An anonymous ad that ran in The New York Times on Friday praised the conviction of activists on “terrorism” charges, and signaled that the Green Scare is only just beginning.
On September 7, the New York Stock exchange announced it would not list Life Sciences Research, the counterpart to the notorious animal-testing company Huntingdon Life Sciences. No explanation was given, but it could be for a few reasons. The big one is that HLS has been dropped from the NYSE, dropped from the Over the Counter Bulletin Board, and dropped from the Pink Sheets. To say the company has hit rock bottom is an understatement.
But the ad, dominated by a dapper-yet-menacing man sporting a black ski mask and leather jacket (I hope his vegan eco-terror pals don’t see him in the animal skin) implies that the decision was influenced by “terrorism.” HLS is the target of an international grassroots campaign, and activists openly said they would email and phone NYSE leaders to drop the controversial company. The ad says NYSE is “running scared” from the “terrorists,” and refers readers to a website.
Buried in the fine print, the authors of the anonymous site admit that, “It’s not clear whether the stock exchange received polite phone calls, death threats, or something in between.” They also cite a National Public Radio story that said: “The stock exchange reserves the right to decide who it will and won’t list. But generally its concern is a company’s bottom line, not whether or not it’s popular with protesters.” Yet the authors of the site recklessly label the activists “terrorists.”
But they didn’t stop there:
If one gang of unfiltered extremists can successfully hijack Wall Street, another can too. And another. And another. Given fervor, time, and the right set of tactics, any publicly traded company could be similarly targeted.
Is it completely clear yet that this has nothing to do with terrorism or national security, and everything to do with corporate profits? The T-word is being adopted as an anti-activist PR tool. Today it is animal rights activists and environmentalists. Yesterday it could have been civil rights activists (with “terrorist” bus boycotts) and anti-apartheid activists (who did an exceptional job holding Wall Street “hostage”). And tomorrow?
Campaigns by “anti-business activists” like the Teamsters, Communication Workers of America and Greenpeace “could turn much uglier without warning.” It looks like the architects of the Green Scare are taking a few cues from George W. Bush’s “pre-emptive war” strategy, and labeling activists as terrorists before they even, well, act.