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SUE H
12-08-2004, 07:24 AM
I'm not going to hunt down the cut and paste, I've got a final at 8:00 AM. But I saw this on the news last night and heard about it again on NPR this morning. Someone burned down a new subdivision in Maryland. They are calling it "Eco-Terrorism" but environmental groups are saying they had no hand in it. Evidently, there had been protests over the subdivision, but that's not unusual. The fire, however, is very unusual.

[ 12-08-2004, 08:25 AM: Message edited by: SUE H ]

SUE H
12-08-2004, 07:29 AM
OK, I couldn't resist. Here's the C & P:

Maryland Fire Guts 12 Expensive Homes
(Mon, Dec/06/2004)

INDIAN HEAD, Md. - A pricey development in a Washington suburb that has been criticized by environmentalists burned early Monday, destroying a dozen homes under construction next to a nature preserve.

An additional 29 houses, also in various stages of construction, were damaged in the Hunters Brooke development, where prices range from $400,000 to $500,000, said Faron Taylor, a deputy state fire marshal.

There were no reports of injuries and no word yet on the cause, said Charles County spokeswoman Nina Voehl.

The Sierra Club called the development "quintessential sprawl" in its Fall 2000 sprawl report, noting it is far from existing infrastructure and "threatens a fragile wetland and important historical sites near the Chesapeake Bay."

The unoccupied houses were near the state's Mattawoman Natural Environment Area.

Taylor said investigators from around the state would be assigned to the case. There was no preliminary word on total damage.

He said the houses were on lots of about a quarter-acre each, spread over a 10-acre area, and noted that significant rainfall had soaked the area over the past few weeks.

The fires were reported before 5 a.m., drawing firefighters from Charles and three other counties to the 319-unit subdivision, Voehl said. The subdivision was largely unpopulated.

Harry Phillips, who lives behind the development, told WUSA-TV in Washington that the fire was not far from Araby Bog, one of the state's largest magnolia bogs. The Sierra Club has said the development would severely degrade the bog.

Article's URL:

http://www.phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/news/1-12062004-412106.html

alteran
12-08-2004, 07:32 AM
Now that the election is over the eco terrorists have quit campaigning for Kerry and are back to their regular work.

km gresham
12-08-2004, 07:32 AM
I found this, Sue. Who ever is responsible for these acts should go to prison for a very long time.

http://www.washtimes.com/national/20041207-111414-8901r .htm (http://www.washtimes.com/national/20041207-111414-8901r.htm)

[ 12-08-2004, 08:33 AM: Message edited by: km gresham ]

Mrleft8
12-08-2004, 07:34 AM
Looks more like a penny poor developer trying to get some insurance cash, and blame it on enviromentalists to me.

Popeye
12-08-2004, 07:36 AM
Bog Huggers.

Bruce Hooke
12-08-2004, 08:01 AM
Do note that at this time the police have not said that it was eco-terrorism, that is simply one of the possiblities being considered. Race hate motives are also being considered because many of the homes have been purchased by African-Americans.

I did hear a rather ironic interview with someone who was going to move into the subdivision. He said something to the effect that he seemed ironic that "nature lovers" would burn down the houses because he saw himself as a "nature lover" -- that was why he wanted to move out to the country. He seemed to be completely oblivous to the impact that he himself was having on nature by moving out to the country...

Ian McColgin
12-08-2004, 08:14 AM
By yesterday our local hate radio had two of the syndicated guys - the fat one and the tough one - asserting that it was eco-terrorism. Regrettably, there was no evidence.

Whoever did it, I hope they are caught. There are eco-terrorists out there and there are some aggressive eco-militants falsly accused of eco-terrorism but what they really do is direct but non-violent action. Anyway, the reasons for doubting eco-terrorism at this point are that no one has claimed the act - and terrorists look for publicity - and a fire at this location could be as environmentally damaging as the development.

If the bad guys are caught, then we'll see. But if it's not eco-terrorists, expect no follow up from Rush and Gordon. After all, being right is never having to admit a wrong.

alteran
12-08-2004, 08:22 AM
"but what they really do is direct but non-violent action'

Give us an example of what you meen.

TomF
12-08-2004, 08:31 AM
example - multiple protesters lying down across a logging road, blocking logging company access in an attempt to protect old-growth forests.

That's non-violent, and has happened repeatedly in British Columbia for decades, with minor variations.

That's quite different from the eco-terrorist versions ... hammering hardened spikes into old growth trees so that the loggers are put at risk from kickbacks, and the logging mills have machinery destroyed.

T.

Ian McColgin
12-08-2004, 08:39 AM
How can that even be a question? the overwhelming bulk of even the most militant eco-activism is non-violent.

Like the lady who was living up in a tree.

Like sailing yachts into the french nuclear testing zone.

Like getting small boats between a whaler and a whale.

Like protests at various power plants.

Like gathering publicly in a forest area that's scheduled to be arial sprayed with 24D.

There are any number of disruptive attention getting actions one can take that stop well short of causing physical injury.

I abhore spiking trees due to the potential danger that causes to workers. I also abhore people who target shoot with hardened ammunition or attach fencing to trees, as both of those activities have the same effect as spiking and are actually a more common cause of injury to foresters and sawyers.

I abjure bombing whaling vessels. I don't get much excited about less invasive ways of disabling a ship even though I'm not moved to that level of crime in the name of virtue myself.

I am far more concerned with the lawless activities of much global shipping than I am even the psychoticly dangerous 'eco-terrorists.'

Again, this arson might be an eco-terrorist action - we'll see if they are caught - but the absence of anyone making a public boast makes that less likely than other suspects. Unlike the hysterical wimps on the hate radio, I like to have a fact or two in hand.

alteran
12-08-2004, 08:49 AM
Originally posted by Ian McColgin:
How can that even be a question? .Give us an example of what you mean was the question.

Its a question because what YOU mean by "direct but non-violent action" could be quite different from someone elses interpretation.

Ian McColgin
12-08-2004, 08:57 AM
Forty three years is well past the statute of limitation for any juvenile vandelism, so I'll share an example of lawless disruptive and destructive eco-action that's not eco-terrorism.

A local wetland was going to be filled and subdivided. This was before even the inadequate protections of today but a small cadre 3 boys and 2 girls realized (overhearing more conventionally activist parents) that if the project could stall through a summer, it would be thwarted legally in the fall town meeting. So these thirteen year olds embarked on a campaign of harrassment that escalated.

At first they just swam through the march on a night high tide, taking up the survey stakes.

They escalated to moving them about.

When the company hired a night watchman, they'd sneak swim up to his punt and tip it over.

They destroyed utility poles, an electric line and a construction shack more than once.

In November things were still not irrevokable and the marsh was saved.

So far as I know, these children all grew up to continue civic-minded activism with a bit of puckish humor.

km gresham
12-08-2004, 09:00 AM
They're lucky they weren't caught. Their "pranks" may have been very costly to their parents.

alteran
12-08-2004, 09:13 AM
"So far as I know, these children all grew up to continue civic-minded activism with a bit of puckish humor."

Yes aren't those little tykes cute? They probably grew up to be union members who think its cute to smash windows or throw pipe bombs into the homes of those who dare cross a picket line.

NormMessinger
12-08-2004, 09:16 AM
But they saved the marsh!

High C
12-08-2004, 09:21 AM
Originally posted by NormMessinger:
But they saved the marsh!Now that we've established that the ends justifies the means, I expect we won't hear any more complaints about Gitmo, prisoner abuse, etc. Right?

Or are there hypocrites in our midst?

NormMessinger
12-08-2004, 09:24 AM
:rolleyes:

Popeye
12-08-2004, 09:25 AM
they saved the marsh for about five seconds longer, about as long as it takes to start befelling more trees to rebuild the houses. :rolleyes:

TomF
12-08-2004, 09:26 AM
Originally posted by alteran:
Yes aren't those little tykes cute? They probably grew up to be union members who think its cute to smash windows or throw pipe bombs into the homes of those who dare cross a picket line.[/QB]ummm ... unable to maintain the flow of a thread, are we?

This whole episode was related because you asked for an example of non-violent direct action. Maybe these cute little tykes grew up knowing that such actions can work occasionally ... and continued to support non-violent protest actions?

alteran
12-08-2004, 09:32 AM
You missed the point Tom F.

And from the tone of your post I presume you condone this, "When the company hired a night watchman, they'd sneak swim up to his punt and tip it over. They destroyed utility poles, an electric line and a construction shack more than once."

Endangering the watchmans life and destruction of private property. You approve of this because the cause was "right?

TomF
12-08-2004, 09:36 AM
Nope. I think there were perhaps other ways.

I'm all for pulling up and shifting the stakes, for e.g., but not big on destroying the shack. As for the punt ... depends how deep the water was. I doubt that anyone's life was endangered, but it was a silly stunt.

I do see it as an example of non-violent action, though. And I don't jump to the conclusion that these folks would graduate to tossing pipe bombs into houses.

t.

High C
12-08-2004, 09:41 AM
Originally posted by TomF:
...As for the punt...I do see it as an example of non-violent action....Sorry, but that's violence, and a punishable crime.

alteran
12-08-2004, 10:03 AM
Originally posted by TomF:
Nope. I think there were perhaps other ways.

I'm all for pulling up and shifting the stakes, for e.g.,

t.Ya know Tom I think that the lot your house is on would be better used as green space for the community. So I think I'll just harrass you and your familiy until you can't put up with me anymore and you move on. Then I'll bulldoze the house and plant some trees. Of course I won't pay you for it, you should have thought of the the greater good of the commnunity before you built it.

Seems fair to me and should to you to. After all it fits right in with your reasoning.....

km gresham
12-08-2004, 10:08 AM
It all depends on whose ox is being gored, doesn't it? Whether an action is vandalism, terrorism or "non violent protest". A matter of degree, as well.

We were taught that it is never ok to violate someone else's property. Never. There are appropriate ways to deal with things. Had I been caught doing such a thing, my parents would have been extremely angry and my life would become very miserable for a time - and I would have been required to make reparations for the damage I had done.

Responsibility for one's actions is a foreign concept to some it would seem.

Ian McColgin
12-08-2004, 10:08 AM
The kids did save their marsh. The bog near the subdivision remains at risk, which is a bit more evidence that this was not eco-terrorism.

Ends and means are related but not all unlawful means lead to lawless ends. Our nation has a rich history of disruptive political behavior and civil disobedience.

Most of us who have participated in, organized and/or led various actions take the responsibility for non-violence very seriously. One can't control everyone in a crowd and one can't always be certain the any police or counter-demonstrators will be temporate people of courage, but everything I've worked in and the majority of actions I know about are designed to be legal and public.

Occasionall I've been involved in organizing an action with an 'arrest strategy.' One might well go over that in advance with the police, as we did in the '70's with demonstrations at the trojan nuclear power plant. The county had a limited sherriff's department and we agreed to launch people at the perimiter fence in small groups so they could be carted off to jail without making too big a backlog. We actually had our own marshalls holding back some of the over-eager and we got through a couple of hundred arrested with no punches thrown and no back strain to the deputies.

Sometimes it's better not to announce how far you plan to go, as when a group of theology students chained themselves to the Harrisberg PA courthouse physically preventing entry for the Berrigan trial until the police got good enough bolt-cutters.

And best of all is when you can telegraph an intent. I was involved as a minor street organizer in a fameous Alinsky gig in NYC. Turned out the major slumlord was the Met (Opera) through its investment portfolio. They did not want to discuss community issues. We knew that our groups were inflitrated with police agents, so we made a big deal of planning a huge bean dinner that would have a raffel of about a dozen opera tickets for later than night . . .

Got 'em to the table.

In stuff I've done, we always made sure that our members were on-board with the plan and the consequences. We always try to structure things such that any physical risk is our own, not police, opponents or by-standers. As out-of-control police proved to me in Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington, East Berlin, Thailand and Greece, the risk is real. As out-of-control demonstrators proove to me in the US cities listed above, stuff can go wrong on our side as well. But all of this is in the rhelm of acceptable risk for the public dialogue.

As Melvina Renyolds sang

It's not nice to block the hallway
It's not nice to go to jail
. . .
But if that is freedom's price
We don't care.

Non-violent action can be very vigorous, sometimes dangerous, and sometimes unlawful, but it's public and responsible.

There are times when a bit of creative albeit unlawful monkey wrenching - such as the kids I told of - works out well. But it only works out in a public context, even if the perpetrators remain stealthy.

For example, vandelizing nasty billboards, perhaps by adding a novel message, is just vandelism unless there is something else happening in the body politic.

Disabling expensive construction machinery - and this level of damage can easily be felonious - is just destruction unless there's a public context about, say, forestry practices or salmon runs.

I personally feel that destructive and stealthy monkey wrenching is less likely to have a productive outcome than public non-violent action, but not impossible.

In any case, there come times in life when many of us must face the choise of obeying or disobeying a law in our pursuit of a higher good. It's never a trivial or easy choise.

But it can be really liberating to be in jail for the right reason.

TomF
12-08-2004, 10:15 AM
Shoot, ALL of it would have been punishable - as Karen said. Moving the stakes was punishable. Probably simply swimming around in the marsh was punishable.

We're splitting hairs here - overturning a punt is violent, you say. I'm defining violence a bit differently - i.e. people get hurt. If they punched the security guard, or rigged a trip wire, or something that otherwise caused injury. I suppose that getting wet unexpectedly is an injury, but one that happens regularly when dinghy sailers capsize. Does that risk make boating a potentially violent passtime?

This is a tangent. Ian's story was told to answer your request for an example of non-violent direct action. You don't like his example. How about the one I gave some posts back: lying down across a logging road to prevent trucks and loggers taking down first-growth timber? How about protesters chaining themselves to 400 year old trees, while singing and praying?

Surely that isn't violent by anyone's definition (though you might call it other things!), and it illustrates one form of non-violent direct action that, at least regarding the Carmanagh Valley, was frequently used.

Ian's central point was that much if not most eco-activism is non-violent. Do you want to take issue with that?

Tom.

TGP
12-08-2004, 10:15 AM
"But it can be really liberating to be in jail for the right reason."

No thanks. I'd rather work "behind the scenes." :D

alteran
12-08-2004, 10:16 AM
"But it only works out in a public context."

And you and your fellow demonstrators decide for yourselves what the "public context" is.

Read my reply to Tom Ian. in it I decide to take his house for the public good. Seem right to you?

alteran
12-08-2004, 10:18 AM
Harassing you to leave your home is nonviolent Tom. Does that make it ok?

TomF
12-08-2004, 10:24 AM
Depends why you want me to leave :D

If I'm a slum landlord, or am holding neo-nazi meetings, then maybe some harassment is justified. If you don't like the way I trim my lawn, probably no.

If my home WERE one of the only ones in a threatened wetland, and there were risks that species might be lost, perhaps your protesters might be justified. As it is, I live in the middle of a city. Nothing's going to be lost if you bulldoze my home other than a 150 year old heritage building. ;)

T.

[ 12-08-2004, 11:25 AM: Message edited by: TomF ]

Barry
12-08-2004, 10:29 AM
Originally posted by High C:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by TomF:
...As for the punt...I do see it as an example of non-violent action....Sorry, but that's violence, and a punishable crime.</font>[/QUOTE]Kind of like this? Counter eco-terrorism? (http://archive.greenpeace.org/comms/rw/pkbomb.html)

km gresham
12-08-2004, 10:31 AM
But you see, Tom, it wouldn't matter what you thought - only what the crowd decided. Someone else would decide whether you could remain there, undisturbed. It wouldn't matter what evidence you had to the contrary, if this group decided you were wrong and they were right, your rights would end.

Interesting, isn't it?

alteran
12-08-2004, 10:31 AM
Perfect example Tom. What needs greenspace more than the middle of a large city? If you want to walk the walk then it should be perfectly acceptable to you if my eco friends and I take your home away and plant some trees.
After all you have already shown you don't believe in private property rights when you think the cause is right in your mind.

[ 12-08-2004, 11:53 AM: Message edited by: alteran ]

Art Read
12-08-2004, 10:50 AM
"There are times when a bit of creative albeit unlawful monkey wrenching - such as the kids I told of - works out well. But it only works out in a public context, even if the perpetrators remain stealthy."

So, Ian, let me see here... You didn't agree with your local authorities' decision to allow a little marsh to be developed. Therefore you took it upon yourself to sabotage the legal owner's property. So I suppose if I wanted to develop my own nice little piece of land somewhere, but was stymied by "environmental" concerns, a little "unlawful monkey wrenching" on my part would be acceptable? Perhaps cutting the bark on all the trees under cover of darkness? Spraying herbicide? Poisoning the wildlife? I mean, hey! I don't agree with the authorities, and I'm not "hurting" anybody, right?

[ 12-08-2004, 12:07 PM: Message edited by: Art Read ]

Art Read
12-08-2004, 10:52 AM
While we're at it, what's with all these boats made with tropical hardwoods? They're exploiting the rainforests! Perhaps a little "non-violent" mooring cutting, seacock opening, or varnish spraypainting is in order?

Seems to me that a lot of folk here feel that the ends DO justify the means... As long as the "ends" in question agree with THEIR "enlightened" opinions.

I got a big kick out of watching some of the 5 year anniversary footage of the "famous" WTO riots here in Seattle the other day. "Free trade" protesters throwing garbage cans through McDonald's windows while wearing Nike sneakers and Patagonia Gortex and fleece, all properly layered against the Northwest drizzle...

[ 12-08-2004, 01:08 PM: Message edited by: Art Read ]

alteran
12-08-2004, 10:55 AM
Don't come to my shop Art. There is a pile of tropical hardwood laying next to the table saw ready to turn into strips and I don't want you in there putting its bark back on and replanting it. smile.gif

[ 12-08-2004, 11:56 AM: Message edited by: alteran ]

NormMessinger
12-08-2004, 10:56 AM
And Rosa Parks should have stayed at the back of the bus like a good little nigra.

alteran
12-08-2004, 10:58 AM
What does your post have to do with ecoterrorism and private property rights Norm?

Alan D. Hyde
12-08-2004, 11:06 AM
Excerpted from: A Man for All Seasons by Robert Bolt:

More No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal.

Roper Then you set man's law above God's!

More No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact - I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of the law, oh, there I'm a forrester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God....

Alice While you talk, he's gone!

More And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law!

Roper So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law!

More Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

Roper I'd cut down every law in England to do that!

More Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you - where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast - man's laws, not God's - and if you cut them down - and you're just the man to do it - d'you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake.

***

"More" is Sir Thomas More; "Roper" is his eventual son-in-law, and "Alice" is Sir Thomas' wife...

***

Alan

[ 12-08-2004, 12:09 PM: Message edited by: Alan D. Hyde ]

Jim H
12-08-2004, 11:09 AM
If this was eco-terrorism, just how effective was it? The land was already cleared and built upon when the houses were burned. Burning the houses released green house gasses and a host of other toxic gasses from carpet, fixtures etc. The local fire dept. put out the fires using water (itself a precious commodity) and the run-off went where? This does fit the M.O. of the ecoterrorists and as usual they do far more harm than good. Do you really think all of those marina fires were just accidents? Perhaps ELF just decided it was smarter not to claim responsibilty in a post 9/11 U.S.

km gresham
12-08-2004, 11:13 AM
Bingo, Jim! On all counts. And from what I can tell, their aim isn't to do good - it's to destroy property and profits. And to feel important and powerful. Through whatever means.

[ 12-08-2004, 12:14 PM: Message edited by: km gresham ]

Art Read
12-08-2004, 11:28 AM
I remember watching an interview with a woman who's mink collared coat had been splashed with red paint by an "enlightened" PETA member. She was on a panel with PETA spokesman who, when asked how destroying her property benifited the animal said something to the effect of, "Well at least now you won't be able to reap the benifit of that poor animal's fur!"

She calmly replied that he was correct. And then asked if he felt that the animals who provided the fur for the full length coat she replaced it with would thank him...

"Well! I'M not responsible for, and have no control over, YOUR decisions!" he sputtered.

"Correct again", she cooed.

km gresham
12-08-2004, 11:29 AM
Uh-oh - guess they hadn't thought that far ahead. Not surprising. I think their ability to think is inhibited by their fierce emotional response to what they deem to be wrong. ;)

That reminds me of the Sean Hannity show - he had a liberal call screener who he gifted with live Maine lobsters for Christmas.

Well, the woman is a fierce animal rights advocate so she decided to set the creature free - in a freshwater pond - with the rubber band still around it's claw. A little forethought can be a good thing.

I imagine she didn't do that lobster any favors. :D

[ 12-08-2004, 12:40 PM: Message edited by: km gresham ]

TGP
12-08-2004, 11:36 AM
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique
and a swinging hot spot
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

They took all the trees
And put them in a tree museum
And they charged all the people
A dollar and a half to see 'em
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They paved paradise
And they put up a parking lot

Hey farmer farmer
Put away that D.D.T. now
Give me spots on my apples
But leave me the birds and the bees
Please!
Dont it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

Late last night
I heard the screen door slam
And a big yellow taxi
Took away my old man
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

Art Read
12-08-2004, 11:42 AM
The govenors of Massachussetts and Texas had a friendly wager going over the results of a college football championship. Boston wins, Texas sends a side of beef. Texas wins, Massachussetts sends a case of live lobster. Texas won. Weeks later, at a govenor's conference, Massachussetts asks Texas how the lobsters were?

"Well, I didn't want to say anything... but we had to throw 'em all out..."

"Whatever for?", cries Massachussetts.

"Well, I recon they must have spoilt in transit... They'd all turned green..." ;)

[ 12-08-2004, 01:00 PM: Message edited by: Art Read ]

Popeye
12-08-2004, 11:49 AM
with garlic butter and coleslaw ...


http://gallery.antiflux.org/albums/lobsters/Lobster_Boil.sized.jpg

km gresham
12-08-2004, 11:58 AM
smile.gif

TomF
12-08-2004, 12:04 PM
Originally posted by alteran:
Perfect example Tom. What needs greenspace more than the middle of a large city? If you want to walk the walk then it should be perfectly acceptable to you if my eco friends and I take your home away and plant some trees.
After all you have already shown you don't believe in private property rights when you think the cause is right in your mind.Sorry for the time lapse ... the kids are home from school today, so I lunched with them.

If you and your eco-activist friends want to come and protest in front of my 50 by 150 lot, and can convince City Council that it will benefit endangered wildlife that such an island surrounded by other houses but 250 yards away from the city's existing massive greenbelt along the St. John River would protect endangered wildlife ... more power to you.

My house aside ... when I weighed in, the discussion was about violent and non-violent activism, and whether non-violent ecological activism actually existed. I said yes, and gave an example - Ian also said yes, and gave several.

And once again, in my view, folks are welcome to do non-violent activism for whatever non-violent cause strikes their fancy. That can certainly include things I plan to do with my property.

There's an abortion clinic across the street from my office. Personally, I'm torn on the issue ... but there are people with great mental clarity holding signs from all perspectives camped outside there pretty much daily. In my view, it is their right to be there, and try to either shut down or keep open the clinic. So long as they do so non-violently.

And for what it's worth, I'd certainly agree with the folks (you included, unless I'm mistaken) who would condemn the torching of the subdivision mentioned in the first post ... whether torched by eco-nazis, or anti-black racists, or anyone else. I consider the actions that prompted this thread - done by whomever, and for whatever reason - to be reprehensible.

Tom.

[ 12-08-2004, 01:19 PM: Message edited by: TomF ]

alteran
12-08-2004, 12:24 PM
"If you and your eco-activist friends want to come and protest in front of my 50 by 150 lot, and can convince city council that it will benefit endangered wildlife that such an island surrounded by other houses but 250 yards away from the city's existing massive greenbelt along the St. John River would protect endangered wildlife ... more power to you."

Different issue entirely Tom. You are talking about using legal means to condem or confiscate property. The discussion and what Ian is espousing are illegal acts done without any government authority.

Art Read
12-08-2004, 12:31 PM
I believe Mr. Hyde's post illustrates the heart of all this.

Laws.

By all means, express your opinion, exersize your right to lobby for change, engage in peaceful protest against policy you feel misguided and support whatever "cause" you feel important.

But your PERSONAL belief, no matter how "correct", does NOT give you the "moral" authority to perform an illegal act. Remember that those who disagree with you most likely feel as strongly as you do. Would you argue that they have the same freedom to disregard the "rules" as you do?

Not all laws are sensible or just. And I admire those who, by publicly disobeying them, make the injustice obvious. But that's a far cry from flagrant disdain for any legal principal or statute that gets in the way of one's personal agenda.

[ 12-08-2004, 01:44 PM: Message edited by: Art Read ]

Alan D. Hyde
12-08-2004, 12:40 PM
Exactly, Art.

There lies the road to anarchy.

And, a bloody downhill road it is...

Alan

TomF
12-08-2004, 01:00 PM
Originally posted by Art Read:
But your PERSONAL belief, no matter how "correct", does NOT give you the "moral" authority to perform an illegal act. Remember that those who disagree with you most likely feel as strongly as you do. Would you argue that they have the same freedom to disregard the "rules" as you do?I almost entirely agree. In most cases, I'd follow the position Thomas More took in Bolt's play. But in some circumstances, an illegal action is justified.

Some laws are evil - I would have willingly broken German laws in WWII to hand over Jews to the forces. I would have willingly hidden individuals Stalin's goons had declared "enemy of the people."

Some government policies contravene international law. E.g., the "Bush Doctrine" contravenes existing International law, which does not allow military pre-emptive action.

I'm not saying that all eco-activism is good, or legal, or even in society's best interests. I am saying that the law, in and of itself, is not an adequate arbitrer of morality. Given that, in some very limited cases, illegal actions are justified.

e.g. Imagine that a US intelligence agent is vacationing in Canada, doing a bit of whale-watching in the Bay of Fundy. Suddenly, he notices that Bin Laden is another of the paying customers. Would the upholders of law on the forum here argue that the agent would be doing the wrong thing by contravening Canada's laws and taking OBL hostage, or taking him out?

Tom.

LeeG
12-08-2004, 01:12 PM
local NPR station had talk show about the environmental issues of that bog.

1. arson should be punished. Environmental issues are seperate.

2. population growth following market forces in the Chesapeake watershed allow for development where it's most profitable. Without an overiding policy on growth/run-off pollution control in the entire multistate region the Bay will continue to decline.

Coming from California where folks bemoaned the government restrictions on growth that came with the Coastal Commission should really appreciate the fish kills here. Algae blooms are pretty too.

Art Read
12-08-2004, 01:32 PM
"Given that, in some very limited cases, illegal actions are justified."

Well, I guess it kinda depends on just WHO is deciding what is really "justified", doesn't it? "Justified" does not always mean the same thing as "correct". For every example of "bad" laws being "correctly" disobeyed, I suspect another example could be made of "good" laws being trampled as well. Segregated seating on a bus? Reprehensible! Klu Klux Klan wants to march in downtown Skokie? "Well, uhmm... wait a minute...."

Laying down on a logging road? Hey, it's free speach! Blocking young women from entering abortion clinics, or black kids from entering a Little Rock high school? "That's harrasment! Call out the National Guard!"

I find it interesting that some of those who can so easily take it upon themselves to decide just WHICH laws don't really need to be obeyed are often so quick to turn to the ACLU, or the courts, to stop others from doing the same thing.

While I, personaly, would buy your agent a beer for giving old OBL a shove off the side of your Whale Watch boat, I suspect that there are some folk around the world who would take a dim view of it. Perhaps even the Canadian authorities waiting on the dock when he got in. Unless some national authority gave him the right to take action, I'd applaud him while they RIGHTLY took him away in handcuffs.

[ 12-08-2004, 02:38 PM: Message edited by: Art Read ]

TomF
12-08-2004, 01:36 PM
Largely agree, Art.

That is the rub: in matters of individual conscience ... it is up to the individual. But that unfortunate truth doesn't make the law any better as a final arbitrer of right and wrong.

I still would like to think I'd have broken laws requiring me to hand over Jews to Nazis, or Russian dissenters to Stalin though. And I'd expect most of the folks posting here would say something similar.

As to your last comment ... yeah, any illegal "direct action" needs to be accompanied by the understanding that you'll likely end up prosecuted for it. Whether that's knocking OBL into the drink, or hugging a tree.

t.

Art Read
12-08-2004, 01:57 PM
"I still would like to think I'd have broken laws requiring me to hand over Jews to Nazis, or Russian dissenters to Stalin though."

Yeah... I'd like to think I'd have been brave enough to do that too... And I thank God I'll never likely have to face that choice. Which is the main reason I feel so strongly about never letting the rule of law become subordinate to the will of the masses.

(Now, if you'll parden me, there's some pesky game warden keeping watch over my favorite fishing hole, so my buddy and I are going to swim on out there and tip over his skiff for him so we can do some fish'n... ;) )

km gresham
12-08-2004, 02:07 PM
smile.gif

TomF
12-08-2004, 02:07 PM
Give him my best. ;)

Popeye
12-08-2004, 02:11 PM
i think the future will be better tomorrow.

Peter Kalshoven
12-09-2004, 05:26 AM
This is what the bilge should be about, thoughtful discussion between people who disagree.
Let me add my two cents worth.
There is a difference between eco-terrorism and civil disobediance. A terrorist act prime purpose is to acheive change through the act of terror. The initiator of such acts usually tries to remain anonymous so that they can repeat the violence until they initiate change. Civil disobediance is the act of someone who feels a law is unjust, and knowingly breaks that law in order to highlight the injustice. The difference is, it seems to be inherent in civil disobediance that the actor accept the consequences of breaking the law, as part of the act. When you break a law, you go to jail. This is essential in civil disobediance, because it gives weight to your beliefs, and points out the injustice being served.
So if you want to save the marsh, go ahead and pull out the stakes. Then march down to the local cop shop and turn yourself in. Feel free to have press there to hightlight your issue. Then do your time.
Burn down the shack and run away? You're a criminal and a thug and should be treated appropriately, and have little moral standing.

Then again, I could be wrong.

Joe (SoCal)
12-09-2004, 05:56 AM
What scares alteran and Karen et all is the inability to protect yourself and property from Terrorism. The fear of any kind of terrorism is what drives this current political climate.

Eco terrorism or ELF is highly disturbing because it is so underground and will never be caught. It is anonymous web based kinda like a Gnuttela file sharing system.

http://www.iiipublishing.com/elf.htm

You never know how the information is sent and received. It is anarchy and buy its very nature is unorganized. The individual elements themselves are not illegal. Post information about a new subdivision in an environmentally sensitive location, and watch the private emails fly, many very untraceable. Poof a group of people that have never met before and don't know any ones names arrives does the illegal deed and poof they vanish back into cyber space. Some may never ever do another malicious act again. Others make it a full time ambition. Even if heads of ECO cells are caught others will simply spawn. This is the essence of new terrorism. Highly techno people communicating and acting in a hive mentality. Very hard to fight the war on Terrorism now matter what country you invade.

[ 12-09-2004, 07:06 AM: Message edited by: Joe ( Cold Spring on Hudson ) ]

alteran
12-09-2004, 06:29 AM
"What scares alteran and Karen et all is the inability to protect yourself and property from Terrorism."

In my case that is not true. Speak for yourself if you wish but don't try to speak for me.

Joe (SoCal)
12-09-2004, 06:42 AM
Me? I fear no man smile.gif

But should a ELF cell find your shops use of tropical hardwood an issue you might come home to find it Poof gone :D :D :D

Ian McColgin
12-09-2004, 07:39 AM
Peter's largly on target distinguishing between civil disobediance and acts that in their extreem get to terrorism.

Part of civil disobedience is the court and maybe punishment phase. After all part of the goal is to embarrass the system by finessing it to commit grossly disporportionate acts of injustice. Nothing deflates authority mre rapidly than ridicule and laughter, but courage can go a long way, as the suffragettes who starved themselves in prison showed.

Monkey wrenching, 'ecotage', and whatnot are far more problematic in my experience. Small vandelisms can be great fun - as the stake moving example - but can escalate into stuff that causes real damage and at least a little real risk to human health.

Almost any prank can go wrong. I remember almost dropping an Austin Martin Sprite we were steeplejacking to the top of the tower at my old boarding school one midnight. Had my calculations been a little further inside SWL, we could have had a half dozen fatalities. In the event, we got it up and laughed our butts off watching the school hire a crane to get the thing back down.

Point is, whether for fun or political point, there are pranks that are at least technically illegal and have some very real possibility of grave risk.

I personally approve of deft pranks even if (especially if) they require some expenese to remedy. If I could figure a way to get one of the Hyannis Port Hummers planted out on the end of the breakwall, I'd be sorely tempted.

Back to the teens with the marsh: The shack was a prefab and they got inventive about unbolting the corners and rigging cables so that it would collapse backwards when the door was opened. The utility pole was bored a bit and attacked with lye and home-made acids so that it could be toppled and look superficially as if it was rotten.

Had they gone on to perfect some of the more irresponsibly hairbrained plots, they would have either blown themselves up or truely endangered someone's life. They are fortunate to have stopped.

My own rules are that terrorism, covert violence against masses of people, especially non-combatants, is always wrong. I recognise that some acts, such as snipers killing the other side's officers and leaders deep inside the other side's turf, can be sort of boundry and that ariel bombardment that goes past military targets and is meant to break the will of the civilian population is further along - these things can be argued but basic terrorism like bombing Harrods or mailing anthrax is always the wrong way to win what's supposed to be a liberation struggle.

Most "eco-terrorism" is really 'ecotage' - sabatoge aimed at property more than people. However, some things like tree spiking are designed to slow production by creating a danger to workers.

One must remember that ecotage comes from a part of the country that has a history of recent 'heroic turbulence.' When I was doing organizing around energy issues in Oregon in the '70's there were still old guys who'd been Wobs and told stirring tales of dynamite. And there are woodsmen who sport bumperstickers like 'greenies kiss my axe.' And think nothing of wading into some protesters with ax handles swinging.

I think that the chances of human injury are too high for expensivly damaging ecotage to be justified as a tactic in most instances. If a group really has a legitimate goal that just needs delay to work - like slowing a clearcut long enough to prove that the EIS lied about the effect on river temperature and salmon run - then maybe perhaps kinda sorta ya never know but what monkey wrenching even if it means damaging some expensive bulldozers might hypothetically somehow serve the greater purpose.

It's a slope from a bit of amusing vandelism to ecotage to eco-terrorism and always a dangerous slope at that.

The best of civil disobediance was exemplified by the fameously gay Lytton Strachey when he appeared before a judge to defend his conscientious objection to and refusal to serve in WWI.

The judge in full Imperial fury thundered, "Well young man, what would you do if you came across a Hun raping your own sister?"

Strachey allowed just one beat before breathlessly lisping, "I'd attempt to interpose my own body."

High C
12-09-2004, 07:45 AM
A big part of the distinction between classic "civil disobedience", and intolerable disobedience, is whether or not property is damaged or anyone gets hurt. Rosa Parks didn't hurt anyone.

Peter Kalshoven
12-09-2004, 08:49 AM
Ian, thanks for such a thoughtful opinion. I guess my biggest problem with "ecotage" as you put it is that anonymous persons become judge and jury:
"This is wrong, because I declare it is wrong, so I will right the wrong, and to hell with any inconvenient laws or property rights that get between me and the Great Truth AS I SEE IT."

Of course, saving the environment is seen as "Reason Enough" and it is obvious to the ecotagist ( :confused: ?) that the ends justify the means.

The big issue I have with this is that EVERY extremist group can use the same rational. Does that mean that you would support the blowing up of abortion clinics, the burning of crosses on an inter-racial couple's front lawn, or the torching of a Gay and Lesbian Social Center? I certainly would not. As long as no people are hurt, the above rational works to justify these acts. This I will not accept, and therefore, the ecotage becomes unacceptable as well.

Now, I don't mean to create a Straw Man argument here. Please believe me when I say that I am trying to find a legitamate rationale for the ecotage movement's efforts. But I calls em like I sees em. If there is a truer statement for the rationale of this position, please let us know.

km gresham
12-09-2004, 09:01 AM
I think it all boils down to respect - for others, for the property of others. Some people just have no respect for anything or any views that are not in concert with their own.

Extreme intolerance is a central characteristic of those who don't adhere to the tenet that "your rights end where mine begin". They don't even see that anyone they oppose has rights, much less that they are infringing upon those rights.

Garrett Lowell
12-09-2004, 09:06 AM
An update to the original topic:

According to the Washington Post, Police are searching for a Blue Van sighted by several people leaving the area just after the fires were reported. Also, the security guard for the subdivision allegedly left the site early, just before the fires were started/reported. Every home in the subdivision was targeted, except for several vacant, completed homes, and the one which was occupied. Investigators were able to gather some clues they normally wouldn't have access to, because most of the homes didn't actually burn. This gives them a better chance of actually solving the crime. Authorities state that they have been unable to discern a motive.

"Yesterday, investigators discounted reports that hostile graffiti had been spray-painted on houses in the development, saying the paint had been applied by fire investigators to mark the structures. "

Link (registration required) (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A49601-2004Dec8.html)

km gresham
12-09-2004, 09:15 AM
Hope they catch them. Sentence them to 50 years of building homes - after they rebuild and repair the ones they destroyed.

LeeG
12-09-2004, 09:38 AM
Karen,,what is the "it" you are speaking about?

Ian McColgin
12-09-2004, 09:43 AM
Peter's right: Every extremist group claims that it's right. So do most governments when they invade other nations. One of the tests for every action is not just sincerity but being actually right, true and just.

There's where the debate comes in.

Some issues are very passionatly held and the passion easily leads to violence, as the anti-abortionists who justify the killing of physicians because those physicians are themselves murderers.

Some one can be a bit more temporate about. Very few would be so passionatly against the surge of MacMansion building currently despoiling the Cape Cod shoreline that they would take up gas cans or explosives. In fact, the Cape's recent spate of arsons targetd normal homes and appears to have been a teenage thrill game.

One of the passionatly anti-windfarm folk on Cape have indulged in falsified business records to attack the credibility of the developers. The culprit is no longer part of the Alliance for Nantucket Sound. I doubt that any windfarm opponents would physically attack even the test tower now monitoring birds and weather, much less the structures should they go up.

Would they drive out in their over-HP'd cigarellos and gin palaces to interfere, in an upper class version of a Greenpeace action, with construction? We'll see but I doubt it.

Sometimes, it's all in how the authority handles it. I organized a citizens group with some energy and economic justice concerns that brought a major issue to the New Hampshire Supreme Court. The Court was not used to having crowds watch their proceedings and we were kept out by some guards. I convinced one guy to check out a reported disturbance in the restrooms down the hall and some of my senior citizen members used the moment to just open the door and in we went.

The Chief Justice was not happy but he decided to just go with the flow and directed that we all sit down. I was inclined to obey but one of my more crotchety older members stood proudly and thundered to the Chief, "Wait a minute sonny. We're here to tell you some things."

And he did.

Then we sat down.

Had we been a bunch of unwashed hippies, I've no doubt things would have gone a bit differently.

By the way, we won at the State level but Reagun's federal power people found a way around that and we lost in the end.

Further by the way: This is not the first time that the NH Supreme Court has shown it's good sense cool. After the Revolution there were a lot of NH farmers who'd fought for freedom while their farms were mortgaged to some New York financiers. The NH court was facing a huge case on back pay due the farmer-freedom fighters and another case that would resolve the defaulting mortgages. The financiers naturally wanted their case heard first as they really wanted the land, not the money.

A group of armed farmers lined up by the courthouse. The NH militia was lined up behind the judges. The Chief addressed both groups saying that if anyone thought they were on the wrong side, now was the time to change, at which all the militia went over the the farmers. The Chief serenely said, "Gentlemen, we are your prisoners.' and heard the farmers' back pay issue first.

Sometimes civil disobediance has a happy ending.

Garrett Lowell
12-10-2004, 08:19 AM
Yet another update from the Washington Post:

A lot of evidence has been gathered, including discarded matchbooks, additional containers of a liquid accelerant, and the FBI has been visiting a lot of local gas stations to check on fuel purchases within the past 10 or so days. All of the evidence is being sent to the national lab of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, located nearby. They still have not located the blue van which was spotted leaving the area shortly after the fires were started. The fire investigators believe that more than one person was involved, as all of the fires started "within a few minutes of each other". No motive has been established, but the investigators are not ruling anything out at this point.

The one family who had been living in the subdivision is now staying in a hotel, and they do not know when they will be able to return home. Very sad.

Link (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A53408-2004Dec9.html)

Ian McColgin
12-10-2004, 08:34 AM
I hope the perpetrators are caught, and the blue van is a lead. A better lead but it reminds me . . . and here I digress a tad.

When the DC sniper was in full cry there were reports of a white van. Mary Ellens brother lives down there and is possessed of more common sense than most former english teachers turned tax accessors. He said the clue was worthless as almost anywhere you look in urban traffic there's at least one white van around.

If it turns out that a disgruntled construction employee or arson-prone lunie with a cause has a blue van, maybe there's a clue worth a bit more than the ubiquitous white van.

Good investigators are like scientists. They follow the physical evidence. Sometimes they must make a hypothesis - spin a story - that gives ideas for testable evidence but stories are corrigible or expendible if the evidence turns up differently than expected.

We also see in science and criminal investigation where such a focus develops on one explanation that the truth is obscured.

I just hope they do better finding this cause than has so far happened with the Crosby boatyard fire.

SUE H
12-10-2004, 08:48 AM
I hope they find the perpetrators, too.

The pictures on the news showed each house burning individually but simultaneously, not like the house fires in the Hollywood Hills where everything is just ablaze and it spreads. Whoever did this knew what they were doing. What a creepy thing to do.

Russell Sova
12-10-2004, 08:50 AM
Then they shot Dimebag Darrell.

Garrett Lowell
12-17-2004, 07:57 AM
Yet another update. The security guard who left the site unguarded has been arrested and charged. "Aaron L. Speed, 21, was taken into custody by federal agents in charles county while undergoing a polygraph test...", according to an " anonymous source". Eco-terrorism and racism have both been mostly ruled out as motives, but a specific motive has not been stated yet, according to this source.

Link (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A5341-2004Dec16.html)

LeeG
12-17-2004, 08:28 AM
they caught the arson-terrorist? That's great. That eco/racial motivations are ruled out doesn't change the fact it was a terrorist act, so he's a terrorist. . . . right?

[ 12-17-2004, 09:30 AM: Message edited by: LeeG ]

uncas
12-17-2004, 08:30 AM
LeeG
He is only a suspect...he may or not be the guy with the lighter fluid..
Will see. Waiting to see what his motive could have been...
You would think guards would have been vetted though...Oops., gotta go let the fox out of the chicken coop!

Ian McColgin
12-17-2004, 08:41 AM
One could broaden the meaning of 'terrorist' to include anyone who does things that frighten people but then the meaning becomes empty. It's a big mistake to politicize and thus demonize things that are apolitical crime.

I should prefer to count as terrorism crimes of violence that have an expressed political agenda.

Even at that, one person's terrorist is another's saint. Annie Hogan was arrested due to her murderous IRA activities opposing the treaty establishing the divided Ireland. She established her secular sainthood by engaging in a hungar strike that caused the authorities to release her, too late for her health to recover and she died four weeks later.

At any rate, one can argue about the terrorist lable for the likes of Ariel Sharon, but I think that acts of apolitical vandalism and criminal destruction are just that, simple crimes.

TomF
12-17-2004, 08:54 AM
Assuming now that this act was committed by someone who likes to start fires, or who stood to benefit financially somehow, or had a grudge against some aspect of the project ... I think we're muddying the waters by calling this "terrorism." 5 years ago, we would have called it a horrendous criminal act, but not a "terrorist" act.

Terrorism used to be a pretty specific term - describing activities which use terror as a tool to political or religious ends. Since 9/11, I'm sensing that we're using the term much more broadly. I think we lose something essentially descriptive by watering down our definition of terrorism. But I also think that it serves the interests of folks who want to sell either newspapers or homeland security policies to call a broader range of violent actions "terrorism."

If Tony Soprano and his organization sprayed a restaurant with bullets, killing 7, would they be called terrorists today, or criminals? How about the shooters at Columbine High School?

I could easily imagine headlines calling them that. But doing so would be misleading, and potentially would divert resources away from the kind of work which would actually keep the public safer from such dangerous, but not "terrorist" criminals.

t.

edited to say that it looks like Ian and I were cross posting on similar themes.

[ 12-17-2004, 09:56 AM: Message edited by: TomF ]

LeeG
12-17-2004, 09:01 AM
ok,ok, I'm not being very subtle here,,,just a reminder that it's awfully easy to sweep a lot of garbage under the term "terrorist".

Bill Fisher
12-17-2004, 09:55 AM
Speaking to the topic,
As a fireman for my town I can tell you that the reasons for arson are usually pretty pedestrian and pathetic, typically the person is looking for attention, or excitement or inclusion. There are far to many fireman arsonist (almost always volunteer, whatever that means) and the reasons are almost always for the same reasons as I listed above, I donít know why a security guard would start fires but an article that I read says the authorities have arrested a suspect and it came out during the investigation that the suspect had recently road along with a local fire department on some calls. If you go to www.firehouse.com (http://www.firehouse.com) you can read the same article I did.

As to the topic of civil disobedience,
I canít help but peek into the bilge occasionally and mostly Iím turned off by the tone or content and immediately slam the sole shut again but I must say I am extremely pleased with the tenor and content of this thread. I am too damn independent to have spent much time considering social injustices, yet, but Iím sure my day is coming and both sides have given me much to think about. Well done!

Bill

Garrett Lowell
12-17-2004, 03:13 PM
Yes, Bill, the Washington Post reported the same. Apparently, this individual who has been charged has suffered a loss of one of his twin sons several months ago, when the twins were only 10 weeks old. Sad, and strange.

uncas
12-17-2004, 03:19 PM
Garret...although sad...I am not sure how this ties in with burning down the condos...
I am sure some psycologist will find a connection but....I can't see it...there is no tie between the two....
Is this going to be the defense?
Bill...you mentioned vol. fireman and wondering what they are... I am hoping...as this could be read two ways, that you are referring to the fact that an arson is often a fireman who IS often a vol. In that case, I don't know why either.
If it is the other way to interpret this...I was a vol. fireman for 12 years...also an EMT...We just were'nt paid for the work that we did.

uncas
12-17-2004, 03:41 PM
Garrett...yes it is sad...but what is the connection between the two events? I am sure that there is a psycologist out there who can explain the connection...I certainly can't...the death of a son...not good at all with the buring down of 12 houses...

Meerkat
12-17-2004, 03:45 PM
I KNOW I posted on this thread and now it's gone! :confused:

uncas
12-17-2004, 03:49 PM
Meerkat... I did too...thought it was me...just put it on again...

Wild Wassa
12-17-2004, 03:52 PM
Originally posted by Ian McColgin:
"If the bad guys are caught ... "

Which bad guys? The guys who originally took away the 'meaningful space' ... or the other bad guys the arsonists?

Warren.

[ 12-17-2004, 04:53 PM: Message edited by: Wild Wassa ]

Garrett Lowell
12-17-2004, 04:07 PM
uncas, I don't know what the link between the loss of his son and the crime is or may be. Apparently (and allegedly), this young man was on an emotional downward spiral, and may have harbored some resentment towards his employer due to their lack of support during his loss. That's as much as the article will state, but that loosely ties the two events together. I guess we'll find out more as the days go by.

Wild Wassa
12-17-2004, 04:07 PM
Originally posted by Art Read:
"By all means, express your opinion, exersize your right to lobby for change, engage in peaceful protest against policy you feel misguided and support whatever "cause" you feel important."

Why is it up to you to give us permission, who are you supposed to be? ... you patronising fascist.

Warren.

[ 12-17-2004, 05:18 PM: Message edited by: Wild Wassa ]

Alan D. Hyde
12-17-2004, 04:16 PM
UNLESS we each grant our neighbors those very things that Art suggests, Warren, through our own respect for law, and through amiable tolerance, forbearance, and civility, then we'll soon return to a violent state of nature, in which neither free democracy nor free markets can flourish.

Alan

[ 12-17-2004, 05:17 PM: Message edited by: Alan D. Hyde ]

Wild Wassa
12-17-2004, 04:24 PM
Dude, you are just as bad, totally patronising.

Warren.

Donn
12-17-2004, 04:33 PM
Originally posted by Wild Wassa:
Dude..totally..Warren.

uncas
12-17-2004, 05:06 PM
Garrett!
Heard the same thing after posting...I really don't know what to think...
I hope the spins in the media and the media is beginning to spin, are not going to be the basis for a defense. There should be a poiint where an individual has to face the consequences without someone else trying to find a reason why an individual broke the law.
I will not diminish the hurt the loss of a child would be to anyone...But, many have lost a child and most seem to be able to work with the situation and not take it out one someone/something else.

[ 12-17-2004, 06:08 PM: Message edited by: uncas ]

George Roberts
12-17-2004, 06:29 PM
"Civil disobedience" means violating a law. It has noting to do with trial or punishment.

Some civil disobedience causes property damage or even death. (It is a lot like fighting a war for a "just" cause.)

I guess "terrorism" has the same meaning as "Civil disobedience" or "war." It all depends on which side you are on.

High C
12-17-2004, 06:52 PM
Originally posted by George Roberts:
...I guess "terrorism" has the same meaning as "Civil disobedience"You hear that, Ian? George thinks you're a terrorist! :eek: :rolleyes: :D

Meerkat
12-18-2004, 12:33 AM
Originally posted by Alan D. Hyde:
Exactly, Art.

There lies the road to anarchy.

And, a bloody downhill road it is...

AlanRight! Maybe it's not too late to turn from our evil ways, throw ourselves upon the mercy of the crown and beg for readmittance to the Empire! :D

John C. Gresham
12-18-2004, 06:52 AM
Dang, Warren...don't like being around patronizers, huh? :D

Here's my two cents: I'm all for supporting a cause. I even formed the Awesome Foundation to support first ammendment rights. I am NOT however supportive of going to destructive means to make your point.

There's a right way, and a wrong way to do things. You set something on fire, they're only gonna build it back at a higher cost than was originally planned. You tip the boat over, it's only gonna get righted, and you'll have a temporarily wet occupant.

You take it to court, and fight it through the legal system, and if the courts think that you're right and say "Hey, this development is encroaching on this land over here. Let's not let them build there" then you've won, and they can't rebuild that. They can't tip that boat back over and dry off.

uncas
12-18-2004, 06:59 AM
John C.
I agree that when a situation arises where parties disagree, go to court if there are laws supporting one's case....In this one...I don't think there were any..
Now, if there was an endangered species on that piece of property...Well, then any opposition to the development would have a chance...
At least until the President changes the Endangered Species ACT which he will be doing shortly.
No, I do not agree with burning the buildings houses down..
I hear that the supposed arsonist had a problem with not feeling as though his employer did enough for him when his son? died...If this is the case, unless I am missing something...no laws were broken until the guard supposedly lit a match.

Joe (SoCal)
12-19-2004, 09:42 PM
Nope not ECO Terrorism, Not Terrorism at all, Just good ol fashion white boy racism :(

Race Explored as Possible Motive in Maryland Arson

Investigators Also Look at Possibility of Revenge

By STEPHEN MANNING, AP

AP

http://cdn.news.aol.com/aolnews_photos/0b/06/20041219172509990001
Aaron Speed, 21, is one of four suspects charged in connection with the Dec. 6 fires.

Related Story: Arrests Made

Indian Head, Md. (Dec. 19) - Racial animosity and revenge are among the possible motives in the fires that caused $10 million in damage in Maryland's largest residential arson case, a spokesman for federal investigators said Sunday.

Four men have been charged with arson at the Hunters Brooke development in Indian Head, where fires on Dec. 6 destroyed 10 houses and damaged 16 others. No one was hurt; many of the homes were still under construction.

A federal law enforcement official speaking on the condition of anonymity said two of the four suspects in custody allegedly made racial statements to investigators during questioning.

The suspects are white, and many of the families moving into the development are black.

The federal official also said that one of the suspects, Jeremy Daniel Parady, was turned down when he tried to get a job with Lennar Corp., the company building the houses about 30 miles south of Washington.

Another suspect, Aaron Speed, told investigators he was upset his employer did not show enough sympathy after his infant son died this year, according to court documents.

Michael Campbell, a spokesman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said investigators are considering revenge and race, along with several other possible motives.

"Two typical motives for arson are revenge and race," Campbell said. "It's something investigators are looking at."

None of the suspects has been charged with a hate crime.

On Saturday, officials arrested three of the men - Parady, Patrick Stephen Walsh and Michael McIntosh Everhart, all 20. They were to appear Monday before a U.S. magistrate judge in Greenbelt. Speed, 21, who worked for a security company hired to guard the development, is being held until a hearing Tuesday.

Initially, there was speculation the fires were set by environmental extremists because some environmental groups had complained the houses threatened a nearby bog. But no evidence has been found to support that theory, police said.

Attention then turned to whether the arsons could have been racially motivated. While many of the buyers of the half-million-dollar homes were black, Charles County is largely rural and mostly white.

Derrick Potts, who is black and lives with his girlfriend and children in the only occupied house in the section of Hunters Brooke that burned, said he doubts race was the prime motive.

His family has been warmly received by the Indian Head community following the fires, and Potts has not sensed any racial animosity. "I've never looked at this area as having racial problems," he said.

Potts' home suffered little damage and the family was able to return home last week.

Another homeowner, Jacque Hightower, said he has never seen any open racial hostility in the fast-growing region south of Washington.

"Charles County is one of the only places in the (Washington) D.C. metro area that seemed friendly to us," he said.

Several shoppers at a grocery store in Accokeek, just north of Indian Head, also said there was little racial tension in the area.

But Janaire Anderson, of Clinton, said that doesn't mean it wasn't a motive in the fires. "I think race is a factor in everything we do," she said.

Parady was a "riding member" with the Accokeek Volunteer Fire Department, which meant he could ride with fire crews but not actively engage in firefighting, Fire Department President Wayne Jordan told The Washington Post.

Jordan said Parady was not on duty the morning of the arsons and was not involved in responding to the fires. Mary Black, Parady's fiancee, told the Post that Parady was home with her the morning the fires were set.

Speed also apparently had ambitions to become a firefighter. He expressed interest in joining two local volunteer departments about two months ago, but never followed up, members said.

AP writer Foster Klug in Baltimore contributed to this story.

12/19/04 14:09 EST

[ 12-19-2004, 10:45 PM: Message edited by: Joe ( Cold Spring on Hudson ) ]

alteran
12-19-2004, 11:47 PM
Joe say as he introduces this thread, "Nope not ECO Terrorism, Not Terrorism at all, Just good ol fashion white boy racism."

The authority in the article Joe posts says,

"Michael Campbell, a spokesman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said investigators are considering revenge and race, along with several other possible motives."

:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Joe (SoCal)
12-20-2004, 12:31 AM
Al cherry pick what ever you want simply because you cant stand me ;)
I don't care in a few days time all the evidence will be perfectly clear and you may have to eat your words :D

Besides I think you could have simply looked at the third and fourth line in my post to see I already knew the possibilities. But Im glad you took the time to read the whole thing to find the quote you needed :rolleyes:


Race Explored as Possible Motive in Maryland Arson

Investigators Also Look at Possibility of Revenge
Your contempt for me already clouds your judgment please don't let it cloud your ability to read ;)

Oh by the way the following sentence your ATF guy said was

"Two typical motives for arson are revenge and race," Campbell said. "It's something investigators are looking at."
Did ya just stopped there or did you read the whole thing :D

But it is pretty certain it wasn't ECO terrorism hmmm ?


Initially, there was speculation the fires were set by environmental extremists because some environmental groups had complained the houses threatened a nearby bog. But no evidence has been found to support that theory, police said.

Attention then turned to whether the arsons could have been racially motivated. While many of the buyers of the half-million-dollar homes were black, Charles County is largely rural and mostly white.


[ 12-20-2004, 01:48 AM: Message edited by: Joe ( Cold Spring on Hudson ) ]

Garrett Lowell
12-21-2004, 06:36 AM
The AP just loves playing that racism card. But that's not the focus of the investigation.

Arson Probe Focuses on Revenge
Two More Arrested In Charles Fires
By Eric Rich and Sari Horwitz
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, December 21, 2004; Page A01

Federal agents last night arrested two more men in the arsons that devastated a Charles County subdivision as the probe widened to include at least a dozen people who authorities suspect were involved in, or aware of, the plan to torch the houses.

Law enforcement sources said they are increasingly focusing on the theory that arsonists were driven by revenge when they set fires that destroyed 10 unoccupied new houses at the Hunters Brooke subdivision and damaged 16 others. The possibility of a revenge motive gained currency after one of the men told investigators that the plan had been dubbed "payback," the sources said.

More than four people, traveling in two cars, were at the subdivision before dawn Dec. 6 when flammable liquids were spread and the fires ignited, according to a law enforcement affidavit made public yesterday.

Two of the six men now charged in the fires -- the biggest case of residential arson in memory in Maryland -- had grievances connected to Hunters Brooke, the sources said. They identified the two as security guard Aaron L. Speed and volunteer firefighter Jeremy D. Parady.

The suspects arrested last night were identified by federal authorities as Roy T. McCann, 22, of Marbury, a former paramedic-trainee with a volunteer fire company, and Michael E. Gilbert, 21, of Fort Washington. Both are to appear today before a U.S. magistrate on federal arson charges.

In a telephone interview, McCann's mother, Barbara Harrison, said she did not believe he was involved in the arsons. "He's a good kid, he's not evil, he's not capable of doing what they accused him of doing," she said.

Harrison said that her son knows Parady but that she did not recognize the names of any of the others arrested in the case.

Speaking on condition of anonymity because the probe is ongoing, the sources said as many as 16 men and women might have been involved to varying degrees in the arson. They communicated through an Internet chat room, sources said, adding that many of them also shared an interest in racing cars on the rural roads of Charles County.

Sources said a common interest in street racing is how Speed and Parady met two of the other men who have been arrested, Patrick S. Walsh and Michael M. Everhart.

Like Parady, McCann was associated with a volunteer fire company, according to his mother. A member of the Waldorf Volunteer Fire Company who was on duty last night but declined to give his name said McCann had been training there to be an emergency medical technician, but he stopped several months ago.

Another McCann relative, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that McCann was in a street racing club whose members communicated on the Internet and that one of McCann's grandfathers had been a volunteer firefighter.

Meanwhile yesterday, sources said that Speed's mother has told investigators that her son was hospitalized for mental health problems from sometime in 2000 until February 2002. She said Speed, who was the first to be arrested in the case, had anger and aggression problems, bipolar disorder and delusions of grandeur, according to the sources.

Speed's attorney, John C. Chamble, did not return a phone message left at his office last night. William M. Burgess, a lawyer and Speed family friend who met with Speed on the night of his arrest, declined to comment on Speed's mental history last night.

Speed, a security guard with the company hired to protect construction sites at the subdivision, has told investigators that his employer did not support him adequately after the death of his son in April, according to an affidavit filed by investigators.

Parady, a probationary member of the Accokeek Volunteer Fire Department in Prince George's County, had been rejected for a job by the Hunters Brooke developer, Lennar Homes Inc., sources said. He, Walsh and Everhart were arrested over the weekend and made brief court appearances yesterday. Like Speed, whose initial court appearance was last week, Parady, Walsh and Everhart are being held without bond on arson charges.

New details of the events of Dec. 6 emerged yesterday in an affidavit prepared by Special Agent Christopher J. Trainor of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Parady, 20, told investigators that he met with Speed, Everhart, Walsh and "others of his acquaintance" in the parking lot of a Wendy's restaurant in Waldorf hours before the fires were reported about 5 a.m., Trainor wrote. Parady said that in the lot, the suspects loaded gas and kerosene cans and a drum of a "bitter-smelling liquid" into the trunk of Walsh's two-door, dark blue automobile, according to the affidavit.

Parady said that he and the others had with them matches, road flares and butane torches, Trainor wrote. Parady said he was the "wheels," meaning the driver, according to the affidavit. Parady said that when they got to Hunters Brooke, his three passengers took the accelerants from the trunk and went to the nearest homes, Trainor wrote.

The affidavit states that "a second vehicle" carrying several other people whom Parady knew "were also present at the site and also participated in setting fires." The others are not identified in the affidavit.

"They kicked in doors, poured a pool of accelerant inside the residence and poured a trail of accelerant from the pool to the door, where the accelerant was ignited," according to an affidavit. Authorities say the men set fires or attempted to set fires at 45 houses in varying stages of construction. The fires caused $10 million in damage, officials said.

Speed and Everhart also have made statements implicating themselves in the arsons, according to affidavits filed in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt. Walsh has denied being involved, according to the affidavit made public yesterday.

At their initial appearances yesterday in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, Parady, Walsh and Everhart gave brief, respectful responses as a magistrate judge advised them of their rights. Speed did the same last week.

Outside the courthouse yesterday, attorneys for Walsh and Everhart declined to discuss the case. William Purpura, attorney for Parady, the volunteer firefighter, said his client has "taken an oath to save lives and protect property. He's innocent of these charges."

Authorities have said that Speed, a guard with Security Services of America, quit his job after the April death of one his 10-week-old twin sons, Christian, because he did not think the company was supportive of him during his grief. He returned to the company in October because he wasn't earning as much money at a convenience store, authorities said.

Although Speed has told investigators in the arson case that his son died when the boy's mother, Tamara Speed, rolled onto the child as they slept, according to authorities, an examination in April determined that Christian succumbed to an intestinal disorder.

On April 10, the boy and his parents were sleeping in the same bed, according to a report by the Charles County Sheriff's Office. Tamara Speed awoke late that night and noticed that Christian was "blue and pale," lying faceup on the bed.

"She picked him up, and he was limp and lifeless," the report says.

She roused her husband, who attempted to resuscitate the boy. Paramedics arrived and took him to a hospital. But within a few days, he was dead.

An autopsy found that Christian died of an intestinal illness. "The fact that the infant was in bed with the mother did not contribute to the death of the infant, and abuse is not suspected," the sheriff's report says.

Staff writers Susan Kinzie, Allison Klein and Amit Paley and Metro researcher Bobbye Pratt contributed to this report.

© 2004 The Washington Post Company

LeeG
12-21-2004, 08:49 AM
it's terrorism and Homeland Security should investigate. If we can mix up resistance to occupation with fighting Al Qeda/transnational terrorism then pretty much anything is up to interpretation.

Garrett Lowell
12-21-2004, 02:33 PM
Looks like a good old case of stupidity from my angle. But feel free to interject any of your political agendas at will.

Affidavit: Md. Arson Suspects Sought Fame

By Eric Rich
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 21, 2004; 1:54 PM

One of the men arrested last night in the arson fires that ravaged a Charles County subdivision told investigators that the leader of a group called "The Family" planned the strike to draw fame and attention to the group, court documents made public today say.

Michael E. Gilbert allegedly told investigators yesterday that Patrick S. Walsh, charged in the fires Saturday, approached him a month ago with a plan that involved "setting 'something' on fire and that it would be big."

The affidavit says that Gilbert told investigators that Walsh approached him "saying Walsh had a plan to make the 'family' bigger and more famous."

According to an affidavit signed by a federal investigator, Gilbert said that on Dec. 3, Walsh came to him again. "Look," he recalled Walsh saying, "you know something's going down, and it will probably be Sunday. I want you to know that this is your last chance. Do you want to be in on it or not?"

Gilbert claims that he declined, the affidavit states. Three days later, before dawn on Dec. 6, a series of arson fires damaged or destroyed 26 homes under construction at the upscale Hunters Brooke subdivision near Indian Head.

Authorities say Gilbert, 21, of Fort Washington, and Roy T. McCann Jr., 22, of Marbury, were arrested yesterday. The fifth and sixth men to be charged with arson in the case, they are scheduled to appear in federal court this afternoon.

Walsh's attorney, William B. Purpura, declined to comment on the affidavit. "Obviously I can't comment on these issues at this point," he said.

Walsh was arrested Saturday along with Jeremy D. Parady of Accokeek and Michael M. Everhart of Waldorf, each of whom is 20. Another man, Aaron L. Speed, 21, became the first to be charged last Thursday.

The affidavit, filed in support of the arrests of McCann and Gilbert, says the group Walsh allegedly led went by the names "The Family" and "Unseen Cavaliers." The affidavit identifies the group as "a gang operating in Charles County."

A Web site for "Unseen Cavaliers" says the group was founded in Waldorf by "Patrick and Brandon," whose last names are not given, for people with a shared interest in cars. It says there is a smaller chapter in Annapolis.

"The club is open to any cavalier [sic] owner that is just looking to chill with other cavalier owners," the site says. "We always meet on Wednesday nights at Wendy's in Waldorf."

Authorities have not publicly offered a single motive for the crimes, Maryland's biggest residential arson in memory. Sources have said a theory that arsonists were motivated by revenge gained currency after one of the accused referred to the attack as "payback." Sources have said two of the men charged are known to have had personal grievances that were connected to Hunters Brooke.

The affidavit says that McCann, too, named Walsh as the organizer. After initially denying involvement, the document says, McCann admitted that he knew of the plan and said he was present just prior to the setting of the fires.

According to the document, McCann told investigators that "a couple months ago at Denny's Patrick Walsh stated that he was going to go off and just start blowing stuff up." The document says that, on the night of the fires, "an acquaintance," who is not named, called McCann and told him Walsh was going to do "something stupid" at the development.

McCann says he went to the subdivision but left when he saw Walsh, Speed, Parady, Gilbert walk into two of the building lots carrying what he liked to "laundry detergent bottles," the document says.

Everhart, in a separate interview, told investigators he witnessed McCann participating in the fires.

Everhart, in an interview that began Friday and stretched into Saturday, told investigators that the plan began to take shape as early as August, the affidavit says. He described an August episode at the Denny's restaurant in Waldorf with Walsh, Gilbert and McCann, when the group was seated in an area called "The Pit" and talking about "how they wanted to burn things down and light fires," the document says.

"Everhart subsequently overheard Patrick Walsh talk about a plan to burn down homes at the Hunters Brooke development," the document says. It says Everhart acknowledged being at the development on the morning of Dec. 6 but claimed to have left before the homes were on fire.

Speed, a security guard with the company hired to protect construction sites at the subdivision, has told investigators that his employer did not support him adequately after the death of his son in April, according to an affidavit filed earlier by investigators.

Parady, a probationary member of the Accokeek Volunteer Fire Department in Prince George's County, had been rejected for a job by the Hunters Brooke developer, Lennar Homes Inc., sources said.

Like Speed, whose initial court appearance was last week, Parady, Walsh and Everhart are being held without bond on arson charges.

© 2004 The Washington Post Company

Garrett Lowell
12-28-2004, 11:17 AM
Apparently, the Prosecutor is accepting the "Notoriety" ploy, and the leader is being held without bond. "Racism" card players are disappointed that it didn't go their way, it seems.

Joe (SoCal)
12-28-2004, 11:26 AM
Originally posted by Garrett Lowell:
"Racism" card players are disappointed that it didn't go their way, it seems."ECO" Terrorism card players are even MORE disappointed that it didn't go their way, it seems.

Me personaly I'm glad they got the bad guys. ;)

[ 12-28-2004, 12:27 PM: Message edited by: Joe ( Cold Spring on Hudson ) ]

Garrett Lowell
12-28-2004, 11:47 AM
Sorry, Joe, that wasn't aimed at you, but at the AP and the Washington Post. Now that the prosecutors are going with the Notoriety motive, this story is no longer front page news.

km gresham
12-28-2004, 01:21 PM
Garrett, the first thought I had after reading the story was "regular old nitwits". We do seem to have an abundance of them. Well, I hope they're dealt with severely and required to work their rear ends off rebuilding the neighborhood they destroyed. Yeh, I know, that won't happen, but it should.