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Activism

Activist Gets 21 Years in Prison for Destroying GMO Lab

Environmental activist Marie Mason has been sentenced to an unprecidented 21 years in prison for her role in an arson that caused $1 million in damage to a GMO research lab at Michigan State University.

Mason’s arrest stemmed from last year’s dumpster discovery of personal items and plans that linked to Mason’s former husband, Frank Ambrose. Ambrose cooperated with the investigation and received a lighter sentence of 8 years.

The always-insightful Will Potter at Green is the New Red points out that the sentence expected to be handed to four racist men who beat three black teenagers on the night of Obama’s election will be roughly half that of Mason’s sentence. And Mason caused no physical harm to anyone.

Potter also derided the FBI for warning the press that “eco-terrorist groups” would be present to protest at Mason’s trial. In fact, groups like the Earth Liberation Front do not engage in public protests and such a warning does nothing but frighten members of the public away from supporting Mason’s cause.

For more information on the continuing “Green Scare,” check out Will Potter’s beginners guide.

Photo Credit: eschipul on Flickr under Creative Commons license.



5 comments
  1. supportmariemason

    i’m not a scientist, but i am very good friends with environmental scientists – REAL ones, not corporate whores – and they all agree that Aaron’s comments are ridiculous. GMO science is bullshit – GMO foods were introduced with no long-term studies of their effects, and in such a way that it has been impossible to control gene drift (GMO strains have now affected adjacent crop strains in many areas).

    People like Monsanto develop GMO strains for one reason: PROFIT. There was no “starving third world” before European/US colonialism: all global regions were agriculturally self-sufficient (this is historically tautological – but then Aaron is a molecular biologist, so one would have no reason to actually expect him to have any knowledge outside his tiny, corporate-funded research facility).

    The attempts to replace local crops with strains of non-reproducible GMO strains (so seeds must be bought again every year from their corporate overlords) are just a further attempt to ensure that crop production remains in the hands of wealthy first world corporate entities.

    GMOs have helped no one in the world. Starvation is a function of imperialism, not of some ‘genetic deficiency’ that can be solved by corporate scientists.

  2. Aaron

    Seeing as how I work in a CMB lab (shares the building with all sorts of molecular biology projects, including GMO) in another prestigious Michigan University, I’m inclined to support the sentence. Namely, I can’t fathom why Mason would want to attack a research lab rather than any number of other targets. Even in an abstract sense, attacking the fount of knowledge is both futile and counterproductive. No one is going to stop this research because it’s simply good science. The more we know about it, the more likely we’ll understand enough to prevent its misuse. Trust me, there aren’t that many people who care more about the impacts of their research than the researchers themselves (In a university setting, at least). I got into molecular biology because of my concern for the environment, and I believe that GMOs will play an essential role in adapting our way of life to a more sustainable incarnation. I don’t think that GMO food is part of that, but that’s only a very small aspect of what the technology can do.
    Most importantly, violence is counterproductive to anyone’s interest, be it India’s independence, civil rights, or the environment.

  3. Howie

    Soooo….

    You’re cool with someone starting a fire at a state university research center. Oh, that’s right, universities are where people get an education, and educated people are scary…It all makes sense now…

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