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'Overt Bastardization of the Truth': Valve Turner Listed as 'Extremist' by U.S. Government Faces Upcoming Trial
The valve turners recently listed by Homeland Security as "extremists" believe their action of shutting down 15 percent of the daily U.S. oil supply on Oct. 11, 2016 was their only option of fighting the climate crisis.
Five members of Climate Direct Action are seen before a coordinated effort to turn off valves on a pipeline in four states. Climate Direct Action<p>In mid January, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security listed these valve turners as "suspected environmental rights extremists" and "domestic terrorists." What does this listing mean for climate activists? </p><p>Regan is not surprised by this "rhetorical" listing.</p><p>"The far right and the fossil fuel industry are spending about $30 billion in a media campaign, basically a smear campaign. It's one of the last-ditch efforts to try and persuade Americans that their gross profits are worth more than <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/clean-water" target="_self">clean water </a>and a healthy planet," Regan says. "As they're gasping for their last profiteering breaths, they are pulling out all of the dirty tricks that those types of profiteering industries have used historically."</p><p>Such listings seem to have no relevance for climate activists, as those who engage in direct action are aware of risks such as being arrested and potentially facing serious consequences.</p><p>Regan points to "the overt bastardization of the truth or manipulation of reality by those industries." It's an attempt to "frame nonviolent civil disobedience as the same type of action as Nazis who murdered humans or anti-choice zealots that murder abortion doctors. I think normal humans with thinking brains see the incredible difference between those scenarios. It really exposes the desperation of the industry in my opinion."<span></span></p><p>Ward mentions the "immense privilege" he has to engage in direct action here in the U.S. "Most people doing this around the world are getting killed or going to prison for long periods of time," he says. "The costs are so low compared to that."</p><p>Because Ward is engaged in <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/tag/climate-action">climate action,</a> he doesn't have "a certain amount of existential dread." He'd doing what he can. "I encourage everybody to think of what you could do," because we're out of time he says.</p>
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