Left Behinds

The anti-andrewsullivan.com. Or, the Robin Hood (Maid Marian?) of bright pink Blogger blogs.

Monday, May 22, 2006

The Green Scare

After the jump is a letter about fundraising for the legal defense of Daniel McGowan, a New York activist who is being prosecuted as an eco-terrorist (though I'm familiar with him mostly as an anti-war activist). It's very likely that he will spend the rest of his life in prison for despicable, life-threatening acts of terror such as removing live minks from fur farms.

The DHS has been conducting a witch hunt against environmental activists, the most extreme of whom have indeed commited acts of property damage, such as blowing up empty SUVs as political protest. But there are people spending most of their lives in prison because of what they wrote on web sites. This particular activist denies committing the property damage that is probably going to send him to prison.

According to the Eugene Weekly, sentences are bizarrely harsh for any criminal acts related to environmental activism.
Ironically, someone who steals an SUV out of greed faces a far lower sentence than an environmentalist who destroys the vehicle because it pollutes. In Oregon, the average sentence for motor vehicle theft was 17 months in 2001. In 2001 a state judge sentenced Jeff "Free" Luers to 23 years in prison for burning three SUVs and attempting to set fire to an empty fuel truck. The average arson sentence in Oregon that year was just under six years, rapists averaged 10 years and murderers 14 years.
Read more after the jump.


So a friend of mine, Daniel McGowan, who I’ve known for about eight years, is in a lot of trouble. On December 7th, federal marshals stormed the offices of WomensLaw.org, where Daniel worked, and arrested him. Alberto Gonzalez’s Justice Department is charging Daniel with multiple felonies related to two arsons claimed by the Earth Liberation Front. Arson wasn’t a strong enough word for Gonzalez and so he pulled out that “t” word. So the penalties have increased dramatically.

Daniel faces multiple life sentences. He has pled not guilty to all
charges. Daniel’s arrest is part and parcel of a government crackdown on the environmental movement so severe that it’s earned the title “The Green Scare,” as what’s happening now is quite reminiscent of McCarthy’s Red Scare in the 50s.

Daniel has worked tirelessly for progressive causes. He organized the
RNCNotWelcome.org website, which served as a magnet for all those people who didn’t want Bush and his minions to exploit NYC for their 2004 Republican National Convention. He’s organized to stop military
recruitment, to preserve national forests, to stop the war in Iraq and to
support political prisoners.

Although he is currently out on bail (his family put up all their property
and possessions to meet the $1.6 million price tag), he faces a lengthy
and extremely expensive trial. His family and friends have been
scrambling to raise funds and organize a defense team.

If you’re an artist or know someone who is, please read the following call
for art put out by Visual Resistance. Please forward this message widely.

Thanks so much,
Tim Doody


June 23, 2006 at ABC No Rio
156 Rivington Street (b/w Clinton and Suffolk Street)
Co-sponsored by Visual Resistance and Family and Friends of Daniel McGowan
Deadline: June 1, 2006
Contact: visual.resistance at gmail.com

We are planning a one-night gallery show and silent art auction on June
23rd at ABC No Rio to help pay for Daniel’s legal defense. We are asking
artists who are committed to social justice and political activism to
contribute artwork. Some art will also be sold through our website. All
proceeds will go to help pay Daniel’s legal costs.

Any artwork you can contribute will be a huge help, and we appreciate your
generosity in advance. The work in the show will encompass a myriad of
themes, styles, and techniques. Work that deals with the issues involved
in the Green Scare are appreciated, but not required.

Please contact us if you are interested in donating artwork! We are more
than happy to work with you on your terms and can cover incidental costs
such as shipping. We can pick up artwork in the New York City area. Email
visual.resistance at gmail.com
for a mailing address.

For more information on Daniel’s case and the Green Scare:


  • At 9:51 AM, Blogger Antid Oto said…

    And that's why we shouldn't trust the government with hate-crimes type laws, I guess.

  • At 10:48 AM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…


    Though I think hate crimes legislation is also flawed theoretically/ethically. But you're right, pragmatically, the government should not be trusted with that kind of power.

  • At 4:24 PM, Blogger Neda Cole said…

    perhaps this government should not have been trusted with any power over anything ?

  • At 10:35 PM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    Heh, true.

    I was trying to remember where I knew Daniel from. I thought it was organizing against the Republican National Convention in NY 2 years ago, but in one of those links I saw he was involved with the really really free market, where I tabled for Queer Fist.

    It was a cute, hippie event. I remember I ate a lot of vegan gruel in the courtyard of the St. Marks Church and had drinks with some cute anarchist from Spain afterwards.


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