CDP in the Press: “These states want to make planning a pipeline protest a crime”

CDP co-founder and staff attorney Alice Cherry is quoted extensively in a ThinkProgress article on efforts by the fossil fuel industry and conservative state lawmakers to criminalize protest activity directed against the industry:

“I think these bills represent an escalation,” Alice Cherry, co-founder and staff attorney of the Climate Defense Project, told ThinkProgress. “The main motivation for these bills seems to be to deter would-be protesters and to make potential jail sentences and fines more draconian.”

. . .

“Generally speaking, any time two or more persons form an agreement to do something that breaks the law, they are guilty of criminal conspiracy,” Cherry said. “There is no requirement of malicious intent, and planning a protest that involves trespass or other forms of lawbreaking counts as a conspiracy.”

. . .

In most instances, these bills cover crimes already penalized under state legal codes. Trespass is already illegal in these states, and prosecutors frequently charge protesters with conspiracy. What sets these bills apart, Cherry notes, is their narrow focus on energy infrastructure, as well as the proposed severity of criminal penalties.

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