Dear Alibi ,
Your covers are usually literary art gone wild, and the Laura Bifano cover painting [Sept. 29-Oct. 5] of the balloon-
[Re: Council Watch, “Give-and-Take,” Sept. 22-28] Give me a break! Of course Darren White “interfered” on the scene of his wife’s accident. Just his presence there had to have changed the cops’ behavior, but you’ll never get them to admit to it. Think about how you would act if the CEO of the company you work for showed up on your job to look over your shoulder. Of course it would influence how you acted. And how many other husbands would be able to show up at a possible DWI and pull their wife out of there without getting busted himself? Maybe the folks Downtown are rationalizing their so-called “investigations,” but what they are really doing is taking a dive. No wonder Darren White has such an attitude. He probably thinks he can get away with breaking the law. And that is just what Albuquerque officialdom is letting him do. Not everyone is being fooled. And APD has a credibility problem? Give me a break!
I stayed up late the other night to watch If a Tree Falls, a documentary about the Earth Liberation Front (ELF). Setting a ski lodge on fire in Vail, Colo., is definitely an act of violence (if only against property), but I would call this arson, not terrorism.
What is “eco-terrorism”? British Petroleum’s disaster in the Gulf of Mexico isn’t terrorism against marine life and those living along the Gulf Coast? Mountaintop removal in Kentucky and West Virginia isn’t terrorism against the oldest mountain range in the world and its poverty-stricken inhabitants? Clear-cutting entire old-growth forests in the Pacific Northwest is not committing an egregious act of terror every time a 700-year-old tree is felled to the forest floor? What, in truth, do we call “terrorism”? It’s been said that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. How can a genuine attempt by ELF to protect the Earth—with not a single life lost, mind you—be construed as “terrorism”? Would we call the Boston Tea Party an act of terrorism? (The British certainly would have.) When you’ve exhausted every tenet of Gandhi’s nonviolent, noncooperative resistance to the practices of corrupt institutions, and still the fat-cat corporations of the world in their power and their greed cannot be dissuaded to change their practices—no matter the cost to human and animal life and the planet herself—it is understandable that the idealistic, restless and frustrated youth of our time would take matters into their own hands out of desperation.
I’m not saying it’s right or defensible to set buildings on fire, even out of a well-intended sense of moral outrage. I’m only saying it’s understandable, given the outright failure of the government to listen to the will of the people. Are we telling our children that they should simply lie down, play dead and cave to the bullying tactics of those who abuse their authority? Is this what Thomas Paine and Patrick Henry would have wanted? Like it or not, the scales of justice will always attempt to right themselves.