Interview With Activist David McGowanLast week Daniel McGowan was sentenced to seven years in prison for his role in two acts of arson in Oregon in 2001. He is interviewed by Democracy Now!
Last week McGowan was sentenced to seven years in prison for his role in two acts of arson in Oregon in 2001. The judge ruled that one of the fires was an act of terrorism. He was sentenced along with nine other environmental activists – the government compared the activists to the Ku Klux Klan. We also speak with Lauren Regan of Civil Liberties Defense Center. Last week, a federal court sentenced environmental activist Daniel McGowan to seven years in prison for his role in two acts of arson in Oregon in 2001. The judge ruled that one of the fires was an act of terrorism. McGowan was one of six environmental activists arrested in December 2005 in coordinated multi-state raids dubbed “Operation backfire.”
A month later, they were indicted together with five others by a grand jury on charges of property destruction, arson, and conspiracy relating to actions going back nearly a decade which were attributed to the underground Earth Liberation Front. No one was hurt in any of the actions.
The eleven activists were threatened with life sentences if they refused to cooperate with the government and serve as informants. After months of negotiation, in November of last year, McGowan and three others pled guilty to some of the charges on the condition that they would remain non-cooperative with the state. As a result, the government has sought a “terrorism enhancement” for their sentences. The National Lawyers Guild called the terrorism sentencing enhancement issued to Daniel McGowan an unnecessary and excessive government tactic to discourage the exercise of free speech.
I am joined now in our New York Studio by Daniel McGowan, sentenced to seven years in prison last week. He begins his term on July 2 and this is his first broadcast interview since the sentencing.
* Daniel McGowan, Environmental and social justice activist from New York. More info on his case is at SupportDaniel.org
* Lauren Regan, Executive Director of the Eugene-based Civil Liberties Defense Center, which provides legal protection to environmental and social justice activists from corporate and governmental attacks on civil liberties.
Original article from: http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/06/11/142258 Forward this news message: