The FBI is targeting tar-sands activists. Should that worry you? | Grist

Blocking roads is a pretty run-of-the mill protest tactic. In recent years climate change activists have blocked oil-by-rail shipments and roads into tar-sands sites in both the United States and Canada. Blocking a road is also a state-level misdemeanor at most, and outside the purview of the FBI, said Larry Hildes, an attorney based in Bellingham, Wash., in a telephone interview. “The FBI’s job is not to investigate civil disobedience,” said Hildes. Though, he added, “They don’t always follow that.”

Meanwhile, when asked about the case, an FBI spokesperson told the Globe and Mail that it “has the authority to conduct an investigation when it has reasonable grounds to believe that an individual has engaged in criminal activity or is planning to do so. This authority is based on the illegal activity, not on the individual’s political views.”

Hildes speculates that it’s possible that the FBI is using the justification that the megaload equipment was bound for Canada, and was therefore international to spark an investigation — but added that he can’t be sure. “In my 19 years of contact with the FBI, I’m never sure why they do the things they do,” Hildes said. “It’s a strange world.”

via The FBI is targeting tar-sands activists. Should that worry you? | Grist.

One comment

  1. Reblogged this on getbye.

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