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01 September 2010

Eco-Violence at the Discovery Building


I went down to Silver Spring today to run some errands, and happened to walk by the Discovery Building on my way back to the Metro station.  As I passed, there were several police cars blocking the intersections all around the building, and traffic was starting to become very backed up.  Before going into the station, some kind of armored vehicle drove by.  I asked someone what was going on, and he told me that there was a hostage situation with possible explosives in the building.  I was shocked, but didn't have time to stick around and rubber neck, so I got on the train and headed back to College Park. 

Later on, Megan told me that there had in fact been a hostage situation and that the man had explosives on his body and one somewhere in the building.  Apparently he had been protesting the Discovery Channel for some time, and had finally decided to take action.  He posted a list of demands which included that the Discovery Channel should show documentaries informing people about Daniel Quinn's book Ishmael, and that they should work harder to convince people not to have children because every human being is pollution and creates pollution, or something to that effect. 

Clearly this man was (I guess the police ended up killing him) deranged, but, unfortunately, this is going to be played in the media - particularly Channels like Fox News - as  your typical environmental activist, perhaps gone a little overboard.  But in all fairness, I don't think this man is even a typical environmental extremist, most of whom do not advocate the taking or threatening of human life and most of whom would not target the Discovery Channel.  For whatever reason this man thought that the Discovery Channel was a threat, and was in a frame of mind to take action, but this is in no sense the act of a sane man.

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