Shadowproof

Interview: GreenIsTheNewRed.com’s Will Potter on Transformation of Dissent into a Domestic Terrorism Threat

Will Potter, author/writer at GreenIstheNewRed.com

A report from the Congressional Research Service was recently released and it looked at how law enforcement had been cracking down on animal rights and environmental activists. It highlighted how the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act is used against activists.

Will Potter of GreenistheNewRed.com covered the report in a post on October 2. The report, as he noted, cited his book, Green is the New Red, in a section called, “A Serious Domestic Concern or ‘Green Scare?” It also paid particular attention to right wing violence versus environmental activism.

Will and I had a discussion about the report, the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, how this report was a kind of breakthrough, how it might be considered alongside a recent Senate subcommittee report on Homeland Security fusion centers and the scope of systemic changes in law enforcement since September 11 that have greatly impacted people not just in the environmental and animal rights activism communities but also in American society.

Below is a transcript of the interview:

KEVIN GOSZTOLA, The Dissenter: Describe the congressional report released and what you happened to find.

WILL POTTER, GreenIstheNewRed.com: This congressional report was prepared by the Congressional Research Service, which is the official government agency that’s really the investigative arm of Congress. And it was a look at the domestic terrorist threat in the United States. As part of these reports, CRS gives a pretty detailed overview of the general landscapes of these issues and then highlights specific cases and then make recommendations on areas Congress should consider moving forward.

This report was really interesting because it focuses heavily on the classification on animal rights and environmental activists as domestic terrorists and raises very interesting questions that Congress is urged to consider about the ramifications of that. I think most important in the report is the really historic contrast between right wing groups that have a history of violence —and according to the report incidents of violence are actually increasing—and then the nonviolent actions of environmentalists. And, according to the report itself, it sends a very mixed message to Congress and also to the general public, who are paying attention to these issues.

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