Labelling activists as terrorists

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Since the ‘war on terror’, public debate and media coverage has been used to suggest that activist groups are potential or actual terrorists.

In 2001 in the United States of America, the FBI listed numerous nonviolent, citizen based activist organisations and networks, including ‘Reclaim the Streets’ and many global justice networks, amongst the ‘Threats of Terrorism to the United States’.

In a May 10 statement before the Senate Committees on Appropriations, Armed Services and Select Committee on Intelligence, FBI director Louis Freeh listed these groups as a ‘potential threat’ to the United States along with assorted terrorists from Egypt and Lebanon.

The report reads in part :

“Anarchists and extreme socialist groups many of which, such as the Workers’ World Party, Reclaim the Streets, and Carnival Against Capitalism have an international presence and, at times, also represent a potential threat in the United States.

For example, anarchists, operating individually and in groups, caused much of the damage during the 1999 World Trade Organisation ministerial meeting in Seattle.”

The list also included,

“extreme fringes of animal rights, environmental, anti-nuclear, and other political and social movements”

as well as the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and the Earth Liberation Front (ELF).

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Labelling activists as terrorists

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