Protester to face court
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JUNE 6, 2000

Erin Abbott, the 24-year-old anti-whaling activist arrested in April for interfering with the Makah whale hunt, will stand trial for violating the 500-yard moving exclusionary zone (MEZ) around the hunt. If convicted, Abbott could face up to six years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Abbott, who suffered a broken shoulder after a Coast Guard boat overtook her jet skis during the nationally televised skirmish, had been released on her own recognizance by the US District Court in Tacoma, Washington, where she will reappear starting Monday.

At the time of the incident, a Coast Guard official said his crew "is absolutely sickened by the (protesters’) blatant disregard for human life, and safety and the law."

The Coast Guard enacted the MEZ in 1999 in order to reduce danger to life and property while the hunt occurs.

The current whaling season will end this month. So far, no whaling family has been able to take a whale.

Staff and news wires contributed to this report.

Relevant Links:
The Makah Nation of Washington
The 13th District of the US Coast Guard is responsible for the Pacific Northwest.
You can search the Federal Register for rules. To find relevant documents about the MEZ, search the 1999 Federal Register using the query "Makah." The Final Rule is 33 CFR Part 165.

Related Story:
Injured whale hunt protester remains defiant (The Talking Circle 4/21)