Letters to Slingshot

Dear Slingshot:

Hello, I am an incarcerated reader who really enjoys your paper. I would like to comment on the Green Scare. There was an in-depth article about this in an old issue of Rolling Stone I recently read. It explained that the entire bust went down due to one snitch. It makes me sad and angry that the government can charge these people as terrorists when no one is hurt. What about the real terrorists — the multinational corporations that poison us and our planet? I’m not condoning the acts of arson that were committed, but motive should also be considered and the motives of the ELF were good and just. I think the long sentences that our friends are facing should instead be given to the crooked lobbyists and politicians that are making our planet uninhabitable.

Also I am in prison for the rest of my life because my best friend lied and snitched on me so I empathize with the true victims of Operation Backfire — The Defendants. If anyone else would like to write me I would appreciate it. — Thanks — Tom Doyle Jr. #1137378, Neal Unit, 9055 Spur 591, Amarillo TX 79107

Dear Slingshot:

For over the last year there has been a tree-sit on the UC Berkeley college campus. The school plans to expand their football stadium and wants to kill a grove of oak trees in the process. A number of students are trying to save the oak trees.

We here at Concord Revolutionary Anarchist People are all for trees and most definitely prefer trees to the construction of more buildings. However, this tree-sit is such a silly “Berkeley” thing. A tree-sit to protect 38 trees? Come on, aren’t there bigger problems in the world and better ways of spending a year’s worth of energy? This is exactly why we dislike college towns. No sense of reality or contact with the outside world. When acres of forest are cut down every day, when tract homes and other types of development are taking over open space and wilderness through the country, when species of plants and animals are going extinct all the time, these people focus this much energy on 38 trees growing in an urban environment?

How much more could be accomplished if these people spent over a year of their life dedicated to something a little bigger? Look, in 1986 Iceland was planning on ignoring the International Whaling Commission moratorium on commercial whaling. That same year two activists spent maybe half a year raising funds and planning to take a one-night action. In this single night they were able to sink half the Icelandic whaling fleet and destroy the whale meat processing plant in Reykjavik — an action that Iceland’s whaling industry is still attempting to recover from.

Tree-sits around the world have led to whole forests being saved from destruction.

38 trees in an urban environment hardly compares. While we do hope that this tree-sit, as with all tree-sits, succeeds, we believe the time and energy could be much better spent in other areas of the world. If the choice, however, would be between this tree-sit and no action at all, we most definitely prefer for the tree-sit to take place.

That all being said, we would also like to point to a future area of probable struggle in the Bay Area. In Concord, California, the Navy base is being handed over to the city government, and they must decide what to do with over 5,000 acres of land. Currently the city is deciding how much of this land should be saved as open space, how much should be used as parks and how much should be used to develop commercial and residential zones. This project has the potential to create 5,000 acres of open space, where there are more than 38 oak trees.

However, things are not looking good. A quick run down on Concord city government recent activities: Recently, a member of the city council, Michael Chavez, died of a heart attack. While we cheer the death of every politician, relatively speaking, he wasn’t too bad. He actually ran on a very pro-open space agenda, and was the deciding vote on not allowing Wal-Mart to build a super center in Concord. Now, due to his death, a replacement has been appointed by the rest of the council; Guy Bjerke a right wing, pro-development jerk (who was very pro-Wal-Mart). Not only this, but members of the city council forced out the old City Manager and replaced her with one of their good buddies, who doesn’t even live in Concord anymore! Now take a look at how much he is going to get paid: $200.00 an hour for 6 months of work. Also, because he no longer lives in Concord, he will also get living expenses, at a rate of $3,600 a month. He will also only work 4 days a week and have a flexible schedule. And to top things off, the city will also be paying for his gasoline bill to and from Penn Valley, where his actual house is, and any other expenses he collects along the way.

Basically, the city government is now made up mostly of super pro-development jerks and their personal friends, and it’s getting worse. Clearly these people only care about money, and the best way to make money is to create more development. These are the people who will be deciding how much of the Navy land should be open space! So the question is, will we see a level of resistance and dedication to protect these 5,000 acres of land from development equal to that of the Berkeley tree-sit? Will the Berkeley tree-sitters and their supporters be willing to step outside of their liberal bubble and attempt the same thing in a town like Concord? Only time will tell, but we know we are starting to plan resistance today.


We received this annonymously — if anyone knows how to contact “CRAP,” please let us know in case folks want to plug into the Concord scene.