Not everyone sees green scare as issue

Conor Shine

 

Will Potter, an independent journalist, spoke Thursday on the University of Minnesota’s West Bank about the green scare. 

Potter argued during his speech that the government is labeling animal rights and environmental activists as terrorists in order to discredit their viewpoints.

“It’s not just that these activists are vandalizing property or using non-violent civil disobedience,” Potter said. “I think now a lot of these corporations and the politicians that they’re working with are targeting activists because of their viewpoints.”

But not everybody agrees that the government is singling out activists for their views.

Teresa Platt, director of the Fur Commission, disagreed that the label eco-terrorist is being applied to liberally when I spoke with her on the phone this morning.

“I don’t think it’s being applied directly to people who are involved with environmental issues,” she said. “I think it’s a sub category.”

Platt said that the environmental movement is strong and growing and she doesn’t think that terrorism prosecutions are silencing expression.

“I don’t see any evidence that people who are out talking about conservation are being arrested, but I do see a lot of arsonists going to jail,” she said.  “I think that’s a good thing and I think most conservationists would agree.”