UPDATE: Ron Arnold of Center for the Defense of Free Interprise and the Wise Use movement has come out with a statement in support of Roselle:
“02/11/09 Mike Roselle – I don’t agree with him, but he’s no terrorist.
CDFE executive vice president Ron Arnold angrily condemned a WCHS-TV8 report suggesting Roselle is an “eco-terrorist.” Arnold said, “I’ve covered Roselle since 1995 and even devoted dozens of pages to his protest activities in my 1997 book EcoTerror: The Violent Agenda to Save Nature. I covered his actions to distinguish between radicals and terrorists. I say he’s a radical environmentalist, not an eco-terrorist. It’s not a crime to be a radical and Roselle has never been charged with any violent crime.
Now he’s protesting coal mining in West Virginia. I support the mining. We need the energy. I think Roselle is dead wrong on this issue. But he doesn’t like the so-called “mountain-top removal” mining method, so he protested it and got arrested on minor charges. He’s told me he’s willing to face a jury on his protest. Face it: what he did was civil disobedience, not terrorism. But his opponents are dredging up eco-terror accusations. That’s just hot air and it’s wrong. Don’t dilute the absolutely monstrous crime of pipe-bombs and arson and murder committed to save nature by using a powerful and legal term like “eco-terrorism” for a guy you don’t agree with protesting how you do things. I don’t like his protests, either, but I insist on keeping the honorable term “eco-terrorism” where it belongs – reserved for real terrorists. Roselle may be a terrible pain in the ass, but he’s no terrorist. And don’t say I’m a shill for Massey Energy – they’ve never given CDFE a dime. Or even to our allies like the Congress of Racial Equality, which is probably America’s leading champion of abundant, affordable energy from our own American soil.”
Center for the Defense of Free Interprise
Is Fox replacing O’Reilly with Roselle? If only….
I often think about where the next backlash against the No Coal Movement is going to manifest next. Sometimes it’s the pro-coal front groups following coal activists on Twitter and spamming our blogs. Sometimes it’s disgusting “clean coal” ads running on TV. It’s manifested in a pretty ugly way in West Virginia as community activists like Maria Gunnoe have faced threats of property destruction and physical harm.
West Virginia’s local media seems to be on board with the pro-coal agenda as they engage in character assassination of prominent activists joining the fight.
Environmentalist Mike Roselle, founder of Earth First!, The Ruckus Society and Rainforest Action Network, has moved to the Coal River Valley of West Virginia to non-violently confront the coal barons plotting to destroy Appalachia’s mountains (case in point, Coal River Mountain). Last week, Roselle joined with 13 others, in the tradition of King and Gandhi, in putting their bodies on the line to stop mountaintop removal on Coal River Mountain.
Now a WV Fox news station has decided that Roselle is an “eco-terrorist” that uses “radical methods of protest may put lives at stake in West Virginia.”
It’s really interesting the way in which governments and corporations decide who is a terrorist and who isn’t. Roselle has been a long time proponent of non-violent direct action in advocating for saving the planet. Some even consider him a decent god-fearing person.
Fox News (albeit locally) is acting as the propaganda arm of the coal industry and attacking non-violent activists for taking a stand. Their is a long list of violent tactics using firearms and vehicles against local WV activists that actually put lives at stake and rarely do we hear about that on Fox’s airwaves.
It would be nice to get a little truth out of the Fox News’ of the world for a change, although at this point I’d settle for a regular segment called the “No Coal Zone” featuring Mike Roselle for a little fair and balanced reporting.