Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom Setting for Upcoming Green Boot Camp

The Wheelock Farm, at the base of Wheelock Mountain in Greensboro Bend in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, will become a “protest base camp” next month at a week-long training session in June from the 7th to the 14th.

Based upon past history, we can expect some kind of goon-squad action against a hapless forest-related business within driving distance of Wheelock Farm on June 15th. Last year, a group of training school graduates put their new-found knowledge in trouble making to work the next day at Shelburne, New Hampshire, invading a chip mill, R J Chipping Enterprises, and shutting down the operation. One of the protesters locked himself to a chipping machine.

What will the NFN’s Activist Training Week be offering this year? According to their own publication, it looks like some kind of Green guerrilla boot camp: Climbing and tree sitting, Back Country Wilderness Defense, Legal Realities for Activists, Media Work and Publicity, Non-violent CD training, A Radical People’s History of the U.S., Cultural Sensitivity, Blockade Techniques, Wilderness First Aid, Revolutionary Ecology, Night Hiking, Police Response to Protest, Action Planning and Strategy, Movement Security and Counterintelligence, Communication and Networking, Banner design and Hanging. Native Forest Network and Earth First! put their “Banner design and Hanging” knowledge to work recently up in Lincoln, Maine on May 4th, 1998 when, during an invasion of the Lincoln Pulp and Paper mill, several protesters scaled the paper mill’s 100 foot water tower and hung a banner reading “LP & P go chlorine free. Dioxin kills.” (Bangor Daily News, May 5, 1998).

After causing havoc with employees, defacing property, interrupting traffic, trespassing on private property and vandalizing, Jim Freeman of Verona, Maine (a member of Maine Greens, Earth First! and head of NFN in Maine) claimed that a terrified motorist had tried to run some of the protesters over and he wanted “to see her brought up on charges.” She had been frightened when someone opened her vehicle door and threw something inside. It turned out to be a bagel not a bomb. This technique of causing trouble and blaming the victim may have been learned at Activist Training Sessions, since the protesters are well trained in subversive activities and diversionary tactics. Freeman was also at the Shelburne, NH chipping plant protest last year.

The action at the Lincoln mill on a Monday morning followed a week-end strategy session of activists which took place on the Maine coast. These Schools for Scoundrels deserve closer scrutiny from all of us.

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