Listening to the Ecoterrorists In Their Own Words
We concluded the article noting that “To this reporter’s knowledge [Earth Liberation Front apologist and author of the book Green Is The New Red Will] Potter and the rest of the pro-ELF cadres have yet to elucidate how destroying a family’s home or car or blowing up a respected scientist’s life work is taking a brave stand against corporate profits and how prosecuting these crimes qualifies as unfair prosecution, but Perlstein’s comments are illuminating in this regard: Such a conviction is simply fanaticism, beyond the mind, beyond emotion, beyond rational reflection, at home in that dead zone where terrorists of all stripes have always been most comfortable.”
A commenter styling himself “Johnny Lawbreaker” wrote a comment asking “Have you bothered to read any of the myriad statements put out by these groups in defense of their actions? Or any number of the writings put out by defendants and those who support them? Sounds like shoddy journalism to me because there is no shortage of them.”
Yes, in fact, this reporter felt like taking a shower, he read so much of these groups’ efforts to convince you that they’re justified in destroying other people’s work and property, but we wish to take Mr. Lawbreaker’s question seriously. We have a certain regard for anyone these days who can type three sentences of blog comments in error-free grammar, and we don’t say that lightly. Mr. Lawbreaker is to be commended for not breaking grammatical laws. Fellow Green & Clean writer Tracey “Grammar Queen” Schelmetic would be heartened.
But it’s a fair question, a legitimate one, so to avoid the charge of “shoddy journalism,” we’ll give a brief sampling of aforesaid “myriad statements.”
In fact, we’ll reproduce not only these people’s self-justifications, but their perspective on their crimes themselves.
Craig Rosebraugh, the Al Jazeera Of The Ecoterrorists
Failed restaurateur Craig Rosebraugh was the self-appointed publicity officer for the Earth Liberation Front, which is a rather shadowy, loose assemblage of autonomous cells, a favorite organizing tactic for terrorists since its introduction by noted environmentalist and humanitarian Mao Zedong. From 1997 to 2001 he would receive communiques from the ecoterrorists in ELF and forward them to mainstream media, much like Al Jazeera does for al-Qaeda. He’s of one mind with the ELF aims and goals, and served as an effective mouthpiece for his comrades.
Here, then, is Rosebraugh’s account of the pointless, costly vandalism inflicted by ELF criminals on Long Island in 2000:
“The Earth Liberation Front (ELF) has been busy in Long Island, New York, over the past few months. Both urban sprawl and genetic engineering have been targeted.”
Targeting “Urban Sprawl?” On Long Island? You’ve Come To The Right Place.
“With nine acts of economic sabotage taken against luxury homes under construction, the ELF is sending a clear message to developers. ‘If you build it, we will burn it’ was left on one of the Long Island homes during a December 2000 action.”
Because in ELFworld families building “luxury” homes — evidently ELF has a cutoff point for what’s “luxury” and what’s not — don’t deserve to have a place to live, of course. No doubt the ELF terrorists’ own homes are highly luxurious by most of the rest of the world’s standards, fabulously opulent compared to how billions of people live, but evidently they’re not targeted for destruction by ELF.
Also remarkable is how the nice homes of ELF family members, including parents rich enough to do things like give Rosebraugh the money to lose in his failed restaurant venture, have so far managed to avoid destruction.
“The first action occurred on July 7. The group evaded security and destroyed two acres of genetically modified corn and several greenhouses worth of seedlings at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories. Several trucks were also monkeywrenched, and anti-genetic messages were spray painted everywhere. It is estimated that two years worth of genetic experiments were destroyed with this action.”
They’re proud of destroying years of other people’s fully legal work, as you can see in their own words. “Monkeywrenched” is the ELF terminology for “ruined.” As in, preventing people from going to work.
ELF then hit construction sites along Whiskey Road in Coram, Long Island in November 2000. As Rosebraugh wrote, “Urban sprawl has altered nearly 90 percent of Long Island’s habitats, either by physically removing them, paving them or polluting them with toxic human-made materials making them either undesirable or unsustainable for most species. Wildlife extinction rates are increasing exponentially as urban sprawl drives species from their homes. The Whiskey Road area, once state-protected land, has now fallen into the hands of money-driven developers. Roughly 500 acres have been clearcut.”
So, the obvious answer, as ELF saw it, was to commit “monkeywrenching of vehicles, pulling up survey stakes, smashing windows and leaving spray painted messages. The momentum continued as over 17 windows were smashed, slogans were left and bulldozers were decommissioned during the fourth action on November 24, 2000. The tactics were again stepped up as the ELF claimed responsibility for destroying 12 vehicles and over 200 windows at a construction site in Middle Island, Long Island. ”
ELF Success: No More Development on Long Island
And as we can see eleven years later, of course, the ELF “actions” were a smashing success. There hasn’t been any more development on Long Island since November 2000, wildlife has returned en masse, and today it’s pretty much as it was when the first white men saw it.
The accomplishment of returning Long Island to nature proves conclusively that ELF and other ecoterrorists aren’t simply spoiled children destroying what belongs to other people in sporadic temper tantrums which don’t add up to any lasting change, but powerful, successful visionaries who have a clear and coherent master plan.
After ensuring no more homes would be built on Long Island, ELF then turned their powers to eradicating McDonald’s from the land. As Rosebraugh wrote “on December 7, the ELF and the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) claimed joint credit for sabotaging McDonald’s corporate offices on Long Island,” where members of the ALF and ELF vandalized McDonald’s corporate offices in Haupauge: “[W]e smashed over 10 windows and spray painted anti-meat slogans against environmental destruction. We will not be stopped.”
Again, while some might see this as irresponsible attention-seeking vandalism with no long-term ramifications, the fact that today you can’t find a single McDonald’s restaurant on Long Island certainly proves otherwise.
ELF Morality: ‘Hey, We Don’t Kill Anyone, We Just Destroy Their Homes. We’re Good People.’
But ELF wasn’t finished with merely stopping all development and ridding Long Island of McDonald’s restaurants. To underline its decisive win over developers, on December 9, the ELF “increased its pressure,” Rosebraugh wrote, “by burning one two-story condo and damaging three others at the Spring Lake housing development in Middle Island. This action caused over $200,000 in damages.” So there, developers. ELF is serious, not just a costly nusiance, no construction firm is going to risk incurring over $200,000 of insured damages.
A communiqué issued by ELF itself claimed responsibility the way terrorists always love to take credit for destruction. Don’t miss the ELF’s lofty morals — they didn’t kill the families whose homes they destroyed, which means they’re really good people: “The Earth Liberation Front claims responsibility for the fires that ravaged” — ravaged! — the Birchwood at Spring Lake housing development in Middle Island, Long Island. During the night of December 9, members of the ELF crept into the construction site and placed incendiaries in four rows of condominiums.
“The structures were checked thoroughly for the presence of any occupants (human or animal) before being set… the resulting fires gutted almost 16 nearly completed luxury homes, which were to be sold at several hundred thousand dollars each. Survey stakes were also pulled up to prevent the planned expansion of the housing development along the border of a New York State Conservation Area.”
It’s a curious belief of ELF’s that only homes for affluent people constitute threats to the environment, evidetly lower-cost homes don’t affect the environment one bit. And of course today that area ELF attacked is an abandoned, uninhabited wasteland. Tumbleweeds roll, crickets chirp. In other words, a genuine, meaningful accomplishment, right?
“The actions of those who orchestrated the construction are absolutely intolerable, so we are now declaring an unbounded war on urban sprawl. As the stakes of the struggle continue to expand so will our methods and tactics. Window breaking and disabling vehicles can only do so much, and in a battle with our Earth in the balance we cannot hold back or go soft on those pillaging the planet for profit.”
“Earth in the balance…” isn’t that an Al Gore book?
Rosebraugh adds that some of these actions were done “in solidarity with Josh Harper, Craig Rosebraugh, Jeffrey Free Luers and Craig CritterMarshall, Andrew Stepanian, Jeremy Parkin and the countless other known and unknown activists who suffer persecution, interrogation, police brutality and crappy jail conditions, yet stand strong.”
My my — terrorists have to endure an uncomfortable jail cell for a while for acting on their deepest-held convictions that destroying other people’s property and torching families’ homes is a good thing to do. How… terrible. How unfair for the poor dears, to be so inconvenienced for destroying other people’s homes. Surely no other brave people of principle have had to suffer so.
So there you have it, Mr. Lawbreaker. QED. Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time for another shower.