Thursday, February 08, 2007

Letter Bombs in England...

As I was reading this Washington Post article about a recent increase in letter bombs that the British government feels is related to either, "animal rights extremists or a disgruntled motorist fed up with this country's automobile laws -- or both", I started to wonder. Exactly how does that accomplish anything? I know, it can be said that all acts that can only be described as terrorism don't really accomplish anything but aren't there better forms of civil disobeidence? I'm not sure if it is our increased security systems with the US Post office or if we just seem to have people here in the US who when "disgruntled" don't think the solution is a letter bomb, it does appear that there are those in England who take some of their protests a bit to far:

Animal rights extremists have waged violent campaigns in Britain in the past, including scores of firebombings. One case involved exhuming the mother-in-law of an owner of a family farm that raises guinea pigs for use in laboratory testing.

I personally don't agree with some of what has been done when it comes to animal testing but it makes it very hard to be sympathetic to some of these groups of activists when they demonstrate they don't value animal or human life anymore than those they are supposedly acting against.

Learning this was interesting:

Extremists claiming to speak for frustrated British motorists, who pay extremely high taxes and face one of the world's most extensive networks of speed cameras, regularly blow up and burn those cameras. But there have been no known cases of these extremists attempting to injure people.

Maybe that's something some of our localities should watch out for with the increasing discussion over red light and speed cameras here in our area. Yet around here we don't seem to have people that protest by blowing things up. We sit and complain about the fines and either fight them thru the court system or grudgingly pay them.

I had no idea it had gotten to the point where there were actually groups out there like this:

A group called Motorists Against Detection claims to have done $40 million worth of damage by destroying 1,000 speed cameras since 2000. The group's fugitive leader, who identifies himself only as Captain Gatso (after the company that makes the speed cameras), said in a telephone interview that he and his 200 followers had nothing to do with the letter bombs.

"We don't want to hurt anybody -- we only terrorize the government's cash machines on the side of the roads," he said, referring to the cameras. He added that police had called his phone this week to question him about the letter bombings. He said he told them that he opposes causing injury to other people but that he could "understand and appreciate the frustration" that might have motivated the bomber.

I also couldn't help wondering if the police over there have his phone number why no one knows who "Captain Gatso" really is...


Head Spinner Scott said...

I have never really understood violence as a means of protest. Some have said that I would be the next Unabomber because I was too serious and read too much serious stuff that I would eventually go crazy. But I would rather debate and find a resolution than hurt anyone.

I am not a pacifist however. I just think that violence is the cowards way to join or start a debate.

Hooda Thunkit said...

The violence does nothing more than turn people against your cause, whatever it is.

A better solution IMO, is to get involved in the process and address it from the inside.