Yes, but is it terrorism?

Homeland Security Watch has an article on the Occupy movement that asks if its followers can be classified as ‘economic terrorists’.

Some might think so, especially if their activities begin having a destabilizing effect on markets or market actors. The Geneva Center for Security Policydefines economic terrorism as, “varied, coordinated and sophisticated, or massive destabilizing actions [undertaken by transnational or non-state actors] to disrupt the economic stability of a state, groups of states, or society.”

Mark doesn’t think they are but notes that the definitions of terrorism are really quite broad and ends his post the the still true if cliched:  One man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter.

This seems to be essentially the same argument that animal rights protesters have been making for years now.  They are overwhelmingly non-violent (both in word and deed) yet they got their own terrorism bill passed through Congress.

Since both the Occupy movement and the animal rights movement are non-centralized networks(?), affiliations (?), affinities (?) I’m just not sure I see a difference between the two in terms of evaluating them as threats.  After all, just as the animal rights ‘movement’ has extremist elements, so (one could say) does this.  Or the Tea Party.  At some point our desire to link similar things into neat categories breaks down and doesn’t work too well.  We end up with the risk of lumping a whole bunch of law abiding people with terrorists.  Madcap hilarity most definitely does NOT ensue.



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