Vegaplanet


Activists and Terrorism

Posted in General news by Glô! on the June 7th, 2006

The War on Domestic Terrorism

To understand why Animal and Environmental Activism is now considered Number 1 “domestic terrorism”, let’s go back a few years ago, in the united States.

From Sept 11, 2001, the political landscape changed dramatically. Suddenly, it became unpatriotic to criticize President George Bush, the Government and their pro corporate agenda.

The war on terrorism quickly became an attack on civil freedom, free speech and domestic opposition. As freedom was being attacked in the name of security, activists in the post 9/11 world confronted a threatening new era where political action against the state and corporations mass murdering animals and destroying the earth was being suppressed and merged into “terrorism” in order to justify several political repression.

During this turbulent time when the nation and its patriots called for a unity ( masking divisions, injustices and conflicts inherent in the US) the war between AR and environmental activists on one side and the corporate exploiters and the State on the other side began to heat up as never before.

Resisting government repression, AR and Environmental movements denounce the rights violation and oppression that humans inflict on the earth and nonhumans and, thereby causing an intense confrontation with their enemies in the state and corporate world.

We have entered a new period which takes its roots in the “witch hunt” against activists and critics of the ruling elites : the terrorist threat usurps the communist threat. The government informs the public that the nation is in a permanent state of danger, such that the security, not freedom must become our main concern.
The supposed dangers raised by foreign terrorists are used to justify the attack on “domestic terrorists”, and in a frantic climate the domestic terrorist is any and every citizen expressing their disagreement.
As US policy fails miserably in Afghanistan and Iraq, the government nonetheless uses large resources to persecute AR and environmental activists whom the state, corporations, and mass media slander as violent and terrorists.(read FBI Congress)

As AR and environmental activists see it, the human individuals, corporations and State entities that promote or defend the exploitation of the natural world and nonhuman animals are the true violent forces and the real terrorists.

“We should never feel like we’re going too far in breaking the law, because wathever laws you break to liberate animals or to protect the Environment, are very insignificant compared to the laws that are broken by that parliament of whores, in Washington. They are the biggest lawbreakers, the biggest destroyers, the biggest mass murderers on this planet right now.”
Paul Watson, Sea Shepherd.

Can the ALF and ELF (Earth Liberation Front) be called terrorist organizations?
It depends on who is judging the actions.
Accusations of terrorism are usually very subjective (destroy equipment, property, and materials used to exploit nonhuman animals without hurting any humans in the process and you are a terrorist.
Drop a napalm bomb on a school bus from a $100 million aircraft and you are striking a military target).

In 1885, agents of the Government of France sank the Rainbow Warrior belonging to Greenpeace, in New Zealand and killed a photographer. Not one leader of any nation (except New Zealand) described the attack as terrorism.(see the Guardian Unlimited).
Yet, when the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society sinks whaling ships without injuring anyone, they are described as an “Eco-terrorist” organization in some media, even though no legal charges have been brought.(nzherald.co.nz)

Fishing corporations mass murder entire species without a murmur from the media or Governments, yet when Earth Island Institute calls for boycott of tuna to protect dolphins (a speciesist act nevertheless), they are accused of advocating economic Eco-terrorism.

There are indeed Eco-terrorists, but they are not labeled as such by the Media and corporate states.
Exxon committed Eco-terrorism in Alaska.
Union Carbide committed acts of Eco-terrorism at Bhopal, India.
The forest industries commit Eco-terrorism everyday. These corporations will not be found on any federal list of “terrorist” organizations, simply for because they are corporations.

In fact, after the 9/11, this word has been used with such carelessness in the media that the very word is in danger of losing its significance. It is rapidly becoming the most commonly, carelessly, thoughtlessly and irresponsibly word used in the English language.

In the UK, one terrorist expert claims that since the decreasing tensions over Northern Ireland, the AR movement is the main source of violence.

In the USA, the domestic terrorists groups are not the usual suspects of armed militiamen, violent hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan, but instead the ALF and ELF. ( See CNN.com)

” I called AR activists terrorists.

I grouped all terrorists together because it’s really pretty hard to distinguish one from the other.”

Paul Ray, Utah State Representative

On september12/2001, US representative Greg Walder declared that the ELF poses a threat “no less heinous that what we saw occur yesterday here in Washington and New York.”
Trying to inject some sanity into the debate, an ALF representative wrote:

“One simply cannot compare the events of Sept 11 to the illegal direct actions taken by underground groups and individuals for animal and earth liberation. Flying fully loaded planes into office towers resulting in massive loss of life and injuries is something that is on a completely different level than the actions of the ALF and ELF.
Aside from the obvious differences of philosophy between real terrorists and animal and earth activists vis a vis the injuring or taking of life, the horrific actions we witnessed on September 11 represent what real terrorism is all about, and what violent people are capable of doing.

To compare this and the actions of people who work to save animal lives and our planet while explicitly not using violent means is, frankly, ridiculous.
Furthermore, to label non violent activists as “terrorists” is a slap in the face to everyone who has been killed or who is suffering as a result of September 11.”

New laws to fight Domestic Terrorism
Especially after the 9/11, the Bush administration took firm measures to criminalize AR and environmental protests, as well, nearly every form of disagreement.


If you harbor a terrorist, if you feed a terrorist, you’re just as guilty as the terrorists.
Georges W.Bush

The corporate state Complex is applying old laws in new ways (ex, using the Racketeer Influenced and corrupt organizations act, which was originally designed to stop organized crime, see RICO):
- enforcing “free speeches zones”,
- breaking up demonstrations with unnecessary violence and force,
- creating new legislations, such as “Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act”,
- the USA patriot act that grants the state frightening powers of surveillance, search and seizure, and political repression.

Thus, in order to disrupt and destroy opposition to the current economic and political order, industries and government deploy systems of intense surveillance, grand juries, witch hunts, police dragnets and political repression.

The Patriot Act violates numerous constitutional rights such as:

- 1st amendment rights to free speech and freedom of assembly.
- 4th amendment rights to security from unreasonable search and seizures.
- 5th and 6th amendment rights to basic protections during criminal proceedings.

As well, the Patriot act claims the authority -without need to show evidence of grounds for suspicion- to demand from librarians and bookstores lists of materials checked out or purchased, to undertake clandestine operations in the homes and workplaces of terrorism suspects, to monitor any citizen communications by phone or the Internet, and to allow indefinite detention of non-citizens while denying them legal counsel.
The State can amass an encyclopedic wealth of information on any individual they target and nullify rights to privacy and freedom of speech.
The FBI’s controversial “carnivore’spy system” which has been renamed DCS1000, is a specially configured Windows computer designed to sit on an Internet provider’s network and monitor electronic communications. To receive the stored data, an agent stops by to pick up a removable hard drive with the information that the carnivore system was configured to record.
For more info, click here.
As well, see the Guardian unlimited, EPIC , carnivore.

The Patriot Act created a new legal category of “domestic Terrorism”. It declares that the crime of domestic Terrorism occurs when a person’s actions “appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population or to influence the policy of government by intimidation or coercion.”

The penalties for liberation activities are far greater than they previously were.
The crime of Arson against a vivisection lab, for example, formerly carried a penalty of not more than 20 years, but the patriot Act amends the law to read “for any terms of years or for life”.

But given the strategic vagueness of the Patriot Act language, nearly any protest group can fit the terrorist definition. How much latitude is granted under the phrase “appears to be”?
Just what is it “intimidate or coerce a civilian population” or “to influence the policy of the government by intimidation or coercion?

Protests are often intimidating and their main aim is to influence social policy.
Then, activists who organize a vegan bake sale to support ALF prisoners could be accused of helping terrorists.
If someone shelters dogs rescued from a lab by the ALF, he or she could be accused as well of helping terrorists.
Taking pictures of animal abuse in labs and factory farms and slaughterhouses is terrorism but torturing and killing then is called free enterprise.

We are all under attack -not just the ALF and ELF, but also mainstream groups and any citizen who dares to assume a political stand in the street.
We need to stop expecting truth from the governments and begin to see it for what they really are – a bureaucracy that monopolizes the means of violence and exists largely as a political tool for the economic interests of ruling elites.

“The world is too dangerous to live in - not because of the people who do evil but because of the people who sit and let it happen.”
Albert Einstein

For more info, please read :

- My experience with Government harrassment, By Rod Coronado

- Center On Animal Liberation Affairs,The SHAC7, Globalization, and the Future of Democracy, by Steven Best, PhD and Richard Kahn

- The Real Domestic Terrorists, by Maria Tomchick

- FBIWitchHunt.com . This website was created in response to the US government’s increasing use of Grand Juries, and other tools of repression, against activists.

- The Rainbow Warrior : How Rainbow Warrior was played down.

- Sea Shepherd: Hiroshi Hatanaka: Anti-whaling terrorists put lives at risk.

- Exxon: Exxon Valdez Oil Spill.

- Alaska Oil Spills.

- Union Carbide: Bhopal.

- CNN: FBI, ATF address domestic terrorism.

- Rico: Is this the end of Rico? Or only the beginning?

- “Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act”: scstatehouse.gov/sess

- USA patriot act : The library of Congress.

- UK Domestic Terrorism: Source: AR terror tactics, BBC news, august 30, 2000.



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