My favorite “green anarchist” site (i.e., the only one worth reading at all) is greenisthenewred.com (though boy, I really don’t like that name).  Will Potter over there has an interesting post up right now, concerning some activists who’ve been working against the proposed I-69 NAFTA super highway (to connect Mexico to Canada through the Midwestern U.S.).  Mr Potter notes that, not only were two activists arrested under racketeering charges (a set of laws intended to reign-in mobsters) (and, who’s kidding who, few “green anarchists” are anywhere near as organized as the mob) but in requesting the oddly high $20,000 bond against people charged with “conspiring” to commit non-violent direct action protests (yes, they didn’t do anything, they just thought and talked about engaging in civil disobedience) the government’s motion for the bond includes this non-logic:

The defendant has been observed advocating literature and materials which advocate anarchy…

I’ll let that sit-in for you.  Regardless of crimes that may or may not have been committed- remember, our supposed justice system works on the assumption that one is innocent until proven otherwise, no matter the allegations against- the process of setting one’s bail amount is a matter of how much of a danger to the community or a flight risk the accused are thought to be.  And in this instance, the government is saying that their bail should be set unusually high (for charges of this nature) because the accused had been observed advocating literature– suggesting that people read!  It is not, in any way, shape, form, or stretch of the imagination, the government’s role (not in a supposed democracy at least) to concern itself at all with what political views people hold or ideas they read about.

Don’t get side-tracked by the specter of things like “they were conspiring to break the law (tree sits); their literature was advocating property destruction (vandalism)…”  I’ll let you in on a secret here folks: my bookshelf is chalk-full of books “which advocate anarchy” and they were all bought legally, on the open market.  In fact, thousands of people across this country could be charged right this moment (if this non-logic is legitimate for arguing that their bail should be higher I can only assume the insinuation is that this is an actual crime, since we wouldn’t say to set their bail higher because they drank decaf this morning) with possessing or advocating literature and materials which advocate “anarchy”.  For that matter, there are a number of publishing company’s which may have to go down on this charge (the anarchist run AK Press, for example) not to mention the makers and the distributors of several films (V for Vendetta for one).

But before I get too lost in the political freedom angle of this story, I want to bring it back to and stay clear about the really big issue here: advocating literature– suggesting people read- is not and can never be a crime or even a point used for character assassination.

You know what folks: call me a rebel, call me a criminal, but here’s what I’m gonna say: go read something.  Hell, go read Chomsky on Anarchism, or Bakunin: A Biography by Leier, or something by Kropotkin or Proudhon or Emma Goldman or Murry Bookchin.  Go read whatever you want, whatever you can, in fact, about a variety of different political, social, and economic ideas.  It’s not illegal (yet), nor is me suggesting that you do so.

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