Paul Sentenced to 4 Years… and a Book Report

by Will Potter on August 2, 2007

in Terrorism Court Cases

A federal judge sentenced Jonathan Paul to four years and three months in prison for his role in a 1997 fire that destroyed the Cavel West horsemeat packing plant in Redmond, Ore. He had confessed to helping make the diesel and soap mixture, the s0-called “vegan Jell-O,” that was used, and acting as a lookout.

Paul is the last of a group of 10 activists sentenced recently for a string of arsons in the NW in the name of defending the environment. Many received “terrorism enhancement” penalties for their crimes, which resulted in no injuries.

In yet another odd twist in these cases, Judge Aiken ordered Paul, labeled by the FBI as an “eco-terrorist,”

…to read the book “Three Cups of Tea,” an autobiographical account of the life of Greg Mortenson, who has been working to build schools in remote areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Describing the book as an inspirational message against violence, she ordered Paul to submit a book report before he begins his prison term.

Bill Bishop from the Register Guard reports:

In earlier statements he said he rejected arson after helping burn down the Cavel West horse meat packing plant in Redmond in 1997. He became a volunteer firefighter/medical technician and went on more than 2,000 calls in Southern Oregon – once treating a man whom he knew was a bear poacher, another time rescuing a three-week-old kitten on a highway.

On Wednesday he said arson defiles the belief that all life is sacred and violates the tenet of nonviolence embraced by the environmental movement. Even though no one has been injured in 25 years since the underground groups Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front first employed arson, Paul said fire can change that record in an instant and the risk is not acceptable.

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