Eco Terrorism

Eco Terrorism in America
Dr. Alison Meek
Department of History
King’s University College
 The Evolution of the Environmental Movement
 Earth First! and ELF
 The Animal Liberation Front (ALF)
 Response
• what is terrorism?
º domestic terrorism
“the unlawful use, or threatened use, of force
violence by a group or individual based and operating entirely
within the
US and Puerto Rico without foreign direction committed against
or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian
or any segment thereof in furtherance of political or social
Eco Terrorism
• evolution of movements to terrorist groups
º fringe/splinter
º asymmetrical warfare
º media attention
Evolution of the Environmental Movement
• conservation
º National Parks
• Rachel Caron, Silent Spring, 1962
º pesticides
• government legislation, 1960s-1970s
º water
º Earth Day, April 1970
Environmental Radicalism
• Greenpeace, 1972
º Canadians
º whaling & seals
º nuclear testing
º nonviolence
º violent response
Environmental Radicalism
• Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, 1977
º Paul Watson
º whaling
º net cutting
º bombs
º ram and sink ships
Deep Ecology
• bio-centricism
Deep Ecology
• environmental equality
º all life forms
º mountains and streams
º viruses
• radical changes needed
º human population
º pre-industrial society
• Earth First! (1980) targets
º corporate industrialism
º over population
º energy consumption
º resource consumption
º pollution
• tactics
º no compromise
º monkeywrenching
∞ public awareness
∞ inflict economic damage
Earth First!
• monkeywrenching
º survey stakes
º vehicle destruction
º tree sitting
º power lines
º tree spiking
Earth First!
• Glen Canyon Dam, 1981
• FBI sting, 1990
• splits emerging
Earth Liberation Front (ELF), 1992
• direct action
º vandalism
º arson
• targets
º “real terrorists”
º McDonald’s
º Forest Service stations
º condos
∞ San Diego, 2003
º SUVs and dealerships
• Vail, October 1998
º mountain lynx
The Animal Liberation Front (ALF)
• England, 1976
• America, 1979
• targets
º university labs (UWO)
º McDonald’s
º pet stores
• tactics
º fire/arson
• tactics
º vandalism
• tactics
º animal liberation
º Operation Bite Back, 1990s
∞ fur farms and labs
º problems animal deaths in the wild
Organizational Structure
• leaderless cells
º 2-5 people
• benefits?
• dangers?
Government Backlash
• Congressional hearings
º PETA and funding
• legal protection ‘Animal Enterprises’
FBI and Eco Radicals
• FBI categorize as #1 domestic terrorist threat
º militias
º anti-abortion terrorists
º religious terrorists
• why?