January 23, 2006

Eco-terrorist feds

On Counterpunch, Michael Donnelly has some distressing but not surprising information not being generally reported about the feds' big cracking of what appears to be a rather small network of Earth and Animal Liberation Front activists. (Click the title of this post for his article.)

One of the conspirators, Arizona bookstore owner William Rodgers, died in custody, which, outside of anarchist circles, hasn't been reported at all except to echo the bland official -- apparently uninvestigated -- story of suicide. It appears that that may be the case, but suicides aren't supposed to be allowed to happen in custody, either.

The feds had infiltrated the network, and one of their agents admits that he is the one who set many of the fires. The first case of arson in the indictments is of a pickup truck at a forest ranger station. Graffiti were spray-painted on the building as well. Two days later, a rigged incendiary jug was suddenly found on the roof. Donnelly asks, why would they paint slogans on a building they were planning to burn to the ground?

An actual burning of a ranger station a few days later is just as, if not more, likely to have been done by loggers angry at the defense of the spotted owl's old-growth forest habitat. The research that justified Earth First's two-year blockade of logging at Warner Creek (Oregon) was lost in that ranger station fire.

It should also be noted that although the indictments were "unsealed" last Friday, most of the arrests were actually made on Dec. 7. It is clearly another case of the Mayberry Machiavellis saving announcements until their distraction is most useful, such as when the White House is trying to defend warrantless spying on fellow citizens.

Not just the logging companies and their duped workers, but industrialists too are grateful. "These folks appeared ready to stop at nothing in their zeal to prevent development and to stop any perceived environmental threats, from logging to larger vehicles," says the National Association of Manufacturers. "Their targets are not, fundamentally, a particular ski resort, logging company, meatpacking center or medical research project, but what these represent: human technology, human progress, human life," writes Onkar Ghate of the Ayn Rand Institute.

Adding this to reports that the FBI has been spying on People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, it is clear that anyone who defends the plants and animals of our world, the natural world whose vitality our own lives is part of and depends on, anyone who considers the universe outside our human skins as worthy of our moral response -- we all have reason to fear the terrorist thugs of our own industry and government.

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