Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

« Gore/Obama '08 | The Morning News »

Friday, March 7, 2008

Re: Sympathy for the ELFers

posted by on March 7 at 17:40 PM

I have a piece up on Time.com about the suspected eco-terrorism near Maltby, and the fact that the destroyed “Street of Dreams” was not exactly a cherished local landmark.

Here’s a quote that I was surprised to get for my story. It comes from FBI special agent Frederick Gutt:

A lot of people in the Northwest, on the west coast, and in the U.S. and in the world today are environmentalists, have concerns about the earth and mother nature, myself included… A lot of people up here may be more sympathetic to the objective. It’s a social objective many people can share.

Surprising because law enforcement officials are not always so thoughtful and personally forthcoming in their remarks about crimes such as this. Lest you think him an ELF sympathizer, however, here’s what else Gutt said:

I don’t think it makes the methods any more acceptable. There are ways to effect real change without resorting to crimes of violence.

RSS icon Comments

1

I have no sympathy for these assholes! Maybe they will catch fire next time. I want McCain to put these people in isolation. ...Now, dumbass Dems, fight on amongst yourselves.

Posted by McCain/Crist '08! | March 7, 2008 5:52 PM
2

I think that some of the right wing cheating fuckwads that abound among builders are fully capable of insurance fraud. My neighbors have been building illegally for years, using the same cheating contractor; I heard his workers say once that it was easier to get on welfare than to get a bulding permit, so they worked without permits.
They finally got caught, after three big remodels; all these years they ahven't been paying property taxes commensurate with their property value.
Evidently think they are above the law. And the guy is a real estate attorney!

Posted by isabelita | March 7, 2008 5:59 PM
3

isabelita, this isn't about insurance fraud. this is about jealous enviro nutjobs. they can't earn a decent living, so they seek to harm those who do. you are one dim girl. don't worry your pretty little head tho.

Posted by McCain/Crist 08! | March 7, 2008 6:02 PM
4

I am so writing a TV treatment about an FBI Special Agent fortitudinously named Gutt who speaks lovingly of his mother, Earth, but won't hesitate to hammer your lawbreaking ass right into the federal pen. I'll get Gillian Anderson to play his partner.

Posted by elenchos | March 7, 2008 6:07 PM
5

Nice story Eli.

Posted by Jerod | March 7, 2008 6:10 PM
6

As with most cases of political violence, it's easy to imagine someone engaging in the same actions from reasonable principles, but it's also hard to imagine that those engaging in these actions actually do so based on reasonable motives. There's a practical point about non-violence here: that even if violence is jusifiable, it's generally a bad idea because it means turning the political order to those who find violence itself appealing, be that Bush, Cheyey, Hamas or the government of the State of Israel.

Posted by kinaidos | March 7, 2008 6:25 PM
7

@1, Get over the Crist thing; no way McCain is gonna run with a closeted 'mo as veep.

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | March 7, 2008 6:32 PM
8

McCain wants a sexy guy on his ticket. And you have to admit that Crist is much more attractive than the Dem's two finalists. Crist will take over as Prez in 2012, and subsequently cum out of the closet. Yum

Posted by McCain/Crist '08! | March 7, 2008 6:42 PM
9

Thank god for the ELF. It's never a crime to put the Earth first and I hope people start doing it more often.

Posted by johnnie | March 7, 2008 7:38 PM
10

"There are ways to affect real change"
Should be "effect", though obviously not your fault for quoting.
I just had to be an asshole and point it out.

Posted by Grammar Nazi | March 7, 2008 7:42 PM
11

Thanks, Grammar Nazi. It's actually my typo. Should be fixed now.

Posted by Eli Sanders | March 7, 2008 7:44 PM
12

I think this McCain/Crist '08 person may be on to something. His points seem very well thought out and valid. And he said "cum out of the closet", if that doesn't win ya over, then you are not fit to be an American. 'nuff said.. right?

Posted by captain poopyhead | March 7, 2008 7:49 PM
13

the problem with the violence thing is that...well, I just can't get over the bombing at the UW horticultural center. There they thought they were "justified." but they were so, so, WRONG. making a mistake when the activism is not violent is not biggie - but when the mistake is a mistaken BOMBING it is horrendous.
these houses look like they are disgusting...but how do bombers like that know 100% of the time that they are right in their actions?

Posted by onion | March 7, 2008 8:47 PM
14

So Johnnie @ 9,

Can we have your car license plate number and location so we can destroy it on behalf of Mother Earth? If you don't have a car, can we just get your address so we can cut off your Gaia destroying energy sources?

Please help us help earth.

Posted by elrider | March 7, 2008 8:54 PM
15

Hey Stranger, what's with the goddamn talking "Free Apple iPhone" ad on the comments page. Could anything be more annoying? Not to mention that everyone knows those "free iPhone (iPod, iWhatever) ads are a blatant ripoff. We all know you have no scruples when it comes to taking advertising money.

But at least let me read your site in peace without these bullshit ads blasting out of my speakers.

Posted by tomcat98109 | March 7, 2008 10:15 PM
16

So Johnnie, do you live in a tent and eat berries and nuts that you forage for yourself? Because if you use electricity, or ride your bicycle on roads built with petroleum products, or even eat organic food grown that's delivered by truck, you're contributing to the rape of the planet just like the rest of us; it's just a matter of degree.

So you probably shouldn't be such a dick.

Posted by bigyaz | March 7, 2008 10:19 PM
17

Hold tight wait till the party's over
Hold tight we're in for nasty weather
There has got to be a way

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | March 7, 2008 10:48 PM
18

tomcat98109 @ 15: I second that! What the hell is up with that annoying ad?

Posted by J. Whorfin | March 7, 2008 11:03 PM
19

I agree with the agent.

It turns out that 300 local women in Brazil probably accomplished a lot more burning GMO crops today, anyway.

Posted by Will in Seattle | March 7, 2008 11:56 PM
20

I'm sorry; I lied. I'm a pathological liar that way, but maybe you should have checked that out first. Because, you know, everything on teh internets is treu.

Posted by Frederick Gutt | March 8, 2008 12:05 AM
21

tomcat98109 and J. Whorfin, huh? Mozilla + NoScript == huh, what ads? Seriously, try NoScript out, and you'll be amazed at how ad-free your experience will be.

Posted by mmbb | March 8, 2008 12:33 AM
22

1) it reeks of insurance fraud. if i need to get rid of something, i will spray ELF on it, then burn it.

2) Did everyone else visiting this site win a FREE I-PHONE like I did? That stranger ad said I did!

(shame on you stranger....SHAME!)

Posted by cochise. | March 8, 2008 8:05 AM
23

This was not an act of violence. There were no bombs. This was vandalism. I am so tired of hearing the war mongering system beating the drums of fear and calling these people terrorist. No they are not. They have never attacked a person, never placed a bomb in an area that might harm a person, and really only strike fear in corporate pockets. ELF are criminals. They are activists. Probably a little more than a little off base, but not even close to terrorists.

Further more, this reeks of insurance fraud. The methods used were just not how the group operates.

Posted by opus | March 8, 2008 8:13 AM
24

But I was terrorized. My lifestyle was threatened!

I've just now emerged from my safe room, having taken a dose of Cipro.

Posted by American Consumer | March 8, 2008 8:19 AM
25

The funny thing is that ELFers are just as stubborn, zealous, and self-centered, as Bush.

Posted by Giffy | March 8, 2008 8:31 AM
26

@23, Although it should be taken with a grain of salt, this is a quote from the PI:

"Lockie, president of Lockie Homes, said he is only now realizing that he didn't have an insurance policy large enough to completely cover the destruction."

Would be fun to check into his finances though.

I do agree with the breathtaking inanity of the "terrorism" label. I read the other day that the FBI classifies terrorism as "using illegal tactics to further a political or idealogical cause". By that definition, Critical Mass is terrorism. So was the Boston Tea Party and riding at the front of the bus while black. WTF.


"The funny thing is that ELFers are just as stubborn, zealous, and self-centered, as Bush."

Interesting point but ELF members are actually being held responsible for their actions. The other guy is getting paid well, has 24 hour world class security for the rest of his life at the expense of the people who detest him, will most likely have an airport or other substantial work named after him, etc. Exactly what personal sacrifice has he made?

Posted by Citizen Gregg | March 8, 2008 8:50 AM
27

Home town activists who burn buildings as a form of peaceful protest --- are you nuts?

Fine, as long as it is not your home or office. What would Ghadi say?

Sounds like these terrorists should buy the big houses and turn them into group homes for the homeless ... duh.

They will kill in the flames as well. Oh gee, so sorry, fried your kids and grandmother. But we don't like the size or color of your house. You have too many bathrooms, bedrooms are too large.

Shit, get some pieces of brain engaged.

Posted by Andy | March 8, 2008 9:16 AM
28

Andy, speaking of disengaged brains.....

How many people have died in these "terrorist attacks"? Assuming that is even was ELF.

Posted by Americans just don't like to think.... | March 8, 2008 9:29 AM
29

@27: He'd probably say "spell my fucking name right."

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | March 8, 2008 9:32 AM
30

There is no evidence other than the utterly circumstantial that ELF was involved in this action. I'm guessing from some of your responses that if someone had propped up a piece of wood with CIA spraypainted on it at the World Trade Center, you would all have no doubt about who did that, too.

Wait for the investigation to release their results before jumping on the haywagon, why don't you?

Posted by stan | March 8, 2008 9:37 AM
31

Andy, I never said that those attacks were peaceful. I merely questioned the labeling of the acts as terrorism rather then premeditated arson. Burning down somebody's house is definitely a fairly violent act, even according to Ghadi. He once said "Poverty is the worst form of violence".

And if you think that minorities fighting oppression was a "peaceful" cause, think again. Or that riding solo or in a group of bicycles in this car-centric world - even outside of an organized ride - is "peaceful", think again.

Posted by Citizen Gregg | March 8, 2008 9:53 AM
32

@31 How is it not terrorism? Is it violent, yup. Is it designed to compel people to change based on the fear of that violence, yup. Thats pretty much the definition of terrorism. Do they feel that there beliefs are so important that they can cause harm to others to further them, yup.

Now they don't target people directly, which makes them marginally better then say Hamas, but they still use violence and fear to further their objectives instead of appropriate means of activism and engagement.

Critical Mass, while annoying and counterproductive is not violent and therefore, non terrorism.

Posted by Giffy | March 8, 2008 10:09 AM
33

I don't see how it's anything but 100% environmentally destructive to set a house on fire. Do you have any idea what horrific stuff is released into the air when a house burns to the ground like that? These people don't give a rat's ass about the environment -- they're just violent lunatics looking for an excuse that might make them sympathetic to a jury if they get caught later.

Posted by Jane | March 8, 2008 10:32 AM
34

@28 - There have been no deaths to date for an ALF or ELF-claimed action.

ELF (and ALF, for that matter) actions have historically been followed up with communiques (essentially, press releases) stating the specific reason for the target. Since this has not (yet, at least) happened, it seems suspect. I'm not sure if there is still an active ELF Press Office (I'm thinking not), but I would assume that perhaps the communique would be forwarded to the ALF Press Office or sympathetic aboveground group for distribution.

Posted by Kim | March 8, 2008 11:20 AM
35

So, you're last paragraph mentions "this potential act of domestic terrorism," which obviously should refer to the burning of the homes, but since you mention immediately before that the burning of the horticulture lab on the UW campus, it seems like the quote is about that ELF act...or at least those acts in general. I think public opinion is very different in that case...as it was a misguided attempt against recombinant trees which weren't even housed in that facility. At the very least, the language is a little ambiguous.

Posted by Mr. Joshua | March 8, 2008 11:25 AM
36

Terrorism is completely watered down today. Black September would have kicked ELF's ass.

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | March 8, 2008 12:20 PM
37

Routine, warmed-over rewrite of the local media. Sounds perfect for the Stranger, so why is it on Time.com, which actually has some reporting chops.

Posted by menace | March 9, 2008 5:00 PM

Comments Closed

In order to combat spam, we are no longer accepting comments on this post (or any post more than 14 days old).