During the nineteen eighties Animal Rights and Environmental groups sprang up and became a popular way to protest against the abuses and neglect by humanity, government(s), real estate developers and industry against nature and the natural environment. Since polluting industry and corporations etc. stood to lost face and business by becoming targets of public scorn or boycotts generated by Nature advocates and Ecological groups, it is not surprising that industry and government(s) etc. began to fight back. It was and is a modern-day David vs. Goliath, only this time the bad guys are likely to prevail. In the subtle public relations battle waged by developers, industry, government(s) and corporations etc. against the supposed threat posed by responsible individuals who care about the seemingly expendable (until recently) natural environment, such tactics as the following have been used: Filing so-called Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP suits) to sabotage freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of expression, etc.
The draconian USA PATRIOT ACT changed the definition of ‘terrorist’ to whatever the government wants it to be ; And the coining of the label ‘Ecoterrorist’ as a cynical attempt to turn the public against so-called ‘kooks’ who dare to care deeply about nature and the natural environment, which is all-too-often considered exploitable and expendable by developers, corporations, government(s) and industry (the powers that be).
Bug Business and government(s) are typically overly concerned with keeping the so-called Bottom Line in the black no matter what the cost, especially when there is permanent change to animal habitats and the environment. Sure a small percentage of environmentalists may be criminals and resort to criminality and may be Ends Justify the Means terrorists, but I would wager very few of us are that way. (to be cont’d)
[Note: The original version of this essay appeared in Eastern Connecticut State University’s “Campus Lantern” newspaper and in my unpublished manuscript “In Mediocrity We Trust, In Debt We Die” and Other Essays””]