Environmentalists have been quick to criticize the armed occupation of an Oregon wildlife refuge in protest of federal land management, despite the fact the militia occupied the private property in the name of saving the environment.
“In yet another case of ‘do as I say, not as I do,’ the environmental left is protesting civil disobedience by citizens while it practices and/or condones civil disobedience itself,” David Ridenour, president of the National Center for Public Policy Research, said in a statement released after a group of militiamen were arrested by police Wednesday.
Ridenour singled out environmentalist Kieran Suckling, the executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity, in his statement.
Suckling, a liberal environmentalist, has repeatedly criticized the protesters for occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Suckling himself, however, has been found guilty of criminal trespassing for occupying private property and refusing to leave as part of a political protest. The environmentalist even bragged about being arrested in a press release as recently as 2014. Unlike the militiamen, Suckling was not armed when he was arrested.
The Oregon militia protesters, led by Ammon Bundy, were armed and were peacefully occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon for 24 days. The Oregonian reported Tuesday the group’s spokesperson, 55-year-old Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, was killed in a firefight with authorities after a traffic stop. Neither the federal government nor Oregon Police have released details about how the firefight that killed Finicum began.
Environmentalists and liberal groups often use civil disobedience as part of their political activism.
Greenpeace, for example, has a long history of “civil disobedience” that borders on eco-terrorism. The group has destroyed trials of genetically modified wheat in Australia in 2011 in opposition to genetically-modified crops. The group also irreparably damaged the Nazca Lines, a 1,500-year-old World Heritage Site in Peru, during a publicity stunt to promote green energy in December 2014. The Peruvian government actually attempted to file criminal charges, which could carry a sentence of six years in prison, against the activists.
Legally, any “acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law” which attempt to change government policy can be considered terrorism.
Groups like BlackLivesMatter participated in “acts dangerous to human life” when they stopped traffic in Seattle. While Greenpeace did the same when they hung off a bridge in Portland to stop an icebreaker from leaving the harbor.
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