Westside Action

a motley crew of anarchists and activists from Bristol, Bath and South Wales

Observer forced to withdraw “eco terrorist” article

how it got past the sub editor in the 1st place, we’ll never know…but here’s the guardian article:

“…there was understandable dismay at a recent story which told of a ‘growing threat from eco-terrorists’.

Police were said to be investigating the eco-movement Earth First! which, they claimed, had supporters who believed that reducing the Earth’s population by four-fifths would help protect the planet. The National Extremism Tactical Co-ordination Unit was concerned that a lone maverick might attempt a terrorist attack. It had also warned several companies they were being targeted as major polluters by the group and had offered them advice on how to withstand attack.

It’s perfectly legitimate to report police security concerns, but none of the statements were substantiated. No website links were offered, no names were mentioned, no companies identified and no police source would go on the record.

The article linked Earth First! to climate camps established last summer, including one at Kingsnorth power station, Kent, and at Heathrow.

While the paper had no intention of suggesting that every activist was a potential terrorist, several climate campers wrote to protest. ‘If a journalist is told by a single anonymous source that a movement of people has among it individuals who would take the lives of men, women and children in a terror attack, what standard of evidence does that journalist require? In this case: no evidence whatsoever. The claim itself was the story.’

We’ve been here before. Other newspapers reported on a predicted ‘summer of hate’ at climate camps that never materialised and the Press Complaints Commission found against the Evening Standard at climate campers were planning attacks at Heathrow.

Environmentalist Keith Metcalf explained that Earth First! supported direct action against property, but not against people. He believed that the debate around sustainable population size had been twisted to imply that environmentalists wished to kill people

He also repeated the belief of several others that Nectu was briefing in this manner in order to make prosecutions easier and to boost its funding, which is at risk owing to the decline in animal rights campaigns. I can’t verify that or the fears about mass murder because, despite repeated requests, Nectu won’t respond. Accordingly, The Observer has decided to withdraw the story”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/nov/23/readers-editor-climate-change

Advertisements

No comments yet»

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: