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The New Anti-Protest Law You Need to Know About

With zero luck in capturing real terrorists, the alphabet soup of entities allegedly charged with making America safe have begun to stretch their definition of terrorism in a way that belies belief.

The DHS, NSA, FBI and TSA have a shortage of terrorists to defend against and can’t seem to find enough terrorists worldwide to justify their increasingly, needless surveillance programs.

The multi-purpose “War Against Terror” tool was recently used again against XL Pipeline protesters in Oklahoma City, USA.

Activists at Devon Tower in downtown Oklahoma City were recently hit with a new law enforcement tool that doesn’t include tear gas, beanbag launchers or netting.

The weapon of choice for law enforcement was a new — and novel— use of “terrorist hoax”.

The groups, Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance (GPTSR) and Cross Timbers Earth First staged an action Friday morning at Devon Tower in Oklahoma City.  In an attempt to temporarily disrupt business-as-usual for the gas and oil industry pushing the XL Pipeline, the group claims that the industry is spreading its reach and gathering huge profits while placing the costs on the poor and public sectors.

Eleven people were arrested in the protest, four have been charged with disorderly conduct, trespassing and two charged with [releasing] biological substances.

Banner Drop

Banner Dropped at Action. Photo Courtesy : Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance

Banner Dropped at Action. Photo Courtesy : Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance

Ten people went to the tower’s second floor and unfurled a banner.  According to police, when the banner was dropped, a black powdery substance flew out and was later determined by law enforcement to be black glitter.

In a show-of-force, Oklahoma City Police, the Oklahoma City Fire Department and HAZMAT descended on  the scene on Sheridan Road in downtown Oklahoma City.

Two people, Stefan Warner and Moriah Stephenson, members of the Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance, were among the protesters and were the two that hung two banners from the second floor of the Devon Tower’s atrium.

Oklahoma City police spokesman, Captain Dexter Nelson, told Mother Jones that Devon Tower security officers were worried that the “unknown substance” falling from the banners might be toxic.  When Mother Jones pressed for an explanation, Nelson blamed it on the “…covert way [the protesters] presented themselves.  A lot were dressed as somewhat transient-looking individuals [and] some were wearing all black,” he said.

The two have been charged with “terrorism hoax”, a charge that has never been seen — or used — before in America.

Doug Parr, an attorney for the activists arrested, said, “I’ve represented any number of political activists in Oklahoma for 35 years,” he says. “This is the first time I am aware of that anyone has been arrested on terrorism-related charges for protest activity.” Parr adds, “In my humble opinion, this is not at all an appropriate use of this statute.”

Devon Energy

Devon Energy Corporation is the largest US based independent natural gas and oil producer, with operations focusing on North American onshore exploration and production.  Ranked among Fortune 500s largest corporations in America, Devon Energy is also listed in the publications 100 Best Companies to work for.

Founded in 1971 by John Nichols and his son, Larry, Devon Energy has grown through mergers and acquisitions.  Devon Energy’s acquisition of GeoSouthern Energy Corporation is expected to wrap up in December 2013 at a planned investment of $6 billion.

Not only as Devon Energy been busy in growing through acquisitions, they’ve also been busy in trying to curry favor with the public.  Their website proudly claims that they are a member of the EPA’s ‘Natural Gas STAR Program’ as well as being a forerunner of mobile recycling technology to reclaim wastewater produced from well gas completions.  Devon contributes financially to law enforcement agencies, fire departments, youth programs and civic organizations their the corporate community outreach program.

Despite all of the community good-well and corporate gestures, Devon Energy has not been a good corporate citizen.

In 2004, the company was targeted by an activist shareholder resolution that sought to require the company to monitor its effect on climate change.  The resolution, which suffered an 11th hour defeat, would have required the Board of Directors to report to the shareholders plans on dealing with it’s activities that impact climate change.

In the Alice in Wonderland world that America’s law enforcement lives in, anyone that the government – or its agents — want to declare a terrorist is arrested.  The ones who actually care for the environment have become terrorists and the ones responsible for global devastation are hailed as progressives and heroes.

Ned Ryan Doyle, a long time clean energy and environmental advocate, as well as Project Coordinator for Our Southern Community in North Carolina, says,

“There is environmental terrorism and those who commit such acts should be arrested. Environmental terrorism is not those protesting, but those corporations that are ‘fracking’ for natural gas that contaminates the water, ground and air; the Deep Water Horizon spill, and many others, are acts of environmental terrorism not only with the immediate environmental damage of the spills, but climate change; Fukushima and nuclear power is another act of environmental terrorism. The environmental terrorism we face today is committed by the corporations, not by the people opposed to the environmental terrorism. ”


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