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SAVETHEPLANET: Notes From An Environmental Law Conference

"If you have to become an attorney, this is what we want you to do."

That could easily be a message from the trees, right? Or it's pretty much
the recurring theme of this conference here in Eugene, OR this weekend.

The Public Interest Environmental Law Conference.
"If you have to become an attorney, this is what we want you to do."

That could easily be a message from the trees, right? Or it's pretty much
the recurring theme of this conference here in Eugene, OR this weekend.

The Public Interest Environmental Law Conference.

"At this point I would ask any informants or undercovers to leave."
-- Ben Rosenfeld

That serves a handy exercise to show "security culture" to everyone,
things we should be exercising all the time.

This was the first panel I attended. Updates on the (11 and now 13)
cases that are fast coming to be nicknamed "greenscare," recalling
the "redscare."

"The 12th defendent was killed in custody," said Lauren Regan,
bringing to my mind Bobby Seale in the "Chicago [STRIKE]8[/STRIKE] 7
trials of the late 60s, early 70s with Abbie Hoffman and Dave
Dellinger at the helm. Bobby was forever called "the 8th defendent."
He though, didn't die in jail. He was removed after Judge Julius Hoffman
ordered him bound and gagged (literally) for demanding that he be
allowed to be his own attorney. Those were the 60s right? Those times
are gone.

Don't bet on it. The red scare of the 50s dragged on for 40 or 50 years
when you really think about it. They may never have ended, is another
way to look at it. Lauren says there were two more indictments last
week, and that there are likely to be about a dozen more between now
and October when the actual trial is scheduled to begin. October 31st.
The friggin governmnet picked Halloween (hell night in many towns
across the USA) for this trial to begin.

Are Lauren and Ben this generation's William Kunstlers and Betsy
Tomlinsons?

They're going to have to be whether they like it or not.

Times are different maybe, but not any easier. No rest for the
weary, you could say. "Get busy," might be the only thought
left to keep us all alive another day. It's very very appropriate
Lauren started this panel off with the Niemoller quote.

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.

"But when they came for the green anarchists..." I paraphrase.

OK, snippets, I didn't take many notes.

Important Facts:

all acts were before 9/11. Some were minors at the time.

7 years, there wasn't one lead, no evidence at all.

Everything about these indictments relies on the testimony
of one single informant.


Upon indictment of the first 11 greenscares Gonzales held a
flamboyant pretrial conference on the courthouse steps.

 http://www.indymedia.org/en/2006/01/831928.shtml

creepiest part of that conference was that every part of
Gonzales' smug comments were based on the sole snitch
testimony of that one informant.

looking at the 8 hour work day struggle, Lauren pointed
out that much of this is nothing new."

mentioned scooter libby and jack abramoff to give
some context for all this misguided sense of justice.

raise the fist stuff.

 http://www.raisethefist.com

"ben's gonna discuss that."

yesterday the patriot act got renewed. Same day all of the
SHAC defendants were convicted.

-- Lauren


__________________

kb with c0int3lpro stuff.

history with earth first...

disinformation campaign.

She said the government was pumping out Waco/Move -
type propaganda that Earth First people were "arming ourselves
and preparing for war in the woods."

It took years and they finally won a civil lawsuit, proving
that it was all lies.

"Next to what we're hearing now, even though we know there
were real arsons, it brings people to a place where we
realize how skeptical we need to be. And we need to be
reminding the media to be skeptical."

we need to stand beside people who we don't have something
in common with when we have so many other things in common.

"... has little to do with our debate of violence versus
nonviolence because they don't buy into this debate."

"it's still sabotage, not terrorism."

described she used to try to say, vandalism,
but it's becoming too "milktoast," nowadays,
so she prefers to call it sabotage.


"and a village idiot at the helm."

-- ben

rod coronado.

"...he's been to this conference..."


/my thoughts at that moment./

[us gov't is acting as the piggish bad character in
each episode of captain planet, especially when they
try their hardest to demonize activists this way.]

 http://www.turner.com/planet

clarified as a fullscale campaign against each part
of the "anarchist" movement. Especially with people
leaning towards green anarchy.

[who boyee, did the room get quiet when Ben said that.
You can hear a pin drop.]

sf during G8

indymedia photographer subpoena'd to turn over footage.
His footage proved that a riot was created BY police
officers. [hmmm. Just like Genoa, just like Quebec,
just like A12 DC!!!]

-- yahoo cops took it upon themselves
to throw a newspaper honorbox.

other cops went absolutely apeshit. -- sf police asks fbi joint
terrorist task force to join in what's otherwise a completely
local occurance.

all of the showups at peoples' doors are about questions of
anarchism. "Do you know any black bloc anarchists, can you
define anarchy? Are you an anarchist..."

 http://www.cldc.org
 http://www.pielc.org
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2006/03/334962.shtml

Save a tree.
Plant a seed.
George Bush is a Superpredator.

 http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=superpredator
Surely you jest about asking cops and snitches to leave. 06.Mar.2006 13:54

Not a fan...of silly tactics

This article is not coherent enough to justify commenting on it at any length. Let's hope that some good and useful reporting comes out of the conference, since I know that valuable information and discussion happens there. But there is a piece of misinformation at the start that deserves to be pointed out. Let me quote:

"At this point I would ask any informants or undercovers to leave."
-- Ben Rosenfeld
"That serves a handy exercise to show "security culture" to everyone, things we should be exercising all the time. " (original poster's comments)

Wrong. Asking undercover cops or informers (not "informants", which is the FBI's own term for snitches) to leave does not mean that they will leave. It does not matter whether an attorney asks them or Anita Anarchy from your local Infoshop. And from the context, it's not clear whether Rosenfeld was joking or not. Certainly no lawyer is going to discuss anything but the broadest aspects of defense strategy in a public forum in front of people she or he has just met.

Think about it for a second. Let's say that you go to an important meeting. Someone in a workshop of 30 people or a speech of 200 people leaps up and says "I'm asking any undercover agents or informers to leave". A cheer goes up. Everyone waits for a few minutes for the cooperative officer or snitch to gather their stuff and excuse themselves as they shuffle out in embarrassment, muttering to themselves, "Damn, they used the magic words again. We're going to have to come up with a counter-spell."

Yeah sure.

It has been upheld time and again by courts, including the Supreme Court, that cops are allowed to lie. Cops are allowed to conceal their identity. At the international level, as with the CIA, it is a felony for any civilian (that's you and me), to reveal the identity of an agent (this is why the Plame/Scooter Libby case is still very much of interest).

And, of course, snitches are not bound by any such rules anyway. They can steal peoples' property, shoot up drugs, give people STDs, start fights, suggest blowing up stuff and volunteer to get the explosives...all the things that make them so useful to cops.

So why would cops or snitches leave the room when someone asks them to do so? Get real.

Now, if they infiltrate or eavesdrop a meeting of defense lawyers and their clients, that is a different situation. Though even that has happened recently, as those of you who have been following Lynne Stewart's case know. But the courts have generally upheld the right of attorney-client privilege, which means that snitches and cops cannot attend strategy meetings of lawyers and clients, unless the state is willing to lose the case outright when the surveillance becomes known.

Public meetings and gatherings, such as the Environmental Law Conference or even 'secret' meetings of your affinity group; well, you should know the answer to that by now. It is playing out in front of our eyes.

If we can catch them at such gatherings, we should expose them and deal with them. It would be a big embarrassment for the FBI or other agencies to be caught sending undercover people to similar events. Attorneys,law schools, congresspeople; they don't like to think that they can be treated like crusty punks. But the FBI has done it time and again in the past, as has been revealed when court cases or liberation of their documents has occurred (see the Portland Tribune's document stash on FBI infiltration in Portland up through the 1980's or any decent book about COINTELPRO).

And, of course, nothing prevents them from stealing the lists of people who attended, talking with 'cooperative' people who were at a workshop, convening a grand jury and asking questions about the event in secret, etc.

So, if Marco is citing this as an example of 'security culture', then it's another example of why Eugene is famous as a community for talking about it, but never actually understanding what it means.

By the way, I'm not an attorney, paralegal or anything like that. But use some common sense while you're smashing the state, fer gosh sakes. They don't play fair.

PS if I haven't convinced you by now, then one more example. If this tactic actually worked, then all Indymedia would have to do is post a big notice at the top of all sites: No cops or informers are allowed to visit, read or contribute to this site.
Again, yeah sure. That will stop them.

asking feds to leave 06.Mar.2006 19:24

marco

I can't speak for Rosenfeld of course, but it seemed like he did
that as an exercise, having no more expectations than you would
have that a fed was going to get up and leave. In fact, that would
be the very next quote of him which I didn't find necessary to put
in that story really.

"As you can see," said Rosenfeld, "no one has gotten up and left."
He went on to explain that they're well paid, and empowered and
likely would never get up and leave unless they'd blown their
cover some other way.

He also pointed out later in the panel that you can count on them
having already placed a couple other deep cover snitches before
letting Anna finish blowing her cover.

Now as for my first person account being not journalistic enough,
all I have really is one expression.

Whatever.

I wasn't feigning journalism with it by any means. If you've got
anything else to suggest besides ad hominems, give a hollar. I'll
be happy to respond to those as well. The rest I'll just let sit
there and scroll down I guess.

cheers,
marco

oh, a ps for everyone else. I found much of the security culture
discussions both Friday and Sunday to be quite helpful. I feel
no need to report on them directly, however.

Just the facts, and some media criticism. 07.Mar.2006 01:49

Not a fan...

Dear Marco,
By not including the rest of Rosenfeld's quote, which you include in your response to me, you distorted the intent of what he was saying in your original post. Especially since you then added your own sentence:

"That serves a handy exercise to show "security culture" to everyone, things we should be exercising all the time."

Your original post gave us the impression that Rosenfeld actually believed that asking cops to leave would work. The intent of my response was to show just the opposite. Had you merely included one more sentence, I would never have written.

Good reporting does not come from going to a school of journalism or working for corporate media. Few people reading here care about credentials. Someone who has finished grade school but who can listen carefully and transcibe correctly can do good reporting. Good writing comes from actually caring about the audience that you write for and the people or portions of nature that you are writing about.

You did a disservice to both Rosenfeld and your audience. And then, to rub it in, you state that the workshops on security culture were "quite helpful", but you "feel no need to report on them..."

Look, I may not know you and you may not know me, so I don't expect more than your "Whatever". But ask someone you trust whether your article and response further their understanding of what is going on. Better yet, ask Rosenfeld if your original article conveys what he was trying to say.

If you don't want to write, that's fine. If you're going to write stuff, you might want to go read Orwell's brief essay on political writing, "Politics and the English language". (Leave aside the fact that he was a snitch at one point of his life. Remember the revolutionary of Homage to Catalonia). Why would you want to write anything less than the best possible reporting about that conference, when what you write is important?

whatever 07.Mar.2006 05:02

marco

I sure do doubt I've done a disservice to anyone except you.
Stop speaking for other people and quit with the condescending
tone of your comments. It does you and me no good. And as for
the reader, s/he can make up their own mind, they don't need
your handholding, harrassment and help.

I've read Orwell's "Politics and the English language." I've also
read his "Why I Write," and his "Down And Out In Paris And London,"
as well as a nearly lethal dose of his Newspaper articles from the
40s. So what?

I have nothing more to say about any of your comments.

I feel no need to be defensive over what I wrote, although it's
humorous that a gonzo first person account of mine was the closest
to resembling "hard news" for the entire weekend, until the following
came along Monday or Tuesday.

Here's reprint of the only corporate media reporting all weekend so far.
Except for one direct character assasination of Craig Rosebraugh and one
article entirely about James Woolsey's keynote speech, there has been no
reporting on the entire conference.


UO law forum addresses environmental activism
By PAUL FATTIG
Mail Tribune

EUGENE — Environmental groups are being harassed, infiltrated and spied on by the FBI and police as never before, activist attorney Lauren Regan claimed Saturday during the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference here.

A member of a panel discussing government use of the U.S. Patriot Act, Regan urged activists to be cautious in their homes, at work and in legal actions such as civil disobedience.

"Everyone who is an activist is a target," she stressed.

But Regan, executive director of the Civil Liberties Defense Center in Eugene, equally stressed the importance of legal environmental activism.

"The resistance movement has always been an integral part of our democracy," she said, adding that activists must constantly speak out against what she believes are heavy-handed and illegal government tactics."Be very vocal," she said. "Shedding light on it is a great way to put an end to it."

The panel discussion was one of 120 events at the 24th annual conference, which draws activists from throughout the West to the University of Oregon. The three-day conference, which concludes today, covered everything from lessons learned at the 2002 Biscuit fire in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest to toxic-site cleanups.

But the arrests of more than a dozen activists on arson and conspiracy charges in the last three months, including two from Jackson County, appeared to be on many participants’ minds.

Regan said the federal government imposes excessive charges, bail and jail time to intimidate all activists.

Yet Michael Fortier, one of the domestic terrorists linked to the April 19, 1995, Oklahoma City bombing that killed nearly 150 people, was released last month, she said.

Regan claimed grand juries now routinely go on "witch hunts and fishing expeditions." She said the mainstream media is vilifying those arrested by portraying charges as convictions.

As a result, groups are being fractured and distrust is building, she said.

Federal prosecutors say the 13 people arrested since December have been linked to Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front arsons that caused $27.8 million in damage over several Western states.

Conference panelist Hope Marston, regional organizer for the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, agreed the environmental movement has been hurt by the Bush administration’s actions.

However, she noted that eight states, including California, have passed laws against the Patriot Act.

She urged individuals and groups to continue to stand up to what she labeled as abuses of the U.S. Constitution.

"They can’t arrest us all," she said, calling civil disobedience a "time-honored tradition."

Panelist Kirk James Murphy, a psychiatrist from San Francisco, suggested that the federal government may not be as powerful as some fear.

"We’re talking about a federal government that couldn’t find 18 feet of flood water for five days," he said of Hurricane Katrina striking New Orleans.

"Maybe they aren’t as powerful as we think," he said, prompting a rare moment of levity.

Outside the meeting rooms, participants talked about the state of environmental activism.

"It has the feel in many ways like the difficult times of the ‘60s and the Vietnam War era," observed Chip Dennerlein, new director of the Siskiyou Regional Education Project in the Illinois Valley.

"It’s a very dangerous trend," he added. "It’s chilling and it is meant to be chilling."

However, like Regan, he noted that legal activism is vital to protecting today’s environment.

"The stakes are higher today," he said. "There is a lot of disinformation out there. But when there is more light put on an issue, we almost always do better."

Illinois Valley activist Romain Cooper is worried about government secrecy increasing.

"In a democracy, our government should be as transparent as possible," he said. "Obviously, there are some places where secrecy is needed in terms of defense. But, by and large, we really should be able to see and evaluate what our government is doing."

The federal government appears to be cloaked in secrecy more and more, he said.

"Because of that, it’s hard to know what they are up to, why they are doing it and why it’s in the public interest," he said.

Ashland resident Julie Norman, who has worked on environmental issues in Jackson and Josephine counties for more than a quarter of a century, said the result is reducing environmental safeguards.

"It’s a very sad thing when the executive branch is dismantling the laws that have helped bring us to some conclusions about progressive land management," she said. "To see those things dismantled is very tragic."

Not only are groups and individuals threatened, but laws protecting the environment are also on the line, Dennerlein interjected.

"It’s almost disorienting to think it was Richard Nixon’s administration under which the EPA happened," he said of the Environmental Protection Agency.

The point, he said, is that many Republicans like Nixon supported strong environmental laws.

"All those things are at risk right now," Norman agreed.

Applegate resident Chant Thomas, a longtime activist who has attended all but two of the annual conferences, also likened today’s atmosphere to the Vietnam War protest days.

"The antiwar movement was tremendously infiltrated by the FBI," recalled Thomas, who was reared in Washington, D.C.

"Unfortunately, there always has been and probably always will be surveillance of every organization that is on the fringes of the mainstream," he said. "If you are out there far enough, you are going to be watched."

[ref]=[ link to www.mailtribune.com]


Register Guard's Character Assassination Of Craig Rosebraugh:

 link to www.registerguard.com

Register Guard's Feature On James Woolsey:

 link to www.registerguard.com


related:

Indymedia reporting on upcoming grand jury stuff:

 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2006/03/334992.shtml

New Subpoena Served In Colorado:

 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2006/03/335233.shtml

Audio of the Q&A From Friday's Panel:

 http://mke.indymedia.org/media/2006/03//205006.mp3

 http://mke.indymedia.org/en/2006/03/205005.shtml

FBI 08.Mar.2006 02:32

.

People ought to research the creation of the FBI, and Hoover's reputation *before* they hired him as its first director. COINTELPRO and suppression of citizen political movements was the FBI purpose right from the beginning nearly a century ago. Aside from some technical doodads, and the style of the director's dresses, nothing has changed.