Life During Capitalism- one history student's perspective on life during capitalism

"To omit or to minimize these voices of resistance is to create the idea that power only rests with those who have the guns, who possess the wealth, who own the newspapers and the television stations. I want to point out that people who seem to have no power, whether working people, people of colour, or women-once they organize and protest and create movements-have a voice no government can suppress." Howard Zinn

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Tale of Jeffery Luers (Eco-Fest Special)


It was Eco-fest last week. Cool. Free bands. A public debate, energy saving light bulbs and the do-gooder advice of the Campus Greens. Nothing wrong with any of that. All is well that means well. However away from the Green MPs and the Rainbow Warrior there is another side to the ecological movement. The world of the radical, “no compromise”, direct action eco-activist. As students sipped their organic beer and ate their vegetarian sausages in the autumnal wind on the other side of the world a man who also believes in ecology is in jail. Jeff “Free” Luers will mark his sixth year in a US prison this June.


Why? Well I’ll let Jeff explain that. “On June 16, 2000 I ignited a fire that would forever change my life. I torched 3 SUV’s. I took extra care and used specific fuels to ensure no one would be injured. Approximately 30 minutes after the fire was lit and extinguished, I was taken into custody by 3 undercover agents who had been following me, one of whom I would later learn to be a member of an anti-domestic terrorist unit.”

Six years of a twenty-two year and eight month sentence with no chance of parole. As you on the outside go about your daily lives, get our degrees, get jobs, partners, travel and have kids, Luers will remain in jail. When Luers gets out in 2023 a lot of water will have passed under the bridge.

Luers and his friend’s decision to torch three SUV’s was “an act of resistance designated to raise awareness and draw attention to a problem that affects every human being, every animal, every plant, and every form of life on this planet. I am speaking of global warming, air, soil and water pollution. We are in the midst of a global environmental crisis.”

However you may feel about what Luers did do you really think twenty-three years of jail time is a just punishment for a twenty-one year old who burnt a couple of oversized cars in response to what could potentially wipe out humanity: climate change? As the torturers of Guantanamo Bay walk free and the murderers of Fallujah walk free Luers sits in Prison.

I can say with reasonable confidence that Eco-fest will have been a waste of time unless those who participate realize that their sacrifice is small and that the path to ecological sustainability and back from the terrifying cliff of environmental collapse has many routes. Some walk the route with energy saving light bulbs. Others use lighter fluid. Whatever you use, the message of Luers is clear: at least use something. Anyhow I’ll give the last words to the “eco-terrorist” himself who said, “I've had a lot of time to think about the choices I made, and I'm proud of them. Maybe I didn't change the world, but from the letters I get, I know I helped open some people's eyes.”

Open your eyes: http://www.freefreenow.org/

Published in Craccum, May 24, 2006

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1 Comments:

At 11:49 PM, Blogger james said...

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