If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front is a documentary that features anarchist and environmental activist, Daniel McGowan. It traces a period of time from his initial arrest on December 7th, 2005, in a federal investigation known as "Operation Backfire," to the day he began his 7-year sentence for two actions claimed in the name of the Earth Liberation Front. Alongside this focus on Daniel, the film also takes a look at how the radical environmental movement began and talks to a variety of people involved in the case, including prosecutors, police officers, and even some of the snitches. |
One of the snitches featured in the film, Suzanne Savoie, has already served her 51-month sentence, and plans on attending a screening of the film at the Ashland Independent Film Festival in southern Oregon. Savoie bargained the lives of the non-cooperating defendants, Daniel McGowan, Jonathan Paul, Sadie, and Exile, as well as those who have yet to be apprehended by the government, for what amounted to a slightly lesser sentence. (Daniel McGowan received 84-months.) Savoie's cooperation deal is public knowledge and with her help, the state has locked away comrades who stared down multiple life sentences without betraying themselves, the others who were involved, and all of us who fight in resistance to the state and capitalism.
The film is favorable to Daniel, humanizing someone who the federal government calls an eco-terrorist and has shoved into a secretive prison unit known as a "Communications Management Unit," and is also relatively sympathetic to the ELF. However, because the filmmakers are the good little liberals that they are, they treat Savoie as just another "voice" in the "conversation" they hoped that this "story" would generate. What's more, they invited this scum to attend a screening at the festival and plan on publicly acknowledging her in the audience during a Q & A.
It is beyond belief that Savoie would even consider going, considering what she's done, but perhaps she feels emboldened by the filmmakers invitation and hopes this can pave the way for her to return to the very movements that she has betrayed. The filmmakers have thus far refused to rescind the invitation, citing the usual liberal bullshit of "everybody having a voice in this story." Well, as revolutionaries, we cannot allow this snitch to try and reintegrate herself, because Suzanne Savoie has sided with our enemies and no longer has anything to say we want to hear. Additionally, our lives, and our movements of resistance are not "stories" that exist to help filmmakers gain accolades and prestige, but the actions of real people making real attempts to destroy all that which destroys us.
If you live in southern Oregon, or can get there, please think about attending or showing up outside of the film screenings to make sure that Suzanne Savoie and her stupid snitch ass do not feel welcome. Showtimes are Saturday, April 9th, @ 9:30am, Sunday, April 10th, @ 6:00pm, and if the film wins a prize, Monday, April 11th, @ 12 & 9pm.
In the meantime, if everyone could clue the filmmakers in to the VERY BIG MISTAKE THEY ARE MAKING by inviting and welcoming this snitch to their screening, that would also be very much appreciated. Here is the contact info for the directors: