After 12 years of fruitless searching, federal agents have captured Joseph Dibee, accused participant in the Earth Liberation Front. Dibee is charged with arson and conspiracy. The following statement from our collective, It’s Going Down, and a network of anti-fascist groups explores why his case matters today.
In the 1990s, environmentalists and animal rights activists engaged in campaigns to put a stop to climate change, animal exploitation, and the destruction of biodiversity. They shut down board meetings, interrupted construction projects, organized demonstrations and sit-ins, held public outreach events at punk shows and vegan potlucks, liberated animals from captivity, and occasionally utilized vandalism, sabotage, and arson against corporations involved in particularly egregious behavior. Across the world, informally organized groups claimed anonymous actions in the names of the Animal and Earth Liberation Fronts.
International networks grew out of these movements. Struggles emerged against superhighways, gold mines, luxury ski resorts, old-growth logging, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and animal testing facilities on several continents. For years, corporate profiteers had cause to fear that they would face consequences when they perpetrated ecological harm. At that time, it was still possible to imagine that humanity could avert the catastrophe that is unfolding today in the form of ever-rising temperatures, hurricanes, droughts, forest fires, and mass extinctions.