Earth Liberation Front
Craig Rosebraugh (CR), former spokesman of the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) and the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) answers some questions from the Eugene Weekly (EW) about his new magazine,
EW: Are you one of the people putting out Resistance: The Journal of the Earth Liberation Movement?
CR: Yes, I am one of the co-editors. Most of the people involved have been a part of the environmental, human, and animal liberation movements for many years.
EW: I spoke to a person who remembers Resistance as being a newsprint that featured press releases and such of ELF (Earth Liberation Front) actions, from about 8 years ago. Is this true and if so is the new magazine a spinoff from that?
There was a magazine called Resistance around that the first ELF Press Office put out back around the year 2000. I worked on that magazine, and it was primarily a newsprint format that documented the ELF activity during that time. We only published three or so issues. The new magazine, though retaining the name, is not necessarily a spinoff from that but rather a response to an urgent climate crisis that needs immediate and effective action.
EW: Why go with a mainstream distributor and with availability in major corporate bookstores rather than small and local? What inspired you to start publishing this magazine?
CR: One of our goals in creating Resistance: Journal of the Earth Liberation Movement is to assist in building an effective, diverse, and large movement to protect the planet. We desire for the messages contained within the magazine to reach as many readers as possible and that is why we decided to acquire a large distributor who would place Resistance in large stores. We are in both infoshops and independent bookstores as well as large chains such as Borders, Books A Million, Hastings, and Chapters Indigo.
The motivation behind the magazine comes from examining the failure of the environmental movement during the past 50 years and the unilateral urgency given to the climate crisis by leading international scientific organizations. Even United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has stated recently that we as a global community have less than ten years to stop the global rise of greenhouse gas emissions to avoid "catastrophic consequences for people and the planet." Resistance was created to inform readers not only of the dangerous state of the planet, but also the urgency of action. The magazine features discussions on the strategy, theory, news, and frontline actions of a new emerging environmental movement.
This movement realizes that when governments and politicians refuse to act to protect the planet, it is up to all of us to step in and protect our home. And the only logic way that this protection may occur is to understand the primary force driving environmental destruction. That force is economic; it is the financial incentive that corporations and governments have when they clear-cut old growth forests, when they pump out gas-guzzling vehicles, when they destroy mountain tops and communities for coal, when they lay gas and oil pipelines across landscapes and ecosystems, when they genetically alter the natural world, when they pump toxins into the air, into the water and soil. It is the profit motive that is driving environmental destruction. So it only makes logical sense to work to directly remove that profit motive from these entities so they either are persuaded to stop their harmful practices or go out of business.
How will it differ from the Earth First! Journal?
Resistance differs from the EF! Journal in focusing on direct action activity internationally that is specifically geared towards removing the profit motive from harmful and unjust corporations and governments. The EF! Journal has been a centerpiece of the grassroots environmental movement for many years. With a great amount of respect for the EF! Journal, we chose to not focus on the traditional forms of grassroots resistance â€” the blockades, the tree sits, the rallies, and even civil disobedience. Those tactics are a necessary part of the toolbox, one that also includes tactics that directly remove the financial incentive driving global warming. This is the specific niche of Resistance magazine â€” it appeals to both the veteran activist as well as the newcomer. We also have made every attempt to interest those who have not yet become active, to get them involved and a part of a growing new movement.
EW: Given the court's recent decision to rule against the SHAC 7 appeal, do you expect Resistance to encounter any First Amendment Issues?
CR: One lesson among many that people should be learning from history is that the more a movement progresses the more the opposition will respond with increasing repression. There have been no historic examples otherwise in any global social or political movements. This is one lesson that many people did not seem to grasp during all of the Greenscare cases and the SHAC cases. People seemed shocked and surprised at the charges and convictions of nonviolent political activists who were selflessly taking action to help the planet, people and animals as a whole. While the governmental crackdown was frustrating, it was not surprising. This type of repressive maneuvering by governments needs to be understood, realized and prepared for.
The government's recent decision to rule against the SHAC 7 is not surprising to me. This is a corrupt government, one that has been corrupt since its inception in 1776. The most unreasonable, potent, and damaging lie ever told to the people of the United States is that this is a democracy. The United States has never been a democracy nor will it ever be one without a significant change in the way the government is structured and the way it operates. This plutocracy or oligarchy is going to do what is in the best interest of the wealthy, of the corporations, and even to this day of the white male. Anything that stands to challenge the power the government and corporations hold over the people will be met with extreme force and violence.
In short, I have no idea if Resistance will encounter any First Amendment issues. If this were a just country and government, no we would not. But when has this government ever been truly just?
EW: What led you to decide to go to law school?
CR: I believe that truly understanding laws within the United States will assist me in social and political justice pursuits.