Greenpeace Activists Using Civil Disobedience Called “Pirates,” “Terrorists”

by Will Potter on September 6, 2007

in Terrorism Scare Mongering

The Seafarers’ International Union, part of the AFL-CIO and the largest North American union of its kind, is pushing the Canadian government to label Greenpeace activists as “terrorists” and hit them with stiff penalties for non-violent civil disobedience.

Greenpeace protesters boarded a ship carrying coal and used non-violent civil disobedience to draw attention to global warming. From The Welland Tribune in Ontario:

Two protesters chained themselves to the ship’s discharge boom, which is used to unload coal. A third suspended herself from the vessel’s stern, where she dangled precariously close to the rudder, making movement of the ship impossible.

The trio was eventually cut down and taken away by Ontario Provincial Police to a detachment in Cayuga, Ont., where they were each charged with two counts of mischief.

But according to James Given, a vice-president of SIU, the union is pushing for more serious charges against the activists. The union called the environmentalists “pirates” and “terrorists.”

If you’ve been reading for a while, you’re probably used to all the “eco-terrorism”
guilt-by-association stuff. But pirates? That’s scare-mongering 17th century style.

Anyway, back to 21st century scare-mongering and the terrorism rhetoric. It’s especially funny in this case, considering the Greenpeace folks chained themselves to the boat, and one hung from the stern, placing herself in serious danger. They aren’t accused of harming people, damaging property, or attempting or conspiring to harm people or damage property. Which begs the question: what, exactly, are Greenpeace advocates “terrorizing” except for corporate profits?

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