Seattle Times: ELF 'Ecosaboteur' Convicted; P-I Sticks with Eco-terror

Just days after the Street of Dreams arsons suspected to be at the hands of the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), a federal jury found one Briana Waters guilty for her role in a 2001 ELF arson that destroyed the University of Washington's Center for Urban Horticulture.

NewsBusters has noted that the Seattle Times has avoided calling ELF a terrorist or eco-terrorist organization, preferring to call the group simply a "radical environmentalist" organization. Today the paper made some progress as staff writer Mike Carter slapped Waters and her co-conspirators with the label "ecosaboteurs."

But the term sabotage, however, lends the impression of activity engaged in to thwart the military or any commercial enterprise essential to equipping national defense. UW academics studying urban agriculture are fundamentally civilian in nature. Here are some definitions of sabotage available at

  1. Destruction of property or obstruction of normal operations, as by civilians or enemy agents in time of war.
  2. Treacherous action to defeat or hinder a cause or an endeavor; deliberate subversion.



ˈsæbǝܖtäʒ act or acts with intent to injure, interfere with, or obstruct the national defense of a country by willfully injuring or destroying, or attempting to injure or destroy, any national defense or war material, premises, or utilities, to include human and natural resources.

Covering the Waters conviction, rival paper the Seattle Post-Intelligencer used the term "ecoterror," but only used it in the headline for Vanessa Ho's March 6 article. Ho herself avoided calling the ELF a terrorist organization.

Political Groups War on Terrorism Media Bias Debate Labeling Crime Seattle Times Seattle Post-Intelligencer Media Business Journalistic Issues Briana Waters Mike Carter Vanessa Ho

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