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Oregon Legislation Aims to Criminalize Environmental Civil Disobedience
#1
Published on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 by Common Dreams

Oregon Legislation Aims to Criminalize Environmental Civil Disobedience


ACLU charges that bills that target actions against logging companies "effectively criminalize civil disobedience for one particular group."

- Andrea Germanos, staff writer

If you lie down in the road or sit in a tree to stop the clear cutting of old growth forests, you may be an "environmental terrorist," an Oregon lawmaker charges.

[Image: elliot.jpg]
A tree in Oregon's Elliot State Forest (Photo: Francis Eatherington/flickr)

The ACLU of Oregon is sounding the alarm over the state bills touted as targeting "environmental terrorism" but that the rights organization says would "effectively criminalize civil disobedience for one particular group."

The bills in question, House Bill 2595 and House Bill 2596 were passed on Monday with overwhelming support.

HB 2595 criminalizes any act that "intentionally hinders, impairs or obstructs, or attempts to hinder, impair or obstruct, the performance of the forest practice," and
Makes first conviction subject to maximum penalty of one year's imprisonment, $6,250 fine, or both. Makes second or subsequent conviction subject to maximum penalty of 18 months' imprisonment, $125,000 fine, or both. Requires mandatory minimum term of 13 months' imprisonment and mandatory minimum fine of $25,000 for second or subsequent conviction.

HB 2596, The Register-Guard summarizes, "seeks to clarify that a private company contracted to log or otherwise manage state forest land can sue activists for financial damages related to any disruption caused by their protests. Such civil lawsuits could result in financial judgments against protesters."

Rep. Wayne Krieger (R-Gold Beach), who carried both bills and is owner of a tree farm, said that HB 2595 "addresses environmental terrorism," and said the bill would "allow your district attorney to charge these terrorists with a crime and make them accountable."

"There's been a 30-year reign of terror by these people having no respect for the rights of others," the Associated Press quotes Rep. Wayne Krieger, R-Gold Beach, as saying. "If they want to do civil disobedience, they can do that. It's part of the Oregon Constitution, and the federal. But when they go beyond that and start chaining themselves to trees, locking themselves to equipment, and laying down in the road, and in any way they impede access, then they have gone over the line."

The Oregonian reports that
The legislation comes amid divisive efforts to increase logging in Elliott State Forest near Reedsport and proposals to increase logging in federal forest lands. Environmental activists affiliated with Cascadia Forest Defenders and Cascadia Earth First! staged protests at Elliott State Forest in recent years and at the Oregon State Capitol in May and June 2012, which led to arrests.

The Cascadia Forest Defenders say a mandatory minimum is not a reasonable response to nonviolent direct action, and that the legislation may be counter-productive:
Looking at a list of the crimes that have mandatory minimums, most of them are related to drug and weapons possession, robbery, assault, child pornography and other violent crimes. Nonviolent direct action has no place in the mandatory minimum category, and this will not be a quick fix. Says Jason Gonzales of CFD in his testimony, "Creating a mandatory minimum prison sentence won't stop us from fighting these projects but it will change the way we have to fight them. My very genuine concern is that it will force large sections of our movement to take their actions further underground. Indeed, instead of stopping us, it may encourage us to accomplish more when risking so much. Ultimately it will further clog an already burdened court and prison system with peaceful protesters who clearly do not deserve such an outrageous mandatory minimum sentence."

Becky Straus of ACLU of Oregon said, "House Bill 2595 is effectively criminalizing civil disobedience for one particular group, and we think it's really very dangerous to give this sort of discretion to law enforcement," The Oregonian reports.

"It's taking conduct that can already be penalized under our criminal code and heightening the criminal penalties of the conduct, simply because of the content of the speech and the type of person who engages in the conduct."

The measures now head to the state Senate, where Krieger says "the votes would be there" for them to pass.
"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
Buckminster Fuller
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#2
Keith Millea Wrote:If you lie down in the road or sit in a tree to stop the clear cutting of old growth forests, you may be an "environmental terrorist," an Oregon lawmaker charges.
HB 2595 criminalizes any act that "intentionally hinders, impairs or obstructs, or attempts to hinder, impair or obstruct, the performance of the forest practice," and
Makes first conviction subject to maximum penalty of one year's imprisonment, $6,250 fine, or both. Makes second or subsequent conviction subject to maximum penalty of 18 months' imprisonment, $125,000 fine, or both. Requires mandatory minimum term of 13 months' imprisonment and mandatory minimum fine of $25,000 for second or subsequent conviction.

Who are the eco-fascists here?

Answer: not Earth First!


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"It means this War was never political at all, the politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted...."
"Proverbs for Paranoids 4: You hide, They seek."
"They are in Love. Fuck the War."

Gravity's Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon

"Ccollanan Pachacamac ricuy auccacunac yahuarniy hichascancuta."
The last words of the last Inka, Tupac Amaru, led to the gallows by men of god & dogs of war
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#3
Besides being disgusting in its motive [profit for those who's destroy the largest and some of the oldest/grandest creatures on Earth today - the large trees; automatic punishment for any who might object to same....]; it is in the Constitution [for what that is worth 'these' days]. 'No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law will be passed'. - But since 9-11-01 [actually increasingly before] the Constitution is 'just a piece of paper' to be ignored.

Bill of Attainder

Definition: A legislative act that singles out an individual or group for punishment without a trial.

The Constitution of the United States, Article I, Section 9, paragraph 3 provides that: "No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law will be passed."

"The Bill of Attainder Clause was intended not as a narrow, technical (and therefore soon to be outmoded) prohibition, but rather as an implementation of the separation of powers, a general safeguard against legislative exercise of the judicial function or more simply - trial by legislature." U.S. v. Brown, 381 U.S. 437, 440 (1965).

"These clauses of the Constitution are not of the broad, general nature of the Due Process Clause, but refer to rather precise legal terms which had a meaning under English law at the time the Constitution was adopted. A bill of attainder was a legislative act that singled out one or more persons and imposed punishment on them, without benefit of trial. Such actions were regarded as odious by the framers of the Constitution because it was the traditional role of a court, judging an individual case, to impose punishment." William H. Rehnquist, The Supreme Court, page 166.

"Bills of attainder, ex post facto laws, and laws impairing the obligations of contracts, are contrary to the first principles of the social compact, and to every principle of sound legislation. ... The sober people of America are weary of the fluctuating policy which has directed the public councils. They have seen with regret and indignation that sudden changes and legislative interferences, in cases affecting personal rights, become jobs in the hands of enterprising and influential speculators, and snares to the more-industrious and less-informed part of the community." James Madison, Federalist Number 44, 1788.

Supreme Court cases construing the Bill of Attainder clause include:
Ex Parte Garland, 4 Wallace 333 (1866).
Cummings v. Missouri, 4 Wallace 277 (1866).
U.S. v. Brown, 381 U.S. 437 (1965).
Nixon v. Administrator of General Services, 433 U.S.425 (1977).
Selective Service Administration v. Minnesota PIRG, 468 U.S. 841 (1984).
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass
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#4
Both Bills were passed with overwhelming support...

Hark the future.

Anyone who interferes with business will become a terrorist and subject to the terrorism laws - i.e., anything goes but for the rule of law.

It's simply another way of saying shut the f*ck up and bend your knee in homage.
The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14
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#5
It seems to me that these types of bills are now being pushed by those like the Cock Brothers and "ALEC".Here is what is called the AG-GAG bills now being introduced in State legislatures,basically to silence people who expose animal cruelty.So not only are enviromentalists now being attacked with laws,but animal rights advocates are also to be silenced.

First "Ag-Gag" Prosecution: Utah Woman Filmed a Slaughterhouse from the Public Street

by Will Potter on April 29, 2013

in Terrorism Legislation


[URL="http://www.humanesociety.org/news/news/2008/01/undercover_investigation_013008.html"]
[Image: hsus-hallmark-downer.jpeg][/URL] In a different case, video footage of downer cows moved by heavy machinery led to the largest meat recall in history.

UPDATE: Just 24 hours after I broke this story here, and following a massive amount of media coverage, prosecutors dropped all charges!

Amy Meyer wanted to see the slaughterhouse for herself. She had heard that anyone passing by could view the animals, so she drove to Dale Smith Meatpacking Company in Draper City, Utah, and from the side of the road she could see through the barbed-wire fence. Piles of horns littered the property. Cows struggled with workers who tried to lead them into a building. And one scene in particular made her stop.

"A live cow who appeared to be sick or injured being carried away from the building in a tractor," Meyer told me, "as though she were nothing more than rubble."

As she witnessed this, Meyer did what most of us would in the age of smart phones and YouTube: she recorded.

When the slaughterhouse manager came outside and told her to stop, she replied that she was on the public easement and had the right to film. When police arrived, she said told them the same thing. According to the police report, the manager said she was trespassing and crossed over the barbed-wire fence, but the officer noted "there was no damage to the fence in my observation."

[TABLE="class: alignright, width: 350, align: right"]
[TR]
[TD] Nebraska, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Vermont are all considering similar bills right now.[/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]





Meyer was allowed to leave. She later found out she was being prosecuted under the state's new "ag-gag" law.

This is the first prosecution in the country under one of these laws, which are designed to silence undercover investigators who expose animal welfare abuses on factory farms. The legislation is a direct response to a series of shocking investigations by groups like the Humane Society, Mercy for Animals, and Compassion Over Killing that have led to plant closures, public outrage, and criminal charges against workers.

Even the most sweeping ag-gag bills, such as the American Legislative Exchange Council model legislation, don't explicitly target filming from a roadside. But

Nebraska, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Vermont are all considering bills similar to the Utah law right now.

MORE HERE
"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
Buckminster Fuller
Reply
#6
Keith Millea Wrote:It seems to me that these types of bills are now being pushed by those like the Cock Brothers and "ALEC".

Keith - you couldn't be referring to the Complete Kochs by any chance...
"It means this War was never political at all, the politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted...."
"Proverbs for Paranoids 4: You hide, They seek."
"They are in Love. Fuck the War."

Gravity's Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon

"Ccollanan Pachacamac ricuy auccacunac yahuarniy hichascancuta."
The last words of the last Inka, Tupac Amaru, led to the gallows by men of god & dogs of war
Reply


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