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Ecoactivist Daniel McGowan sentenced to 7 years

by Bombs and Shields Wednesday, Jun. 06, 2007 at 8:49 AM

Daniel McGowan of New York City, was sentenced to seven years in prison today and designated a terrorist for his role in two acts of environmentally motivated property destruction in 2001.

Always keep your shield between you and your bomb

Monday, June 04, 2007

Daniel McGowan

Eugene, Oregon, U.S. - Daniel McGowan of New York City, was sentenced to seven years in prison today and designated a terrorist for his role in two acts of environmentally motivated property destruction in 2001. He was the ninth of ten defendants to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken in the past two weeks. McGowan was one of only four defendants to refuse to name names and implicate others who took part in similar actions. Another non-cooperating co-defendant Jonathan Paul will face sentencing tomorrow.

Judge Aiken decided to give McGowan a terrorism enhancement for his role in the Jefferson Poplar tree farm arson because in her opinion the communique released anonymously by the Earth Liberation Front following the fire threatened the government. According to the prosecution the communique that was released to the media was significantly altered by the former North American Earth Liberation Front Press Officer Craig Rosebraugh. The defense argued that because of this McGowan should not be held responsible for the material contained in it and should not be labeled a terrorist.

posted by bombs and shields at 6:34 PM | Comments

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Eugene, Oregon, U.S. - Convicted eco-saboteurs Nathan Block and Joyanna Zacher were sentenced to a staggering seven-years, eight-months in prison Friday. Judge Ann Aiken was dismayed that neither of the defendants expressed remorse for their crimes and sentenced them each to them to the full term requested by the prosecution, saying that they wanted to be known as "activist martyrs." Their sentencing was the last in a week that saw three other former environmental activists sent to prison for arsons that were claimed by the Earth or Animal Liberation Front between 1996 and 2001.

Government informants Darren Thurston, Kendall Tankersly and Suzanne Savoie

Darren Thurston, Kendall Tankersly and Suzanne Savoie each chose to become government witness immediately or soon after their arrests and pledged to cooperate fully including offering to testify against other defendants in the case. The three were rewarded for their cooperation and were handed down sentences that were significantly shorter than Block and Zacher's.

In light of his having provided information about a "whole array of activities and other people," beyond what was called for in this investigation Thurston was given a sentence of three years and one month which was the most lenient of one given to any defendants in the case. Taking into account that he has already spent a year and a half in prison and that he will likely be given credit for good time he serves Thurston may be released as soon as a year from now.

Tankersly and Savoie who have spent the past year out on bail were sentenced to three-years, ten-months and four-years three-months. Like Zacher and Block the two women pled guilty to only two acts of arson but had their sentences reduced in appreciation of their cooperation. Of the eight defendants in the case who have been sentenced Thurston is the only one to escape being designated a terrorist. Non-cooperating defendants Daniel McGowan and Jonathan Paul face sentencing on Monday and Tuesday.

posted by bombs and shields at 12:45 PM | Comments

Friday, May 25, 2007

Chelsea Gerlach and Kevin Tubbs

Eugene, Oregon, U.S. - Two more convicted Earth and Animal Liberation Front saboteurs and cooperating witnesses Kevin Tubbs and Chelsea Gerlach were sentenced to prison in separate hearings yesterday and today. Tubbs was handed a 12 year 7 month sentence and Gerlach was sentenced to 9 years in prison. Both were given terrorism enhancements and given a minor sentence reduction for cooperating with authorities to help convict others involved in the conspiracy.

posted by bombs and shields at 7:40 PM | Comments (4)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Stanislas Meyerhoff

Eugene, Oregon, U.S. - The first of ten convicted eco-saboteurs was sentenced yesterday to 13 years in prison with a terrorism enhancement. Stanislas Meyerhoff was a key witness in the government's case and the first of his co-defendants to begin cooperating and assist in the arrests and prosecution of others involved with the Earth Liberation Front and the Animal Liberation Front primarily in the Pacific Northwest between 1996 and 2001. U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken told him that "for a very long time you've been an evil boy," but commended him by “doing the right thing” by confessing and assisting the government in their prosecution of others.

Much of the two day sentencing was taken up by discussion about how Meyerhoff's reputation of a snitch greatly increases his chances of being both physically and sexually assaulted in prison and that he has allegedly already been the target of other inmates who have attacked him and threatened him on a daily basis.

Meyhoff's status as a terrorist is also likely to make his time in prison much more difficult. Judge Aiken applied the terrorism enhancement for the arsons at Romania Chevrolet, Jefferson Poplar Farm, and the Eugene police substation. Nearly all of the other defendants were involved in at least one of those actions making it nearly certain that they will also be deemed terrorists. While receiving a terrorism enhancement could add as many as 20 years to a defendants sentence the judge is not likely to add more time than was agreed to in plea agreements.

The non-cooperating defendants Daniel McGowan, Joyanna Zacher, Nathan Block, and Jonathan Paul are due to be sentenced in the coming weeks and face at most eight years in prison each. Paul who was only convicted of one arson at a horse slaughter house in 1997 faces a maximum of five years behind bars.

Labeling activists who employ arson as an extreme form of civil-disobedience is an unprecedented move on behalf of the government which redefines what it takes to be a terrorist and makes it much easier for the Bush administration to claim that they have been effective in capturing and convicting terrorists.

posted by bombs and shields at 3:46 PM | Comments (5)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Greensburg, Kansas, U.S. - Volunteer emergency relief workers affiliated with the anarchist Kansas Mutual Aid (KMA) group have been told by law enforcement authorities that they are not welcome in the town of Greensburg, which was leveled by a Tornado on May 6th. The KMA relief workers were coordinating their efforts with the AmeriCorps and a local Mennonite church and had just received permission to set up a base of operations on private land when they were approached by police officers from a number of different agencies including the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, Olathe Police Department, Dickinson County Sheriff's Department and the Lawrence Police Department.

Officers informed the volunteers that they knew who they were and what they were up to and ordered the group to leave town and not return. Police said that the group had been deemed a "security threat" and threatened that if any members of KMA were to return they may be "disappeared."

posted by bombs and shields at 12:50 PM | Comment (1)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Cavel West horsemeat packing plant in Redmond on July 21, 1997

Eugene, Oregon, U.S. - Federal Judge Ann Aiken has decided not to rule on whether or not ten convicted eco-saboteurs,who are responsible for a seven year campaign of arson in the name of the Earth Liberation Front and the Animal Liberation Front, can be defined as terrorists. She will likely offer separate decisions for each of the defendants during their sentencing dates, the first of which is next week.

Today's court appearance was expected to conclude with a resolution on Terrorism enhancement issue. If the crimes were deemed to be acts of terrorism as the prosecution claims they were then the judge has the option of sentencing each defendant to as much as an additional 20 years in prison. Aiken is not expected to add any time to their sentences. If she does decide to stick any of the ten with a terrorism classification it will undoubtedly ensure that they are incarcerated in a more restrictive and violent institution than they would be otherwise.

The label would also likely follow them outside of prison and could affect their ability to do normal things such as take out a loan, rent an apartment of fly in an airplane. She will likely offer separate decisions on the matter during each defendants sentencing dates, the first of which is next week. Some say that the government's desire to impose the terrorism label is a purely political move that has more to do with their failure to capture many actual terrorists that have threatened more than property than what the defendants are accused of. This is the first case in which the prosecutors have sought such an enhancement out of 1,200 arsons that have been claimed by Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front nationwide.

Federal prosecutors also compared the defendants to the Ku Klux Klan who also burned down buildings. Amanda Lee an attorney representing Daniel McGowan objected to that characterization and noted that the difference was that on at least one occasion the KKK burned down a church while people were inside it, killing four young girls and that arson was just one part of the Klan's campaign of terror which also included murder and lynchings.

posted by bombs and shields at 7:51 PM | Comments (3)

Daniel McGowan acted in self defense, non-living corporations are real terrorists

Tuesday Jun 5th, 2007 11:38 AM

Unfortunately Ann Aiken's judgement is severely distorted to nearly 180 degrees, she sentenced a noble human warrior to prison time for defending people's lives from corporate criminals. The non-living corporate entities believed to have been acted upon by Dan McGowan are the true criminals, yet the criminal CEOs remain free. Based upon her harsh sentencing of McGowan, Judge Aiken shows clear and dangerous biases against living communities as she chooses short term non-living corporate profits over the collective living human & ecosystemic health..

Collective human health is based directly on the health of our surrounding ecosystem. Clean air, water, and healthy food & forests all require certain natural ecological balances to remain intact. The fixation by corporations on short term economic profit is unable to recognize the real physical value of these ecosystem balances as they are visible over the long term. If we the people allow for corporations to clearcut our forests and replace them with GE/GMO biotech patented tree plantations, we are sealing our own collective doom. Exclusion of biodiversity's balance and replacement by monoculture GMO trees may bring short term profit to corporations, yet it is sure to cause long term ecosystem damages. Monoculture biotech crops are greatly suceptible to disease, pathogens, insects and require greater pesticide input than balanced biodiversity in forests. Balanced forests are the lungs of the planet that continuously evolve biodiverse life forms that we cannot alter with GMO/GE biotech monoculture cloning without facing serious consequences to ecosystem stability. An unstable ecosystem means that ALL humans are in serious trouble. Though the wealthiest and powerful appear safe for the moment, their underground bunkers will soon run out of food following an ecosystem collapse. The problem is that the exploiters at the top of the capitalist pyramid of power (ExxonMobil CEOs, GW Bush, etc..) causing most of the damage are beyond caring for the future health of humanity, their goal is 100% corporatist dominion today! The thoughts of caring for the future seven generations of humanity as practiced by many indigenous peoples is a joke to these corporate criminals..

Our collective survival instinct appears the strongest in ecoactivists like McGowan who resist the corporate intrusions into our communities. That non-living corporations under the guise of corporate personhood can claim to own our water, land, forests and foodwhat will people do then? Maybe we'll all wish we had followed the path of greatest resistance with honor and integrity as had Dan McGowan. No human being or animal was injured by McGowan, yet he serves 7 years??

The results of corporate interference with our shared ecosystem resources is thousands of lost lives from cancer, flooding, and many other side effects. Plunder of our shared life giving resources by non-living corporations (see corporate personhood) based on their short term profit is leading people to collective suicide. Deforestation & GMO/GE biotech tree plantations replacing forests, mining, factory farming, GMO/GE food and other corporate plunder projects weakens people slowly by destroying our healthy ecosystem. Quality of life for humans and their surrounding ecosystems is in a downward spiral following corporate intrusions. Self defense of the life giving ecosystem components (water, forests, etc..) that sustain all living communities is a legitimate reason enough..

Really sad to see the amount of activists turned informants. Maybe less time in prison seems a bargain for betrayal of comrades, though the government doesn't treat snitches any better than the other inmates, once a conviction is reached they are also disposable. The damage to the soul and emotional well being of the informant is far worse than the added prison time recieved by non-cooperating activists..

Thank you Daniel McGowan for your courage in facing and resisting the corporate colonial masters. You will be thought of and spoken of well by this author, and many others who have not yet spoken!!

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