Talk:Wesley J. Smith

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Edit note

  • Referring to Smith as a "conservative political, policy and industry lobbyist" is belaboring a point and, in the absence of a reference, does not appear accurate. In the US the term lobbyist has a specific meaning, ie someone who organizes and participates in lobbying public officials and politicians on behalf of clients. so I have removed the "political, policy and industry lobbyist" part of the description. If he is a lobbyists (ie someone who is registered as a lobbyist), a reference is required.

Response

Removed unreferenced parts of bio and reinstated the following modified versions which relate directly to HR 4239 & HLS.

AETA (HR 4239)

Historically, all social reform movements have legal and illegal elements, however, animal and environmental activists have never injured anyone. "The only attempted murder in the history of the U.S. animal rights movement was coordinated by corporate provocateurs." [1] HR 4239 or the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA), became law on November 27, 2006 after receiving President Bush’s signature. [2] Critics have characterized this legislation as being designed to protect the financial interests of corporations, chill dissent and discourage legal activism. [3] AETA terrorism charges cannot be brought against someone whose target is unaffiliated with an animal enterprise, which violate constitutional rights to equal legal protection. [4] See also Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, section 7.

Huntingdon Life Sciences & SHAC campaign

Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS) is the 3rd largest contract research organization (CRO) in the world and the largest animal testing facility in Europe. Firms hire CRO's to conduct animal toxicity tests for agrochemicals, petrochemicals, household products, pharmaceutical drugs and toxins. HLS has a long history of gross animal welfare violations. They are the only laboratory in the United Kingdom ever to have their license revoked by the government.[5] The Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) campaign is an international campaign with groups in the UK, USA, France, Holland, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and many other countries who target HLS and the global corporations which support them. [6] See also Huntingdon Life Sciences, sections 2 through 4 & animal testing, section 3 on product (toxicity) testing.

Lisa

unreferenced major assertions

This unreferenced sentence contains two major assertions:

Historically, all social reform movements have legal and illegal elements, however, animal and environmental activists have never injured anyone.

I'm skeptical that "all social reform movements have legal and illegal elements" -- that's a very broad statement. But, at the very least, it should be referenced.

Another ref is needed for "animal and environmental activists have never injured anyone." While I know that most actions attributed to radical animal rights groups have been aimed at property, not people, what about loggers who have been injured by spiked trees?

-- Diane Farsetta 12:18, 11 August 2009 (EDT)

Response

Replace removed portion with:

According to an SPLC intelligence report of 2002, animal and eco-activists draw the line at targeting humans. Spokespersons for the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), maintain that their underground cells have never injured or killed any people. They are dedicated to what their spokespeople describe as nonviolent "economic sabotage," such as tree-spiking and arson. [7] "The only attempted murder in the history of the U.S. animal rights movement was coordinated by corporate provocateurs," wrote Charlotte Laws in January of 2007. [8] However, there have been a number of incidents involving victimized activists injured or killed. [9] See also Animal Liberation Front, section 1.

The author of the first statement is referring to major movements such as abolition, civil rights, right to life, labor unions, sexual orientation, etc. This following is in the link directly after the statement and was included in the original article (and removed for being too off-topic).

Yet, according to the FBI, these activists rank as the top domestic terrorism threat. The Department of Homeland Security lists them on its roster of national security threats, while ignoring right wing extremism. Between 1977 and January 2007, there were over 13,000 incidents targeting abortion clinics and doctors, including 7 murders. There have been over 2,100 acts of union violence between 1991 and 2001, including bombings, shootings and near fatal injuries. In 2004 alone, there were over 4,500 racially motivated incidents in the U.S. There were 1,480 incidents based on religious bias and another 1,460 based on sexual orientation. Yet, it is animal and environmental advocates who are labeled as terrorists. [10]

If there are incidents of major injuries or deaths with relation to animal or eco activism, the SPLC is not aware of them nor any other reporting agencies or media. (I think this would have a hard time flying under the radar of WJS, DJS or CCF).

Here is what I have been able to find on "tree spiking": Spiking dates back to the late 1800s and is intended to prevent loggers from taking trees. A piece of metal or ceramic is hammered into the tree, which is not damaged by this activity as plenty of hard objects lodge in trees naturally... In the United States, tree spiking is a federal felony as of 1988. Apparently, there was one serious incident involving a mill worker in 1987 when a spike from a felled tree caused a saw blade to shatter. So, the spike should be located well above saw height, so that loggers are not in danger. They should also be clearly marked, and lumber companies notified when trees on a timber harvest plan have been spiked. Dave Forman, co-founder of Earth First!, popularized the practice in his book called Ecodefense. However, as tree spiking became more widespread in the late 80's in N. California and Oregon, activists became concerned about the practice. Several documented injuries indicated that tree spiking had the potential to be deadly. Many were concerned that spiking was giving their movement a bad name. As a result, many groups have condemned it. Within Earth First!, members are split on this issue. http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-tree-spiking.htm

Trying to be brief and stay on topic (and hope people read provided links). If you really want to go there however, (unintentional deaths and injuries), the first and second leading causes of deaths in the U.S. are diet related (meat and dairy), the third is side effects from animal tested drugs. See also meat & dairy industry, section 6 & animal testing, section 1.

Also, most criticism is based on the operating premise that violence against animals or destruction of their habitats is not actually violence or destruction. No matter how massive, senseless or depraved, it tends to be rationalized, while virtually every word and action of advocates is questioned; as well as their motivations and "agendas". (Really, like all the financial, social and political advantages that come with the territory?) Obviously, neither the right nor the left has really embraced it. Violence against animals (and even activists) is generally unreported or downplayed by the media (though it is improving thanks to AR and eco orgs.)

Lisa

  1. Charlotte Laws, PhD, AETA and the New Green Scare: Are You the Terrorist Next Door?, Counterpunch, January 2007
  2. Govtrack.us Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, 109th Congress, 2005-2006
  3. Will Potter House Passes AETA With Little Discussion or Dissent: Notes from the House Floor “Debate”, Greenisthenewred.com, Nov 2006
  4. Charlotte Laws, PhD, AETA and the New Green Scare: Are You the Terrorist Next Door?, Counterpunch, January 2007
  5. Dr. Jerry Vlasik Testimony of Jerry Vlasik, M.D.: Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (“SHAC”) Eco-terrorism, U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works, October 2005
  6. Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty Introduction to SHAC, accessed May 2009
  7. Southern Poverty Law Center ,From Push to Shove, Intelligence Report, Fall 2002
  8. Charlotte Laws, PhD, AETA and the New Green Scare: Are You the Terrorist Next Door?, Counterpunch, January 2007
  9. Animal Liberation Front Fallen Warriors, accessed May 2009
  10. Charlotte Laws, PhD, AETA and the New Green Scare: Are You the Terrorist Next Door?, Counterpunch, January 2007