|Chapter title||Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid of … the Environmental Activist? Ideological War, Coercive Justice, and Orwellian Dystopia|
|Authors||Sauvant, A., Fitzgibbon, W. and Nurse, A.|
|Editors||Potter, G.R., Nurse, A. and Hall, M.|
Referring to the Red Scare, the fear of communism creeping into Western democracies (Skoll and Korstanje 2013), the term ‘Green Scare’ has been coined to describe the perceived threat posed by environmental activists (Potter 2009). A range of repressive legislation has been passed against various environmental activists with the term eco-terrorist appearing in the public lexicon in 1983 and some states going as far as to employ anti-terrorist legislation against environmental activists (Elefsen 2012). This chapter explores whether the political ‘violence’ used by radical environmental activists can legitimately be defined as terrorism, or whether this term is inappropriately used to widen the net of social control (Cohen 1985), protecting the interests of neoliberal markets against environmental activism. Arguably, the term ‘terrorism’ loses its true meaning if used by the state and policing agencies as an umbrella term for everyone pursuing political dissent. Accordingly, the vilification of environmental activists warrants further attention. This chapter underlines that through propaganda and smear campaigns in the USA, corporations and their partners nurture the War on Terror to instil fear about this new ‘bogeyman’—the environmental activist. Their goal is to silence opposition and intimidate potential critics to protect economic interests and preserve the functioning of neoliberal markets irrespective of their associated environmental harms (Lynch and Stretsky 2014). We can indeed witness the complicity of law enforcement agencies through their ubiquitous use of surveillance which erodes civil liberties. One may wonder if this is a new era of repressive social control.
|Book title||The Geography of Environmental Crime: Conservation, Wildlife Crime and Environmental Activism|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-53843-7_4|
|Web address (URL)||http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-53843-7_4|
|Journal||The Geography of Environmental Crime|