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E-M:/ Massasauga Earth First! statement about the attempted ELF action at Ice Mountain

Enviro-Mich message from Massasauga EF <massasaugaef@yahoo.com>

Earth First! Applauds the Earth Liberation Front’s
Attempt to Damage Ice Mountain’s Pumping Station

Early last week, the media reported that there had
been an attempt to destroy or damage the Ice Mountain
pumping station in Mecosta County, MI. Later in the
week, the ELF took credit for the attempt. They cited
reasons of Ice Mountain’s continued theft of water
from Michigan. Massasauga Earth First! would like to
commend the member(s) of the ELF who made this

Massasauga Earth First!’s position is that there is no
acceptable option but to shut down the Ice Mountain
plant.  Water is too sacred to allow greedy profiteers
to turn it into a commodity.  If we lose this battle,
then we have lost control of the most basic necessity
of life. Massasauga Earth First! is dedicated to
endorsing and promoting all public and non-violent 
actions to shut down the plant and educate the public
about the consequences of water privatization. Earth
First! also realizes that corporations rarely if ever
give up their ill-gotten profits easily. That is why
we recognize the need for an underground resistance
that will take action to destroy the profit motive for
environmental devastation, actions that we cannot take
as above- ground activists.  

Brendan O’Rourke shed  crocodile tears in the media
last week when he “emotionally” spoke of the workers
“way of life” being jeopardized by the ELF’s actions
and intentions. Seeing how Ice Mountain has only been
operating for a year and a half, and is the first
large scale water bottling plant in Michigan, it is
hard to see how anyone’s job at the plant is a “way of
life.”  Furthermore, O’Rourke is not crying about the
Ice Mountain employees who are losing their ‘way of
life’ in Pennsylvania due to the corporation's
overreaching exploitation that shut down their
operations there. His attempt to make those opposed to
the water bottling plant feel guilty for their beliefs
is transparent and despicable. No one should feel that
it is inappropriate to protect water for themselves,
their communities, and for the Earth. Our right to
water supercedes any corporations right to seize the
water and hold it for ransom.

We would also like to address the issue of calling the
ELF “terrorists”. The word “terrorist” is a
politically charged word. It invokes all kinds of
fears, stereotypes and horrible pictures in one’s
mind. Those in power often us it to discredit
opposition movements. Predictably, Ice Mountain has
used the word extensively when talking about the ELF.
But the truth is that terrorism has a specific and
accepted definition. Terrorists inflict intentional
violence upon random people and other creatures,
creating fear and general anxiety. The ELF is not a
terrorist organization nor is it a violent
organization. They have never hurt, killed or nearly
missed hurting or killing anyone in any of their
actions in this country from 1997 to the present.
According to their published guidelines, they take all
necessary precautions to avoid harming any life, human
or non-human. Violence can only be done to living
beings, not property. The correct term to describe
their actions is “ecotage”. Ecotage is an act against
property to diminish the profit of a company or a
practice that threatens the environment. It is a
strategy used as a response to an extreme case of
environmental exploitation. Every day that the Ice
Mountain facility pumps 400 gallons per minute out of
a negligibly rechargeable aquifer, irrevocable damage
is done to the local ecosystem. Every day that Ice
Mountain is allowed to operate, the damaging precedent
is set that a corporation has more legal rights than
the members of the community it preys on. Look at Ice
Mountain and Nestle's record in other communities and
judge for yourself who plays the role of “terrorist”;
who causes real damage to real people and the
environment for profit.

We call on all other environmental organizations to
stop using the word “terrorist” when describing the
ELF. Using the corporations’ opportunistic semantics
does nothing to further the cause of the environment
and only serves to fragment our movement publicly.
When industry’s consultants and lawyers demand a
condemnation of the “terrorist” actions against them,
it is part of their plan to divide and weaken any
movement that struggles against them and their
Massasauga Earth First! encourages all environmental
groups or individuals to, at the very least, neither
condemn nor condone nonviolent actions that happen in
defense of the Earth outside the sphere of their
personal or group’s stated boundaries. A multifaceted
approach, using many strategies and tactics is bound
to be more successful in our common cause than a
movement divided. 

Water for Life, Not for Profit!

Disclaimer: Massasauga Earth First! had no prior
knowledge of, nor did they participate in the action
at the pump house. All information about the action
was garnered from the news media and from the ELF
communiqué, as released by the ELF press office. 

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