March 10, 2012
By Juliet Eilperin
Ben Kessler, a student at the University of North Texas and an environmental activist, was more than a little surprised that an FBI agent questioned his philosophy professor and acquaintances about his whereabouts and his sign-waving activities aimed at influencing local gas drilling rules.
“It was scary,” said Kessler, who is a national organizer for the nonviolent environmental group Rising Tide North America. He said the agent approached him this past fall and said that the FBI had received an anonymous complaint and were looking into his opposition to hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking.” The bureau respected free speech, the agent told him, but was “worried about things being taken to an extreme level.”
Even as environmental and animal rights extremism in the United States is on the wane, officials at the federal, state and local level are continuing to target groups they have labeled a threat to national security, according to interviews with numerous activists, internal FBI documents and a survey of legislative initiatives across the country.
The real eco-terrorists are those who rape the land and leave it for dead, pollute our children's air, contaminate our waters while conducting what appears to be eminent domain on our Constitutional Rights as citizens of America. Our country, we call America, is more foreign in nature than we actually realize.
What are our American rights to protect that which allows us to survive? If the state government(s) fail to prevent adverse environmental and human health impacts from drilling operations, then who's to hold them accountable? We are. All of us, who voted them in, that's who. WE THE PEOPLE.
The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights. The amendment prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. (source: wikipedia)