The news was shocking: far-right fanatics had declared “open season” on my friends Lesley and George, distributing a “wanted” poster with George’s photo and address.
They threatened violence and said they had been to George and Lesley’s home, where they live with their baby boy.
Who are these people?
They are a loose-knit group of radical miners in Southwest Oregon who believe violence and intimidation are acceptable in 21st century America.
Why would anyone do this to a married couple and their child?
Apparently, George and Lesley are guilty of being conservation advocates. Before I came to Greenpeace, I worked alongside them for years to protect clean water, salmon rivers, and wild, public lands. We made lots of friends and some enemies while debating and advocating for our positions. That often comes with the territory. After all, vigorous debate and disagreements – all within the rule of law – are part of what makes our democracy work.
But once things come to threats of violence, democratic debate ceases to be about the issues.
It doesn’t matter what side you’re on, we all have to stand up against violence. In addition to destroying families, unchecked threats of violence to achieve political ends can tear at the fabric of our communities, our democracy, and our country.
Please, for the sake of Lesley, George, their baby son and our nation, join me in signing and sharing this petition. Stand with me, Lesley, George, and their family against dangerous extremism.
Together we’ll make sure that law enforcement, elected officials, and the media don’t turn a blind eye to violent extremists. Together we’ll show these radicals that America is better than that.