Ecology Defense

13 Mar 2001
Frontline: National Day of Action In Support of Frank Ambrose

Frontline Information Service - News 3/13/01



On Thursday, April 5, 2001, Frank Ambrose has his pretrial date in Bloomington, Indiana for allegedly spiking trees in association with the Earth Liberation Front (ELF). Frank was the first person arrested in North America who has been officially charged with an ELF action. He maintains his innocence and feels the F.B.I. and State authorities are framing him for the action just to get a conviction related to the underground ELF. The ELF, an international direct action group using economic sabotage to protect the natural environment, has caused near $40 million in damages since 1997 in North America alone to entities profiting off the destruction of life. The F.B.I. and other local, state and federal policing agencies are under growing pressure to stop the successful work of the E.L.F. and repression from these authorities is respectively growing nationwide. It is up to us to resist this repression by any means necessary.

On April 5, 2001 voice and demonstrate your anger against state repression in support of Frank and the courageous members of the ELF (whoever they may be!).

Take part and organize militant direct action demonstrations targeting F.B.I. offices and U.S. Federal buildings.

Those who are organizing legal demonstrations are asked to contact the North American Earth Liberation Front Press Office with times, contact persons and locations for media purposes.


For more information contact:

North American ELF Press Office 503.478.0902
Elfpress@tao.ca http://www.earthliberationfront.com

Background information on Frank is below.

Who is Frank Ambrose?

Frank Ambrose is a community activist from Bloomington, IN. He is involved with several mainstream and some radical groups such as Earth First!, Industrial Workers of the World, Speak Out for Animals, and the American Lands Alliance. He is employed by the latter forest protection organization, and has been become one of the foremost forest activists in the Midwest. Outside his employment, he has shown consistent support for people's struggles to rid themselves of those who wish to exploit them and the environment they depend upon. This commitment has made him a prime target in the government's attempts to harass the activist community into silence.

He was arrested on January 25, 2001 and is being charged with tree spiking in relation to an incident in a local State Forest that was claimed by the Earth Liberation Front (ELF). Tree spiking is a Class "D" felony which carries a sentence of up to 3 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. This is the first arrest in the U.S. in relation to an ELF action. The ELF has caused over $37 million in damages to businesses profiting from the destruction of the environment.

The harassment of Frank and his family began last February when FBI and ATF agents began visiting him and his friends to attempt to question them about a recent ELF action that had occurred in Bloomington. It continued in July when the FBI and State Conservation Officers raided Frank and Marie Mason's (his wife) house looking for implements of tree spiking. What they came away with was loads of organizational literature, address books, family photo albums and a few miscellaneous household items like spray paint and a pocketknife. The authorities told them at this time that they would find someone who would "rat" on Frank and come back with an arrest warrant.

Now, 6 months later, the FBI and State Conservation Officers are attempting to frame Frank for the tree spiking incident. They site circumstantial evidence as the reason for their accusation. They are making Frank and others who take confrontational, but legal, approaches to stop the madness defend themselves in courts for their views. Frank has done nothing more than be vocal and be willing to put his body on the line to stop the logging program (he was a part of a take over of a State Forest office during a timber bid). It is believed that the authorities are entering into the legal arena with a "low-pitch" to make it more likely to get a conviction. With a conviction, they would have a name to place with the elusive Earth Liberation Front, and then they might move to add federal anti-terrorism charges, or try to pin the other ELF actions in the Bloomington area upon him.

It is very important that we fight this battle in every way possible. Frank needs to have a good criminal defense to beat the charges. The activist community needs to stand united and show the authorities that we will not be scared into silence. We need to increase the number of effective campaigns that have made the monied interests take notice in the first place. This is a great chance to stand up and show those who view life as a commodity to exploit that we are not going away no matter what they do to us-we are in this battle to win.

The Role of the FBI

The FBI's primary and founding purpose is to disrupt and destroy activist movements, having been formed to destroy the Industrial Workers of the World in the early part of last century. They continued to infiltrate and break apart many different social movements that have threatened the established power structure through a program called COINTELPRO (counter intelligence program). These movements and groups include the American Indian Movement, Black Panthers, Puerto Rican independence movement, and Earth First! They usually use the pretext of some crime that has been committed that has a political nature to it to begin to investigate social movements. Many times there is no crime, or the FBI committed the crime themselves to gain public support for their investigation. In every movement they have "investigated," they have gone to all lengths to silence the activists involved-many Blank Panthers and AIM members were jailed on manufactured evidence or even executed, and Earth First!ers have been bombed and framed by FBI infiltrators.

Fred Hampton is a Black Panther who was assassinated by the FBI, the MOVE organization was bombed and burned by the government, and Leonard Peltier sits in jail today based on FBI lies. These incidents are well documented in other sources, such as War at Home by Brian Glick.

Frank's arrest is just a part of the FBI's modern day witch hunt to destroy the growing movement against globalization and earth's destruction. They see the movement that has been growing exponentially since the WTO meeting disruptions in Seattle as a significant threat to the existing power structure. This arrest is larger than just a disruption of the Bloomington community-the FBI is also working with other law enforcement agencies across the country to use trumped up charges and threats of significant jail time against activists to make people afraid to join the movement. They want the movement to stop. The FBI is acting as the armed mercenary of the corporate world order, protecting their "right" to destroy all that is living. It is up to everyone out there to resist their efforts and push forward.

What Can I Do?

1. We need to continue with the work that we have been doing. We must take direct action to confront and prevent the corporations and various entities from continuing down their current path of destruction.

2. Political trials and criminal defense takes considerable money. Please donate what you can to help pay for the legal fees of the trial. The costs of Frank's trial are estimated to amount into the several thousands of dollars. All money raised will be used in Frank's defense, not to keep the lawyers working. It is important that he can mount a good defense to beat the charges and avoid further federal charges. Please send donations to:

Bloomington Defense Committee
PO Box 3503
Bloomington, IN 47402

3. Call the court at 812-349-2534 and tell them to drop the charges against Frank. Please be polite and think of what you say, as these messages will certainly be noted in the trial.

4. Write a letter to the editor of your local paper explaining how the government is attempting to stifle protest and break apart communities that care about the earth. Please remember that these letters may show up in the trial, so think about what you say.

5. Join the email/phone alert list. Write to defensecommittee@yahoo.com or call 812-333-0173

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