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Monday, October 29, 2007

Taser time on America's public lands

October 29, 2007
Bill Berkowitz, Media Transparency

When the United States Forestry Service announced in September that they would be adding tasers to their toy boxes, I wondered: Are they going to be used on happy campers? Innocent wildlife? Or perhaps the plan is to use the tasers to control children in the US Forest Service's newly announced "More Kids in the Woods" project?

Seems I'm not alone in thinking that America's forests are a very strange place for 700 tasers. This reporter has similar concerns:

"Is the Forest Service expecting an influx of anti-war protesters? Will the tasers be used against environmentalists protesting excessive logging? Are the animals in the wild in for some stunning surprises? "The Forest Service will likely justify this order by saying that the forests are a dangerous place filled with marijuana growers, meth lab workers and illegal aliens," Scott Silver, the executive director of Wild Wilderness, an Oregon-based grassroots environmental organization, said in an e-mail interview. "I'd say that the Forest Service is simply looking to further build up its police capabilities and to be better positioned to act violently, albeit non-lethally, when it feels justified in so doing," Silver pointed out."

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