Eco-Terrorists Sentenced

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in at 5/25/2007 04:30:00 AM
Not all environmental movements are benign or well-meaning. Case in point: the Earth Liberation Front ("ELF"). Here is their manifesto:

Welcome to the struggle of all species to be free.

We are the burning rage of this dying planet. The war of greed ravages the earth and species die out every day. ELF works to speed up the collapse of industry, to scare the rich, and to undermine the foundations of the state. We embrace social and deep ecology as a practical resistance movement. We have to show the enemy that we are serious about defending what is sacred. Together we have teeth and claws to match our dreams. Our greatest weapons are imagination and the ability to strike when least expected.

Since 1992, a series of earth nights and halloween smashes has mushroomed around the world. 1000's of bulldozers, powerlines, computer systems, buildings and valuable equipment have been composted. Many ELF actions have been censored to prevent our bravery from inciting others to take action.

We take inspiration from the Luddites, Levellers, Diggers, the Autonome squatter movement, ALF, the Zapatistas, and the little people -- those mischievous elves of lore. Authorities can't see us because they don't believe in elves. We are practically invisible. We have no command structure, no spokespersons, no office, just many small groups working separately, seeking vulnerable targets and practicing our craft.

Many elves are moving to the Pacific Northwest and other sacred areas. Some elves will leave surprises as they go. Find your family! And let's dance as we make ruins of the corporate money system.

Form 'stormy night' action groups, encourage friends you trust. A tight community of love is a poweful force.

Recon -- check out targets that fit your plan and go over what you will do

Attack -- powerlines: cut supporting cables, unbolt towers, and base supports, saw wooden poles.

transformers: shoot out, bonfires, throw metal chains on top, or blow them up.

computers: smash, burn or flood buildings.

Please copy and improve for local use.

It seems that their activities have not escaped the FBI's attention. Like every other enemy of the state in "Capital G" Bush's America, they have been branded as "terrorists":

A radical environmentalist who admitted to setting fire to an SUV dealership, a tree farm and a police station was declared a terrorist yesterday and sentenced to 16 years in federal prison.

Stanislas Meyerhoff, 29, was the first of 10 admitted saboteurs -- members of a loose-knit extremist environmental group, the Earth Liberation Front -- who face sentencing in the coming weeks for a series of arsons committed across five western states over six years.

Since their arrests last year, members of the cell, who called themselves "the family," have all pleaded guilty to charges of arson and conspiracy. They have insisted, however, that they would fight at their sentencing hearings the "terrorist enhancement" procedures that could increase their prison terms and land them in supermax prisons.

The hearings are at the new center of an old storm about how to define someone a terrorist.

Radical environmental groups including the Earth Liberation Front and an associate network, the Animal Liberation Front, have been called by the FBI "the No. 1 domestic terrorism threat" in America. Their members include four of the bureau's 11 most wanted homegrown terrorists.

The groups and their supporters say that in more than 1,100 acts of arson and vandalism the members have never killed a single person, and the "terrorist" label is intended only as a scare tactic and means of augmenting the government's rolls of captured terrorists.

Federal agents arrested the 10 defendants last year in an action called Operation Backfire. At the time of their arrest, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales called the cell's $40 million dollar campaign of arson -- which targeted a horse slaughterhouse, SUV dealerships, a scientific research center, logging companies and a ski resort -- "a pattern of domestic terrorism activities."

Lawyers and activists defending the saboteurs insist that acts of arson and property damage have never been the stuff of terrorism indictments. They say the label is intended by the government to stir public outrage and increase the length of their client's prison terms.