"We consider [ecoterrorists'] actions to be in serious violation of U.S. domestic terrorism laws." - Stephen Berry, supervising special agent for the FBI, quoted in the article below
"It's no longer just politically incorrect to criticize George W. Bush or anyone in the administration these days - now it's treason. John Ashcroft, testifying before the Senate on Thursday, declared that those who challenge his wisdom "only aid terrorists" and will "give ammunition to America's enemies.""
In Indonesia at the end of last year we saw GE cotton brought into the country by Monsanto with the Indonesian military riding shotgun and an attempted press blackout. In the Philippines Monsanto says its latest crop trials are to be protected by high walls, guard-houses, a watchtower, security guards and "a civilian volunteers' organization".
September 11 has greatly assisted those wanting the powers of the genetic state to be brought to fruition.
Notice in the US article below the seemless flow from Sept. 11th to "eco-terror" and the ELF, to GE crop protests of a type that the judiciary and juries (in Europe) have repeatedly failed to find unlawful or lacking justification.
This association of all opponents of the gene giants and other corporate polluters with "terrorism" has been consistently encouraged by the biotech industry's PR flaks. That campaign has intensified in the wake of Sept 11. [For more on this see: http://members.tripod.com/~ngin/051201b.htm]
Even prior to Sept 11 the biotech industry in the Uk had called for sweeping new restrictions on the right to protest, on the back of concern about animal rights activists. ['Biotechs target activists', Guardian, Friday April 27, 2001]
The direction in which this is all heading was seen in Maine in November when a GE activist, organic farmer and Green Party USA member was grabbed by military personnel armed with automatic weapons at her local airport in order to prevent her from flying to a political meeting in Chicago. Story at: http://www.counterpunch.org/oden1.html
Meanwhile, "The federal Freedom of Information Act has been curtailed. Calls have surfaced to censor environmental groups that reveal toxic polluters in the name of public health and safety."
For more articles about the threats to civil liberties in a European context post-11 September see:
TERRORISTS AMONG US
Farm Journal [via Agnet]
Environmental extremists have, according to this story, been terrorizing the agricultural community, endangering human life and property, since long before the attacks of Sept. 11 put terrorism in the public limelight.
These activists have chosen to become ecoterrorists, setting in their sights researchers and companies involved in ag-related biotechnology.
The story says that in the past five years alone, the FBI estimates 500 environmental terrorism acts have been carried out at farms, companies and universities across the country.
In May 2001, members of the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) caused more than $4 million in damage when they bombed the offices of plant geneticist Toby Bradshaw at the University of Washington. At the same time, arsonists destroyed buildings and vehicles at Jefferson Poplar Farms, an Oregon tree farm where research was being done.
On Dec. 31, 1999, arsonists torched a biotech project at Michigan State University, causing $400,000 in damages.
On June 10, 2001, ecoterrorists sabotaged the new agricultural biotechnology laboratory at the University of Idaho campus, even before the facility was fully operational.
In the past two years, ecoterrorists have cut down experimental trees at the U.S. Forest Service's biotech laboratory in Wisconsin; destroyed non-genetically engineered corn and pulled up Roundup-resistant sugar beets at the University of California; and ripped out Roundup Ready peas at a Seminis Inc. research center in Idaho.
Stephen Berry, supervising special agent for the FBI, was quoted as saying, "We consider [ecoterrorists'] actions to be in serious violation of U.S. domestic terrorism laws."
Bradshaw, whose research with poplar trees has twice been destroyed, was quoted as saying, "They are ignorant and malicious, and that's a bad combination."
Yet arrests have been few. But Berry says those numbers "don't necessarily bear out the effort we put into it."
Many ecoterrorism groups operate clandestinely. Members operate as single individuals or groups; they never meet as a whole, but communicate via the Internet. The Internet provides a central "point of contact," explains Berry. "From the FBI's standpoint, it is a serious problem."
In arguing for the continuation of GM crop trials, the spokesman for the Department of the Environment states: "Our top priority is to protect the environment and human health." What vacuous nonsense: it's obvious that, as usual, the government's first priority is to support commercial concerns above those of ordinary people: that's why its policy is to endorse GM in the first place. In contrast to our elected representatives, anti-GM activists understand that scientific crop trials can only ever tell us "no evidence of risk", not "no risk". This rational refusal to confuse "looks safe" with "safe", especially with such a powerful and unprecedented new technology, highlights the criminal irresponsibility of those who impose an even riskier future upon us all, without our consent.