Tackling new wilderness dangers

Eco-terrorism has become a buzzword in the media lately, and PSU professor Gary Perlstein recently addressed the NW Law Enforcement Team in Salem with a presentation entitled “ELF, ALF, Anarchists, Racists, and Other New Dangers in the Woods.”

“I was asked to present a topic to the team,” said Perlstein of why he chose to write and speak about such a controversial issue, which included his views on the Earth Liberation Front (ELF).

In recent weeks, mysterious arsons at the University of Washington’s Center for Urban Horticulture in Seattle and the Jefferson Poplar Farms in Clatskanie, Ore., have raised questions about when protest becomes terrorism.

Additionally, those same arsons have displayed questionable similarities with previous attacks by the ELF.

“They are a protest group that’s moved very close to crossing the line to terrorism,” Perlstein said, who also serves as the chair for the university’s administration of justice department.

According to their Web site, earthliberationfront.com, the ELF “is an international underground movement consisting of autonomous groups of people who carry out direct action according to the ELF guidelines.”

Their Web site goes on to declare that these “guidelines” include “inflicting economic damage on those profiting from destroying and exploiting the natural environment, revealing and educating the public on atrocities committed against earth and all species that populate it, as well as taking all necessary precautions against harming animals, humans and non-humans.”

When asked how he believed these violent acts of protest can be prevented, Perlstein said, “One way of not having violent acts is to sit down and make some changes.”

At press time Craig Rosebraugh, who has acted as the North American spokesperson for the ELF, was unavailable for comment.