Not An Eco-Terrorist
As a former Wave delivery-boy in the mid-1980s, I was excited to hear that my favorite hometown paper reviewed a documentary about my case (Rockaway’s Environmental Terrorist, July 1, 2011). Sadly, the article is full of factual errors that would give anyone a false impression of why I am currently serving an 84-month sentence in federal prison.
The author states that I was guilty of “torching two Oregon forests.” Wow! That is clearly not the case – I love Smokey the Bear. What I was convicted of was the arson of two buildings belonging to corporations – one, an oldgrowth logging firm, the other, accused of growing genetically-engineered trees. Environmentalists do not burn forests, if that even needs to be said.
As for the terrorism label put on me and my co-defendants, it’s a case of the government misusing that term. Call my actions what they are – vandalism and arson both fit, but terrorism? No one I knew flew planes into buildings or sought to hurt people. As a New Yorker, seeing that term thrown around by prosecutors makes me ill. Unfortunately, in post-Patriot Act federal court, it’s easy to pin that on someone – if they claim that your action was designed to coerce the government, then you’re a terrorist.
I think that Rockaway people – especially those that know me and family – can see B.S. when it’s in front of them. Things are more complicated than prosecutor sound-bites and exaggerated articles.