Underground Eco-Vandal Arrested


The Cincinnati Enquirer is reporting the capture of an Environmental Liberation Front member charged with causing $1.1 million of damage to Michigan State University buildings and facilities in 1999:

[Marie Jeanette] Mason is accused of going…on Dec. 31, 1999, to Agriculture Hall on the Michigan State University campus in East Lansing. The indictment says [the group] intended to destroy federally funded plant genetic research being conducted by university employees.

They are accused of getting into the area where the research was stored and setting it on fire. Mason is accused of spray painting "No Genetically Modified Organisms" on building walls just before the fire.

The fire caused $1.1 million damage.

"It was an assault on a core value of free and open inquiry at a research university," MSU President Lou Anna Simon told the Detroit Free Press on Tuesday. "Once you chill the academic climate from doing this kind of work, the cost to society is enormous."…

Mason and the others also are accused of setting fire to commercial logging equipment in Michigan the next day, causing $18,000 in damage while spray painting "ELF" and "Log in Hell." She and the others are charged with arson and conspiracy to commit arson.

More here. This story reminds me of older tales of '60s and '70s radicals popping up years later. And that this sort of stupid, specifically luddite behavior has generally disappeared from the scene. In 2006, reason reported on one bizarre reason why that might be.