You know, to really work, I think this has to be an every-day thing.
The New York Times has a story about an attempt to prosecute Greenpeace for the actions of its members.
I don't know what this. After all, what is a corporation, especially a non-profit corporation, but the aggregate actions of its members? Surely a corporation that conspires to commit a crime, even if it is an obscure, minor crime, has to be held responsible. On the other hand, the distinction between actions taken by a corporation and actions taken by members of a corporation on their own behalf has to be preserved.
The subtext to all this is that pro-business conservatives have been trying to criminalize militant environmentalist actions for a while now. For example, there was language passed in Texas that made depriving someone of the use of their property by illegal means a count of terrorism. This (to me anyway) clearly seems aimed at the activists who chain themselves to trucks and camp out in tree branches. One way of looking at this is to say that it's not the speech that bothers them, it's the illegal actions. The other, more cynical way is to say that since big business already controls speech via big media, it's looking to close off the last means of effective protest. (And you must admit, Butterfly Hill and her tree-sit were pretty effective.)
Greenpeace is about civil disobedience. The Times article points out that the NAACP, whose members also practiced civl disobedience, faced similar attempts to prosecute it. Of course, it's not illegal to advocate breaking the law or anything else. It is illegal to conspire to commit a crime.
But it's not like Greenpeace has never thought of this before. I wonder it TalkLeft has heard of this case yet...
--Melissa O, at 01:14