Recent crackdowns on the animal rights and environmental justice movements have left many activists feeling that their communities are under siege. From the prosecution of the SHAC 7 to the arrests of thirteen individuals for arsons committed over a ten-year span, a war is being waged against these movements by the U.S. government. While all of this may seem terrifying in its unfamiliarity to younger activists, the tactics being employed by the FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Force are anything but new. Whisperings of ‘COINTELPRO’ have appeared in various articles about the backlash against eco-activism, but what does this generation really know about the Counter-Intelligence Program aimed at groups such as the Black Panther Party (BPP) and the American Indian Movement (AIM)? Today’s activists are heirs to a history of social and political battles from wars that are not yet over. Without seeing today’s struggles for animal rights and environmental justice in a broader historical and social context, we run the risk not only of repeating painful lessons of the past, but of isolating ourselves and weakening our movements.
Recent Indybay Coverage of Grand Juries, Arrests, and Other Anti-Activist Actions: SF Grand Jury Targets G8 Protest | SHAC7 Convicted | Government's "Case" Against Rod Coronado | 11 Indicted in Latest Round of FBI Environmental Witch Hunt | Three Arrested in Auburn, Accused of Planning ELF Actions | Animal Activists Subpoenaed to Appear in San Francisco | Grand Jury in San Diego