[act-ma] 4/28 Film screening: "If a Tree Falls" and Q&A with Daniel McGowan (Fri.)

Joe Brown geekmissile at gmail.com
Mon Apr 24 11:39:37 PDT 2017

Dear administrators,

Can you please post the following listing for me? A good title for the
listing would be:

4/28 Film screening: "If a Tree Falls" and Q&A with Daniel McGowan (Fri.)

Thank you!


Former political prisoner Daniel McGowan will be joining us in Boston
for this event:

*"If a Tree Falls" screening and discussion*

Date: April 28, 2017
Time: 6pm (doors open 5:40pm)
Location: UMass Boston, University Hall
(2nd floor, Auditorium Y-2-2120)
Sponsors: UMass Boston's Department of Political Science, Department
of Women's & Gender studies, and Human Rights Minor

Cost: Free

Film screening of "If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front"
(2011) followed by discussion/Q&A with Daniel McGowan.

*About 'If a Tree Falls'*
In December 2005, Daniel McGowan was arrested by Federal agents in a
nationwide sweep of radical environmentalists involved with the Earth
Liberation Front-- a group the FBI has called America's "number one
domestic terrorism threat."

For years, the ELF - operating in separate anonymous cells without any
central leadership - had launched spectacular arsons against dozens of
businesses they accused of destroying the environment: timber
companies, SUV dealerships, wild horse slaughterhouses, and a $12
million ski lodge at Vail, Colorado.

With the arrest of Daniel and thirteen others, the government had
cracked what was probably the largest ELF cell in America and brought
down the group responsible for the very first ELF arsons in this

remarkable story of the rise and fall of this ELF cell, by focusing on
the transformation and radicalization of one of its members.

Part coming-of-age tale, part cops-and-robbers thriller, the film
interweaves a verité chronicle of Daniel on house arrest as he faces
life in prison, with a dramatic recounting of the events that led to
his involvement with the group. Along the way it asks hard questions
about environmentalism, activism, and the way we define terrorism.

Drawing from striking archival footage -- much of it never before seen
-- and intimate interviews with ELF members, and with the prosecutor
and detective who were chasing them, IF A TREE FALLS explores the
tumultuous period from 1995 until early 2001 when environmentalists
were clashing with timber companies and law enforcement, and the word
"terrorism" had not yet been altered by 9/11.

*About Daniel McGowan:*
Daniel is a social justice activist from Queens, NY. He was charged in
2005 with fifteen counts of arson, property destruction and
conspiracy, all related to two actions in Oregon in 2000, claimed by
the underground Earth Liberation Front (ELF). Daniel was facing a
minimum of life in prison if convicted when he accepted a
non-cooperation plea agreement. He received a 7 year sentence and did
most of it in two experimental Communications Management Units (CMU).
Within a year of arriving at the CMU, Daniel with the help of the
Center for Constitutional Rights, sued the Bureau of Prisons with the
intention of closing the unit (Aref v. Sessions).

His arrest was part of what the US government dubbed Operation
Backfire; a coordinated, multi-state sweep of activists by the federal
government who charged them with practically every Earth and animal
liberation action in the Pacific Northwest left unsolved. Many have
considered this round up indicative of the government’s ‘Green Scare’
focus which had activists being arrested and threatened with life in
prison. Many of the charges,
including Daniel’s, were for incidents whose statute of limitations
were about to expire.

Daniel was released from prison in December 2012 and was on probation
for three years until June 2016. He has worked with NYC Anarchist
Black Cross, the Civil Liberties Defense Center and the National
Lawyer Guild's Parole Preparation Project. Daniel is on the Certain
Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners calendar collective. He lives in
New York City and is trying to figure out ways to fight the new
fascist administration.

More information about the Act-MA mailing list