On Monday, May 21st Judge Ann Aiken ruled that a "terrorism enhancement" may be applied in the sentencing of environmental activists recently arrested for arson and other property damage in the Pacific Northwest. The full text of Judge Aiken's decision is posted on the Portland Indymedia webpage.
The crimes being prosecuted in these cases all date back over five years. That does not make them justified, although it does cast doubt upon the threat which these individuals may have posed to public safety when they were arrested. One of those arrested, Bill Rogers, committed suicide in jail. His lady friend, Katie Rose Nelson, is still running The Catalyst Infoshop bookstore which he created in Prescott, Arizona.
According to the right wing blog Target of Opportunity, the first individual to be sentenced, Stanislas Meyerhoff, coauthored a manual on incendiary devices with Rogers. The terrorism enhancement does not appear to have added any time to his sentence, 13 years, but may rather cause him to be remanded to a higher security prison with other serious offenders. Mr. Meyerhoff has apparently served as an informant against the other defendants and suspects, and it is unclear how long he has been cooperating with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies.
Many defendants or suspects have blogs or webpages seeking public support for fair trials and humane punishment: Chelsea Gerlach, Kevin Tubbs, Daniel McGowan, Jeffrey Luers, Lacey Philabaum, Brianna Waters, Eric McDavid, Craig Rosabaugh, and Rod Coronado came up as possible "Earth Liberation" activists either through Google or blogs. There is a collective called the Earth Liberation Prisoner's Support Network, which appears to be based in England. Animal rights activists are also being subjected to the same treatment as terrorists, particularly the members of Stop Huntington Animal Cruelty (SHAC): Jake Conroy, Darius Fulmer, Lauren Gazzola, Josh Harper, Kevin Kjonaas, and Andy Stepanian.
The blog GreenIsTheNewRed has recently been created by the young journalist Will Potter as a clearinghouse for discussion and analysis of the current effort by United States law enforcement to target environmental activists and classify environmental "monkey wrench" activity as a form of domestic terrorism.