At least 40 U.S. climate and environmental advocacy groups on Friday rallied behind two Louisiana Bucket Brigade activists who are facing felony \u0022terrorizing\u0022 charges for leaving a box of plastic pellets collected from Texas waters near a coastal Formosa Plastics facility on the doorstep of a fossil fuel lobbyist in December 2019.\u0022It is outrageous and chilling to see people criminalized simply for speaking out and advocating against toxic pollution in their neighborhoods.\u0022—Liz Butler, FOEAnne Rolfes and Kate McIntosh, respectively the director and a program assistant for Louisiana Bucket Brigade, \u0022turned themselves into the Baton Rouge Police Department Thursday,\u0022 according to NOLA.com. \u0022Rolfes was booked with terrorizing, a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. McIntosh was booked with principal to terrorizing. Each was released Thursday afternoon after posting $5,000 bond.\u0022The new wave of support for the activists and their nonviolent protest against plastic pollution came in a collection of comments circulated by the nonprofit Earthworks.\u0022These charges are mere retaliation in response to the critical work done by Louisiana Bucket Brigade,\u0022 said Scott Eustis, community science director at HealthyGulf. \u0022Formosa Plastics is a serial offender of the United States Clean Water Act, and discussing their criminal record with executives and government is essential work in this time of climate emergency, when Formosa Plastics seeks to derail all the good work for Coastal Restoration that Louisiana has accomplished.\u0022These arrests have only strengthened our resolve to #StopFormosa, as over 40 groups representing millions of people are standing in solidarity with these advocates and calling for charges to be dropped. https://t.co/Y3gg9rcBSZ— Earthworks (@Earthworks) June 26, 2020\u0022It is outrageous and chilling to see people criminalized simply for speaking out and advocating against toxic pollution in their neighborhoods,\u0022 declared Liz Butler, vice president of organizing and strategic Alliances at Friends of the Earth (FOE). \u0022Louisiana needs to hold Formosa accountable for poisoning St. James Parish, not punish people who are trying to protect their communities.\u0022Rolfes and McIntosh deposited the box outside the home of lobbyist Tyler Gray on Dec. 11 with a note which said in part that the plastic pellets, also called nurdles, \u0022are just some of the billions of nurdles that Formosa Plastics dumped into the coastal waters of the state of Texas, from their Point Comfort production facility.\u0022\u0022Black and Indigenous communities in the Gulf South have long been treated as a sacrifice zone for the profits of the fossil fuel industry, and activists fighting for their health, safety, and future should be thanked, not penalized.\u0022—Angela Anderson, UCSThe note also said the nurdles should not be removed from bags or left around children or pets, and explained that thousands of Louisiana residents are urging state officials to reject a key permit for a controversial $9.4 billion petrochemical complex that Formosa plans to build in a region nationally known as \u0022Cancer Alley.\u0022Last year, Taiwan-based Formosa agreed to a $50 million settlement for dumping nurdles into Texas\u0026#039; Lavaca Bay. Activists in Louisiana continue to organize in opposition to Formosa\u0026#039;s proposed complex in St. James Parish, warning that the facility will adversely impact public health and the environment in the predominantly Black community.\u0022Black and Indigenous communities in the Gulf South have long been treated as a sacrifice zone for the profits of the fossil fuel industry, and activists fighting for their health, safety, and future should be thanked, not penalized,\u0022 Angela Anderson, climate and energy program director at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), said Friday.Tamara Toles O\u0026#039;Laughlin, director of 350.org North America, noted specifically that \u0022Black residents of St. James Parish have been subjected to infamous levels of pollution and outrageous neglect from the agencies that should prevent it.\u0022\u0022This is a clear instance of the law and law enforcement being used to protect corporations, profit, and property over people,\u0022 she said of the charges against Rolfes and McIntosh. \u0022Louisiana is criminalizing protesters for speaking out against environmental injustice that the state has done next to nothing to address.\u0022Y\u0026#039;all think Formosa and the petrochemical lobby might be getting a bit desperate?— LA Bucket Brigade (@labucketbrigade) June 25, 2020The charges against the pair \u0022come on the heels of a series of incidents where environmental activists have been dealt hefty charges for actions challenging the petrochemical, oil, and gas industries in Louisiana,\u0022 The Intercept reported Thursday.In August 2018, Louisiana legislators passed a law establishing a new felony charge for anyone who trespasses on critical infrastructure facilities, including chemical manufacturing facilities and oil and gas pipeline construction sites. Over the following couple months, police used the new law to charge 15 people protesting the oil company Energy Transfer\u0026#039;s Bayou Bridge pipeline. Local prosecutors have not yet acted on the charges.Local organizers have responded to the crackdown on Rolfes and McIntosh by forming the Alliance to Defend Democracy. RISE St. James founder Sharon Lavigne says in a statement on the coalition website that \u0022we will not stand by as law enforcement and a toxic chemical company from Taiwan attempt to scare, silence, and intimidate us.\u0022Representatives for national groups also reiterated their opposition to the proposed Louisiana complex. As Center for Biological Diversity attorney Julie Teel Simmonds put it Friday: \u0022Black communities are being sickened by corporate polluters and these sham charges won\u0026#039;t deter our opposition to this terrible project.\u0022Other organizations that voiced support for the arrested Louisiana Bucket Brigade activists include Amazon Watch, Break Free From Plastic, the Center for International Environmental Law, Earthjustice, Greenpeace USA, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Rainforest Action Network, Sierra Club, and Women\u0026#039;s Earth and Climate Action Network International.