those are criminal charges.
      Individuals who were harmed should be able to file civil actions to recover damages.

      • since they mostly don’t have a pot to piss in……they caused $millions in damages…and got off less than a bank robber

        …and this is they “face”…is any judge really going to go all the way…I doubt it

        These lib groups…like ANTIFA….get away with murder…literally

  11. I am a bit surprise they weren’t used a clay pigeons (they were just hanging there…). They just don’t know Texan’s. I would consider them extremely lucky.

    • C’mon, most hunters worth a dam want to shoot something moving or at least that you stalked. We could have called in spot lighters, you know the felons these leftist want out of jail and to be able to vote. Just put antlers on the protesters, turn off all the lights in the area and wait till dark!!

        • have to admit I wondered why they didnt use snipers to shoot the ropes
          fast and easy way to get em down
          and the rest would get the hint and climb up n bugger off

    • Come on. We’re not going to be stereotypical. Unless they board the vessels, they aren’t technically pirates, so they cannot be shot on sight. More’s the pity.

  12. They would get away with this in California. Texas is a whole different matter.
    icisil mentions the “necessity defense”. Just so. I do not have a clue what the status of the “necessity defense” is in the US or the States. (Anybody know???). Anyway, Texas is not the place to try to promote a “novel” legal theory. California, yes, Texas, no. For Texas in general, and Houston in particular, this is a “bread and butter” issue and what the protesters did will be viewed as an extreme form of vandalism. That is to say, a deliberate and malicious destruction of the ability of people to go about their business.

    When Greenpeace tried this stuff with Russia, the Russians locked them up in Siberia for six months. Greenpeace never went back. Too bad the US does not have any prison facility in Siberia. Perhaps Houston can contract with some Russian agency for penal services. This one act would keep the Houston shipping channel open for 30 years at least.

    • Sorry, but it’s not an open-and-shut deal even here. Any industrial worker would be automatically excluded from the jury, and there are a lot of pro-climate-change people ignorant of where their lifestyle comes from even in my home.

      If it was in Austin, they would be almost as certain to get off as in California.

      • Few courts allow unlimited refusals for jury participation.
        Judges get short tempered when they believe plaintiffs or defendants are trying to pack a jury.

      • re: “Any industrial worker would be automatically excluded from the jury”

        Last jury pool call-up I was part of was instructed that “Business reasons will not be accepted as an excuse.”

        Care of a child under xx years of age, yes, but NOT much more than that.

        • Under threat of a conviction too, certainly was in the UK in my experience. Yeah I told my local courts when “attendance was demanded” to foxtrot oscar. I wanted my day in court, like with the “council tax” threats, never happened.

          • The use of constables with the power of arrest assures compliance with the court’s demands for attendance here. Now, after getting ‘picked’ to sit in a general sub-pool for a particular case, and after getting a good idea of the case involved, I made a PIA of myself (by bringing up a question to the judge about “jury nullification”) and was subsequently ‘stuck’ for consideration to ‘sit’ during what is called voir dire (preliminary examination of jurors by judge and counsel for consideration of juror suitability for the case).

        • One of those, here, is medical; which got me off, before the rest of voir dire. Mine? A recent neurological diagnosis of early memory loss. Same medico wants me to take (in high dose, a neurotoxin) a phosphodiesterase inhibitor, to slow it down. I am balking for now, mostly due to cost. I’ve had two hospitalizations recently. One in August 2018, a thromboembolic event that nearly killed me; and one in January of this year, where a cerebral hemorrhage was feared. My medicine expenses are much higher now.

  13. Isn’t Gitmo still open? Is that not where terrorists are to be placed? And why close anything? Just pass through them, it is their responsibility to not be hit by vehicles in motion.

  14. Perhaps they should be put in a cell with a TV showing videos explaining the flaws, both scientifically and politically, in AGW. all day long!!

  15. Cognitive dissonance: it’s “free speech” when environmentalist activists break the law but it’s not free speech when skeptics voice their opinion in the media that climate change isn’t a disaster.

  16. Unfortunately Texas is a rather warm place. No need for heating cells. That’s a pity because a few nights in cold confinement does wonders for the appreciation of fossile fuels.

  17. Well, if confinement is out-sourced to Alaska, and they are all on a no-fly-list; and they have no passports, might they be stuck in Alaska until they can get a ship [if one will take them . . .] back to your Lower 48?
    With winter coming up, they may note the benefits of fossil fuels to keep warm there!
    Perhaps apologise in advance to the good souls of Alaska!

    Auto

    • Can’t be that cold in Alaska, because Greenpiss keeps telling us the Arctic is heating at an unprecedented rate…
      so they can live off grid;

      & any survivors can tell the world how easy life in Alaska is !!!

    • Auto,
      Monday
      Snow likely. Cloudy, with a high near 38. Northeast wind around 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.
      Monday Night
      A 50 percent chance of snow. Cloudy, with a low around 32. Northeast wind 10 to 15 mph.
      That forecast is near Prudhoe Bay. So fossil fuel is already needed lol.

      • Correct! One day they will bring a plane down and given Heathrow is such a busy airport there are enough targets. It is actually quite interesting sitting in a park under flight path just after sunset watching the string of aircraft on the approach to land. You can see the lights as far as you can see in to the distance.

  18. “String ’em up” is a very appropriate sentence in this case, as they were hanging from under the bridge.

    Swift justice. “Nobody dispenses justice like Texas.”

  19. So sad to see Greenpeace, once an idealistic environmental group, become just another anti-human Progressive cult member. I could respect their stands against nuclear testing and whaling, but when they started talking about banning the element fluorine and reducing human population dramatically it became clear that they had become just another watermelon.
    Unfortunately, the public does not understand the extent of this subversion of Greenpeace and most other such groups by the Cultural Marxists whose main aim is to destroy Western Civilization along with the liberty and prosperity it has brought to all Mankind! We, the people, have a long row to hoe to get these blithering idiots properly educated and the disease excised from our schools and culture!

  20. “All 31 face up to a $10,000 fine and two years in prison if convicted. The district attorney’s office plans to convene a grand jury to consider other criminal charges, he said.”

    Is that 31 fines of up to $10,000 each or 1 fine of up to $10,000 spread across 31 offenders? Because if it is the latter that is only $322 each, which won’t be a deterrent at all.

  21. “All 31 face up to a $10,000 fine and two years in prison if convicted. The district attorney’s office plans to convene a grand jury to consider other criminal charges, he said.”

    Prison is not a deterrent because it does not cost them a cent. In fact if convicted and sent to jail, they would have access to all kinds of services like health, education, legal assistance, job finding assistance after serving the term etc etc. Some might actually enjoy two years without having to work in the real world.

    • “Prison is not a deterrent”

      Sheriff Joe – Maricopa County – Arizona. Ran the County prison. Meals- anything with no nutritional value wasn’t served – no coffee. Of course, no cigarettes. Prisoners ran the County animal shelters. The county had been gifted with some acreage – prisoners grew vegetables for the jail. A federal judge ruled the the prisoners must have television. Joe gave them two channels – Disney and the Weather Channel – so they would know hot it would be on the work gangs. When an inmate complained, Joe’s answer was, “If you don’t like it, don’t come back.” I haven’t heard of any study being done on recidivism for this establishment, I think it would be instructional.

      The expression I heard in California, relating to a men’s prison, “The Chino Country Club”…..

      • Prisons in each state in the US are considerably different to those in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. There are some who would consider a “two year stretch inside” to be a badge of honour. I think these people fall in to that category because they “believe” they are doing the “right” thing for the “cause” and with that mindset ingrained in their minds there is no limit to what they will do for the “cause”.

    • “Prison is not a deterrent because it does not cost them a cent.”

      Until they have tits tattooed on their back and are Bubba’s bitch.

  22. “This is a bullying tactic that serves the interests of corporations at the expense of people exercising their right to free speech,” said Tom Wetterer, Greenpeace’s general counsel.

    These fools have no concept of their anti-social behavior. The public and businesses have the right to go about their daily business without being harassed and bullied by the likes of greenpis and its assorted lackeys.

  23. Entitled twats forcing their world view on everyone else. I wonder what their ropes and harnesses are made from??

  24. 31 x $10,000 doesn’t even begin to approach the cost to businesses of shutting down the ship channel. This should be an opportunity to sue Greenpeace out of existence.

  25. Why do “Law Enforcement” and the “Legal” system refuse to charge those who fund them under RICO???

  26. They think they have a right to interfere with other people’s lives.

    Green Party of Canada ‘leader’ Elizabeth May committed the criminal act of Mischief by blocking lawful access of workers drilling to validate an alternative route for the Trans-Mountain Pipeline.

    The judge let her off with a $1000. fine despite her action being pre-meditated for 6 months.

    (For TMPX the pipeline company wants to get the final leg out of a residential area by tunneling under the mountain. It will install three pipes there, whereas the mainline will have two – existing and added.)

    May and others are violent people.

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