Friday, May 12, 2006
Whatever happened to good old fashioned hangings?
In June 2001, 23 year-old forest defense activist Jeff Luers was sentenced to 22 years and 8 months in prison for the burning of three SUV's in Eugene, Oregon. To make a statement about global warming, Jeff and his codefendent, Craig 'Critter' Marshall, set fire to the trucks at a Eugene car dealership. Their stated purpose was to raise awareness about global warming and the role that SUVs play in that process. No one was hurt. An arson specialist at trial confirmed that the action did not pose any threat to people based on its size and distance from any fuel source.
So, despite the fact that this action hurt no one and the trucks were later repaired and sold, Luers was sent to prison for a sentence considerably longer than those convicted of murder, kidnapping and rape in Oregon. Why?
Why indeed. I would like to say that it's because this dumbass and his dumbass buddy set fire to 3 sweet brand new trucks and anyone stupid enough to do that should get lynched on the nearest Douglas fir, but actually it's because Luers is now considered a terrorist. It's one thing to be a friggin' idiot, but it's quite something else when your idiocy gets labled "terror." My argument is that this is a case of misguided and unfocused passionate beliefs inflamed by a rather low IQ level. This should not be considered terrorism.
Luers continues to write and agitate for his release while imprisoned at Oregon State Penetentiary. His appeal was filed in January 2002 and oral arguments before the Oregon Court of Appeals were heard on November 30, 2005. The judge has not yet issued his opinion. Come on judge, have some pity on this guy, don't make him a martyr for a cause that free market forces are in the process of actually fixing. He's a martyr for nothing, he's just a dumb kid. Let him go.
Read a recent 'Grist' interview with Luers. You can find out more about Jeff Luers on his website..
There's also a Weekend of Resistance Against the Green Scare - June 9-11, 2006, which seems to advocate resistance to a movement against a movement. Oh for the love of god, why? Makes my bowels want to move.