Nonviolent climate action group was labeled terrorist by Maryland State Police spies


Maryland State Police labeled members of the grassroots Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) group as terrorists and extremists after they held a nonviolent protest of then-Gov. Robert Ehrlich’s climate change policy.  This kind of authoritarian wrongdoing has been fostered by the mentality and actions of US government leaders in recent years and must be eradicated. We know CCAN director and book author Mike Tidwell and have talked with him several times on his radio and TV public affairs programs.

Post by Rick Piltz

The Washington Post reported on November 19:

Many Groups Spied Upon In Md. Were Nonviolent

…A review by The Washington Post of those and other files given in recent days to many of the 53 Maryland activists who were wrongly labeled as terrorists in state and federal databases shows an intelligence operation eager to collect information on the protest plans of a broad swath of nonviolent groups from 2005 to at least early 2007…

The individuals are listed under headings for “terrorism” with such labels as “anti-war protestors,” “threats,” “environmental extremists” and “anarchists,” although there is no explanation why any of the groups or individuals would be considered terror threats or extremist groups….

These police state-type activities in Maryland were reprehensible.  We believe they were fostered, at least indirectly, by the tone of authoritarianism and disregard for the rule of law that has too often characterized the highest level of US government in recent years.  This kind of wrongdoing must stop, and state and local officials who fail to get the message should be removed from their positions and subjected to penalties.

Mike Tidwell, executive director of CCAN has a good post on Grist about this episode.

Joe Romm posted on this on his indispensable Climate Progress blog.

Here are a few examples of CCAN’s “terrorist, extremist” actions:

Photos from a climate rally on Capitol Hill November 18 that was addressed by Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Maryland Activists Jump in Frozen Bay to “Keep Winter Cold!!”—Unusual Action Taken to Highlight MD Gov. Ehrlich’s Extreme Irresponsibility in Addressing Global Warming

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Global warming activists today jumped into the frigid Chesapeake Bay to call attention to MD Governor Bob Ehrlich’s failure to take steps to limit global warming pollution in the state. The first annual “Keep Winter Cold” Bay jump attracted some 15 plungers to the icy waters of the Chesapeake Bay at Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis. The not-quite-as-brave showed their support by waving signs that read “Ehrlich: Global Warming Hurts MD.”

Mike Tidwell, by the way, is also the author of a number of books, including the classic Bayou Farewell: The Rich Life and Tragic Death of Louisiana’s Cajun Coast.
And, most recently, The Ravaging Tide: Strange Weather, Future Katrinas, and the Coming Death of America’s Coastal Cities.

Mike is also a host of the excellent syndicated Coffee House TV program, and interviewed me in July 2005 on Bush administration political interference with federal climate science communication.

And I have talked with Mike a few times on his Earthbeat radio program, based at WPFW-FM (Pacifica) in Washington, DC, and now syndicated on 50 stations around the country. These programs are web-archived.  See our earlier posts:

November 11, 2008—Earthbeat interview:  Looking ahead on climate science integrity

June 4, 2006—NOAA, global warming, and hurricanes: CSW director interview

Critical analysis and public advocacy, yes.  Extremist?  I think not.

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