Not really a post, but a link to a great article over at Truthout, which describes yet another example of the draconian punishments handed down to those who are trying to stop the destruction of the planet. These are all people who have committed acts of conscience, and while damaging some property, have been otherwise non-violent. Now, certainly these people have broken laws, and may deserve jail, but 22 years for spray-painting some SUV’s??? Something is deeply wrong with our priorities.
Note that it is not being disputed that those who committed these acts were very careful not to injure anyone in the acts of economic sabotage they committed. Now, I am certainly not condoning these acts, and I do certainly believe those responsible should go to jail. A commitment to non-violence is essential for forward motion of any progressive environmental agenda. However, hysterically calling the these folks ‘terrorists’ so that another 20 years can be added to their sentences in just plain wrong. A blog that covers this issue is Green is the New Red.
The biggest FBI anti-terrorism program in September 2001? Not al-Qaeda, but the Earth Liberation Front. That’s right folks, the Earth Liberation Front:
Pivotal Moment in the Green Scare
By David Rovics
t r u t h o u t | Guest Contributor
Monday 14 May 2007
Bill Rodgers died in a jail cell in Flagstaff, Arizona, fist raised above him, plastic bag over his head, of an apparent suicide on the 2005 winter solstice. Two weeks before in Prescott, Bill’s baby, the Catalyst Infoshop, had been raided by 15 federal officers and he was taken away.
Bill was essentially accused of destroying corporate property. If he had been arrested for these crimes in, say, an EU country, I’m sure Bill would still be alive today. But the US is not the EU. The prisons of the US are full of nonviolent offenders, and there are special sentences for some of them. Bill knew that in America today, he could do like Jeffrey Luers and go to prison for a very long time. For Bill’s property destruction was politically – ecologically – motivated. Bill apparently chose to end his life rather than spend it in prison.
The last time I saw Bill was at the Catalyst, a few months before his death. We were sitting on (or more like enveloped by) some very old couches, and someone was filming an interview for a local cable access program, I think. Bill was a couple of years older than me, but with twice as much energy. He was small, intelligent, full of vitality, full of both good intentions and actions. He was an unassuming Prescott institution, along with the Catalyst Infoshop.
Bill was part of a sweep of arrests of activists around the US, and more broadly, part of the US government’s efforts to wipe out what it calls “ecoterrorism.” To impose decades-long sentences (Jeffrey Luers was sentenced to a breathtaking 22 years) on people who have harmed no one, people who have essentially committed expensive acts of vandalism against the corporations that are destroying our world.