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Eco terrorism or eco vandalism?

  1. May 25, 2007 #1
    I guess it was inevitable


  2. jcsd
  3. May 25, 2007 #2
    It was more than that. It was the prime goal. Some people are terrified of their own shadow. Polititians are falling over each other to take advantage of this fact.
  4. May 25, 2007 #3
    I don't know man, isn't the judicial branch supposed to be the check and balance on those damn politicians.
  5. May 25, 2007 #4
    The branch? Yes. The individual judges? Your mileage may vary.
  6. May 25, 2007 #5


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    Arson and toppling a high-voltage transmission line tower is more than just vandalism. Vandalism would be graffitti or TPing the police station, etc.

    I don't think his sentence is very extreme for six counts of arson and toppling a high-voltage transmission line tower.

    The judge's comment, "It was your intent to scare and frighten other people through a very dangerous and psychological act -- arson. Your actions included elements of terrorism to achieve your goal," is the only reference to terrorism. I don't think her editorial comment was the basis of the sentence.
  7. May 25, 2007 #6
    I don't either. There are crimes between vandalism and terrorism, and I think that she broadens the meaning of the word terrorism. Since she does so in her role as a judge, she scares me.
  8. May 25, 2007 #7


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    they're not terrorists! they're 'politically-challenged'!
  9. May 25, 2007 #8

    D H

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    The ELF is a cell-organized group that uses sabotage and guerrilla tactics to achieve their goals. This one cell committed over 20 acts of arson and caused 40 million dollars in damage. If that isn't terrorism, I don't know what is.

    The FBI classified the ELF as the top domestic terror threat in the United States.
  10. May 25, 2007 #9
    If Elf isn't terrorism, then you don't know what is... hmm, so what you're saying there then, is that it's not possible to have a narrow-enough definition of terrorism that includes, for example, Al-Qaeda, and FLQ, but not ELF?
  11. May 25, 2007 #10

    D H

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    20 acts of arson is not playing patty cake or burning flags. It is terrorism. Spiking trees to kill tree cutters is terrorism. I take it you agree with their cause but not their methods?
  12. May 25, 2007 #11
    I don't know anything about ELF or their cause, except I do no they've never killed or harmed anyone. And a quick wiki search shows that it's in their mission statement to protect humanity as much as the environment. I think there's definitely a line to be drawn between a group like this, that refuses to go beyond economic sabotage, and another group like FLQ which does kidnappings, holds up banks, has killed several people in bombings and at least two with gunfire. et cetera.

    And then there's even worse...
  13. May 25, 2007 #12


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    "Terrorism" just means that a group is carrying out systematic acts of violence with the intent of using fear to coerce political change. Murder and kidnapping can be performed by terrorists, but terrorists are not characterized by murder and kidnapping, and people can perform either or both crimes without being terrorists. It's just a stipulation as to intent, much as "hate crime" gets added to acts of vandalism, batter, and murder, to clarify that mitigating circumstances exist making the crime more severe.

    This judge hasn't expanded the definition, either. The FBI did that when it classified these radical eco groups as being terrorist organizations a while back.
  14. May 25, 2007 #13


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    Of course it is - but would that definition be reasonable, objective, and internally consistent? Or would it be constructed specifically for the purpose of excluding ELF? Why don't you construct it for us so we can judge...?

    The generally accepted definition of terrorism (given by lyn) is clear, objective and clearly applies here.

    By the way, there has long been a crime on the books called "terroristic threats", which is the threat of terrorism. "If you build it, we will burn it" is a terroristic threat. The arson is the terrorism.

    As a side-note, because it uses a cell organization, it is tough (impossible?) to connect members, but an ALF member was convicted of attempted murder for mailing a nail bomb to the CEO of a biotech firm: http://www.consumerfreedom.com/news_detail.cfm/headline/1706
    Last edited: May 25, 2007
  15. May 25, 2007 #14


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    Exacerbating circumstances... :wink:
  16. May 25, 2007 #15
    Odd when I call Pro-life of America a terrorist group people get upset
  17. May 25, 2007 #16


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    The vast majority of those who are pro choice don't bomb abortion clinics and aren't terrorists.

    [I'm pro choice]
  18. May 26, 2007 #17
    Interestingly unlike Pro-life the ELF guidelines for action are:
    While many
  19. May 26, 2007 #18
    Is ELF really using fear though? I mean, they don't use violence against humans, and they target mostly (all?) large companies and institutions. They're stated goal is making it uneconomical, not scaring people into submission. And calling them 'violent' just because they lit a few fires is a stretch imho. The only difference between that and a construction crew demolishing a building is control and ownership. I don't think you can use the same word 'violent' to describe assault and murder as you can to describe private property damage.

    It's not the FBI's job to litigate. I haven't looked into it, but if the judge was the first authority to do that, then he is responsible for "expanding the definition of terrorism"
  20. May 26, 2007 #19
    Agreed. As I implied in an earlier post, the laws recently passed to protect us from terrorism were aimed at Americans.
  21. May 26, 2007 #20


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    Again, if you want to make up your own definitions, you are going to have to explain your definition and justify it. What you just said does not follow the definition of terrorism. Here is the dictionary definition:

    Also, you are being disingenuous in your constraint of the ELF mission. As stated several times already, it has a cellular organization and there is no one voice and no mission statement. Though I don't think it is actually a requirement to be called terrorists, ELF some/manymost members advocate tree spiking, which is a violent crime in the classic sense: it is against people.
    Last edited: May 26, 2007
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