Ministry of Justice lists eco-activists alongside terrorists

Paul Mobbs mobbsey at
Sat Jan 30 11:40:25 GMT 2010

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I didn't intend posting this because I thought someone else would... oops!

Oh well, events seem to be following the course I outlined in the 'Secretive 
Police Force' report last April 

Presumably they're laying the ground rules for when the Infrastructure 
Planning Commission starts permitting nuclear power stations and incinerators.


Ministry of Justice lists eco-activists alongside terrorists

# Campaigners lumped in with al-Qaida and far right
# Government criticised for tarring peaceful protesters

Matthew Taylor and Rob Evans, Guardian On-line, Tuesday 26th January 2010

Government officials have labelled environmental campaigners extremists and 
listed them alongside dissident Irish republican groups and terrorists 
inspired by al-Qaida in internal documents seen by the Guardian.

The guidance on extremism, produced by the Ministry of Justice, says: "The 
United Kingdom like many other countries faces a continuing threat from 
extremists who believe they can advance their aims by committing acts of 

It was sent to probation staff who were writing court reports or supervising a 
range of activists, including environmental protesters.

The advice lists "environmental extremists" alongside far-right activists, 
dissident Irish republicans, loyalist paramilitaries and al-Qaida-inspired 
extremists as among groups "currently categorised as extremist [that] may 
include those who have committed serious crime in pursuit of an ideology or 

David Howarth, the Liberal Democrats' justice spokesman, said tonight that the 
documents revealed "a quite astonishing conflation of legitimate protest with 

The government has been criticised for tarring environmental protesters as 
"domestic extremists", a term invented by the police, who say it can cover 
activists suspected of minor public order offences such as peaceful direct 
action and civil disobedience. The internal guidance from the Ministry of 
Justice's National Offender Management Service defines domestic extremism as any 
"unlawful action that is part of a protest or campaign".

"It is often associated with a 'single issue' protest such as animal rights, 
far-right and far-left political extremism, anti- war and environmentalist 
extremism. The activity of Domestic Extremist Offenders is more criminal in its 
nature than that of an activist – but falls short of terrorism."

"Environmental extremists" are described as committing "criminal activity 
motivated by the broad philosophy and social movement centred on a concern for 
conservation and improvement of the natural environment".

Environmentalists reject the extremist label, saying that their protests are 
peaceful and non-violent.

Harry Fletcher, assistant general secretary of the probation service union, 
Napo, said its members were unhappy with government attempts to lump 
environmental campaigners with terrorist suspects.

He said the guidance appeared to be part of a wider attempt by some government 
officials to interfere for political reasons in the work of criminal justice 

Ben Stewart, of Greenpeace, said: "The climate movement has never once sought 
to further its political aims by using violence, which is something that Jack 
Straw, foreign secretary during the invasion of Iraq, can most certainly not 

"His Ministry of Justice would be better occupied reminding itself that 
peaceful direct action has a long and noble history in this country."

A ministry spokesman said: "It is not true to say that offenders who have 
committed criminal offences in connection with an extremist cause are 'all 
treated the same'. The National Offender Management Service has a programme of 
work that covers all forms of extremism."

- -- 
"We are not for names, nor men, nor titles of Government,
nor are we for this party nor against the other but we are
for justice and mercy and truth and peace and true freedom,
that these may be exalted in our nation, and that goodness,
righteousness, meekness, temperance, peace and unity with
God, and with one another, that these things may abound."
(Edward Burroughs, 1659 - from 'Quaker Faith and Practice')

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Paul Mobbs, Mobbs' Environmental Investigations
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