Justifications and limits in the politically motivated lawbreaking of environmental activist groups
O'Brien, Erin (2013) Justifications and limits in the politically motivated lawbreaking of environmental activist groups. In Richards, Kelly & Tauri, Juan Marcellus (Eds.) Crime Justice and Social Democracy : Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference, Queensland University of Technology, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD, pp. 131-140.
In recent events, notions of political protest, civil disobedience, extremism, and criminal action have become increasingly blurred. The London Riots, the Occupy movement, and the actions of hacking group Anonymous have all sparked heated debate about the limits of legitimate protest, and the distinction between an acceptable action and a criminal offence. Long before these events, environmental activists were challenging convention in protest actions, with several groups engaging in politically motivated law-breaking. The emergence of the term ‘eco-tage’ (the sabotage of equipment in order to protect the environment) signifies the important place environmental activists hold in challenging the traditional boundaries between illegal action and legitimate protest.
Many of these groups establish their own boundaries of legitimacy, with some justifying their actions on the basis of civil disobedience or extensional self-defence. This paper examines the statements of environmental activist organisations that have engaged in politically motivated law breaking. It identifies the parameters that these groups set on their illegal actions, as well as the justifications that they provide, with a view to determining where these actions fit in the vast grey area between legal protest and violent extremism.
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|Item Type:||Conference Paper|
|Keywords:||protest, civil disobedience, activism, environmentalism|
|Subjects:||Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > CRIMINOLOGY (160200)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > POLITICAL SCIENCE (160600)
|Divisions:||Current > Research Centres > Crime & Justice Research Centre
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Justice
|Copyright Owner:||Copyright 2013 Crime and Justice Research Centre, Queensland University of Technology|
|Deposited On:||22 Sep 2013 22:47|
|Last Modified:||24 Sep 2013 02:36|
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