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Green is the New Red: The Journey from Activist to ECO-Terrorist [Paperback]

Will Potter
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Jun 2011
At a time when everyone is going green, most people are unaware that the FBI is using anti-terrorism resources to target environmentalists. Here is a guided tour into an underground world of radical activism and an introduction to the shadowy figures behind the headlines. But here also is the story of how everyday people are prevented from speaking up for what they believe in. Like the Red Scare, this "Green Scare" is about fear and intimidation, and Will Potter outlines the political, legal, and public relations strategies that threaten even acts of nonviolent civil disobedience with the label of "eco-terrorism."

Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: City Lights Books (1 Jun 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 087286538X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0872865389
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 14.7 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 258,881 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


"If you've ever supported an animal welfare or environmental organization, you too may be a suspected terrorist: That's the chilling take-away from Green Is the New Red, a thoughtfully alarming examination of the U.S. government's post-9/11 domestic terror probes, which have inordinately targeted progressive-leaning activist groups. Author Will Potter, a journalist whose own low-level activism ran up against Homeland Security, delves deep into the social, political, legal--and, importantly, ethical--issues raised by this new war on 'ecoterrorism.'" --Utne Reader "In this hard-hitting debut, journalist Potter likens the Justice Department targeting of environmentalists today to McCarthyism in the 1950s... A shocking expose of judicial overreach." --Kirkus Reviews (Starred review) "Potter (a contributor to The Next Eco-Warriors) warns that the U.S. government is using post-9/11 anti-terrorism resources to target environmentalists and animal right activists (in some cases for doing nothing but speaking up). After being threatened with a domestic terrorist label for leafleting, Potter turned to uncovering the "Green Scare" and details here the story of the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and controversial protests that resulted in severe jail sentences for participants. Tracing funds from animal-exploiting corporations to Congress and the passing of the big business-friendly Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, Potter reports on an increased usage of the terrorism enhancement in court cases. Citing Freedom of Information Act sources, he reveals that the U.S. government has constructed secret prisons, or Communication Management Units (CMUs), to house suspected terrorists in conditions even more extreme than those of Supermax facilities (which house Zacarias Moussaoui and Eric Rudolph, among others). Potter warns of the crumbling of 'the legal wall separating 'terrorist' from 'dissident' or 'undesirable,' and concludes his account with a call to action and a decry of the injustice that results in the 'terrorist' label being put on those who threaten American corporate interests. Alarming." --Publishers Weekly "While the link between separating recyclables and hijacking planes is far from obvious, the labeling of 'eco-terrorism' has been applied to many aspects of this social movement. Named the 'No. 1 domestic terrorism threat' by FBI deputy assistant director John Lewis six years ago, Potter argues that the fear tactics involved in applying such an evocative term to radical activism is an attempt to intimidate that mirrors the Red Scare of the mid-20th century (which was in fact the second wave of the government's anti-Communist focus)." --Austin Examiner

About the Author

Will Potter is an award-winning independent journalist based in Washington, D.C., who focuses on "eco-terrorism," the environmental and animal rights movements, and civil liberties post-9/11. Potter has written for publications including The Chicago Tribune, The Dallas Morning News and the Vermont Law Review, and has testified before the U.S. Congress about his reporting. Previously, he worked at the American Civil Liberties Union on policy issues including the Patriot Act.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read 4 Dec 2011
I highly recommend this book, it is absorbing from the first word and enlightening throughout. Will Potter is a legend in the making, I eagerly anticipate his next book.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Are we all on the domestic terrorist register? 28 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Fabulous and informative.... am I now worried that because of my vegan lifestyle I too am on a register somewhere? Well worth investing in (the book - and a vegan lifestyle!!) you may read a lot of it, then put it down for some days while the text sinks in and affirms what you're already semi-conscious of. I think there is a movement away from following the herd as dictated by governments, and I thank everyone who is involved, in a non violent way.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  51 reviews
37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rich and Compelling - An Important Read 7 Jun 2011
By modestjake - Published on
I started reading the book thinking it would be a quick, interesting read into the animal and earth liberation movements and the prosecution of those involved. But what I got was a serious, in depth analysis of how the government and corporations are in bed with another to prosecute above ground activists as terrorists and punish underground activists engaging in non-violent actions more severely than those committing murder.

It was a compelling read full of smart dissections of the political process and Mr. Potter's own role in it, as well as a rare glimpse into the personal lives of those the US government has deemed domestic terrorists due to their political beliefs. Mr. Potter has a rare knack of telling a rich story of personal drama, conviction and heartbreak while educating the reader about issues that the powers-that-be would prefer to keep behind closed doors.

Green is the New Red is one of the most important books I've read in quite some time.
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Important 14 May 2011
By Kindle Customer - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is important, green is the new red tells the story of how government attempts to shut down an effective voice for the voiceless. It shows how real terrorism, killing people, has been conflated with property damage or even with political speech. Scary but necessary reading. I'd also suggest Muzzling a Movement if you are interested in the subject. And I think we all should be, the terrorism stick can be used to bash anyone the powers that be disagree with.
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars required reading 14 May 2011
By E. MICHAUD - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you have any interest at all in the environment, animal rights, activism in general, current events, or the government then you really must read "Green is the New Red." Will Potter chronicles, in a way that manages to be both personal and sweeping, the history of radical activism within the environmental and animal rights movements. By reading this book you will learn exactly how and why the meme of "eco-terrorism" was schemed up and sold to the public by the government even though it twists the customary definition of terrorism well beyond reason. If the book doesn't open your eyes, frighten you, fascinate you, and piss you off all at the same time then, well, I'm afraid you're probably not that much fun at cocktail parties or anarchist potlucks. I couldn't put it down. And I'm not big into rereading books but I'll hit this again for sure.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read for Everyone - Activist or Not 14 May 2011
By Rhea Parsons - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, chilling, eye-opening...a must read 14 May 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Will Potter presents a clear-sighted view of the big picture in the animal rights and environmental movements, of what is at stake, and of the lives that have already been touched by the "terrorism" rhetoric. Many will read this and be frightened. And it is frightening to realize that the American justice system is willing to send people to prison and label them terrorists even if they have not been charged with breaking a law. It begins to sound like Kafka, or like 1984, but I agree with Will's viewpoint that the best way to fight is with knowledge. I highly recommend this book to everyone, activist or not.
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