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'Eco-Anarchists' Targeting Nuclear and Nanotech Workers 426

scibri writes, quoting Nature: "A loose coalition of eco-anarchist groups is increasingly launching violent attacks on scientists. A group calling itself the Olga Cell of the Informal Anarchist Federation International Revolutionary Front has claimed responsibility for the non-fatal shooting of a nuclear-engineering executive on 7 May in Genoa. The same group sent a letter bomb to a Swiss pro-nuclear lobby group in 2011; attempted to bomb IBM's nanotechnology laboratory in Switzerland in 2010; and has ties with a group responsible for at least four bomb attacks on nanotechnology facilities in Mexico. Another branch of the group attacked railway signals in Bristol, UK, last week in an attempt to disrupt employees of nearby defense technology firms (no word on whether anyone noticed the difference between an anarchist attack and a normal Wednesday on the UK's railways). A report by Swiss intelligence says such loosely affiliated groups are increasingly working together."
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'Eco-Anarchists' Targeting Nuclear and Nanotech Workers

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  • strategy of tension (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 28, 2012 @07:07PM (#40137897)

    At this point I wouldn't be that sure that they are actually anarchists, Italian state has a long and well established history of blowing up their own citizens and blaming the anarchists (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategy_of_tension#Piazza_Fontana_bombing). Anarchist generally dropped 'individual terror' somewhere in the early 20th century as it failed to bring any actual change or a revolution, so even anarchist or anarchist terrorist groups do everything to ensure there will be no casualties of their attacks. Greek groups like CCF, US and UK's ALF and ELF never killed or aimed to harm anybody AFAIK.

    Italy on the other hand has this terrorist group always popping up around serious political issues, called nearly the same as the Anarchist Federation of Italy (IAF)... While most anarchist groups would do everything they can to distinguish themselves from other groups (think "Life of Brian"). Just saying.

  • by rbrander ( 73222 ) on Monday May 28, 2012 @07:12PM (#40137919) Homepage

    The author of "The Paranoid Style of American Politics" spends a few pages at the start of the essay stressing that he just means paranoid Style, not clinical paranoia, and that it is hardly limited to America, but has cropped up all over the world.

    Well, it sure seems to be alive and well in Switzerland and Mexico, to name two places that have suffered these attacks. The rhetoric in the Mexican note, about nanotech, from the "ITS" ("Individuals Tending to Savagery", at least they're honest) rings with your standard conspiracy-theory stuff about it ending the world. The anti-nuclear rhetoric in the other is similar towards nuclear armageddon, with the deaths from the "European Fukushima" just around the corner. (Amazing how France has avoided them for 40 years of 77% nuke power generation).

    From the original "paranoid style" essay:

    "The paranoid spokesman, sees the fate of conspiracy in apocalyptic terms — he traffics in the birth and death of whole worlds, whole political orders, whole systems of human values. He is always manning the barricades of civilization . . . he does not see social conflict as something to be mediated and compromised, in the manner of the working politician. Since what is at stake is always a conflict between absolute good and absolute evil, what is necessary is not compromise but the will to fight things out to a finish." ...that pretty neatly explains how they can go around blowing up engineers and professors. Since the "paranoid style" essay has become popular again lately because it also jogs memories of some Tea Party fears about Obama taking away all guns or rounding up Christians into camps or whatever, it's worth noting that this is where that kind of thinking eventually takes you if pursued to a logical conclusion. The author also stresses that the "paranoid style" is not a left or right thing, but found on both sides.

  • by ultranova ( 717540 ) on Monday May 28, 2012 @07:51PM (#40138113)

    What I want to know is how people deal with the cognitive dissonance of their (presumed) conviction that they're doing good, in the context of the methods that they're employing?

    Some of the correspondence of the Nazis has been published, and some of it touches on this. If memory serves, it went something like "doing the right thing is hard, murdering people is hard, therefore murdering people must be the right thing to do." Yes, seriously.

    Isn't there ever a moment of "Holy shit, my quest to make the world a better, more natural place is now manifest in me doing things like shooting nuns and throwing acid in infants' faces. I think I'd better go back to my hometown and spend a few weeks crying hysterically in the shower."

    Admitting that you have a problem takes guts. It's hard enough when the worst you've done is puke into a gutter; imagine what it would take to admit that throwing acid on someone's face was actually a horrible thing, not a courageous act of religious or ideological commitment. Add the fact that hatred and violence are addictive, and it should hardly be surprising that people who've given in to them avoid admitting this to the last - and if they do admit it, they make up some bullshit story about being unable to change, as opposed to simply unwilling, thus turning themselves into the real victims, at least in their own minds. Which then justifies further degenerate acts in the name of vengeance.

    Wouldn't you rather enjoy the high of self-rightenousness and adrenaline than face the hangover?

  • Eco-anarchists have been terrorists for decades. Spiking trees, ever seen what a chainsaw chain can do when it hits one? People can be and have been killed by them.

    FUNNY STORY TIME! Well no not so funny story time, okay so back in the early 2000's I was working at a lumber mill here in Canada. We got in a shipment of raw-cut(stuff that hadn't been debarked) from a tree farm, this stuff was being cut for a cabin for a customer who was going to debark, trim and chamfer his own logs. Just wanted rough-cut to save him some time. So we loaded the logs up in the machine to do the cuts and hit nails about 15% in. Shattering the blades(we used a double cut system), one blade segment went right through the control booth. The other blade shattered and parts hit another guy(the cullboy under the machine -- cullboys are the grunts who take the segments off that aren't used but are cut into smaller stock) who nearly bled to death while we were waiting for EMS to show up. Yeah fuck em.

    Let's not forget, burning down homes? "Animal liberation" groups, for you know things like diabetic and cancer research. And of course we can always go on.

  • by couchslug ( 175151 ) on Monday May 28, 2012 @08:12PM (#40138245)

    The Anarchist movement has a LONG (WELL over a century) history of terrorism, so no empathy here.

  • by lazarith ( 2649605 ) on Monday May 28, 2012 @10:02PM (#40138749)
    The genetic risks that you mention that are associated with incest are not as high as society would have you think. This link [idebate.org] mentions that if we should pass laws governing sex based on genetic risk, then we should disallow sexual intercourse between the elderly, between those with common traits for genetic diseases, as well as between genetically similar groups (for example, between Ashkenazi Jews or Safardic Jews). And why not make genetic screening before having children mandatory while we're at it?

    I believe that incest, homosexuality, and polygamy all suffer a stigma brought on by the bible and that the laws were written because of this stigma, and not for any rational reason. Yes, it would be better for society as a whole if certain people didn't have children, but do we really want the government to tell us who those people are?

    Even if one were to say that we want the government to control who can have children and who can not, I would like to point out that in today's day and age, sexual intercourse does not have to have a significant chance of impregnation and therefore should not be outlawed under any consensual circumstance.
  • Scientists? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by br00tus ( 528477 ) on Monday May 28, 2012 @10:12PM (#40138783)

    The blurb starts with "A loose coalition of eco-anarchist groups is increasingly launching violent attacks on scientists." But then one of the links is to Raytheon. By and large Raytheon does not have scientists working for it studying black holes and the like. It has engineers, and those engineers are designing missiles, to be used in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, and so forth. I see mention that eco-anarchists are launching violent attacks when they shut down train tracks, not much mention that engineers at Raytheon are involved in violent attacks all over the world.

    Also the "nuclear engineering" executive mentioned in the blurb was working at Finmeccanica, another merchant in the death trade. He's an executive at another company in the death trade. Not a scientist, not even an engineer. Yet Nature headlines the article "Anarchists attack science".

    There has been bombing, executions and sabotages against Iran's nuclear program. A nuclear power program which at one time the US establishment whole-heartedly endorsed [wikipedia.org]. Why the hue and cry about an attack on a nuclear executive in Italy, which is an "attack on science", but not a word about this. Isn't shooting nuclear scientists in Iran an "attack on science"? Where are the articles on Slashdot, Nature and so forth bemoaning this?

    It's just simple propaganda. An executive making money on explosives killing people is himself attacked. So the lie must come into play, it is an attack on science. Disrupting Raytheon's blood profits by shutting down railroads for a day are a violent attack on scientists.

    From a moral standpoint, I have no problem with what these bombers and gunmen are doing. At best it would be justified, at worst it is simply eye-for-an-eye, tit-for-tat - one band of killers attacking another band of killers. I feel more secure that people are out there attacking Raytheon, Finmeccanica etc. executives than not. So mark that down, NSA listeners who are now monitoring domestically [wikipedia.org] due to the Patriot Act.

    While I feel it's certainly morally justified, or at least equivalent, from a tactical and strategic standpoint I don't see this as a necessary thing for the average American to do. There's plenty of legitimate and legal work that can be done - organization, education and the like, which is ultimately more effective. Even at Reagan's height HE [wikipedia.org] was the one who had to go underground to fund Contras, not the domestic opposition to him. With elections, the first amendment, right to assemble and so forth still intact, I can't see much tactical or strategic reason for an American to do this sort of thing in the US. In Italy, with its history ( P2 [wikipedia.org], Gladio [wikipedia.org], elections fixed by foreign powers [wikipedia.org]) it may make more sense, I don't know the situation on the ground there as well. The people who lit bombs in the 1960s like Bill Ayers, Diana Oughton etc. were generally children of the wealthy, working class activists like the Black Panthers and other organizations were not at that level of militancy, they felt free breakfast programs and organization and education was the important thing.

  • by ShieldW0lf ( 601553 ) on Monday May 28, 2012 @10:16PM (#40138817) Journal

    When the anarchists took over in Europe, they continued to work the factories and maintain public services. They just administered their affairs through elections instead of property. It proved more efficient than its predecessors, but then the fascists kicked their ass because they didn't have the capacity to flow into a vertical heirarchy and gain the might that structure grants, then flow back into a flattened power structure once the threat was gone.

    I spend a lot of time thinking about that flow, and how tyranny and destruction follow when it's interrupted, and how we might design political-economic structures to accomodate it better....

  • by ShieldW0lf ( 601553 ) on Monday May 28, 2012 @10:26PM (#40138861) Journal

    Real anarchism at its core is about the recognition of the basic rights, ie the right to self ownership of one's own body, and the descendent right to property. All other rights spring from those two rights.

    These so called "anarchists" recognize no rights, and as such have debased themselves to the level of wild animals. I can't put into words the depth of my contempt for such "people".

    I would suggest you read "The Conquest of Bread" for a different perspective on what anarchy means. It's available on Project Gutenberg for free

    http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/23428 [gutenberg.org]

  • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 ) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @12:04AM (#40139265)

    Your link is kind of suspect - the big headline at the top of the page isn't supported by any of the quotes.

    Having kids with a close relative DOES increase that child's risk of genetic diseases. As for mere sex with a relative, laws against that vary quite a bit, from not illegal at all to punishable by life in prison. Yes, some places are more backward in that regard than others. I'm not sure you can blame the bible for it though - there's plenty of incest in the bible.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @12:18AM (#40139323)

    What are the ethics of tree spiking and then telling everyone that you've done it? I'd say that takes it from the ethical category of "someone could get hurt" down to "property damage".

  • by Chas ( 5144 ) on Tuesday May 29, 2012 @01:16AM (#40139501) Homepage Journal

    Sorry, that may be what you, as an idealist, think of it.

    But destroying "the state" isn't necessarily a desirable thing.

    Anarchy is not a form of government, nor is it a self-perpetuating.

    It's merely an interim state until a large enough coalition forms to impose their will on others and forms a new state.

    Usually the entire process of teardown, chaos, and reformation involves lots and lots of people suffering and dying while people try to "get it right".

    So please, take your bullshit rhetoric elsewhere.

The optimum committee has no members. -- Norman Augustine