Unabomber Mentions In The Earth First! Journal Beltane 1996 Issue
The Unabomber: Up Close and Personal by Leslie Hemstreet
In an attempt to explain the motives of the Unabomber, some of the mainstream media attempted to link Earth First! and the environmental movement to Theodore Kaczynski upon his capture. Using thinly spun threads of spurious evidence from self-appointed EF! investigator Barry Clausen, ABC World News Tonight started several rumors about Earth First! that spread through the media like a child's game of "telephone" gone bad. The New York Times later added dirt to the mudslide.
What got muttered into the public ear courtesy of ABC was that Theodore Kaczynski was on an FBI list of people who attended a meeting also attended by "top EF! members" and that the Unabomber got two targets in a "radical environmental journal." In reality, the meeting was an Native Forest Network conference attended by over 400 people and the "targets" were from the tongue-in-cheek "Eco-Fuckers Hit List" from ecoanarcho 'zine Live Wild or Die (See "Open Letter to ABC News" on page 26). In spite of the compromised factual nature of this report, other media sources accepted the information as fact, drew the conclusions insinuated and repeated the story, convoluting it along the way. By the time the information made it all the way around the telephone circle, Theodore Kaczynski had attended an Earth First! meeting where he received a directive on two of his hits from Earth First's "enemies" list. This appeared as fact in so many national papers, an inventory here would be unwieldy. We had calls from all over the country saying "I heard on my radio station/TV broadcast/read in my newspaper/etc. that y'all are connected to the Unabomber."
The New York Times ( NYT) participated in the rumormongering with a slightly more convincing posture of journalistic integrity. After mentioning that the Unabomber's writings "seem to parallel" the EF! Journal's ( EF!) ) NYT pointed out that the Unabomber targeted Burson-Marsteller (B-M) about nine months after EF! printed an article criticizing them. Both our article and the Unabomber's letter to NYT criticized B-M for helping Exxon clean up their image after the Valdez oil spill. Burson-Marsteller claims that, while they may have worked for Exxon, it had nothing to do with the oil disaster. The NYT implied that the only place the Unabomber could've gotten his information was from EF!J because of the parallel "mistake." Other media sources extrapolated that the Unabomber got information from EF!) and used it as a directive. In reality, the article was a reprint from No Sweat News. Covert Action Quarterly, citing the Canadian Vancouver Sun, printed a similar article around the same time. The information originated from a 1992 publication "The Greenpeace Book of Green wash."
In his letter to NYT, the Unabomber spells Burson "Burston," an error not printed in any of the above publications. He also emphasized that he targeted B-M for their contribution to "thought control" and human rights abuses. Of course, the press would not publish any facts that did not support their theory that he draws inspiration from EF!.
The NYT is no great research tank. We volunteered the information about our B-M article because we have nothing to hide; watchdogging corporations is not yet a crime in the US. They were a shred more accurate than ABC because at least the part that we printed an article about B-M was factually true.
For every media source that repeated the B-M connection, we received at least ten phone calls from journalists with enough integrity to fact check. Most dropped the B-M angle, once they found out that EF! wasn't the source of some unique information making a connection undeniable.
Disturbingly, every reporter seemed to unquestioningly swallow B-M's disassociation from the oil spill as truth. If part of their strategy to help Exxon's image was to never mention the Valdez spill, their disclaimer could be a lie by omission.
There's No Such Thing as a Free Inside
Some of the negative coverage came out of the paper with the cereal box design — you know, to make for comfortable breakfast-time reading — USA Today and their parent company Gannett. Two of their syndicated columnists, Linda Chavez, ex-cabinet member from the Reagan administration, and Cal Thomas, a former publicist for Jerry Falwell, hijacked the bandwagon, repeating the ABC and NYT reports with a personal flair. Instead of merely possibly attending the same public conference, Earth First! was practically seen at a molotov cocktail party with the Unabomber. Our hit-lists are apparently not even as dangerous as our eco-sabotage how-to manual that includes instructions for "making explosives."
Chavez let it fly with outright lies in-, eluding that, in the early 80s, we "puttjj metal spikes in trees and on roads to injure loggers and road crews in wilder- > ness areas." In reaching for violent rhetoric, she gets in a time machine and goes back to a Dave Foreman speech from 1983 "in which he inveighed, 'The blood of timber executives is my natural drink, and the wail of dying forest supervisors is music to my ears.’" That quote was from a tall tale by Foreman, part of a standard speech he's given hundreds of times. He adopts the "Pecos Bill" persona to illustrate, ironically enough, how rhetoric is not sufficient to protect biodiversity.
Chavez tries to link EF! to the murder of California Forestry Association's Gilbert Murray by pointing out that the bomb was addressed to the organization's former name, Timber Association of California, just like in EF! faction-produced, Live Wild or Die. She avoids mentioning that the fatal package was addressed to Bill Dennison, former president, not Roberta Anderson as named in Live Wild or Die.
Chavez' sickest gesture was saying that we have a baby-killer philosophy so we must’ve inspired the Unabomber to kill a pediatrics professor. Plus, she wants to reopen an investigation of a crude pipe bomb sent to a pediatrics specialist. She speculates that if the Unabomber doesn't turn out to be the perpetrator, "perhaps a Page 26 Earth First! Beltane I 996
less talented radical environmentalist put the bomb together." She goes back to a 1986 Miss Ann Thropy EF.'J article discussing how changes in infant mortality have impacted population growth for her evidence.
The Right's Revenge Chavez and Thomas were the first trickle of a flood of whining from the right-wing press about how the left-biased media jumped all over the possible influence of hate radio, militias and rightwing ideologies over Timothy McVeigh but would not draw the same connections between left-wing environmentalists and the Unabomber.
There is a huge difference between scrutinizing and decontextualizing EF! to come up with violent rhetoric and quoting the violent rhetoric actually emanating from right-wingers and wise-users. James Watt may not have said that he eats environmentalists for breakfast, but he did say that sometimes the cartridge box is more effective than the (ballot box.
Another difference is that the militias and Timothy McVeigh were both armed. The Unabomber was armed but Earth First! never has been. When I argued this point with Chuck! Adler on his TV talk show out of Boston (we apparently don't have a trademark on the exclamation point), he pointed out that the militias also claim to be nonviolent. So I would just like to say for the record that we here at Earth First!™ are the kind of nonviolent who don't stockpile and brandish weapons. Plus let's face it, whatever rhetoric we are putting out there, Rush Limbaugh with his big piles of money reaches a lot more people than my beloved little Earth First! Journal.
To conclude that because EF! and the Unabomber share a few elements of a philosophy, we must also share tactics does not follow logically. Especially be- ^ cause dedication to nonviolence is a pervasive part of the EF! philosophy. Additionally, the Unabomber owns our writ- I ings and disowns our tribe in his 35,000word manifesto. The press only picked up on the "...if you read the radical environmental and anarchist journals..." part.
To put it simply, there is no connection. According to the Dallas Morning News, sources in the Justice Department stated that evidence gathered from Kaczynski's cabin "indicate research" into environmental issues, but "no direct link to any radical group or movement."
To even identify the Unabomber as environmentally motivated is stretching it. Of his 26 victims, only two had any environmental connection.
Debunked Some Myths
Although we considered it a victory when the story got "killed," some of the press actually behaved in an endearing manner. KEZI, our local ABC affiliate ran a lovely story in which they were surprisingly none-too-kind to ABC World News Tonight. New York's Newsday, found out that the mysterious FBI list of names was actually something that Barry Clausen allegedly gave to the FBI after getting it from, he claims, a friend in law enforcement. The Washington Post, ran a story called "Eco-Maniac or Madman?" which aired and debunked almost every allegation against us. These are just highlights. We had hours and hours worth of opportunities to talk to the press and set them straight about EF! monster myths.
Three weeks after the initial ABC report, just when we thought it was safe to have something better to do than defend ourselves from a press hungry for stink and blinded by the color yellow, an editorial repeating every above-mentioned allegation emanated from the Boston Globe and oozed into at least two California newspapers. Jeff Jacoby's story, "Eco Fringe Escapes Blame," opens with the sentence, "That perfect silence you hear is the environmental movement not being blamed for the crimes of the Unabomber." It repeats the two ABC innuendoes as fact, moves on to discuss the B-M connection, then talks about the media's double standard. I just want to say one thing to you Mr. Jacoby: "NPR." That's right. Even National Pub
lic Radio ran their version of a hit piece on us. The teaser, repeated on the radio throughout the day was this: "Far-right radical groups like the militia and separatists have given pause to the US, but now there may be a link between inflammatory environmentalist rhetoric and the suspected Unabomber." Yes, this piece from the "alternative" public media was as bad as the teaser indicates and just like ABC, they used Barry Clausen as their source.
Rumors are flying that this alleged link between EF! and the Unabomber will be used to justify an FBI investigation into EF! as domestic terrorists. USA Today quoted former California Forestry Association president Bill Dennison, whose name appeared on the package that killed Gilbert Murray. He said, "I'd like to see a legislative hearing. The Unabomber’s philosophy is only one step removed from the more radical writings of Earth First!"
The rumors died down after a couple of weeks. I think we're out of the hot seat for now, but we should stay alert so we don't soundbite off more than we can chew.
Just when I thought I was losing my sense of humor about the whole thing, I read the London Daily Telegraph's version of what happened. They clearly got their information straight from the Sahara Club's home page (http://www.aloha.net/ -pjc/green/unabomb-ef.hmtl) which lays out the links between Earth First! and the Unabomber. Even though most of what the Telegraph wrote about EF!s activities was just like a Stephen King horror novel, I closed my eyes for a minute to pretend one thing that they said was true: They wrote that the Earth First! Journal has 15,000 subscribers.
The Framing of Earth First!
Radical environmentalists and the Unabomber: a terrorist connection? For a week the phones were ablaze here at the Journal office, with media outlets across the country demanding an answer. The last time Earth First! received as much national press was when Judi and Darryl were bombed. The mainstream press at that time dutifully reported the FBI's story that Judy and Darryl blew themselves up (I still meet people whose only knowledge of Earth First! is as "the ones who nearly killed themselves with their own bomb").
Such slander hampers our ability to reach people with our message, reinforcing the status quo. When we are marginalized as terrorists it not only deflects criticism of corporate malfeasance away from the real criminals, it hinders our ability to communicate such criticism.
The public will not believe Earth Firstl's environmental message if it perceives us as an extremist fringe element.
The misperception of Earth First! as terroristic was no doubt strengthened by the McCarthyite linking of Earth First! to the Unabomber. What effect such slander will have on our activism this summer is yet to be seen. It seems likely, though, that our foes will attempt to exploit the connection to marginalize us, and that the public is well-primed to accept that lie.
Bearing this in mind, it seems to me we should be extra careful to not behave in ways that could allow us to be portrayed in a violent or dehumanizing fashion. Activists might want to lay off the camo at public actions; the connotation of camouflage is too militaristic for Joe and Jill Six-Pack. Likewise, wearing masks at civil disobedience actions makes it look like we have something to hide, and makes it easier for the public to dehumanize us. If you want to use a pseudonym, say for purposes of jail solidarity, use a believable one. Calling yourself "Bark Beetle" or "Pine Fresh Scent" sounds flaky.
One of the problems I see with Earth First! activism is that we sometimes confuse civil disobedience's role. Physically stopping destruction is not civil disobedience's strength. The strength of civil disobedience is its announcement to society of an injustice. Hopefully, the CD will generate enough outrage and political pressure to reverse the situation. Viewed in such a context, it would be silly not to appeal to as broad an audience as possible and stupid to allow yourself to be easily marginalized.
Another problem is that we often measure the success of an action by how much media it garnered. A better measure of success, though, is to assess how well the coverage projected our message. Did we come across as having legitimate gripes or as a fringe interest group? Did our story resonate with people or alienate them? Were we portrayed as courageous s/heroes putting our bodies on the line to prevent a grave injustice, or as violent terrorists seeking to put honest people out of work?
Since I'm on my soapbox, I'll mention that sometimes we seem to let anger replace strategy in our activism. Direct actions can then become little more than platforms to vent, rather than calculated appeals for support. Anger is healthy, even appropriate, but it must be directed in a positive fashion.
None of the above should be construed as a call to retreat to some form of namby-pamby liberalism, afraid to offend people's sensibilities. If people's sensibilities are destroying the earth we've no choice but to confront them. But this confrontation should not be gratuitous, and as much as pbssible should not be sanctimonious. People are more inclined to listen that way.
— Craig Beneville
An Open Letter to ABC Network News by Craig Beneville
Editor's note — The Earth First! Journal sent the following to ABC News April 8 and many other media sources thereafter. We also posted it widely on the internet.
On Friday, April 5, the ABC news program World News Tonight with Peter Jennings aired a report linking the non-violent environmental group Earth First! with Theodore Kaczynski, the alleged Unabomber. The piece was riddled with distortions and inaccuracies, and can only be described as a hit piece on Earth First! and the environmental movement. ABC's sensationalistic coverage has done serious damage to the reputation of the Earth First! movement, based on the word of Barry Clausen, an individual employed by the timber industry.
The ABC hit piece begins with footage of an Earth First! protest circa 1988. A group of people are shown in the midst of a chaotic scene of violence; fists are flying, people are screaming. The imagery, which sets the stage for the rest of the piece, is clear: these people are violent, crazed extremists. The real story behind this footage, however, provides quite a different context. That day, two protestors, in an act of civil disobedience, had locked themselves by the neck to a logging road gate. In the moments just prior to the footage aired, these activists had been
attacked by loggers, and were dragged by their necks in an attempt to open the gate. The decontextualized footage aired by ABC showed other activists attempting to intervene in order to protect their friends. The person throwing punches was one of the loggers, although ABC does not mention this.
ABC bases its allegation of a Unabomber-Earth First! link on two flimsy pieces of information. The first is Kaczynski's alleged presence at, as ABC calls it, "a meeting which top level leaders of Earth First! attended, at the University of Montana." In fact, this "meeting" was actually an environmental conference sponsored by the Native Forest Network, a grassroots environmental group working to protect temperate forests worldwide. Over 400 people attended, including environmentalists from Poland, Scotland, England, Chile, Mexico, Canada and Australia. Even representatives from the US Forest Service attended the conference. Activists associated with Earth First! also attended the event, but had no role in the conference proceedings. Kaczynski's alleged presence at the conference (his name does not appear on the conference registration list) links him to Earth First! no more than it links him to the US Forest Service.
(The most interesting fact presented in the story, completely glossed over by ABC, was news of an FBI
list of conference attendees. Is attending environmental conferences an activity now considered suspicious by our government? The November, 1994, conference occurred before excerpts of the Unabomber manifesto were released which linked the Unabomber to environmentalism.)
The second piece of information is ABC's contention that two of the Unabomber's victims were on "Eco-Fuckers Hit List" published by, in ABC's words, "a radical environmental journal." (This is the motto in the masthead of the Earth First! Journal.) A quick shot of the hit-list page was followed by a quote from Leslie Hemstreet, a member of the editorial staff of the Earth First! Journal. In thequote, Hemstreet says something like "We cannot be held responsible for what Theodore Kaczynsky may have done with any information he may have gotten from us, because if he had read our journal thoroughly, he would've seen that we are completely dedicated to nonviolence."
The inference could not be clearer: The Earth First! Journal published the hit list. Yet this is false, and ABC knew that it was false. (An underground anarchist/environmental publication called Live Wild Or Die actually printed the hit list.) Roxanne Bezjian, the freelance reporter who interviewed Hemstreet for ABC, told the Journal after complaints about the coverage that she made it very clear to Brian Ross and Dave Rommel, the correspondent and producer of the piece, respectively, that the Journal had not printed the hit list. And while ABC never directly says the Earth First! Journal printed the list, the inference was strong enough to provoke phone calls to the Earth First! Journal office with people screaming that we are terrorists directly responsible for the Unabomber's actions.
ABC further distorted the story by claiming that both of the victims appeared on the hit-list roster. The two corporations that ABC is referring to as appearing on the list (the list was composed of corporations) are the California Forestry Association and Exxon. Thomas Mosier, one of the Unabomber's victims that ABC cites as being part of the hit list, worked not for Exxon, but for the public relations firm Burson-Marstellar. ABC claims that Mosier was connected to Exxon because Exxon was a client of Burson-Marstellar. However, Burson-Marstellar, one of the largest public relations firms in the world, has numerous clients. Whether Mosier ever worked on anything related to Exxon is unclear.
Perhaps the most outrageous aspect of the hit piece is ABC's source of information, Barry Clausen, who appears in the piece. Clausen is a paid informant of the timber industry whose livelihood de pends on an audience interested in Earth First!. Clausen has made a cottage industry for himself travelling to rural areas on speaking engagements paid for by "wise use" groups and the timber industry. The subject of his speeches is his claimed infiltration of Earth First!, and how Earth First! "terrorists" are attempting to destroy jobs, the economy and the whole of civilization.
Barry Clausen is not a credible source. He is a wannabe informant who has been rejected as unreliable by every law enforcement agency he has tried to work with. These include the Sheriffs of both Park County and Madison County in Montana, the US Forest Service in Montana, Washington and California, the US Marshall and the FBI. Clausen has also been rejected by private agencies including a private investigator in Seattle, Washington, and the securtity department of McDonald's hamburger chain.
FBI agent Horace Newborn, in charge of the Domestic Terrorism Unit at the FBI's headquarters in Washington DC, also characterizes Clausen as unreliable. In a sworn deposition Newborn stated about Clausen, "I think what we did is we did some other agency checks with Clausen. His name came up in other places, and we did some other agency checks, and they said he was not reliable."
This rejection (except Newborn's) is documented in Clausen's own book, Walking on the Edge: How I Infiltrated Earth First!, published by the Washington Contract Loggers Association, either in the form of direct conversations or by the agencies' refusal to grant Clausen and his partner Joanne immunity.
ABC's portrayal of Earth First! as violent is totally contradicted by the history of Earth First! activism. In the sixteen years since Earth Firstl's formation the only people to have been injured as a result of Earth First! activities have been Earth First!ers themselves. Earth First! activists have all too often been the victims of violence. Activists have had their houses burned down, been shot at, and beaten up. In 1990, Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney were bombed in their car while organizing for Redwood Summer, an Earth First! campaign to protect California's redwoods. (Their lawsuit against the FBI for wrongful prosecution and harrassment is still pending.) ABC's irresponsible portrayal of Earth First! as violent terrorists legitimates such heinous attacks.
The damage done by ABC's hit piece on Earth First! is tremendous. Hard working environmental activists, who regularly place their bodies on the line to protect the earth, should not be subjected to such blather. This is especially true in light of the "logging without laws" timber salvage rider, which makes salvage logging operations above the law on US public lands. We have better things to do with our time than respond to such outrageous allegations.
The Earth First! Journal is asking for people to call and write World News Tonight to complain about ABC's irresponsible, sensationalistic reporting. You can reach ABC at 47 W. 66th, New York, NY 10023; (212) 456-4040; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Earth First! and Native Alliance Halts Cutting at Enola Hill by Mark Lipeanq Sue Nackoney
"These two must be world record lockdown artists," observed a dismayed Freddy as two EF! activists used lockboxes to close a US Forest Service gate at Enola Hill on the southwest slopes of Mt. Hood, Oregon.
The two tree-huggers-turned-gate-huggers were among 68 activists arrested in a month of protests at Enola Hill, an area of Native American spiritual and cultural significance and a likely candidate for inclusion on the National Historic Register.
The 253-acre timber sale has been an issue of controversy since its initial planning in 1980. The sale was finally released for sale under the infamous Salvage Rider. The federal temporary restraining order, which halted logging due to potential damages to cultural resources, was removed on April 23. In response, EFlers arrived the next day to place our own temporary restraining order on the gate.
Thus began the latest direct action campaign to defend an area which the Yakima, Warm Springs and Nez Perce traditional people regard as sacred due to a millennia of use as a vision quest site, a medicine gathering area, and place where healing ceremonies are held. Enola Hill lies about 45 miles southeast of Portland, adjacent to the Mt. Hood Wilderness Area and Zig Zag Mountain. The hill rises to 3200 feet and is home to a native forest of cedar, hemlock and Douglas fir.
The terrain here is steep, and the forested slopes protect stream habitat for various amphibians and some of the last runs of wild coho salmon. These forests also provide habitat for eagle, hawk, owl, cougar, bobcat, coyote, deer, elk, bear and wolverine. It is in this area that the magnificent cascades of Spirit Horse Falls look out to a mostly unbroken corridor of forest in the Zig Zag area along US Highway 26.
This is a place where, according to Yakima legend, the red-tailed hawk and raven put aside their instinctive animosity and coexist harmoniously. Such events are the very substance of their prophecy; a prophecy that people from all walks of life would come together to protect Enola Hill, and one that proved true.
Earth First!'s initial involvement at Enola Hill was back in 1992, when the Forest Service allowed privately-owned land there to be logged. This kicked off a series of protests and lockdowns where 27 people were arrested and a powerful Native American presence stood in support.
The Forest Service continues to disregard eloquent and heartfelt Native American testimony as to the sacredness of the area, denying that logging activities desecrate what is to traditional people the equivalent of a church or a temple. The Freddies' latest excuse for desecrating this sacred land is provided by the "forest health" Salvage Rider. Their propaganda claims that laminated root rot ( phillinus wieirii ) necessitates logging. This supposedly renegade fungus only travels at a rate of two feet per year and is a native species that facilitates natural succession and forest diversity.
Native Americans, Earth Firstlers and local supporters set up a peace camp to move beyond the rhetoric of the timber wars. From the start, we established a code of nonviolence, and we prohibited property destruction. The camp, situated on the banks of the Zig Zag River, provided a staging area for direct action, despite the omnipresent law enforcement. Before the camp's tarps were even hung, the Freddies were patrolling, taking down license plate numbers, filming all the visitors and generally trampling over everyone's civil rights.
Despite the high level of surveillance and harassment, many successful actions were pulled off. One night, under tight Security, a second lockdown occurred on the same gate as the first action. Daring EF! activists dashed out of the trees to lock the gate shut, subjecting it once again to the flame of the Freddies' blowtorch. Anil other action involved defying the •I closure and entering the logging ? units. The chainsaws were silent on Enola Hill that day.
Many activists chose not to cooperate with the arresting force and were carried out on stretchers to the waiting jail bus. Many were dragged, dumped and otherwise roughly handled as the Forest Service and Clackamas County Sheriff's SWAT team displayed their frustration over the successful disruption of logging operations.
A later action involved locking down to a departing log truck as it exited a closure gate, which blocked the main highway access. Rain-drenched protesters stood for hours holding signs and banners at the truck entrance while the ever-present law enforcement watched intently at first, disinterestedly soon thereafter. Eventually, their eyelids grew heavy with boredom. Then, SHAZAM!, like greased lightning, people blocked a departing log hearse while lockdown artists secured themselves to its belly.
The snoozing Freddies were perturbed, to put it mildly.
Among the ranks of those arrested were several grandmothers, high school students and others who defy the media's portrayal of protesters as fringe-element radicals. The media, however, seemed intent on portraying these acts of civil disobedience as the acts of maverick lawbreakers and terrorists. To flavor the sensationalist story, one station showed scenes of our peaceful protest interspersed with footage of the Oklahoma City bombing. Then they tried to connect us to the Unabomber and to associate our intent with that of Islamic Jihad.
The Forest Service did their utmost to marginalize us as well. Their spokesperson informed the media that they feared encounters with environmentalists and were even afraid to be seen wearing government uniforms in public. The Forest Service and Clackamas Sheriff Department personnel showed up in bullet-proof jackets and with a SWAT team for backup. German shepherds patrolled the closure and camouflaged Freddies hid in the forest. In Orwellian fashion, peaceful protesters were portrayed as violent terrorists.
The Portland chapter of WALL (Witness Against Lawless Logging) organized large rallies in Portland and near Enola Hill. This included one of the largest rallies yet against the Salvage Rider, where nearly a thousand people assembled to witness the devastation caused by logging on Enola. Another rally motivated 200 people to enter the closure area and view a clearcut the Forest Service repeatedly refers to as a selective cut.
Native Americans from Warm Springs, Yakima and the First Nations Survival Support Network visited the camp frequently to express deep gratitude and to offer prayers for our well being and the success of our efforts. Earth Firstlers from Olympia to Areata left their own pressing issues to assist us with person power, equipment, skills and experience.
Other forms of support included the Ancient Forest Hotline, a local and free 800 phone number staffed by volunteers. The hotline was updated daily to provide news of upcoming and ongoing actions,
as well as to solicit items the camp needed. Community sponsored KBOO radio in Portland was unrivaled in its dedicated coverage of Enola Hill activities. Their remote coverage of protests included a live broadcast of activists shutting down cutting.
Many trees have been killed at Enola Hill, and the surrealistic sight of helicopter-borne trees whizzing over the forest canopy continues. The earth trembles daily with the crashing reverberations of trees being cut off the steep slopes.
Despite the death culture's desecration of this sacred site on Wy 'East (Mt. Hood), undeniable gains were made by the supporters of Enola Hill. Alliances were strengthened as environmentalists stood again in solidarity with Native Americans. The fortitude and conviction of the growing community will persevere long after the helicopters and chainsaws have departed.
Many peace camp activists have already relocated and are preparing for a summer on the Salvage Rider circuit, working as the paramedics of the environmental movement. Earth First! has once again shown a willingness to step in when all other recourse has failed, and has taken action inspirational in reaching a wider community of people.
Mt. Hood remains standing, the presiding deity over its forests and wounded slopes. The community that supports it must continue to grow and have courage to stand together in its defense.
Barry Clausen: flim-flam man or Private Dick? by James Barnes
For a long time the radical environmental movement, Earth First! in particular, figured that if it ignored Barry Clausen, he'd go away. The movement was wrong. In fact, this professional snitch has been (and I hate to give him any cause for selfsatisfaction) almost single-handedly responsible for the bad press Earth First! has gotten in the past couple years. So, it is time for us to deal with him.
Until recently, he's been merely an irritant, and often a source of amusement, falling all over himself to paint us as baby-eating terrorists to wide-eyed Wise-Users, making up stories and spelling our names wrong. Since Theodore Kaczynski was arrested on suspicion of being the Unabomber, though, things have changed. EF! has had to counter an avalanche of innuendo about our "connection" to the Unabomber and Clausen is the main source of this misinformation. People are being threatened — called murderers and so on — just as we approach a new season of unprecedented public lands destruction and the subsequent upsurge in direct action protests all over the country. We can't continue to have nonviolent activists placed at risk because of Clausen's damned lies.
An Informer's History
Barry Clausen admits in his book, Walking on the Edge, that his love affair with law enforcement began when he was busted for grand theft auto at the age of sixteen. From there he spent much of his time doing coke in Montana, working an assortment of jobs and trying to get close to movie stars. He turned to narcing after a cocaine smuggling deal in Texas went sour, sending him running to the l Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
The DEA wouldn't believe his tale, but Barry was apparently so thrilled by all the leather and guns that he went straight to the sheriffs of Park and Madison counties in Montana and offered himself as a stool pigeon. The sheriffs set him up with body wires but only a couple of busts came down as a result. The cops later testified that they thought Clausen "unreliable" and "working both sides," so Barry's career as an undercover drug agent came to an end.
Meanwhile, Barry was working as a seasonal Forest Service employee. It was also during this time that was charged with felony theft of an automatic rifle. Clausen later retaliated with a lawsuit targeting just about every law enforcement agency and individual he ever worked with, thus producing some interesting depositions. Barry doesn't seem to realize how pathetic these things make him look, so he describes them thoroughly in his book.
In 1989, Barry Clausen was introduced to Bruce Vincent, founder of the Wise Use group Communities for a Great Northwest. According to Barry, this was when he first heard of Earth First!.
In Deep Cover
Under contract from some unnamed group (Communities for a Great Northwest, I imagine), Clausen went to work "infiltrating" Earth First!. He visited the Montana EF! contingent and weirded them out, telling different cover stories to activists in Bozeman and Missoula, and generally getting himself classified as a wingnut.
He never really figured EF! out, so he still refers to one EF!er as "the head of Montana Earth First!" and another as the "publisher of Live Wild or Die and former head of Earth First! Washington." His account engages in some stylin' libel such as a photo caption which reads: "This helicopter was torched by Earth First! terrorists in Montana."
Since he couldn't actually get any Montana EFlers to do any copter-burning, or other crimes, Barry went off to Seattle to work for the Washington Contract Loggers Association as a private eye (despite the fact that neither he nor his company, North American Research, were ever licensed to operate in Washington State; he has lately restyled himself as a "consultant," possibly as a result of inquiries into his PI status).
In Seattle, and up and down the coast (he went to Redwood Summer), Clausen continued his "investigation" and continually harassed Forest Service law enforcement with information on EF! terrorism and plots, which they were clearly uninterested in. Again and again they refused to work with him, citing his past record. In one example, FBI agent Horace H. Mewborn gave sworn testimony that, "...we did some other agency checks, and they said he [Clausen] was not reliable."
Barry even tried private companies. He badgered McDonald's about "animal rights terrorism" following Jeremy Rifkin’s "Beyond Beef" campaign until they demanded that he cease bothering restaurant employees about vandalism. Security officers at MacMillan Bloedel blew their stack when they found out Clausen had contacted some of the largest MacBlo customers. Barry got the addresses from the November, 1994, Earth First! Journal announcing a boycott of the huge corporation for its role in the destruction of Clayoquot Sound. He warned MacBlo's customers about potential terrorist attacks, and may well have increased the publicity and success of the campaign.
Barry Discovers the Media
In 1994, the Province, a Vancouver tabloid, printed some of Barry's allegations verbatim. The success of this story in attracting attention, spin-off stories and cashola encouraged him to shift his focus from private investigations to public relations. The press often has no standards of proof other than titillation and scandal, and his employers in the timber industry want only to smear their enemies. Clausen's work meets both conditions.
Later in 1994, Walking on the Edge: How I Infiltrated Earth First!, by Barry Clausen with Dana Rae Pomeroy was published by Clausen's employer, the Washington Contract Loggers Association (2421 Pacific Avenue, Olympia, WA 98507-2168; (800) 422-0074 or (206) 352-5033). The book number is registered to -Ron Arnold at the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise. Later that year he got another story out over the wire services, this time claiming that the Native Forest Network (NFN) conference, held in November, 1994, in Missoula, was to feature a who's who in ecoterrorism.
This nonsense has resurfaced in the latest Clauseninspired round of eco-bashing. He claims that Ted l Kaczynski attended the NFN conference. But he won't show anyone any proof. Clausen used the Unabomber to good effect last year too, when Gilbert Murray of the California Forestry Association was killed.
Last year, Clausen put out a pamphlet called "Report on Terrorism: The Real Truth" which describes Earth First! as a terrorist organization and blames us for all the acts of terrorism in the US for the past five years. He also includes copies of his correspondence with timber-industry-pocket-Senators Slade Gorton (R-WA) and Conrad Burns (R-MT) in which he convinces them to ask for a Justice Department investigation of Earth First! There are rumors that such an investigation may happen this spring thrusting n s into the headlines again.
Enter Lyndon LaRouche
Clausen's latest project has been a newsletter called Ecoterrorism Watch which he co-edits with Lyndon LaRouche follower Rogelio Maduro. The newsletter is published by the LaRouche organization at their headquarters in Virginia (POB 214, Leesburg, VA 22075; (703) 779-0121. Forget about n subscribing, it costs $ 145 a year for photocopied I articles from the EF!J). This cult-like organization believes iiTTbizarreTorfspiracy theory that considers the entire environmental movement to be controlled by banking and corporate consortiums which in turn are controlled in turn by the World Wildlife Fund and headed by Prinrp Philip of FnglanH I'm not kidding about this? They think His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburglr personally hand-picked Jake Kreilick to run the Native Forest Network eco-terrorist front.
Clausen is also featured in LaRouche's publication, Executive Intelligence Report. Among o ther ( strange things, it states that Dave Foreman was filred by the Wilderness Society and Sierra Club to found Tarth First! to make them look betteTanr toughen maTnsrreampositions. Supposedly; Foi e-^ man was guaranteed funding arid a ten-year contract limit. (Actually, considering how Foreman's been opposing Zero Cut at the Sierra Club and calling us all "True Believers" a la Eric Hoffer, this doesn't seem so far fetched.)
Spreading Fear — for Fun and Profit
Since 1993, Clausen has regularly spoken to Wise Use groups all over the West. His speeches aim to frighten people into believing Earth First! terrorists are coming to get them and destroy their communities. Clausen pushes "security" services with some Soldier of Fortune-type macho dudes that he claims are ex-Navy Seals or Airborne Rangers or some damn thing.
At these talks he repeats the Judi Bari-and-Darryl Cherney-blew-themselves-up story despite the fact that he has admitted he knows it isn't true. He also targets a Seattle EF!er who has worked for both Greenpeace and the Native Forest Network, and therefore is clearly a linchpin of the big green conspiracy. He attributes right-wing bombings to EF!, and labels the 1989 Dixon, California livestock auction barn-burning as an EF! action, despite it's being well known now as an insurance scam, etc. His best story is that Earth First! intends to poison water supplies all over the country with virulent E. Coli bacteria as per instructions in Dave Foreman's book Ecodefense, and in fact we have done so already in Portland, Oregon. Of course, Ecodefense says no such thing. He says he knows who shot some cattle in Utah and who sabbed the powerlines in Santa Cruz in 1990, but for some reason his information has never been acted upon by law enforcement. Oh, and Mike Roselle is the leader of the whole terrorist kit and kaboodle.
Clausen has been trying to get this Unabomber thing to stick for several years now. When Kaczynski's arrest came down he was all too prepared with the "real" story. The press, in frenzy mode, was willing to swallow it whole. It's all too easy, really. And he'll be back when circumstances arise that make "ecoterrorism" a top story he can peddle. So, we have to be ready. If you hear that Clausen has a speaking engagement in your area, attend it. Call the Journal for a Barry Clausen fact sheet to hand out or give to the press if there is going to be a Clausen-inspired media attack in your area. Clausen himself can be reached at POB^ 65298, Port Ludlow, WA 98365; (360) 437-0453, fax (360) 437-9101. Call and give him hell, nonviolently, of course.
Letters To The Editors
While I find the Earth First! Journal to be a valuable resource for activists, one question about EF! that has been bothering me is this: Does EF! have a real political agenda beyond that of disruption?
The sort of neo-anarchism that some Earth First!ers seem to treasure is not, I would argue, a viable political theory. For instance, while I may admire the Unabomber's commitment to war against the system, his unwillingness to infuse his radicalism with any kind of concrete political theory means that, for all his efforts, he has accomplished NOTHING. Similarly, much as I respect Donna and Tom Howard-Hastings for their self-sacrifice in vandalizing the Navy's ELF facility and getting arrested, their action was not, as the title of their article suggested, "A Fast Way to Save the Earth," but rather a futile exercise in pointless martyrdom. What if, instead of spending the next ten years incarcerated, they were to spend them organizing a politically focused fight-back at the grassroots?
As a Marxist and an ecologist, I try to organize environmental activists around Marxist, class-based politics, while bringing the science of ecology into Marxist economic thinking. Each needs the other. As long as Earth First! advocates blowing things up without regard to what you will replace them with, or seeking arrest as an end in itself rather than a means to an end (and one which, since you can't organize from a jail cell, should be sought only as a last resort), or militant action for its own sake without regard to the politics behind that action, it won't live up to its potential.
Lenin once said that without revolutionary theory there can be no successful revolution, and Earth First! needs to ask itself what the theory is upon which it operates. Small victories are always out there to be had, and Earth First! is to be congratulated on those victories of which it has been a part. The question should be, however, how will we attain the truly big victory which will finally make all the smaller struggles leading up to it worthwhile?
— Steve Donkin International Socialist Organization
I'm responding to Steve Donkin's demand that EF! articulate a "political agenda beyond that of disruption." Donkin misunderstands the EF! agenda as "blowing things up," like the Unabomber. The Wise Use and mainstream media have been torturing themselves to connect the Unabomber with EF!. They've been unsuccessful because EF!ers aren't blowing things up, nor is Ted K. an EF!er. Does Donkin have a real political agenda beyond slander?
So, Lenin said that without revolutionary theory there can be no successful revolution. Lenin also founded a vast, fascist, environmentally destructive empire. So much for Lenin. Do you want an Earth First! theory? Here it is: No plan, no theory, no society is going to work if the biosphere is not intact. That doesn't answer any questions about what the good society should be, but it's enough to take action. Now. Because the biosphere is being destroyed.
Case in point: Among the thousands of people who turned up to protect Headwaters grove, there must be a huge span of political opinion. If they had taken the time to hammer out a unified political theory, they would probably still be debating theory and Headwaters would be hot tubs. I can anticipate Donkin's response; I've heard it before: If we had a brilliant theory, the workers would stand with us and the forest would be saved. I've faced off with loggers and mill-workers. Most of them are quite capable of theory. They're not asking us for more theory. They're asking how they're going to feed their families. Maybe Donkin and his comrades in the International Socialist Organization could provide their working class brethren in Pacific Lumber with some tangible, material support while we pull the plug on junk-bond forestry. Do I hear a real offer, or are you too busy theorizing?
If it's not too "neo-anarchist," I'll close with a quote from Emma Goldman: "Our most vivid imagination cannot foresee the potentialities of a race set free from external restraints. How, then, can anyone assume to map out a line of conduct for those to come? We, who pay dearly for every breath of pure, fresh air, must guard against the tendency to fetter the future. If we succeed in clearing the soil of the rubbish of the past and present, we will leave to posterity the greatest and safest heritage of all ages." Enough said.
— Matthew Haun
Dear Earth First! Journal Editors,
Thanks for the excellent coverage of the outrageous libel the corporate media have perpetrated against the movement regarding the Unabomber. I would like to personally add, however, some feelings that I've had about this incident. First of all, the Unabomber is a murdering cowardly scum. The Earth First! Movement I'm a part of is non-violent and views the tactics of the Unabomber with utter contempt. Also, for those folks who believe the Unabomber had good things to say in his manifesto, the subject of how the planet is abused by the Corporate world, etc. is far better addressed by a multitude of decent, non-violent activists, authors, artists, teachers ...
Lastly, a message for the corporate media and those who believe it: You can attempt to discredit us by the actions of a fanatic, but as you leave the world in ruin the truth becomes all the more clear. Corporate capitalism created the Unabomber and wields him like a sword. Earth First! wields the truth that no sword can cut away.
For the wild places,
- BRAD BERGER
Dear shit 4 brains,
I see a newspaper article down here suggesting The Unabomber is an EF! follower. Looks like some shit is coming down. The FBI have another pretext for harassing you poor bastards even more. I am sorry, but I feel pessimistic on this. Ciao for now,
- NAME WITHHELD AS I AM SORT OF PAID BY THE FOSSIL FUEL INDUSTRY