Manual Eco-Terrorism: Radical Environmental and Animal Liberation Movements

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While both are forms of activism, radical activism is more associated with demonstrations and sometimes forceful actions, and is the main philosophy of the group Earth First! The ideology surrounding ecoterrorism overlaps that of radical environmentalism in some ways, but for the most part is a much more destructive and violent manner of activism, with arson as one of its most used tactics.

Ecoterrorism | Extremism in America | ADL

Therefore, there is a difference between these two forms of activism. We do not condone ecoterrorism under any circumstances.

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Earth First! The members who formed ELF, however, felt that these actions did not utilize enough force and thus were not sufficient in order to bring atte ntion to the issue. Therefore, upon separating from Earth First!

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It showed that the number of attacks rose sharply in , reaching a peak of incidents a year by After , the frequency declined, and, by , there were next to none. True Crime is Lauren Kirchner's weekly column about crime and criminal justice issues. As questions swirl around U. Crimes targeting black and transgender Americans persist, but they are under-reported and under-recorded. A compelling new documentary on Boston's infamous mob boss shows the lasting trauma of his reign of terror.

Two bear the same hallmarks as the McMansion attack: in April , a garage close to Seattle was torched and a similar crude message scrawled on a sheet: "Where Are All The Trees?

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Burn, Rapist, Burn," it said. Moreover, instead of defending attacks on property as legitimate targets, the ELF has gone silent. Their website has for six or more years been only sporadically updated, no "communiques" have been issued and the usual ELF defence that attacks on property as opposed to people are legitimate have not been used. The silence is said by people involved in the s US environmental and animal rights activist movements to be partly as a result of ELF groups voluntarily giving up arson as a tactic following an undefined "mistake". The attack on the twin towers led directly to the draconian Patriot Act, which created a new category of domestic terrorism and allowed the FBI to expand its domestic and international powers.

Many actions previously considered vandalism and attracting sentences of two to four years could now be classed as major acts of terror, and life sentences could be passed.

The new targeting of environmentalists and what some say is a hysterical exaggeration of the seriousness of eco-terrorism is widely seen as the Bush administration's payback for the humiliation piled on the US and its corporations by environmentalists at the Seattle World Trade Organisation talks in The national guard had to be called out, the talks were abandoned and, as tear gas drifted around the city, US policies were ridiculed around the world.

The new terror laws have also allowed the FBI and federal government to target people it had given up on years before and use new surveillance methods. One person caught up in what has become known as "the Green Scare", and whose case may provide a partial answer to the riddle of the Street of Dreams, is year-old violin teacher Briana Waters, now in Oregon state prison a few hundred miles south of Seattle.

According to two women who testified against her in return for dramatically reduced sentences, this mild-mannered, pacifist tree-sitter with a young child and no previous convictions hid in shrubbery by the University of Washington's GM tree laboratory back in while others set fire to it.

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Last month she was in court and testified that she wasn't even in Seattle that night, but she was found guilty of arson and will now receive a mandatory sentence of up to 20 years. Remarkably, the attack on the McMansions happened on the same day that Waters' trial was beginning in Oregon.

The green scare

It also just happened that the federal prosecutors immediately and very publicly linked her case to the arson. Depending on who you believe, the attack either worked in the interests of the government, which secured a controversial conviction, or it was a warning shot by other ELF groups that they would not be intimidated by show trials. Waters is part of what US civil liberty groups are calling an extraordinary witch-hunt being conducted against green activists and animal rights groups, who are being accused of terrorism for arson offences committed before Most, says Lauren Regan, a lawyer with the Civil Liberties Defence Centre in Eugene, Oregon, have been indicted on the testimony of one man, a former ELF cell leader and self-confessed heroin addict called Jake Ferguson, who has admitted being part of 18 arson attacks linked to the Animal and Earth Liberation Fronts between and His testimony and activities are said to have led to a cascade of charges levelled at activists around the US.

The defence argued that the informants - both from relatively wealthy families - pleaded guilty to a minor felony charge and accused her in order to avoid year prison sentences they were threatened with," she says. Of the four others linked to the same firebombing, one is on the run, and another recently died in prison.

According to many, the US is now in the middle of a "Green Scare" akin to the "Red Scare" of the s, when senator Joseph McCarthy launched his infamous communist witch-hunt. But the venom with which the government has pursued its dissenters has shocked people well beyond the green movement.

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Regan and other civil libertarians accuse it of using illegal tactics, threatening people with hundreds of years in prison for their roles in petty arsons, infiltrating groups, massive surveillance, hiring provocateurs, and handing out sentences of 20 years or more for offences that in other times would bring a maximum of two to four years. The campaign against the environmentalists has been marked by government vindictiveness and prosecution misconduct, it is alleged.

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