Yale Law School Event on the Green Scare

by Will Potter on January 25, 2007

in News

I’ll be speaking at Yale Law School as part of the 13th Annual Rebellious Lawyering Conference, Feb. 23-25, 2007. I’ll be on a panel with Lauren Regan of the Civil Liberties Defense Center. Here’s a description:

In 2006, the government convicted animal rights activists known as the SHAC 7 on “animal enterprise terrorism” charges and indicted 11 other ecological activists for alleged acts of property damage involving no harm to life. Labeling the defendants “ecoterrorists,” the government has sought terrorism enhancements and destructive device charges that carry with them a mandatory minimum of 30 years and the possibility of life. This exercise of what the National Lawyers Guild calls “selective prosecution” has been termed the Green Scare.

Led by an attorney for several defendants and a journalist who has covered the cases in depth, this panel will discuss the “green scare,” 9/11’s fallout for activists, the government’s use of potentially unconstitutional techniques such as wiretapping to monitor activist groups, and the emergence of a new category of “domestic terrorists” that a recent ACLU suit claims now includes Greenpeace, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, and the ACLU itself. The panelists also will describe how lawyers, communities, and individuals can respond to these federal policies. For an example of a prisoner support site, see http://supportdaniel.org.

I’m excited about the event, but also about the entire conference. If you can at all make the trip, I think the conference will be well worth it. Here’s a description of the conference itself:

We have an exciting lineup of panels this year, on topics ranging from school integration to labor trafficking to anarchist lawyering. Conference attendees will also hear from Matt Coles, director of the ACLU Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & AIDS project; Stephen Bright, President, Senior Counsel, and Former Director of the Southern Center for Human Rights and Visiting Lecturer in Law, Yale Law School; Judge Thelton Henderson of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California; and filmmaker Abby Ginzburg. This year’s conference will also focus on providing more space for meaningful conversation and sharing of ideas between student participants, so that we use this opportunity not only to learn, but to create a jumping-off point for own advocacy initiatives.

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