Green Is the New Red: An Insider's Account of a Social Movement Under Siege (Paperback)

An Insider's Account of a Social Movement Under Siege

By Will Potter

City Lights Books, 9780872865389, 256pp.

Publication Date: April 12, 2011

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Description

At a time when everyone is going green, most people are unaware that the FBI is using anti-terrorism resources to target environmentalists and animal rights activists. The courts are being used to push conventional boundaries of what constitutes "terrorism" and to hit nonviolent activists with disproportionate sentences. Some have faced terrorism charges for simply chalking slogans on the sidewalk.

Like the Red Scare, this "Green Scare" is about fear and intimidation, using a word--"eco-terrorist"--to push a political agenda, instill fear and silence dissent. The animal rights and environmental movements directly threaten corporate profits every time activists encourage people to go vegan, to stop driving, to consume fewer resources and live simply. Their boycotts are damaging, and corporations and the politicians who represent them know it. In many ways, the Green Scare, like the Red Scare, can be seen as a culture war, a war of values.

Will Potter outlines the political, legal, extra-legal, and public relations strategies that are being used to threaten even acts of nonviolent civil disobedience with the label of "terrorism." Here is a guided tour into the world of radical activism that introduces the real people behind the headlines and tells the story of how everyday people are being prevented from speaking up for what they believe in.

"Will Potter unveils this complex movement with its virtues and its flaws, the courage of a few and the false bravado of others. I see this book as the definitive overview of the genesis of what is emerging as the most important social movement in human history - the war to save ourselves from ourselves." --Captain Paul Watson, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

"If we are to survive capitalism's death grip on our discourse and on our lives, it will be in great measure due to the work of people like Will Potter. His courage and integrity, which set him apart from most journalists, are evident throughout this important book, and throughout all of his other crucial work. Thank you, Will Potter." --Derrick Jensen, author of Endgame

"Part history, part action thriller and courtroom drama, part memoir, Green is the New Red plunges us into the wild, unruly, and entirely inspirational world of extreme environmental activism. Will Potter, participant-observer and partisan-reporter, is the perfect guide, unpacking with wit and skill the most elusive concepts. . . ." --Bill Ayers

Potter (a contributor to The Next Eco-Warriors) warns that the U.S. government is using post-9/11 anti-terrorism resources to target environmentalists and animal right activists (in some cases for doing nothing but speaking up). . . . Potter warns of the crumbling of "the legal wall separating 'terrorist' from 'dissident' or 'undesirable, '" and concludes his account with a call to action and a decry of the injustice that results in the "terrorist" label being put on those who threaten American corporate interests. Alarming."--Publishers Weekly

"In this hard-hitting debut, journalist Potter likens the Justice Department targeting of environmentalists today to McCarthyism in the 1950s. . . A shocking expose of judicial overreach." --Kirkus Reviews (Starred review)

Will Potter is an award-winning reporter who has written for publications including the Chicago Tribune, the Dallas Morning News and Legal Affairs, and has testified before the U.S. Congress about his reporting. He is the creator of www dot]GreenIsTheNewRed dot]com, where he blogs about the Green Scare.




About the Author

Will Potter is an award-winning independent journalist based in Washington, D.C., who focuses on "eco-terrorism," the environmental and animal rights movements, and civil liberties post-9/11. Potter has written for publications including The Chicago Tribune, The Dallas Morning News and the Vermont Law Review, and has testified before the U.S. Congress about his reporting. Previously, he worked at the American Civil Liberties Union on policy issues including the Patriot Act.


Praise For Green Is the New Red: An Insider's Account of a Social Movement Under Siege

"If you’ve ever supported an animal welfare or environmental organization, you too may be a suspected terrorist: That’s the chilling take-away from Green Is the New Red, a thoughtfully alarming examination of the U.S. government’s post-9/11 domestic terror probes, which have inordinately targeted progressive-leaning activist groups. Author Will Potter, a journalist whose own low-level activism ran up against Homeland Security, delves deep into the social, political, legaland, importantly, ethicalissues raised by this new war on 'ecoterrorism.'" Utne Reader

"In this hard-hitting debut, journalist Potter likens the Justice Department targeting of environmentalists today to McCarthyism in the 1950s. . . A shocking exposé of judicial overreach." Kirkus Reviews (Starred review)

"Potter (a contributor to The Next Eco-Warriors) warns that the U.S. government is using post-9/11 anti-terrorism resources to target environmentalists and animal right activists (in some cases for doing nothing but speaking up). After being threatened with a domestic terrorist label for leafleting, Potter turned to uncovering the "Green Scare" and details here the story of the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and controversial protests that resulted in severe jail sentences for participants. Tracing funds from animal-exploiting corporations to Congress and the passing of the big business-friendly Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, Potter reports on an increased usage of the terrorism enhancement in court cases. Citing Freedom of Information Act sources, he reveals that the U.S. government has constructed secret prisons, or Communication Management Units (CMUs), to house suspected terrorists in conditions even more extreme than those of Supermax facilities (which house Zacarias Moussaoui and Eric Rudolph, among others). Potter warns of the crumbling of 'the legal wall separating 'terrorist' from dissident' or undesirable,' and concludes his account with a call to action and a decry of the injustice that results in the 'terrorist' label being put on those who threaten American corporate interests. Alarming." Publishers Weekly

"While the link between separating recyclables and hijacking planes is far from obvious, the labeling of 'eco-terrorism' has been applied to many aspects of this social movement. Named the 'No. 1 domestic terrorism threat' by FBI deputy assistant director John Lewis six years ago, Potter argues that the fear tactics involved in applying such an evocative term to radical activism is an attempt to intimidate that mirrors the Red Scare of the mid-20th century (which was in fact the second wave of the government's anti-Communist focus)." Austin Examiner

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