This maybe my only post tonight but I took the time to read and do a bit of in-depth research on an article I came across posted at a pro-green website named Ecologist. The essay alleges that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is harassing activists participating in anti-fossil fuel activities in the Pacific Northwest. Two activists named Helen Yost and Herb Goodwin were known to have been involved in actions trying to prevent megaloads that carry heavy equipment used to extract oil from the Canadian tar sands through the region of Cascadia, Washington. The article describes that the two green activists were successful in organizing a four day show down preventing a megaload on US 12 whose destination was an indian reservation.
Apparently, Yost and Goodwin are part of a new environmentalist group named Rising Tide which is an offshoot of the eco-terrorist group EarthFirst! The article points out the new green organization works in conjunction with other like-minded groups on environmental activities. Among them are blockades of megaloads and preventing the export of fossil fuel products in the Pacific Northwest. On October 9th, the Ecologist reports Goodwin was questioned by the FBI about another eco-terrorist group named Deep Green Resistance (aka DGR). FBI agents also had previously contacted other people thought to be DGR activists by phone and with person-to-person interviews in three states.
On paper Rising Tide is said to have repudiated relationships with Deep Green Resistance. DGR isn’t just an eco-terrorist group, like EarthFirst! they are a radical eco-feminist organization whose philosophy is grounded in deep ecology. The fact that the FBI is investigating Herb Goodwin and Helen Yost shows the two somehow have associations with DGR and EarthFirst! despite their activism with a supposed non-violent ecological group. Upon further investigation, the author of the essay is a write for EarthFirst! Journal and this essay originally appeared there before being published in Ecologist.
However, what the author considers harassment is nothing more than complaining against law enforcement actually doing their jobs. It is abundantly clear while reading the article, the author is attempting to make activists like Yost and Goodwin along with other eco-activists out to be victims when they are nothing more than nihilistic terrorists or have associations with such barbarians. Notice the complaint the author has when it comes to federal agents cracking down on green terrorist group as part of the FBI’s Operation Backfire:
After years of dedicated activism, Hasse and Yost were not surprised. Groups like IRAGE and Rising Tide have felt the presence of the FBI for years.
The intensity of repression depends on the success of their campaigns, and not since the late 1990s has the Pacific Northwest seen so much mass action for environmental causes. During that period, the FBI inaugurated a broad strategy of repression, known by activists as the Green Scare, to track down suspects implicated in actions deemed ‘eco-terrorist’.
According to leaked documents, its surveillance net was so large that officers even tailed random Subaru-driving patrons of a farmers’ market. Earth Liberation Front spokesperson Craig Rosebraugh was subpoenaed eight times to testify before grand juries.
The FBI’s Operation Backfire led to 13 people being indicted and nine convicted on various charges, including arson. Of the other four, one committed suicide in jail, two are still fugitives, and one escaped prison time by turning snitch, but was later jailed on heroin charges.
That era is said to have ended in 2006, but the bureau is still using agent provocateurs to infiltrate environmental and social-justice movements. (One was recently arrested for failing to register as a sex offender and for credit-card fraud.)
In 2008, a young man named Eric McDavid was sentenced to more than 19 years in prison, after an agent provocateur who called herself ‘Anna’ seduced him into talking about committing acts of sabotage at a cabin in Northern California the FBI had rented and wired for her.
The article is an attempt at revisionism. It makes activists targeted by the FBI out to be victims of police repression but is nothing more than a way to justify or rationalize efforts by eco-activists who delve into or are active in eco-terrorist groups like EarthFirst! or Deep Green Resistance. The police clearly had evidence that the people in question, Herb Goodwin and Helen Yost, were somehow involved with or had associations with green terrorist groups. The federal agents also continued to investigate via other avenues but eventually were able to break the network Goodwin and Yost may have been a part of.
I think if anything, if there is anything that sends chills up my spine it is this disclaimer by Deep Green Resistance:
When civilization ends, the living world will rejoice. We must be biophilic people in order to survive. Those of us who have forgotten how must learn again to live with the land and air and water and creatures around us in communities built on respect and thanksgiving. We welcome this future.