- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 5, 2003

The list of participants for a California State University event on the environment reads like an international Who's Who of eco-terrorists. One man is wanted by authorities in two countries.
Billed as "Revolutionary Environmentalism: A Dialogue Between Activists and Academics," the Feb. 12-14 conference is an attempt by the Fresno-based university to create a "statement of principles that represents the radical environmental community."
"As an environmental crisis looms, and as human behavior toward nature becomes increasingly mechanical and disengaged, environmental and animal-rights activists take direct action," the event announcement said.
"Revolutionary environmental and animal-rights activists launch an increasing number of attacks against economic entities, especially to thwart economic activity damaging to wilderness areas and animals. From tree spiking to animal rescues, these activities receive greater attention from government agencies but little public recognition," the announcement said.
Sponsored by the school's Department of Political Science and Public Administration, the conference on the "practical, political, and spiritual aspects of revolutionary environmentalism" is designed to aid understanding of the growing movement of sabotage.
Mark Somma, acting department chairman and event organizer, did not respond to interview requests.
Confirmed participants include Paul Watson, a captain with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society who left Greenpeace because his method of ramming whaling ships differed from the group's policy of nonviolence.
Mr. Watson, whose ship bears a skull-and-crossbones flag, is wanted in Costa Rica for ramming a ship and in Iceland for sinking whaling ships.
Gary Yourofsky, a representative from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals who has been arrested more than a dozen times for liberating minks, will also attend.
"What we must do is start viewing every cow, pig, chicken, monkey, rabbit, mouse and pigeon as our family members," he told the Toledo Blade.
Ric Scarce, a Michigan State University sociology professor, is expected to attend. Mr. Scarce was jailed for refusing to cooperate with a grand jury on the activities of the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), a group that takes credit for numerous acts of arson.
Participants also include Craig Rosebraugh, former ELF spokesman who refused to answer questions during a congressional hearing on his organization's criminal activities, and Leslie Pickering, Mr. Rosebraugh's successor at the ELF.
ELF's sister group, the Animal Liberation Front, will be represented by convicted arsonist Rodney Coronado. He spent four years in prison for torching a Michigan State University lab.
The Center for Consumer Freedom is criticizing the conference, saying the university has no business supporting terrorism. The center is a coalition of restaurant operators, and food and beverage companies that promote personal responsibility and consumer choice.
"I think it's remarkable that a university with public money is going to be validating and legitimizing this sort of violence at a time when America is so concerned about terrorism," said David Martosko, director of research. "Here is a rouge's gallery of domestic terrorists and people who move in domestic terrorist circles putting it out there like it's a conference of literary scholars with no balance at all presented from an opposing viewpoint."
Overall discussions at the conference will focus on "the history, philosophy, economics, politics and current strategy of revolutionary environmental activism." There will be a roundtable panel to discuss "the ethics of sabotage" and "Is environmentalism a spirituality?"

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