1. news items on University of Washington fire
2. agricultural terrorism - whose definition?
1. news items on University of Washington fires
Fires Believed Set as Protest Against Genetic Engineering
(New York Times, SAM HOWE VERHOVEK with CAROL KAESUK YOON, 23 May 01) http://www.nytimes.com/2001/05/23/science/23TREE.html
SEATTLE, May 22 One fire gutted a research laboratory at the University of Washington Center for Urban Horticulture here, while the other destroyed two buildings and several vehicles at a poplar tree nursery in the northwestern corner of Oregon. Both were reported shortly after 3 a.m. Monday.
UW fire set in office (Seattle Times, Ian Ith, 23 May 01) http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/134298249_ecoterror23m.html
Investigators yesterday confirmed that the fire that destroyed offices at the University of Washington's Urban Horticulture Center was set in the office of a researcher who has been the target of radical environmental organizations.
Scientists survey the damage (Seattle Times, Eric Sorensen, 23 May 01) http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/134298355_poplarscience23m0.html
Toby Bradshaw visited his workplace yesterday for the first time since it was burned and surveyed the damage. His initial tally: 20 years of research articles, a computer, the server for his Web site and a personal library built over 22 years.
UW scientists fear arson will stifle open dialogue more (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, TOM PAULSON, 23 May 01) http://seattlep-i.nwsource.com/local/24270_scien23.shtml
A group of scientists at the University of Washington held a routine research meeting yesterday, but the discussion was neither routine nor much about research. "A lot of the conference was about security," one of the senior scientists said. Because he works with genetically altered plants, he asked to remain anonymous for fear of being targeted. "We've always tried to be open and public about our work, but we don't feel free to do that now."
Blaze damages horticulture center; eco-terrorists suspected (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, CANDACE HECKMAN, 22 May 01) http://seattlep-i.nwsource.com/local/24095_fire22.shtml
A three-alarm fire that charred academic offices and laboratories at the University of Washington yesterday may have been set by domestic terrorists targeting biogenetic tree research, authorities close to the investigation said.
Eco-terrorists suspected in UW horticultural fire (Seattle Times, Hal Bernton, 22 May 01) http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/texis/web/vortex/display?slug=ecoterror22m&date=20010522&query=Eco-terrorists+suspected+in+UW+horticultural+fire)
The FBI is investigating a fire early yesterday at the University of Washington's Center for Urban Horticulture and a blaze in Oregon for possible links to a radical environmental movement involved in arsons across the country.
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2. On 22 May 2001, at 11:53, Misha wrote:
A quick query about Dan's question:
>Is there anyone out there (or do you know of anyone out there) who is working on agricultural terrorism, specifically how if might relate to sustainable agriculture? I can imagine lots of potential connections between these two issues and how the principles of SA (if implemented broadly) might also provide some protection from ag terrorism. Any thoughts?
Dan, can you define "agricultural terrorism"? Or anyway give some examples of what you have in mind when you use the phrase? I'm not clear on what you mean by that.
By "agricultural terrorism" do you mean the corporations of one nation having the power or threatening to starve another nation's people by withdrawing trade-grain supplies for political reasons?
Or when the corporations of one nation seek to replace the indigenous/landrace crops of another nation's people with proprietary varieties, simultaneously replacing a commons social system with a license-and-user-fee-based one, so that food is no longer a gift of abundant land and focused labor, but a consumer product requiring participation in a cash economy?
Or the corporations and policymakers of one nation driving its farmers off the land using urban-derived economic formulas for land valuation, debt, and ROI, and with no consideration for or care about rural economic realities or the people who live there...even though the entire nation's economy runs on their work?
Or a nation's media establishment propagandizing against rural people in general, representing their lives, work, and history with hostile, bigoted stereotypes of slack-jawed yokels, incestuous hicks, gap-toothed gun-toting sodomites, spunky widows, and apple-cheeked "farm wives"?
Do you mean a nation's corporations partnering with its public institutions to accrue private gain from publicly developed and held assets like seeds, soil, and multi-century agricultural knowledge, and the consequent destruction of cultural memory?
Or agribusiness depending on the labor of families of desperately poor, unskilled, undocumented, wandering workers to provide lowest-common-denominator fieldwork that can't be done by machines?
Or perhaps a nation's powerful corporations deciding that it is profitable to package the byproducts of industrial processing as foods, feed it to people, but never test it for its health effects, and then blaming women for their breast cancer, children for their hyperactivity, everyone for their obesity, and old people for dementia?
By "agricultural terrorism" do you mean tinkering with the genomic base of life on earth in order to find the latest fad in marketing or profits, and destroying the careers and lives of anyone who questions that?
Do you mean policymakers and industry groups ignoring the sound advice of scientists with decades of research on, say, the transmission of prions, allowing hundreds of thousands of new cases of brain-wasting dementia to develop among people who are being told, by PR firms, that their food is safe?
Maybe an example of what you're thinking is the consolidation of food sectors, such as meat slaughtering and packing, or grain processing, so that local communities must do what the corporations who hold these industries tell them to, at the risk of losing their economic base, their jobs, their homes, and their families?
Or perhaps a corporation going into a rural community, seeking to site a major toxic-waste-generating facility there, securing tax breaks from the community, hiring its workers, operating for a couple years, then withdrawing, and leaving their environmental, economic, and social wastes behind?
Maybe you mean the shipping of fruits, vegetables, grains, meats, and their derivative products, back and forth across continents and the planet, "adding value" (i.e. profits for selected organizations) while using huge amounts of fossil fuel energy, holding the entire planet's ecosystems hostage to air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and holding consumers hostage to the fossil fuel industry as well as agribusiness?
Or are you using the received definition of the term--deriving from government and corporate interests--which means things like a handful of activists uprooting a few test plots of GMOs, an activist deconstructing a McDonald's, or other nations' technicians developing microbes that could quickly unmask the fragility of a highly vertically integrated, industrial, fossil-fuel-driven, monocrop/monovariety-based food system?
"Terror" seems to be the densest element of the term "agricultural terrorism." Whose terror are you referring to?
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