The Socialist Worker has re-published the introduction to Jeffrey St. Clair’s new tome Born Under a Bad Sky: Notes from the Dark Side of the Earth, “a collection of dispatches from the front lines of the war on the environment that pulls no punches criticizing big corporations, Democrats and Republicans alike and “institutionalized environmentalist” groups” (The once and future environmental movement, Socialist Worker (US), May 29, 2008). In some ways, his examination of the seeming dead-end the US environmental movement has driven into is the flipside of the (mis-)fortunes of the radical environmental movement in recent years, captured most-spectacularly in the Gub’mint sponsored Green Scare campaign. Counterpunch, the journal of which St. Clair is one of the editors, has published a number of interesting articles on the ‘Green Scare’, the FBI campaign against what it regards as Domestic Terrorist Public Enimy #1: the Animal & Earth Liberation Fronts.
The Cancer Agents of the FBI: The Great Green Scare
Jeffrey St. Clair
October 3, 2005
AETA and the New Green Scare: Are You the Terrorist Next Door?
January 26, 2007
Government Agents, Keystone Saboteurs and the Soccer Mom Judge: Green Sabotage as “Terrorism”
May 26 / 27, 2007
America’s Newest Political Prisoners: Charred SUVs and the End of Citizen Eco-Activism
June 14, 2007
Former Black Panthers in Prison Need Your Support: Free the San Francisco 8!
July 28 / 29, 2007
The Feds’ War on the Animal Rights Movement: The Casualties of Green Scare
August 3, 2007
Informant Games: The Disturbing GreenScare Case of Briana Waters
February 6, 2008
Witch-Hunting the Environmental Movement: The Politics of Green Scare
April 28, 2008
*Lendman is also a contributor to mathaba.net, the ‘alternative news service’ which has attempted to close down my blog, and features regular contributions from neo-fascist authors Welf Herfurth and Flávio Gonçalves.
In other news, Jacob Ferguson, 35, a former radical turned Government informant, has received a five-year probationary sentence as a reward for his services to the state, despite being implicated in dozens of criminal acts for which others have received a range of jail terms. Ferguson was also allegedly paid something in the order of $50,000 for his initial revelations and a subsequent period spent meeting and recording conversations with other activists he implicated. The sentence was originally agreed to by authorities when Fegurson turned, but has only now been officially conformed. “Assistant U.S. Attorney Kirk Engdall said Ferguson’s sentencing marked the end of the 10-year investigation called “Operation Backfire” that resulted in 11 convictions, including Ferguson. Three of the 15 conspirators named in a federal grand jury indictment remain fugitives, and one committed suicide in jail” (Radical ‘snitch’ in Western arsons gets probation, William McCall, The Associated Press, June 3, 2008).
Tre Arrow, another radical, has pled guilty to charges of arson and conspiracy and been sentenced to two-years jail.
Environmentalist and political prisoner, Tre Arrow has been incarcerated in Canada and the US since March 13th 2004. For almost four years, Tre was imprisoned while contesting extradition to the United States. Like the 125,000 American draft dodgers who came to Canada between 1964 and 1977, Tre came to Canada hoping to escape persecution in the United States. This became Tre’s only option when his life in Portland, Oregon was unjustly turned upside down in the Summer of 2002. The US government is laying charges that could see him locked up for the rest of his life if convicted. After working tirelessly for years to protect some of the only ancient forests left in the North Western U.S., Tre had become an extremely well-known and important organizer. Like other peaceful organizers, Tre found himself at the forefront of an environmental movement which successfully interfered with industrial powers; he therefore became a target…
The Times Colonist (June 4, 2008) argues that there are lessons to be learned from Tre’s case:
In his time [in Canada], Arrow became a hero to a certain breed of environmental activists. He said he was innocent and they believed him. He said he was being persecuted and they bought that line as well. They were conned. Tre Arrow is no straight arrow. He is a liar, a thief and an arsonist, willing to resort to violence to get his way. He wasted the time of many Canadians, from those in the justice system to his gullible supporters. He wasted public money and gave nothing but lies and whining in return. Arrow should not be seen as a hero or a martyr. He should not even be seen as an environmentalist; his tactics bring disrepute to an honourable cause. He belongs right where he is — in an Oregon jail.
The ten others convicted as a result of Operation Backfire are (co-operating defendants) Chelsea Gerlach, Stanislas Meyerhoff, Suzanne Savoie, Kendall Tankersley, Darren Thurston, Kevin Tubbs and (non-co-operating defendants) Nathan Block (Exile), Daniel McGowan, Jonathan Paul and Joyanna Zacher (Sadie). Write solidaritywithsadieandexile[at]gmail[dot]com for more on Block and Zacher.
See also : Radical environmentalist pleads guilty, to serve 2 years, Joseph B. Frazier, Chicago Tribune (AP), June 3, 2008. Documents released in connection with Tre Arrow plea, The Oregonian, June 3, 2008.