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Henrietta Environmental Action Team - HEAT
Sunset - Woods - Plowed Fields
Stopping low density urban sprawl, protecting the natural environment and saving wet lands from uncontrolled development
 Stopping assaults on the environment through direct action

   Direct action in support of ones goals usually comes about as a result of exhausting all strictly legal ways of addressing an issue of general concern to a group of like minded people. I the case of "legal" actions considered unacceptable by environmental groups, direct action is a common response. Typically, environmental assaults at the local level are carried out by developers or owners obtaining zoning changes or conditional use permits which fly in the face of what are considered acceptable uses by activists. After all viable and affordable attempts made to address environmental concerns have failed, some organizations/groups resort to non-violent direct action to block developers and/or owners from going ahead with a project.

   Affinity Groups are the lowest level of organization normally encountered in direct action civil disobedience. These are loosely knit groups who share a common goal and carry out actions in support of that goal but are not directly under the control of a parent organization that can legally be held liable for the civil disobedience.

   Some environmental organization not only engage in civil disobedience but actually commit criminal acts in support of their goals. ELF is an example of an organization operating beyond the fringes of civil actions. While ELF is calling for "a better world", they destroy property and wreaks havok on some businesses. ELF also claims to be against Urban Sprawl but their actions sound more spoiled children. ELF has been carrying out acts for a number of years and has failed to persuade anyone of the merits of their actions.

   If all else fails to stop what is considered to be a threat to the environmental well being of the township, some form of direct action may be needed. This could range from picketing, sit ins at the township office or even physically blocking access to a site. The intention of these low level activities is to draw media and public attention to the failure of the process or the existing laws to protect the township environment against self serving destructive elements. We are totally opposed to any actions which inflict physical harm to persons or existing property. We are no opposed to actions which inflict financial harm on those who would destroy natures gifts and the quality of life they support.

   For those of you who might contemplate civil disobedience in an attempt to stop an environmental assault, we have included some information on such actions, training for, planning of and what to expect as a result.

 

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