Thursday, March 27, 2008

frighteningly arbitrary definitions of terrorism, via Salon

Salon has a great in-depth article about Briana Waters, an environmental activist, violin teacher, and mom who is accused of domestic terrorism after an informant named her as a lookout at an ELF (Earth Liberation Front) act of arson ten years ago at a lab where they thought genetic research was being done.

The article includes references to the government's (this was under Ashcroft and Meuller) reshaping of the FBI as a terrorist prevention organization. It describes how classification of acts of domestic terrorism depend not on the violence or destructiveness of the action itself but rather the aim of the activists- specifically, they target animal rights and environmentalists.

I am not- not, not, not- an advocate of property destruction but let's look at this logic: Protests acts in which property is destroyed, if the intention is to save animals from medical torture or to protect ecosystems, is terrorism. Killing doctors who perform abortions is um, not considered terrorism.

The article does not juxtapose the lefty arsons against righty murders. That's all me. But this is apparently the first time the terrorism laws have been applied to a case where no human lives were lost. This is the kind of shit that makes me want to quit my job and become a full-time radical activist, or alternatively find a commune somewhere where I can stick my fingers deep in my ears, throw on an organic hemp-woven blindfold, and chant until I can ignore all the scary ridiculous crap that is happening in my country.

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