Terrifying environments, environing terrorism: An ecofeminist critique of the FBI's response to the Earth Liberation Front

Date
2010-05
Authors
Volpe, Lauren
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Abstract

The Earth Liberation Front, a radical environmental movement that advocates sabotage as a strategy for protesting destruction of the environment, is currently classified as a terrorist organization by the FBI. In this paper, I challenge this classification and argue that "terrorism" has become a politically charged misnomer that serves two diversionary purposes when applied to certain environmental groups. First, the term stigmatizes environmental activists and deflects attention away from widespread environmental destruction caused by the government and corporations. Second, by evoking fear and urgency, the term "terrorism" prioritizes a particular type of violent act and conceals the reality that hate crimes occur at an exponentially higher rate than Earth Liberation Front attacks per year. Using an ecofeminist framework, I analyze these two troubling consequences of the ELF's "terrorist" classification.

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Keywords
Social sciences, Womens studies, Legal studies, Environmental justice
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