Honestly, I have never been interested in politics - it always seemed like a mix of money, power and hypocrisy and I suppose I didn't understand how it really affected me personally. Well, I was right on one count but boy, does it affect me! I started learning on the web site "Green is the New Red" about how animal/environmental activism is being perverted by the government and labeled as terrorist activity and so when Will Potter's book came out, I bought it right away. Once I picked it up, I didn't put it down until I was finished.
Will Potter examines the history of animal/environmental activism and how it has been received in the eyes of the law, politics, big business and the federal administrations. Throughout the book, Potter tells the frightening tales of activists who were arrested and charged with terrorism for actions that should have fallen under their constitutional rights of free speech and non-violent civil protest. If you have ever gone to a protest, handed out a leaflet or shared your beliefs on a web site, you can't help but be scared (or terrorized, for a better word) that you too could find yourself in the same shackles as these political victims.
Don't think for a second (as I did) that you might be bored reading a book about the law and politics. Potter's writing style is fluid, dynamic and you find yourself flowing through the pages, swept up in the stories, and shocked by what you learn about how bills get passed into law and how people trying to improve the world get scapegoated and persecuted. Mixed into the history and policy is intrigue, suspense, heartbreak, and shock. The book grabs you from the first page and doesn't let go even after you finish the book. It is a thriller of the worst kind because it is real.
Everyone - activist or not - should read this book to learn what can happen, what does happen to those who think they are safe under the First Amendment. This book should be required reading for those who are activists. Will Potter should be commended for his brave, thorough, and honest investigation.