B1 Intermediate US 15200 Folder Collection
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It was less than a year after September 11,
and I was at the Chicago Tribune
writing about shootings and murders,
and it was leaving me feeling
pretty dark and depressed.
I had done some activism in college,
so I decided to help a local group
hang door knockers against animal testing.
I thought it would be a safe way
to do something positive,
but of course I have the absolute worst luck ever,
and we were all arrested.
Police took this blurry photo of me
holding leaflets as evidence.
My charges were dismissed,
but a few weeks later,
two FBI agents knocked on my door,
and they told me that unless I helped them
by spying on protest groups,
they would put me on a domestic terrorist list.
I'd love to tell you that I didn't flinch,
but I was terrified,
and when my fear subsided,
I became obsessed with finding out
how this happened,
how animal rights and environmental activists
who have never injured anyone
could become the FBI's number one
domestic terrorism threat.
A few years later, I was invited to testify
before Congress about my reporting,
and I told lawmakers that, while everybody
is talking about going green,
some people are risking their lives
to defend forests and to stop oil pipelines.
They're physically putting their bodies on the line
between the whalers' harpoons and the whales.
These are everyday people,
like these protesters in Italy
who spontaneously climbed over
barbed wire fences to rescue beagles
from animal testing.
And these movements have been incredibly effective
and popular.
So in 1985, their opponents made up a new word,
to shift how we view them.
They just made it up.
Now these companies have backed new laws
like the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act,
which turns activism into terrorism
if it causes a loss of profits.
Now most people never even heard about this law,
including members of Congress.
Less than one percent were in the room
when it passed the House.
The rest were outside at a new memorial.
They were praising Dr. King
as his style of activism was branded as terrorism
if done in the name of animals or the environment.
Supporters say laws like this are needed
for the extremists:
the vandals, the arsonists, the radicals.
But right now, companies like TransCanada
are briefing police in presentations like this one
about how to prosecute nonviolent protesters
as terrorists.
The FBI's training documents on eco-terrorism
are not about violence,
they're about public relations.
Today, in multiple countries,
corporations are pushing new laws
that make it illegal to photograph
animal cruelty on their farms.
The latest was in Idaho just two weeks ago,
and today we released a lawsuit
challenging it as unconstitutional
as a threat to journalism.
The first of these ag-gag prosecutions,
as they're called,
was a young woman named Amy Meyer,
and Amy saw a sick cow being moved
by a bulldozer outside of a slaughterhouse
as she was on the public street.
And Amy did what any of us would:
She filmed it.
When I found out about her story, I wrote about it,
and within 24 hours, it created such an uproar
that the prosecutors just dropped all the charges.
But apparently, even exposing stuff like that
is a threat.
Through the Freedom of Information Act,
I learned that the counter-terrorism unit
has been monitoring my articles
and speeches like this one.
They even included this nice little write-up of my book.
They described it as "compelling and well-written."
Blurb on the next book, right?
The point of all of this is to make us afraid,
but as a journalist, I have an unwavering faith
in the power of education.
Our best weapon is sunlight.
Dostoevsky wrote that the whole work of man
is to prove he's a man and not a piano key.
Over and over throughout history,
people in power have used fear
to silence the truth and to silence dissent.
It's time we strike a new note.
Thank you.
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【TED】Will Potter: The shocking move to criminalize nonviolent protest (Will Potter: The shocking move to criminalize nonviolent protest)

15200 Folder Collection
CUChou published on October 20, 2015
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