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Monday, Mar. 11, 2002 at 1:38 PM
Every day, we cut down more forests and release more pollutants and toxins into the air and water. We can't change the system because a few corporations are making monstrous profits off destructive production techniques or resource extraction
Tactics for Low Risk Eco-Sabotage
Every day, we cut down more forests and release more pollutants and toxins into the air and water. We can't change the system because a few corporations are making monstrous profits off destructive production techniques or resource extraction, and the world's political systems are controlled by murderous regimes in the pockets of the corporations. Mother Earth can only absorb so much damage. We have to act now!
The purpose of eco-sabotage is to take the profit out of exploitation and take the profit out of murder (of human beings, animals, the planet) by damaging corporations in ways that cost them lots of money. When people think eco-sabotage, setting things on fire always comes to mind. Arson has its obvious merits, but people just getting into the practice of eco-sabotage may want to consider some alternatives. Arson, at least is in the United States, is a felony charge, incurring much more jail time that some other more creative tactics. Also, eco-sabotage should minimize the environmental damage. Most actions will cause some waste, hence environmental damage, but if we have already accepted that the environment is doomed if the current system persists, then some sacrifice is acceptable. The key is incurring the most monetary damage and the least environmental damage. Arson has good potential for causing financial damage to the target corporations, but it also creates a moderate amount of environmental damage. There are better ways to take out an SUV.
In every action, we also need to consider damage to publicity as well as to the environment. Because of property worship in modern society, most people get turned off by property destruction. Once again, we have accepted small sacrifices if we realize how urgent and important it is to stop the capitalist machine; the key is finding actions that will disgust people as little as possible. Even if you're burning an SUV while no one is around or throwing a brick into an empty building's window, so that you're sure no one is going to get hurt, fire and bricks are very intimidating, and people not involved with the action will take such actions as a threat. When eco-sabotage uses potentially threatening actions, even unintentionally, the public much more willingly accepts the label of "terrorist" that government's throw out. Law enforcement would be in a much more precarious position if they tried to treat revolutionary eco-saboteurs as terrorists if these saboteurs were armed with syrup and coloring over UPCs. This is not intended as a criticism of the people who do use arson; it is intended as a suggestion for people not involved in eco-sabotage about how they can get involved without running too many risks. Arson has landed people in jail for over twenty years. These tactics all risk misdemeanor charges, which can be punished with a year prison time at most.
First: for all actions, do not conduct any planning over email or over the phone. Do not tell anyone who is not involved in the action. Telling people is the surest way to get caught. Stake out all targets ahead of time, but in a non-suspicious manner. Do not specifically look for security cameras. Many cameras are well hidden, and looking for them will mark you as a suspect when they look back at the tapes to find out what happened. Have multiple escape routes planned. Do not bring your escape vehicles within site of the target. Do no revisit the scene of the crime. Minimize fingerprints.
The Classic target: SUVs
Inconspicuously stake out a lot full of SUVs. Park a few blocks away, find escape routes. The ideal number of people for this action is 4: two to watch for cops from both directions, two to carry out the action. The watchers should arrange a danger signal, find a place to inconspicuously watch. They should not travel with the two undertaking the action, and they should arrive at the scene parked in a separate vehicle. The two undertaking the action should have masks (winter masks if it is winter, or scarves and hoods, don't use a suspicious-looking mask, also wear non-descript clothes that you don't usually wear), screwdrivers and bottles filled with a fifty-fifty solution of syrup and sugar. User the screwdriver to pry open the gas tank. Try not to leave marks. (In case the SUV's have car alarms, you should check over three weeks prior to the action, while wearing masks, by shaking the cars. If there are alarms, leave the scene, but have the watchers see if any police come by, just in case the car alarms are linked to an alarm system. If this is not the case you may ignore the alarms during the action). Pour in half a bottle per SUV. Close the gas tanks. This will take a max of one minute per car, linger no more than six minutes. Do not run or speed as you are leaving the scene. Immediately deposit the empty bottles in a recycling receptacle reasonably far from the scene. (For going after construction machinery, you may be able to get the syrup into the oil supply, which is preferable and requires far less syrup).
What this does: When the car is started, the syrup and sugar will destroy the engine. (As far as we know, there is absolutely no danger to the driver, but if anyone knows otherwise, please spread the word). The car dealership will have many unsatisfied customers, and the company will loose money. After this happens to a few of their cars, the dealers will be forced to clean out the tanks of every single automobile they have. Wait at least a month and repeat this tactic, at the same dealership or another one. If you do this action several times, decrease the number of SUVs you hit. Spend only one minute on the scene fixing two cars in this manner. Once the dealership looses one car, they will have to suspend business until they can find the other car with the syrup in the gas tank. A group of four committed activists can cost the automobile industry upwards of half a million dollars per year with this action.
A great way to go after Wal-Mart of Staples short of burning it down is to mess with their products. In pairs of two, one person to look out and one person doing the action (small groups are best for this), open up packaging, or if you're wearing long sleeves, conceal a large black marker in one sleeve and write over the bar code and the number below it that the computer uses to scan the price. This will wreak havoc on the store and cause loss of profits and dissatisfaction among customers. At a clothing store, just mark clothes with a black marker concealed in your sleeve. To protect yourself from cameras, use very discreet action, wear a hat, never look up, and wear nondescript clothes. If store employees approach you, leave the store immediately. They are not allowed to detain you, but they can call the cops. Most stores don't have people watching the security cameras, but in case they do, it would be good to spend no more than ten minutes in a store, and also have a third person outside watching for cops to arrive.
Counter-advertising: Try these stickers, place them anywhere that people walk by. The two SUV-related stickers are for placement on SUV bumpers, so they can drive around broadcasting a positive message. A great target for graffiti slogans is on trains, if you have them in your area. People don't object to graffiti on trains like they do on buildings, and as their waiting in traffic for the train to pass they will read you message.
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