In the column “Don’t mistake eco-sabotage for eco-terrorism” Sumner and Weidman said ignoring the difference between the two can be a threat to First Amendment rights. They argue that using the term eco-terrorism to describe acts in which damage may be inflicted on property, but in which no one is injured or killed, is incorrect.
“If an act seeks to destroy human life and, therefore, coerce or intimidate through the threat to human life, it is terrorism,” the two maintain. “However, if an act destroys property but is careful not to injure or kill anyone, it may be vandalism, or arson or obstruction, but it is not terrorism.”
Sumner is an associate professor of English and Weidman is assistant professor of mass communication. Their article, “Eco-Terrorism or Eco-tage: An Argument for the Proper Frame” will be published in Interdisciplinary Studies of Literature and the Environment this fall.