Green Is the New Red

Green Is the New Red
An Insider's Account of a Social Movement Under Siege

"Will Potter reveals a surprising fact about his book in a TED Talk excerpt"
Jun 12, 2014

At about 3:40 min into this short video excerpt, Potter explains that via the Freedom of Information Act he's discovered what the U.S. Bureau of Counterterrorism thinks about his book.

- Will Potter, TED

"Will Potter comes to light in TED"
Jan 31, 2014

Will Potter, author of Green is the New Red, discusses the problem of treating environmentalists like terrorists.

- Karen Eng, TED Blog

Will Potter on KALW's radio show Your Call
May 2, 2012

Will Potter, author of Green Is the New Red, makes a guest appearance on KALW Local Public Radio to discuss environmentalists today.

- Ali Budner, KALW Local Public Radio

"Is this man a terrorist?"
Apr 20, 2012

Will Potter, author of Green Is the New Red, is mentioned in Salon's article concerning the ways in which the government links ideologically motivated crimes and people of nonviolent civil disobedience to terrorism.

- Matthew Harwood, Salon

Will Potter on Writer's Voice radio show
Apr 1, 2012

Will Potter, author of Green Is the New Red, appears on Writer's Voice radio show to discuss how the government is waging war against the environmental movement.

- Francesca Rheannon, Writer's Voice

"When Extreme Animal Rights Activists Attack"
Mar 16, 2012

Pacific Standard's article concerning animal rights activists and protestors being labeled as "terrorists" by U.S. laws mentions journalist and author Will Potter and his thoughts on the matter.

- Sue Russell, Pacific Standard

The FBI and Federal Prosecutors Say My Journalism Is "Extremist"
Jan 19, 2012

"This pattern of conduct by the FBI and federal prosecutors is nothing less than an attack on the First Amendment, and an attack on journalism. It is an attempt to foster distrust between author and source, and it is an attempt to shake the confidence that one can report freely and without retribution, both of which are essential to any meaningful expression of journalism in a democracy."

- Will Potter, Common Dreams

"As eco-terrorism wanes, governments still target activist groups seen as threat"
Mar 10, 2012

"There's been very little change under the Obama administration," said Will Potter, author of the book Green is the New Red: An Insider's Account of a Social Movement Under Siege. After factoring in several state initiatives on top of federal enforcement, Potter said, "The political climate as a whole has gotten a lot worse.”

- Juliet Eilperin, The Washington Post

Current Affairs: Best Nonfiction of 2011

Will Potter's book, Green is the New Red, makes the Kirkus Review's list of Best Nonfiction of 2011!

- Kirkus Reviews

Veg News

"Green is an expertly detailed, 100-percent factual account of how corporate interests created the term 'eco-terrorism' in the 1980s, then led the march to the passage of the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, a law that criminalizes and characterizes First Amendment free speech as terrorism. Potter makes a compelling argument that what's happening in the 21st century to the environmental and animal advocates is a replay of Joseph McCarthy's communist 'red scare' of the 1950s."

The Rumpus Interview With Will Potter
Oct 24, 2011

"The backlash against the animal rights and environmental movements was ramping up long before the occurrence of high-profile arsons. And now, these attacks have expanded to even non-violent civil disobedience. I think politicians and corporations would be waging these campaigns regardless of the tactics used."

- Caroline Paul, The Rumpus

Earth Island Journal

"In Potter's view, the animal rights and radical environmental movements were beginning to achieve a measure of public appeal that posed a real threat to powerful corporate interests, which lobbied to silence them."

"In Green is the New Red (City Lights), former American Civil Liberties Union staffer Will Potter argues that a Green Scare has infected America. Without denying that many environmentalists have crossed the line separating peaceful dissent from sabotage and violence, Potter makes a strong case that the authorities have exaggerated the threat such activists pose."

Utne Reader

"If you've ever supported an animal welfare or environmental organization, you too may be a suspected terrorist: That’s the chilling take-away from Green Is the New Red, a thoughtfully alarming examination of the U.S. government’s post-9/11 domestic terror probes, which have inordinately targeted progressive-leaning activist groups. Author Will Potter, a journalist whose own low-level activism ran up against Homeland Security, delves deep into the social, political, legal—and, importantly, ethical—issues raised by this new war on 'ecoterrorism.'"

Green is the New Red: An Insider's Account of A Social Movement Under Siege
Jul 21, 2011

"Explaining the rise of the so-called 'Green Scare,' journalist Will Potter writes in his book Green is the New Red, that it was the result of 'slowly merging the rhetoric of industry groups with that of politicians and law enforcement.' "

- Sonali Kolhatkar, Uprising Radio

"If a Tree Falls": New Documentary on Daniel McGowan, Earth Liberation Front and Green Scare
Jun 21, 2011

"A new documentary, 'If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front,' tells the story of environmental activist Daniel McGowan. Four years ago this month, McGowan was sentenced to a seven-year term for his role in two acts of politically motivated arson in 2001 to protest extensive logging in the Pacific Northwest. View an excerpt from the film and listen to discussion with the film's director, Marshall Curry, Andrew Stepanian, an animal rights activist who was imprisoned at the same CMU as McGowan, and Will Potter, a freelance reporter who writes about how the so-called 'war on terror' affects civil liberties."

- Amy Goodman, Democracy Now

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Will Potter, Green Is the New Red: An Insider's Account of a Social Movement under Siege
Jun 11, 2011

"Will Potter's Green Is The New Red brings us front line reporting from a sustained war against our basic freedoms. The campaign targets our most fundamental rights – including the freedoms activists relied upon just over a generation ago in their successful struggle for civil rights. The campaign against our elemental rights draws on nearly unlimited public resources, and uses these resources to attack democracy. The campaign follows strategies designed by some of the most destructive and effective servants of corporatist power. The foot soldiers in this campaign go to work with guns on their belts. The campaign's chief beneficiaries go home from work with salaries that buy penthouses in Manhattan and vacation homes in Vail and the Hamptons. The people who pay for this campaign are you, and I, and every American taxpayer. The campaign is called the Green Scare."

- Kirk Murphy, FDL Book Salon

When breaking the law is justified
Jun 10, 2011

" 'People from across the political spectrum love to praise civil disobedience — as long as we're talking about past social movements,' argues U.S. journalist Will Potter, author of Green is the New Red: An Insider’s Account of a Social Movement under Siege. 'For instance, on the very same day that members of Congress were breaking ground for a new memorial honouring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his activism, a bill was passed labelling civil disobedience as "terrorism" if it is done by animal rights and environmental activists.' "

- Antonia Zerbisias, Toronto Star

Press Action

"By immersing himself in the issue since the day the FBI visited him in Chicago and through his skills as a newshound, Potter is now a leading expert on the government's crackdown on environmental and animal rights activists. But in Green Is the New Red, he does more than report on the last 15 years of the movement. Potter offers words of wisdom."

Green is the New Red: an interview with author and blogger, Will Potter
May 29, 2011

Will Potter addresses how the Green Scare impacts activism today.

- Bursts O'Goodness, Asheville FM

Is Green the New Red?
May 28, 2011

"Let's not look down our noses at a new generation of activists whose causes vary from our own and who are doing things a little differently from what our generation did. Instead, let’s emphasize our points of convergence. We need as much solidarity as we can get in taking on the corporate juggernaut."

- Robert Meeropol, Dissident Voice

Making Journalism Illegal
May 27, 2011

"In The Jungle Upton Sinclair went undercover and exposed the horrors of the meat packing industry in turn of the century America. Countless journalists have since employed the same tactics. Now, two states – Iowa and Minnesota – are considering legislation that would effectively criminalize such reporting. Will Potter, author of Green is the New Red, talks about the proposed legislation."

- Bob Garfield, On The Media

Why Does the Govt. Treat Peaceful Enviro Activists More Harshly Than Extremists Who Aim to Kill?
May 13, 2011

"In his new book, Green Is The New Red: An Insider's Account of a Social Movement Under Siege, which is based on years of research and his popular blog of the same name, journalist and activist Will Potter delves into stories like [Tim] DeChristopher's and the widespread, disproportionate crackdown on so-called eco-terrorism since 9/11."

- Brittany Shoot, AlterNet

Green Is the New Red: The Crackdown on Environmental Activists
May 11, 2011

"For Will Potter, the FBI's visit marked the beginning of what would become a career as an independent journalist, tracking the government's prosecutions—and persecutions—of environmental and animal rights activists, which one FBI deputy director, at the height of the war on terror in 2004, identified as 'our highest domestic terrorism investigation priority.' Because of this campaign's similarities to the anti-communist witch hunts of the 1940s and 1950s, Potter dubbed his blog on the subject, launched five years ago, 'Green Is the New Red.' "

- James Ridgeway, Mother Jones

The Long Con
May 4, 2011

Will Potter extends considerable insight into the FBI terrorism investigations that have affected individuals of various backgrounds. Targeted because of their lifestyles, these individuals undergo extensive questioning and pressure to discuss activities considered subversive.

- Brendan Kiley, The Stranger

Animals, Cruelty and Videotape
Apr 27, 2011

Along with other research on animal cruelty, Will Potter examines the influence lawmakers have that can prevent activists from exposing violations against animal welfare. Potter's coverage of recently introduced bills in state legislatures exposes the extent to which "eco-terrorism" has been in the forefront of national security concerns.

- Mark Bittman, The New York Times

What Is Big Ag Trying to Hide?
Apr 22, 2011

 "Undercover investigations by the Humane Society, Mercy for Animals and other groups have exposed systemic animal cruelty at factory farms... Rather than put an end to these practices, though, corporations and agriculture industry groups have hit back with another plan: criminalize anyone who exposes their wrongdoing."

- Will Potter, Huffington Post


"A powerful expose of how civil liberties are being threatened, how big corporations put young activists behind bars. It is truly scary."

Publisher's Weekly

"Potter (a contributor to The Next Eco-Warriors) warns that the U.S. government is using post-9/11 anti-terrorism resources to target environmentalists and animal right activists (in some cases for doing nothing but speaking up). After being threatened with a domestic terrorist label for leafleting, Potter turned to uncovering the "Green Scare" and details here the story of the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and controversial protests that resulted in severe jail sentences for participants. Tracing funds from animal-exploiting corporations to Congress and the passing of the big business-friendly Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, Potter reports on an increased usage of the terrorism enhancement in court cases. Citing Freedom of Information Act sources, he reveals that the U.S. government has constructed secret prisons, or Communication Management Units (CMUs), to house suspected terrorists in conditions even more extreme than those of Supermax facilities (which house Zacarias Moussaoui and Eric Rudolph, among others). Potter warns of the crumbling of "the legal wall separating 'terrorist' from ‘dissident' or ‘undesirable,'" and concludes his account with a call to action and a decry of the injustice that results in the "terrorist" label being put on those who threaten American corporate interests. Alarming."

Kirkus Reviews

"In this hard-hitting debut, journalist Potter likens the Justice Department targeting of environmentalists today to McCarthyism in the 1950s. The author argues that culture war is 'at the heart of U.S. domestic and foreign policy, from the Red Scare to the War on Terrorism.' Citing historian Richard Hofstadter, he describes this as '"the paranoid style in American politics"'…the eternal fear…that the American way of life is under attack.' Potter's concern with the targeting of environmental activists began with a personal experience. Although he became a vegan when he was a student at the University of Texas and joined a few activist groups to protest economic sanctions in Iraq, in 2002 he was working as a journalist for the Chicago Tribune. On a whim, he participated in a canvassing campaign organized by a group called Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty, whose aim was to close down the laboratory of Huntingdon Life Sciences, guilty of 'repeated animal welfare violations.' The organizers were arrested for trespass, and shortly thereafter two FBI agents appeared at Potter’s apartment requesting information about the group. He was told that if he refused to cooperate with them, his name would be included on the domestic terrorist list. The author describes how the experience marked the beginning of a personal and political journey that led him to question why environmentalists were being treated as domestic threats on par with terrorists. Though he does not deny that animal-rights groups have been guilty of crimes such as arson, he charges that different standards are used to judge anti-abortion activists and environmentalists 'not because of the nature of the crime but because of the politics of the crime.' Potter left the Tribune and became actively involved in the legal defense of so-called 'eco-terrorists.' A shocking exposé of judicial overreach."

Urchin Movement

"An up-to-date crash-course overview of the history of radical environmentalism as well as a study on the scare tactics that the government, the CIA, and several multi-million dollar corporations use against environmental activists, which share certain similarities with tactics used during McCarthyism and the Red Scare. This book is about the Green Scare – this book is at times scary, at times hopeful, and at all times important."

Austin Examiner

"While the link between separating recyclables and hijacking planes is far from obvious, the labeling of 'eco-terrorism' has been applied to many aspects of this social movement. Named the 'No. 1 domestic terrorism threat' by FBI deputy assistant director John Lewis six years ago, Potter argues that the fear tactics involved in applying such an evocative term to radical activism is an attempt to intimidate that mirrors the Red Scare of the mid-20th century (which was in fact the second wave of the government's anti-Communist focus)."

Press Action Awards 2010
Dec 4, 2010

"In 2010, Will Potter, editor of the GreenIsTheNewRed website, further cemented his position as the nation's leading authority on the government's crackdown on environmental and animal rights activists. In recent years, police agencies and the courts have targeted these activists, primarily because the activists have found success in drawing attention to the atrocities committed against animals and the never-ending destruction of the environment. "

- Press Action, Press Action

Indie Street

"At times, the reader might mistake this work of nonfiction for a gripping crime novel, only to remember that everything in here is shockingly true. It is in this way that Potter effectively drives his points home and proves his overarching thesis, that the Justice Department's targeting of environmentalists is near identical to 1950s McCarthyism."