Protecting Water is Never Terrorism: Repeal Jessica Reznicek’s Terrorist Enhancement!

Joe Biden, U.S. Congress

Tell Joe Biden & Congress: We are water protectors, not terrorist. non-violent direct action is climate action, not terrorism.

Jessica Reznicek plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to damage the Dakota Access Pipeline, an energy facility. On June 30th, 2021 Federal Judge Rebecca Goodgame Ebinger set a dangerous legal precedent when she agreed with federal prosecutors that it was necessary to apply a domestic terrorism enhancement to Jessica’s case to deter others from taking similar actions.

The terrorism enhancement doubled Jessica’s sentence and unless changed could have frightening consequences for anyone seeking to protect the environment from corporate destruction.

The result of this decision is that Jessica will serve 8 years in prison, followed by 3 years supervised probation, and a restitution of $3,198,512.70 paid to Energy Transfer LLC for the actions she took in 2016 to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline.


What happens to Jessica, happens to all of us. The use of the terrorism enhancement in Jessica’s case is not only immoral and illegal, but if allowed to stick sets extremely dangerous precedent for movements seeking to protect the earth and water.

As a pipeline ruptured this July in the Gulf of Mexico setting the water on fire, record breaking temperatures are creating drought, unprecedented wildfires, and death from heat related illness. Germany and New York are experiencing deadly record breaking floods and it is extremely alarming that Joe Biden's Department of Justice's response to this unfolding crisis is labeling Climate Justice Activists as terrorists.

Unfortunately this trend is happening across the globe. Professor Julia Steinberger, a lead author with the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, recently signed a letter with her other UN colleges and over 400 other scientists & academics from 32 countries, that raises the alarm on this trend of activists being criminalized with longer prison sentences, police repression, and more at a pivotal time in the fight against global heating.

Part of the letter reads, "But around the world today, those who put their voices and bodies on the line to raise the alarm are being threatened and silenced by the very countries they seek to protect. We are gravely concerned about the increasing criminalisation and targeting of climate protestors around the world." When hearing of Jessica's case Steinberger urged people to support Jessica saying, "As the climate and ecological crises escalate, so too will our activism. And so will the repression by governments corrupted by fossil fuel interests. Stand with Jessica Reznicek."

NASA Climate Scientist Peter Kalmus echoed this sentiment saying, "Jessica was sentenced to 8 years for protecting all of us from climate and ecological breakdown. She acted from necessity and from love. She is a hero, not a terrorist."

We unequivocally denounce labeling climate justice action and water protection as terrorism.

We demand our federally elected officials speak out against the use of this enhancement in Jessica’s case and take steps to repeal the law. We demand Joe Biden commute and/or pardon Jessica Reznicek to remove this enhancement.

100 Grannies for a Livable Future
198 methods
350 Butte County
350 New Orleans
350 Tacoma
350 Hawaii
A Community Voice-Louisiana
About Face: Veterans Against the War
AMS Montessori Teachers
Appalachians Against Pipelines
Arkansas Rising!
Baltimore Nonviolence Center
Bicosito Bangladesh Foundation (BBF)
Center for Protest Law and Litigation
Chesapeake Climate Action Network
Christian Peacemaker Teams
Civil Liberties Defense Center
Climate Action Rhode Island-350
Climate Disobedience Center
Climate Justice Committee
CLIMATE RESCUE
CODEPINK
Columbia Gorge Climate Action Network
Community For The Advancement of Native Studies (CANS)
Des Moines Catholic Worker
Des Moines Defender Zine
Extinction Rebellion San Francisco Bay Area
Extinction Rebellion New Orleans
Extinction Rebellion South-Central NH
Freedom Archives
Global Witness
Grassroots Global Justice Alliance
Green Delaware
House of Grace Catholic Worker
Howard County (MD) Climate Action
Inclusive Louisiana
Indivisible Nova West
Institute for Policy Studies Climate Policy Program
Louisiana Bucket Brigade
Maine Natural Guard
Manchester Fridays for Future
Marcellus Outreach Butler
Massachusetts Interfaith Worker Justiuce
Milwaukee Zen Center
MN350
Mountains and Waters Alliance
National Lawyers Guild
National Lawyers Guild - Midwest Region
National Lawyers Guild - St. Louis Chapter
Nonviolence International
NorCal Resist
Our Revolution Hawaii
Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition
Peace and Justice Center of Nevada County
Rainforest Action Network
Red Aid
Rising Tide North America
Radicle Roots St. John's, Inc.
Saxapahaw Prison Books
Sea Shepherd Iceland
Sea-Watch
Shut Down Creech
Shutdown DC 
Silver Spring Catholic Worker
Solidarity and Social Justice Committee of the Teaching Support Staff Union
Stop Fossil Fuels
Sunflower Alliance
Sunrise Movement - National 
Sunrise St Paul
Sunrise STL
The FANG Collective 
The Nuclear Resister
Toronto 350
Tradistae
Turtle Island Restoration Network
UnKoch My Campus 
Veterans For Peace
Virginia Student Environmental Coalition
We, The World

If you are a representative of an organization and would like your organization to sign on please fill out this form. For more information on Jessica's case and how to support visit our website, stay up to date by following us on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram @FreeJessRez, and read stories about the case in the press below:

Rekha Basu: Jessica Reznicek is no terrorist. But the longtime activist is going to serve time as one.

The trials of land and water protectors in a world on fire

As Big Oil Execs Roam Free, Climate Activist Gets 8 Years in Prison

DAPL Saboteur Jessica Reznicek Sentenced to 8 Years

Full interview: Jessica Reznicek speaks out about 8-year prison sentence for pipeline vandalism

To: Joe Biden, U.S. Congress
From: [Your Name]

I am extremely alarmed by the Department of Justice's choice to characterize Climate Justice Activists & Water Protectors as terrorists, while the deadly impacts of the climate crisis are being felt all around us. The Department of Justice in their use of the terrorism enhancement is prioritizing fossil fuel expansion over the wellbeing of human survival.

I stand in support of Jessica Reznicek. No one was hurt by Jessica’s actions. The use of the terrorism enhancement in Jessica's case was immoral and illegal. The court’s decision is a clear attempt to silence dissent and criminalize environmental protection.

Jessica was sentenced to 8 years, which is more than double what she would have gotten if she had not been labeled a terrorist. Whether or not I agree with Jess’s tactics, non-violently protecting water without injuring any person is never terrorism.

I unequivocally denounce labeling climate justice action and water protection
terrorism.

-I demand our federally elected officials speak out against the use of this enhancement in Jessica’s case and take steps in Congress to repeal the law.
-I demand Joe Biden commute and/or pardon Jessica Reznicek to remove this enhancement.