Daniel McGowan

Daniel McGowan

Family and Friends of Daniel McGowan
www.supportdaniel.org,  friendsofdanielmcg@yahoo.com

For Immediate Release

Contacts:
Eliza Calhoun, (718) 578-9813
Brendan Story, (718) 986-9102
December 7, 2006

New Yorkers rally Thurs., Dec. 7, for local activist Daniel McGowan

Environmentalists, civil liberties advocates, and family, friends, and supporters will gather at a rally at Foley Square (Centre and Pearl Streets) in Manhattan, at 12:00pm on Thursday, December 7, to support New York City activist Daniel McGowan. Exactly one year ago, Daniel was arrested by federal agents at his place of work, WomensLaw.org. He was extradited to Eugene, Oregon to face charges of conspiracy and arson with a potential prison sentence of life plus 335 years. This Thursday, speakers from the National Lawyers Guild, Center for Constitutional Rights, National Jericho Movement. and Family and Friends of Daniel McGowan will place McGowan’s arrest in the larger context of global environmental devastation and the government crackdown on dissent. One of the banners will ask the question, “What is eco-terrorism?” and feature images of clearcuts, bulldozers, smog and toxic sludge.

Many local organizations are co-sponsoring the rally, which is one of 45 events being held in 29 different cities around the world to raise awareness of the Green Scare, a widespread, federal attack on the radical environmental and animal rights movement. Green Scare describes a late 2005/early 2006 sweep of arrests, convictions, and grand jury indictments of alleged Earth Liberation and Animal Liberation activists on charges relating to acts of property damage, conspiracy, and arson. The government has labeled their investigation “Operation Backfire.” Despite the fact that none of the defendants were charged with a terror crime, the government has liberally used the term “terrorist” to stigmatize each of them.

Last month, Daniel and three co-defendants pled guilty to some of the many charges against them in a non-cooperation plea agreement. Daniel’s plea agreement explicitly states that he will not cooperate with the government at any time to further inculpate or prosecute other activists. He is currently out on $1.6 million bail awaiting sentencing.

As a follow-up to the afternoon rally, Family and Friends of Daniel McGowan will host an evening event, dinner and a movie benefit for Daniel at Time's Up!, 49 East Houston Street. Dinner will be at 6:30pm, followed by an 8pm screening of Dr. Seuss's The Lorax and Raccoon War.

“One year ago, the New York City activist community was thrown into turmoil by the sudden arrest of our friend Daniel McGowan,” says Eliza Calhoun, a member of Family and Friends of Daniel McGowan. “A year later we continue to stand by him and against this new war on environmental and animal rights activists that has expanded since his arrest. We know Daniel to be a dynamic activist and wonderful friend, not a terrorist.”

Speakers at the Thursday, 12:30pm rally include Heidi Boghosian, Executive Director of the National Lawyers Guild; Rachel Meeropol, Staff Attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights; Ashanti Alston, Coordinator of the Jericho Movement; and Tim Doody of Family and Friends of Daniel McGowan.

Rally sponsors: National Lawyers Guild-National Office, National Lawyers Guild-NYC Chapter, Jericho Movement-New York Chapter, National Jericho Movement, Times Up!, NYC War Resisters League, NYC Students for a Democratic Society, Wetlands Activism Collective, Resistance in Brooklyn, New York Metro Alliance of Anarchists, Peoples Law Collective, NYC Industrial Workers of the World, Friends of Brad Will.

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