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Face it, you don’t have to live very long to discover that people with the courage to follow their convictions are a pretty uncommon breed.
You don’t have to look very far either to see that other important species are also becoming equally rare these days, thanks to the unwavering industrialization of the planet and, as a consequence, the steady deterioration of Earth’s vulnerable ecosystems.
Famed fugitive from justice and wildlife researcher, Rebecca J. Rubin, was barely in her twenties when she decided to bravely act on her belief that world corporations and their “puppet” governments were wantonly exploiting global resources and inflicting widespread environmental devastation in their wake.
These are the true eco-terrorists in her opinion, not herself or the Earth Liberation Front, an elusive group of skilled arsonists of which she is a card-carrying member.
Sought for over a decade by the FBI for her and ELF’s anti-corporate misdeeds and methods, Rubin finally surrendered to authorities yesterday at the Canadian border, thus ending her role in a campaign of economic sabotage that is estimated to have inflicted over $40,000,000 worth of losses on the enemy.
A drop in the bucket really, when compared to the billions of dollars of damages derived from just one oil spill, or those wrought this year alone by super-storms, droughts, floods and wildfires, the legacy of environmental plundering and degradation that began in the 19th century during the Industrial Revolution.
Defending the Environment
"Rubin's arrest marks the end of her decade-long period as an international fugitive in the largest eco-terrorism case in United States history," the Justice Department announced with measurable swagger today.
No reason has yet been offered as to why Rubin, now 39 years of age, decided to turn herself in this week, but, having done so, she’ll face almost two dozen charges of arson and other related mayhem nationwide. She’s also charged with destructive device and conspiracy in Oregon, California and Colorado.
Rescuing Abused and Endangered Animals
In 1997, Rubin participated in acts of arson against a wild horse and burro facility owned by the Bureau of Land Management in Oregon because the operators there were abusive and neglectful to the animals. She and her cohorts set all the creatures free from their pens and then firebombed the place, according to a federal grand jury indictment.
Rubin is also accused of participating in a 1998 attempt to burn down the Oregon offices of the U.S. Forest Industries for various ecological offenses.
In the state of Colorado as well, she and associates firebombed the famed Vail ski resort, in order to protect an endangered lynx habitat from being further encroached upon.
And in 2001, she once again took aim at a horse and burro facility being grossly mismanaged by the Bureau of Land Management in California.
A Hundred Years Or More Of Solitude
If convicted on all the charges, Rubin could face hundreds of years in prison, a government spokesman has claimed. No doubt, much of that time kept in isolation.
That’s a lengthy sentence and, what with the escalation in global warming of late, probably nothing to worry about anyway. But, even if she’s just incarcerated until the end of days, the prisoner would still probably say it was well worth it, in light of all the animals and acreage she helped save.
Although two members of the Earth Liberation Front, Joseph Dibee and Josephine Overaker, are still at large today, ten others have already pleaded guilty to similar counts in 2007. These defendants were only sentenced to 3 to 13 years behind bars though, despite being charged for the very same rebellious acts that Rebecca J. Rubin is alleged to have committed.
This implies that she is regarded by U.S. officials and their corporate sponsors as the group’s ringleader, and the government is therefore determined to make an example of her.
To date, however, not one BP oil executive, representative or employee, found to be responsible for the largest, most expensive criminal act against the environment in history, has done a single day in jail.