The Guelph Union of Tenants and Supporters (GUTS) is a local grassroots anti-poverty group that works on a multitude of projects in Guelph. These include weekly free picnics at a downtown location, supporting people in their interactions with landlords, welfare and disability support officials, promoting and initiating harm reduction programs for drug users, and challenging police brutality. One of their members, Aaron, spoke with me in depth about their various campaigns, illuminating some very interesting and disturbing facts pertaining to how the city of Guelph and the Guelph police deal with marginalized people, including people with mental and physical health issues, people of low-income, street youth, drug users, and more.
Tre Arrow's arrest, alleged crimes, and his three-year imprisonment while awaiting extradition has attracted a lot of attention in Canada and the US. Once on the FBI's top 10 most wanted list, and now in prison in Victoria, BC, Tre is busy trying to fight his extradition to the US based on fraudulent allegation of arson. Tre's legal team was recently in court working in the next stage of their fight to keep him in Canada. I spoke with Shawna Scarpitti, Tre's sister, outside the Vancouver, BC, courthouse.
Shannon Keith is an animal rights lawyer and the producer of Behind the Mask, a film that came out in 2006 that explores the animal liberation movement. Shannon is the founder of ARME (Animal Rescue, Media, and Education), which "rescues homeless animals and is focused on stopping the problem at it`s roots, by making educational documentaries that teach people what really happens to animals and about those who risk their lives and freedom to save them." Shannon is also the founder of the production companyUncaged Films, which she started after she learned that she had been an FBI target, labeled as an 'animal rights extremist'. Shannon works to infiltrate the media with a strong message about animal liberation and fighting back against the accusations that people who support animals are 'terrorists,' and Behind the Mask has been screened around the world in the last year.
I spoke with Sean from Daniel's support committee, who shared with us the story of Daniel's arrest, charges, and legal battle, as well as the larger context of the Green Scare and the targeting and jailing of other ecological and animal liberation activists. Daniel is one of 17 people swept up in what has become known as the Green Scare, and is pleading Not Guilty to the charges levelled against him, which include arson and conspiracy. The mandatory minimum sentencing for Daniel, if found guilty, is Life in prison. There would be no chance of parole.
Steven Best is the co-editor of the recently-published book, Igniting a Revolution: Voices in Defence of the Earth, available from AK Press. Steven is an animal rights activist, author, and associate professor of humanities and philosophy at the University of Texas at El Paso, where he teaches courses such as ethics, social philosophy, animal rights, environmental theory, and philosophy of science and technology. He has written and edited seven books, including Terrorists or Freedom Fighters? Reflections on the Liberation of Animals (2004). And he is co-founder of the Center of Animal Liberation Affairs, the first group dedicated to the philosophical discussion of animal liberation.
Diane Wilson, author of An Unreasonable Woman: A True Story of Shrimpers, Politicos, Polluters, and the Fight for Seadrift, Texas. Diane Wilson was arrested in Houston on December 5th while infiltrating a fundraiser for recently-indicted U.S. Representative Tom Delay. At the time of her arrest Diane was wanted in Texas on Criminal Trespassing charges from 2002, when she had climbed a tower at Dow Chemical to protest the company's continued irresponsibility following its 1984 chemical disaster in Bhopal, India, where 150,000 people were poisoned. Diane refused to turn herself in for the trespassing charges until Warren Anderson, former CEO of Union Carbide, turned himself in to the Indian government, where he has been wanted for thirteen years for the Culpable Homicide of thousands in Bhopal. Diane eventually served a 150-day sentence.
Environmentalist and refugee hopeful, Tre Arrow has been incarcerated in Canada for over two years. He is being imprisoned while awaiting a possible extradition to the United States, where he faces 80 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Like the 125 000 American draft dodgers who came to Canada between 1964 and 1977, Tre came to Canada hoping to escape persecution in the United States. This became Tre's only option when his life in Portland, Oregon was unjustly turned upside down in the Summer of 2002.
FBI Witch Hunt - In Memory of William Rodgers
Sarah, a friend of Bill, talks about the circumstances that led to the arrest and eventual death of Bill Rodgers, a long-time activist accused of arson. Bill was found dead in his cell of an apparent suicide, but there are many unanswered questions surrounding his death. Bill was one of 6 activists arrested on December 7, which saw the beginning of an FBI witch hunt that has continued since. A classic case of effective activists being demonized by the media, facing trumped up charges and inhumane sentences.
Rosalie Bertell: Military Weather Control
Rosalie Bertell is extremely knowledgable on the issues of military weather manipulation, and in this interview she discusses HAARP, chem-trails, military plans for weather warfare, healing, and hope. Rosalie is a 76 year old nun, a former consultant to the US EPA, Environment Canada, the International Joint Commission on the Great Lakes, and founded the International Institution of Concern for Public Health.
George Draffan: Welcome to the Machine
George talks about the technology used by the triad of science, military, and business, to try and keep all of us under control. Most importantly, George discusses in depth the psychological implications of living in a machine. The topics in this interview are also examined in a book George co-authored with Derrick Jensen, called Welcome to the Machine: Science, Surveillance, and the Culture of Control. You can learn more about these issues at George's site, Endgame Research Services.
This is an interview I did with Tre last year, in which he covers many of the topics in our interview at the top of this page. Although in this one, he talks more about his experience in prison, and less about his court case. It's an excellent interview and well worth a listen.
Jeff 'Free' Luers Defence Committee Interview
Dylan, a friend and supporter of Jeff, speaks about the politicization of his apprehension and sentencing, the need for prisoner support, and other related issues in the current climate of fear of 'ecoterrorism'. Jeff Luers was sentenced 6 years ago for burning three SUVs, which got him 22 years and 8 months in prison. The same judge, one week prior, sentenced a man guilty of molesting a child to 5 years. Jeff has continued to write as much as he can while in prison, producing a zine with fellow political prisoner Rob 'Los Ricos' Thaxton.