I had already been following the stories reports of some of the persons being subpoenaed by the US grand jury for holding anarchist beliefs through the journalism of Will Potter. This was from his website which is under the banner of the same name, Green is the New Red. This book came before the trials of Leah-Lynn Plante or Matty Pfeiffer, Matt Duran and Kteeo Olejnik. I was quite affected by their stories and was hungry to know about the current social scheme that was affecting the outsider cultures they, and I personally relate to. Thus, this book was an enlightening read for me. I don’t normally write about political issues because they are not interesting to me, and even here I don’t think I am suggesting any inherently political view, since I am an anarchist at heart. But activism is naturally showing itself in my life more and more, and just be writing this journal, I feel I am doing something to contribute to a purpose higher than just me. Green is the New Red is a movement that is under attack by politically correct corporations and governmental high order. It is about class war, and cultural division, so it unveils many fundamental questions about the society it revolves around. My interest in these subjects is quite direct, even if it be that these things are happening in another country from my own, I feel somehow involved. Specifically it is about the radical environmentalists that have been used as scapegoats and about their criminal activity throughout the last 20 years or so. The book hinges on ethics of lifestyle, and profiling of a very extreme bill passed called the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act which is seeking to eradicate the actions of anarchists, earth liberation front and animal liberation front, and redefining what is means to be a terrorist.
I am still trying to process all this information. The material is heavy but Will Potter has an immaculate way of yolking words together in ways any competent and focused person can understand. The writings are linear and follow a general timeline of events that unfolded circling around eco-groups, their protests, raids, and activism. They are oriented primarily in the Pacific Northwest, like Portland, Eugene, California and Washington. Spliced together with the onslaught of governmental retaliation, public fear, and parallels to old and modern related violent movements like the Red Scare of the communists, and ties to Afghani terror sects claimed by prosecutors. I found myself drifting over some of the commentary but excited by the extreme dedication held by some of these individuals. I felt a heedless instinctual empathy to some of their actions, but were indifferent to other less practical ones. I was also held in the grips of just how much it is a battle of polar opposites and the tendencies the US government is using to support their ideas of what is ‘right’. I tried to be unattached to all of this at first, but the intimacy of the story really sows a cocoon around your thoughts and pulls you in to decide what you believe.
The last chapter spoke to me on a perfect level. Will Potter left no stone unturned and no judgement too biased, which is really why this book is so special. As I started to be overwhelmed with new influences, he started talking about the grand scheme. I felt a duality at times but generally understood the singularities that I made as I questioned myself even more deeply. I personally hail a lot of their sentiment such as vegetarianism/veganism, anti-animal medical research, anti-logging, non-violent raids, community, protest, and love for nature and animals and saw the necessity of what they did. It is obvious that the government had not responded to passiveness before so groups like these were needed to form to create positive change.
Beyond this book, I had perused a couple of articles looking for any traces of something going on in Canada like this, and I actually found some that were very recent. The prime minister in Ottawa, has started to surveil the environmental movement and calling them ‘extremists’. This is a similar method used by a security organization to monitor supposed threats in the US and put them on a list of conspirators to terrorism. The issues going on here in Canada right now are circling around the Enbridge pipeline, fracking tar sand oil across the west through the Great Bear Rainforest. Natives, anarchist, eco-activists, and also the mass public have been involved in protests for this to happen. Some have made threats similar to ALF or ELF actions like property destruction, and that is why it is repeating for us. Indigenous heritage land is being sold and turned into agriculture or industry, and there have been civil disobedience protests by the chiefs, while less violent, they have been targeted as well by the government. This whole thing comes down on my head like a hammer and an anvil because I support the natives stance and I do feel the responsibility to support, spread, and fight for what I think it my purpose of protecting natural habitats. So how am I not connected as much to what is happening between BC and Alberta? Will Potter’s book really made me think what it is like to be a human being, in this era, and will change, or strengthen the mindset of someone else who always feels drawn to these true world issues.