Skip to comments.Radical environmentalist sentenced 1 year, 1 day for speech
Posted on 03/27/2008 2:01:04 PM PDT by SmithL
A radical environmentalist was sentenced Thursday to one year and one day in federal prison for speaking publicly about how to make a homemade Molotov cocktail.
Rodney Coronado apologized for his past use of violent tactics in the name of animal rights and the environment, and said he had cut his ties to groups, including the Earth Liberation Front.
"I have done things in my past that I now regret," Coronado told U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey Miller. He said he wanted to serve his sentence and then get on with his life in Tucson, Ariz.
The 41-year-old activist pleaded guilty in December to distributing information on destructive devices during an August 2003 speech about militant environmental activism at a community center in San Diego.
According to an account and photos of the speech posted on the Internet, Coronado demonstrated how to build a crude ignition device using a plastic jug filled with gasoline and oil.
The speech was given just hours after an arson fire destroyed a San Diego condominium project that was under construction a few miles away. A banner at the site indicated that the ELF claimed responsibility for the $50 million blaze, which at the time was the costliest act of eco-terrorism in U.S. history.
Coronado, who once acted as a spokesman for the group, arrived in San Diego after the fire broke out and has never been linked to the blaze.
Prosecutors accused Coronado, a longtime environmental activist renowned for helping sink whaling ships and destroying mink farms and animal research labs, of wanting people to follow in his footsteps.
(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...
I did thank him, when my ears stopped bleeding.
(Do you know, if you pile up enough explosives, you can make a mushroom cloud? No I don’t care who you are, that is FUN!)
A tank I can believe, even an empty grenade casing I can believe, but live explosive ordinace? As far as I know “destructive devices” in the form of bombs, grenades, and the like are generally not allowed. It would absolutely have to be registered with the Federal government by filing ATF Form 1, and I don’t think they will grant permission for that sort of thing.
“Proper storage is a must, as shelf-life can be adversely affected by extremes of temperature and humidity. “
I don’t know from ATF forms - I am not in the business.
But certainly, companies all over the US possess explosives, from large mining concerns right down to farmers trying to remove a rock or tree stump.
Absolutely, ATF regulations I’ve read said that companies can receive licenses to do so and once authorized require less identification than a civie to do so. My point is just that you can’t willy nilly go on a bomb making hands-on demonstration without having a license to build it (though you probably don’t need a specific license if you’re a military instructor, granted). I highly doubt this criminal had a license.
Ok, his crime was not the speech, but the actual construction of an incindiary device during the speech?
Because, from the article, he seems to have been sentenced for daring to speak.
Which is WAY more frightening that the widdle molotov coctail he constructed (as in the pic).
I read elsewhere that his charge was “demonstrating the use of a destructive device,” which would seem to indicate an action that’s only possible if there’s an actual device of some kind involved, something that would fall under the jurisdiction of the National Firearms Act, and probably other local ordinances too.
Hmmmmm. What if he used water and grape coolaide to demonstrate, and said, “Use gas in place of the water, use...”
How about that term, “Demonstrating the USE of...”
Is that like when the instructor said, “Put the sticky-bomb on THIS part of the tank...”
I am really uncomfortable with this idea of convicting people for talking.
Placing bombs, sure - hang’em high.
But discussing them? I find that scary.
Generally I agree, as long as the discussion doesn’t have a terroristic objective (put tab a into slot b to kill infidels), though I think that given his background, the focus of the talk which was there for a specific terrorist group (the ALF, ELF, or whatever), it warrents wiretapping and a whole slew of other surveillance on those attending. I don’t know how operational his demonstration device was, but even immitation bombs can be quite disruptive if placed in a public area and may not be legal for public display. I don’t know all the details so I can definately see both sides here, and perhaps I’m being too paranoid. I work in a place where even a single itty bitty cocktail in the wrong place would cause rather spectacular secondaries and a nice cloud of toxic gas to kill anyone nearby. No, I don’t think that makes thought crimes ok, but this treads the line between thought and action.
I agree - it is a fine line.