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Terrorism Drill: Animal Rights Activists With Hostages
by Infoshop-Daily Cal repost^2
Wednesday Sep 17th, 2008 7:40 PM
The atmosphere is surprisingly relaxed, despite the fact that terrorists protesting animal research have taken a hostage in a UC Berkeley building and are threatening to shoot anyone who approaches the scene.

Suddenly, four gunshots are heard inside the building and the officers quickly ascend a four-story fire escape to confront the terrorists.
Animal rights terrorism drill at UC Berkeley.


A terrorism scenario in the nation’s largest homeland security drill involved animal rights activists holding hostages, at gun point.


Seriously.


From The Daily Californian, “Urban Shield Tests Police Ability”:


The atmosphere is surprisingly relaxed, despite the fact that terrorists protesting animal research have taken a hostage in a UC Berkeley building and are threatening to shoot anyone who approaches the scene.


Suddenly, four gunshots are heard inside the building and the officers quickly ascend a four-story fire escape to confront the terrorists.


All this is standard procedure for the San Leandro Police Department tactical team, which was participating in Urban Shield, the nation’s largest homeland security drill.


It’s an interesting choice for a terrorism drill, considering animal rights activists have never taken hostages, and never harmed anyone in this country (not quite the “real world scenario” described on the project’s website, Urban Shield). You might think the government would choose right wing groups for such drills, because they’ve actually murdered people and admittedly created weapons of mass destruction (but they’re not even on DHS lists of national security threats).


Instead, organizers chose to set up this elaborate, illogical scenario of animal rights activists holding hostages. It ain’t an accident, folks. This was a choice, a carefully crafted and vetted decision by this multi-government-agency program.


Terrorism scenarios like this send a clear message that animal rights activists are to be feared. It instills that fear in law enforcement. And it instills that fear in the general public. It helps legitimize the sweeping government attacks on the animal rights and environmental movements, known as the Green Scare, by mainstreaming unreasonable fears.


Most people who see this news clip, or saw this scenario taking place, don’t know enough to differentiate between fact and scare-mongering government fiction. And that’s the point. This way, if folks hear about more grand juries or FBI raids or infiltrating vegan potlucks, they may brush aside their logical concerns and not worry about the civil liberties of those evil, hostage-taking activists.


Why do all that? Well, there’s a lot at stake. The University of California system has been the target of heated animal rights campaigning, including the recent bombings in Santa Cruz. And the UC system was the chief lobbyist behind the recent “eco-terrorism” legislation. Also, cops in Berkeley recently raided a radical bookstore and community space called the Long Haul Infoshop.


In this political climate, here’s what I think would be a better “training” drill: Militarized police forces, pressured by vested political and corporate interests, attempting to silence political activists, and activists preparing to stand by each other, call attorneys, organize press conferences, know their rights and, most importantly, keep fighting.

links and photos at: