Tag Archives: Will Potter

North Carolina Law Would Make It Illegal to Expose Monsanto

29 May

by Will Potter / Green Is The New Red

march-against-monsanto-300x265Two million people in 52 countries marched against Monsanto last week in protest of genetically-modified food and in support of consumer choice. There’s international pressure on this GMO giant like never before.

But proposed legislation in North Carolina would make it illegal for whistleblowers to expose how Monsanto and other corporations are threatening public health and the environment.

North Carolina’s SB 648 is appropriately named the “Commerce Protection Act.” The bill makes it illegal to obtain employment in order to “create or produce a record that reproduces an image or sound occurring within the employer’s facility, including a photographic, video, or audio” or “to capture or remove data, paper, records, or any other documents…”

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Activist Begins Prison Sentence for Refusing to Name Names and For Quoting Dave Chappelle

19 Jan

Jordon (left) with supporter

By Will Potter / GreenIsTheNewRed.org

Utah animal rights activist Jordan Halliday has begun a 10-month prison sentence for refusing to testify before a federal grand jury about his political beliefs and political associations. It is believed to be the first time in two decades, and only the third time in U.S. history, that someone has been imprisoned for criminal contempt of court after already serving prison time for civil contempt–all because of his principled stand against what activists call a political witch hunt.

The Utah grand jury was convened in 2009 to investigate the release of mink from Utah fur farms by the Animal Liberation Front. Halliday refused to cooperate because grand juries have historically been used against social movements (as they are now being used against antiwar activists in the Midwest) in fishing expeditions.

When you walk into a grand jury, you check your rights at the door. You have to answer questions about your politics and your friends. You don’t have the right to remain silent. If you refuse to cooperate and “name names,” you can be sent to jail. That’s what happened to Halliday.

Click here for the rest of the article

Eco-warrior Marie Mason turning 50 in Texas prison’s isolation unit

13 Jan

From SupportMarieMason.org: “On January 26th, long-time activist and political prisoner Marie Mason will be turning 50. Taking just a few minutes to send a card or write a letter to her is a small, but powerful act for those confined to a prison cell. You can write to her at

"There goes the neighborhood" artwork by Marie Mason

Marie Mason #04672-061
FMC Carswell
Federal Medical Center
P.O. Box 27137
Fort Worth, TX 76127

Earlier this year, Will Potter, author of Green is the New Red, posted this about Marie’s case: “Marie Mason was arrested three years ago and charged with destroying genetic-engineering research and logging equipment. Her crimes did not cause any physical injury. Leading up to her sentencing, the FBI had warned that “terrorists” might attend the hearing. She was sentenced to nearly 22 years in prison. As I wrote at the time, Mason’s sentence was twice that of violent racists who assaulted African Americans on the night Barack Obama was elected president…”

American Legislative Exchange Council EXPOSED; Protest at annual ALEC meeting in New Orleans, August 3-6, 2011

20 Jul

ALEC stands for American Legislative Exchange Council. They are an ultra conservative front group that brings corporations and politicians together. ALEC’s private sector board is made up of representatives from GlaxoSmithKline, Bayer, Koch Industries, to name a few. They write model laws that are then passed off to ALEC member state representatives as their own. ALEC is responsible for the passage of AETA (Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act), and have crafted a revamped broader version entitled Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act. They also crafted ECO-PLAN (Environmental Corrupt Organizations-Preventative Legislation and Neutralization), which seeks to use RICO-style anti-corruption laws against ecological advocates. ALEC’s model “eco-terrorism” legislation has already been introduced in at least 16 states.

ALEC has written bills that would have environmental activists labeled as terrorists for participating in civil disobedience and animal activists labeled criminals for the recording of animal abuse. Along with dozens of pieces of model legislation and resolutions favoring corporate profits over the Earth (pro-biotech, anti-environmental justice, etc.), they are also responsible for the “three strikes and you’re out” legislation, privatizing prisons, deregulating energy companies, scapegoating immigrants and union busting.

ALEC claims that 20% of all bills they write get passed into law.

Last week, the Center for Media and Democracy created a website www.alecexposed.com that lists the model bills that were previously confidential to ALEC members only. This includes over 800 bills that attack labor, health care, climate legislation, animal issues, immigration, seek to privatize prisons, and many more.

Below is a brief list of resources that will better help with background on ALEC and the mounting resistance to it:

*Protests in New Orleans at ALEC’s annual meeting Aug. 3-6. There is a schedule of events, housing board, and more info at ProtestALEC.org

*”ALEC Documents Reveal How Corporations Secretly Create New Laws” from Green is the New Red, by Will Potter

*Article about ALEC published by The Nation, July 13, 2011

*ALEC’s upcoming public events and conferences

*State Representatives on the board of ALEC

*Other ways to get involved (suggestions from the blog Daily Kos, who has been tracking ALEC)

*ALEC’s website

Lead ELF informant Jake Ferguson in custody, awaiting hearing

20 Jun

Ferguson from the Warner Creek days

Jake Ferguson was arrested in April on Oregon drug charges which violated his probation.  After several court hearings this month, there is a June 28, 2011 trial date set. Although it maybe subject to change.

More background can be found below, in this excerpt from Green is the New Red:

The government’s roundup of environmental activists in “Operation Backfire” was only possible because the lead arsonist, Jacob Ferguson, had agreed to wear a wire, travel the country, and prod his friends into talking about the crimes with the Earth Liberation Front.

The government has repeatedly called Ferguson a “hero.” U.S. Attorney Kirk Engdall has said he was “essential” to the largest investigation of the radical environmental movement in U.S. history.

In exchange for doing the government’s work for them, Ferguson, who was involved in about 18 arsons, was sentenced to no jail time and five years probation. In other words, the most prolific arsonist in the history of so-called “eco-terrorism” got a free pass.

But Ferguson was arrested on April 6, 2011, on drug charges and now faces prison time for violating these conditions.

Ferguson today

I think this is worth highlighting for a few reasons. Ferguson’s drug history is not new information. In fact, the government used this against him in order to pressure him to become an informant. The FBI was well-aware of his personal history, but chose to ignore this because it was the only lead they had in arresting members of the ELF.

This is  yet another example of how far the FBI has been willing to go, and the shady deals that agents are willing to make, in order to secure a victory in the “War on Terrorism.”

Green Terror

25 May

An interview with Will Potter, author of “Green is the New Red.”

By Michael May
Published on: Tuesday, May 17, 2011 in Texas Observer

For Will Potter, the subject matter behind Green is the New Red is personal.  While working at the Chicago Tribune, he got a visit from two FBI agents at his apartment. The month before, Potter had been arrested at a protest. He had been passing out flyers in the neighborhood of an insurance executive who did business with Huntington Life Sciences, the infamous animal-testing lab. The FBI agents wanted Potter to help identify and spy on other animal-rights activists—or risk ending up on the domestic terrorism watch list.

Potter didn’t tell the agents what they wanted to know. Instead, he began to investigate heavy-handed law enforcement efforts aimed at environmentalists. While some environmental groups, like the Animal Liberation Front, have done risky and potentially dangerous crimes against property, Potter shows how law enforcement has come after individuals who are guilty of no more than showing support for militant efforts online. And he questions whether the charge of “terrorism” is used too broadly against activists, and shows how it can skew investigations and manipulate public opinion.

For more information and to see video interview of Will Potter, conducted by Michael May click here