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Announcement :: Environment : Globalization : Organizing : Politics : Technology
Resisting the Green Scare
16 May 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Resisting the “Green Scare”
December 7, 2005, marked the beginning of the largest roundup of environmental and animal rights activists in U.S. history. There have now been nearly 20 arrests and many Grand Jury subpoenas.
The nation-wide sweep of arrests, dubbed “Operation Backfire,” has been described by the FBI as a major hit to environmentalists and animal rights activists who engage in destruction of property as a means to defend wild lands and lives of animals. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales stated in January that, “Investigating and preventing animal rights and environmental extremism is one of the FBI’s highest domestic priorities”.
Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-New Jersey) said. "The Oklahoma City bombing killed 168 people. The attacks of 9/11 killed 3,000. Since 1993, there have been at least five fatal attacks on doctors who performed legal abortions. Eric Rudolph recently pleaded guilty to placing a bomb in a public area during the Olympic Games in 1996, as well as bombing a Birmingham women's clinic and a gay nightclub. All of these cases involved the loss of human life. To date, not a single incident of so-called environmental terrorism has killed anyone."
Despite the lack of human injury in any of these actions, the government is threatening extraordinary sentences, ranging from 30 years to life plus 335 years. Similar crimes committed without political motivation receive far shorter sentences and even different charges. For example, a string of nine recent church arsons are being described by the authorities as “youthful pranks”.
Environmental activist Jeff “Free” Luers received a disproportionately long sentence (22.8 years) after confessing to attempting to burn three SUVs at a Romania dealership in Eugene, OR. At trial, Jeff clearly stated that his action was a desperate attempt to bring awareness to the destruction of the Earth by this unsustainable form of transportation and its external costs of global warming, pollution, and war for oil. Because of his stated political beliefs, “Free” received an extremely long prison sentence; he is charged with a Measure 11 crime despite the fact that this fire did not endanger any life; and he continues to suffer harassment by the Department of Corrections due to his designation as a member of a ‘Security Threat Group’.
June 2006 marks the sixth year that “Free” has been in prison as well as the 3rd year of International Days of Solidarity with him. The focus of international events this year will be on “Operation Backfire” and what many are calling a “Green Scare” campaign of government repression. This year’s Eugene event, “Resisting the Green Scare-A Night of Solidarity with Eco-Defense Prisoners”, will be held at 7pm on Sunday June 11th at Sam Bond’ s Garage, 407 Blair Blvd, and will consist of speakers and music. Award-winning author Derrick Jensen will be the featured speaker of the evening.
The local Jeff Luers Support Group and allies sponsor this event and wish to welcome the community to come out for an evening of entertainment and solidarity.
For more information, contact:
Jeff Luers Support Group
freefreenow (at) mutualaid.org
Call for Weekend of Resistance Against the "Green Scare" June 9 - 11, 2006
by Jeff "Free" Luers
This June marks my 6th year in prison. From behind these walls I have strived to remain an active part of this struggle; from contributing to the dialogue and discussion of tactics, to furthering the debate on climate change in the public. Perhaps most importantly I am proof that prison cannot crush the spirit of resistance.
This year has seen an increase in state repression against activists and radicals alike. It is truly a scary time. We all know about the "Red Scare" - the government's attempt to justify repression by labeling dissidents "communists" back in the 1950's. Today we see their "Green Scare" attempt to crush resistance by labeling them "eco-terrorists."
For the last three years, June 11th has been celebrated as an international day of solidarity with me, Jeffrey Luers. I have been overjoyed with a sense of love & pride at the support I have received from around the world. My deepest and sincerest thanks go out to all of you.
Right now there are more than a dozen people sitting in American jails (or on strict bail release) accused of Earth/Animal Liberation Front actions. Six people were originally arrested. These arrests were based almost entirely on the testimony of one police informant, Jacob Ferguson. Bill Rodgers - accused of multiple arsons - took his own life in a jail cell. Unfortunately, several of those arrested are now cooperating with the state.
These defendants are facing ridiculous charges and a draconian amount of time.
This June, I ask you to show them the solidarity that you have shown me. I ask that foremost in your mind be the thought that the state is trying to break this struggle with repressive and intimidating arrests and sentences. I hope you understand that it's not just those of us in prison being punished with these sentences; they are designed to be examples to you, to frighten you into compliance. This June I'm asking you to demonstrate that you can't be intimidated. Celebrate your dissent, give it voice. Be loud. Be visible. If you have the ability, organize a reclaim the streets party or a critical mass
If you are going to host a fundraiser or venue event, I ask that you donate all proceeds to the legal defense of those recently arrested who maintain integrity in the face of repression, whether they are innocent or guilty.
This June, show the world that the voice of truth will not be silenced by fear.
Contact Friends of Jeff Luers, PO Box 3, Eugene, OR 97440 USA or email freefreenow (at) mutualaid.org for organizing resources.
June 9 - 11, 2006, is a Weekend of Resistance Against the Green Scare. There is no central organizing body or group to check in with but the Jeff Luers Support Network can help by providing you with flyers, graphics, and merchandise such as videos, zines and stickers about Jeff and allies in the struggle. Begin planning your event now. Read more about the Green Scare defendants here. Plan an action that makes sense for your area: a demonstration, treesit, music festival, teach-in, stenciling campaign, rally, protests at an American consulate/embassy overseas or public forum. Circulate petitions. Contribute to the legal defense for the defendants. Do what you think is appropriate. But please remember when planning an action or event think about how it could affect the upcoming court cases. Ask yourself: does this help or hurt the defendants? Does this strengthen the movement or weaken it in the long-term?
East Coast contact:
Friends of Jeff 'Free' Luers-freefreenow (at) mutualaid.org
West Coast contacts:
Jeff Luers Support Group - PO Box 3, Eugene, OR 97440, breakthechains02 (at) yahoo.com or freefreenow (at) mutualaid.org
San Francisco Jeffrey Luers Support Network- freejeffreyluers (at) resist.ca
Brighton Anarchist Black Cross- PO Box 74, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 4ZQ, UK, mail (at) brightonabc.org.uk
This work is in the public domain
Weed out the Dandeelions
(No verified email address)
17 May 2006
Why criminals shouldn't be jailed is beyond me!