Eco-terrorist or animal liberationist? reclaiming the vanguard from capitalism

Newlands, Maxine (2012) Eco-terrorist or animal liberationist? reclaiming the vanguard from capitalism. In: Abstracts from the 2nd Anarchist Studies Network Conference: making connections. From: 2nd Anarchist Studies Network Conference: making connections, 3-5 September 2012, Loughborough, UK.

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The neologism 'eco-terrorism; stands for a "new vanguard for a new society in the form of eco-terrorism" (Arnold, 1989:25). Coined by Wise Use Movement founder, Ron Arnold the anarchic tactics of direct action, locking on, tree spiking is seen as an act of terrorism. The term became common currency in the USA, after the 'Animal Ecological Terrorism Act' (2004) was put before the US Senate. This legislation criminalised and conflated animal liberation with environmental activists' movements: "persons encouraging, financing, assisting, or engaging in acts of animal and ecological terrorism …requires the establishment of a registry of animal and ecological terrorists".

Four years earlier the link between animal attacks and eco-activists was made by the head of the UK's National Farmer Union. Ben Gill blamed a foot and mouth disease outbreak (2001) on 'eco-terrorists'. However, Rootes (2003) found no clear correlation between animal rights and environmental activism. The Observer newspaper (2008) were forced to retract an article claiming activists were "researching a list of target companies ... eco-extremists may attempt a terrorist attack at killing large numbers of Britons" (Townsend & Denning, 2008:8). This paper will examine - via a historical perspective - the link between animal liberation, environmental activism and the 'eco/terrorism'. Using a comparative study between USA and UK news media, the paper will examine how a discourse of violence is used to blend the two movements together. It will discuss the different interpretations of violence by eco-activist and animal liberation movements. Moreover, it will analyse how the term is being reclaimed by activists, to redeveloping new revolutionary strategies (for example, Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson's use of the term) to challenge capitalism and the state.

Item ID: 35187
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
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ASN 2.0 Conference panel: Anarchism and Other Animals.

Anarchism and Other Animals Session 1: Intersectionalised relations of domination

Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2014 06:17
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1606 Political Science > 160699 Political Science not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960311 Social Impacts of Climate Change and Variability @ 100%
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