16 October 2001
Travel Restrictions Lifted for Greenpeace Activists and Freelance Journalist
By Andy Tait
Stop Star Wars campaign, Greenpeace UK
Ph: +44 (0)20 7865 8250
Fx: +44 (0)20 7865 8200
Greenpeace Digital at- http://www.greenpeace.org.uk
International updates at http://www.stopstarwars.org


Two British Activists And A British Freelance Journalist To Return Home Before November Star Wars Trial

A Judge ruled today that nine Greenpeace protestors and one freelance journalist, facing felony charges stemming from a peaceful protest against a missile defence test in California on July 14th, can travel home before returning to Los Angeles for trial currently set for November 20, 2001.

The two British Greenpeace protestors, Bill Nandris from London and John Wills from Guernsey along with freelance journalist Steve Morgan from Somerset, had been previously restricted to the Central District of California along with six other defendants since July 14th.

"It has been too long and I am looking forward to seeing my friends, family and the people who have supported me," said Bill Nandris from London. "However, I am also looking towards my return here and having my day in court when my integrity will become public record."

The Greenpeace activists and two freelance journalists were arrested by the F.B.I. near Vandenberg Air Force Base in California following a peaceful protest against the controversial missile defence program. All 17, including the journalists were charged with conspiring to violate a safety zone- a class D felony with a maximum six-year prison term and $250,000 fine. They were also charged with entering military property without permission- a misdemeanour with a 6-month maximum sentence and  $5,000 fine.

While the six defendants from the United States were given immediate bail, the international defendants had their passports seized and all but one had their travel restricted to the central district of California. The other international defendants are from Australia, Canada, Germany, India and Sweden.


TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS LIFTED FOR GREENPEACE ACTIVISTS AND FREELANCE JOURNALISTS

International Defendants Can Return to Home and Family Before November Trial

LOS ANGELES, CA – A Judge ruled today that nine Greenpeace protestors and one freelance journalist, facing felony charges stemming from a peaceful protest against a missile defense test in California on July 14th, can travel home before returning to Los Angeles for trial currently set for November 20, 2001. Since July 14th the nine defendants have been restricted to the Central District of California.

“It has been too long and we're all looking forward to seeing our friends, family and the people who have supported us,” said Nic Clyde of Australia. “However, I am also looking towards my return here and having my day in court when my integrity will become public record.”

Today’s hearing was the latest legal battle for 15 Greenpeace activists and two freelance journalists who were arrested by the F.B.I. near Vandenberg Air Force Base in California following a peaceful protest against the controversial missile defense program in July.

All 17, including the journalists, were charged with conspiring to violate a safety zone- a class D felony with a maximum six-year prison term and $250,000 fine. They were also charged with entering military property without permission- a misdemeanor with a 6-month maximum sentence and $5,000 fine.

While the six defendants from the United States were given immediate bail, the international defendants had their passports seized and all but one had their travel restricted to the central district of California. The international defendants are from Australia, Canada, Germany, India, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

“Hopefully the public will get to know these defendants as we know them, individuals who have behaved with honor and courage.” said John Passacantando, Greenpeace Executive Director in the United States. “Voicing dissent and engaging in peaceful, non-violent protest are the duties of responsible, engaged citizens in democracy.”

During today’s hearing, the defendants plead not guilty to the second superceding indictment.

CONTACT: Carol Gregory 202-251-3998 (cell/on location)
Rose Young 202-431-3269 (cell/Los Angeles)
www.greenpeaceusa.org


(See: International Protest against Star Wars Continues - July 15, 2001;
Greenpeace Missile Defense Protesters Receive Harsh Charges - July 17, 2001;
Federal Grand Jury Hearing for Star Wars 17 - August 2, 2001;
Vandenberg protester sentenced to 6 months in jail - August 7, 2001;
15 Antimissile Protesters Face Felony Charges - August 12, 2001;
Government Throws the Book at Protesters, Creating Lifelong Activists - August 13, 2001;
17 Plead Innocent in Base Protest - August 14, 2001;
15 Face Felonies In Missile Protest - August 19, 2001;
Greenpeace 'Star Wars' Activists Await Bail Hearing - August 28, 2001;
Two British Activists And A British Freelance Journalist To Return Home Before November Star Wars Trial - October 16, 2001;
Star Wars 17 Trial Delayed - November 11, 2001;
US Does Missile Deal With Greenpeace USA For Five Years - January 9, 2002)


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