This documentary depicts the increasingly harsh treatment of people who protest against what they see as crimes to the environment. Today, protesters who were once described as environmental activists are being called ‘terrorists’, and environmental activism is being labeled ‘eco-terrorism’.
Environmental activists being labeled as terrorists is an increasingly real threat since United States Federal Bureau of Investigation now includes a category for 'eco-terrorism' under its Domestic Terrorism Section. Many see the use of the term 'eco-terrorist' as a propaganda term devised by law-enforcement to criminalize or marginalize their protests.
Our subjects are people who have been active most of their lives in environmental actions – often illegal because of Court Orders – and even willing to risk going to jail to protect planet Earth.
We examine the very personal struggles these activists face, by visiting one young activist (Tre Arrow) as he spends his young days imprisoned in a Canadian institution, and fights extradition to the United States and life in an American jail as an ‘eco terrorist’; by witnessing the prejudice and intolerance that one woman, Courtenay, BC's 85-year-old veteran activist Ruth Masters, is facing within her own community, as the land next her property (recently donated for preservation purposes) is ravaged by property developers; and hearing from other key activists voicing their concerns about the labeling of any activity that threatens the powers-that-be as ‘terrorism’, and the potential ramifications of this.
Environmentalist and refugee hopeful,Tre Arrow was incarcerated in Canada in March 2004. He faced being extradited back to the US where the US Government were laying charges that would see him locked up for the rest of his life if convicted. After working tirelessly for years to protect some of the only ancient forests left in the North Western U.S., Tre had become an extremely well known, peaceful, yet effective organizer. Tre found himself at the forefront of an environmental movement, which successfully interfered with industrial powers; he feels he therefore became a target. Environmental journalist Tim Ream wrote in reference to Tre's case, “If you garner increasing popular support, you are a threat to everything the state stands for. You must be stopped.”
Courtenay’s Ruth Masters was a WWII nurse, and saw a great deal of destruction overseas, which compelled her to spend the rest of her days trying to protect the environment from any more of the same. She was at the forefront of nearly every successful environmental action in BC over the past forty years, is one of the “Raging Grannies”(a prolific group of elderly activists) and was recently named the Comox Valley’s “Citizen of the Year”. Yet ironically enough, despite her best efforts, she was unable to stop the ravaging of the property next to hers, nor even given an opportunity to purchase it. She has faced tremendous adversity herself and has some very strong concerns about the use of the term ‘eco-terrorist’ in relation to any of her activities, which she feels have been the only really effective means for environmental protection.
We have also filmed compelling interviews with Tzeporah Berman -- Cortes Island’s young activist who was a key organizer of the Clayoquot Sound protest camp; Alexandra Morton of the Raincoast Research Society --- who was responsible for exposing the salmon lice issue; Derrick Jensen, one of the foremost philosophers of the radical environmental movement, and the author of End Game, a book which encourages active resistance, and effective activists Zoe Blunt and Ingmar Lee. All of these people have faced great adversity in their attempts to protect the environment, and now feel increasingly threatened by the use of the term 'eco terrorist’.
In spite of such adversity, many activists continue to make waves, and even train others in resistance measures. We have also captured compelling footage of young activists participating in the Wild Earth radical activists' conference, where they learned how to climb trees to set up ‘tree sits’, paint banners and learned about green anarchy and non-violent protest activities. Eco Warriors is a 53-minute documentary, filmed on broadcast-quality video. Our intended audience is those of 12 years and upwards.
Eco Warriors is a film by The Red Octopus Collective, a group of filmmakers and activists who are bravely exposing the truth in an effort to make the world a better place.
About the Producer
Film and Video Producer Jennifer Pickford of Pickford Productions Ltd. is an award-winning filmmaker who has worked in a producer's role on numerous documentaries for broadcast, corporate and promotional videos. She wrote, co-produced and directed the critically acclaimed broadcast hour documentary Crimes of Compassion for Global Television. She has also produced programming for CTV, CBC, Rogers, Prime, Knowledge, W, Corus Entertainment and Noga Communications in Israel. Her films have been screened at numerous festivals and exhibitions around the world.
Pickford Productions Ph: (250) 218-0174
For information about this film's release, please send us an email or like our Facebook page: Eco Warriors, the Documentary.
This documentary produced with the assistance of the BC Arts Council, Audain Foundation and Comox Valley Community Arts Council.