Green Terror

An interview with Will Potter, author of "Green is the New Red."

An interview with Will Potter, author of "Green is the New Red."

Michael May

For Will Potter, the subject matter behind Green is the New Red is personal.  While working at the Chicago Tribune, he got a visit from two FBI agents at his apartment. The month before, Potter had been arrested at a protest. He had been passing out flyers in the neighborhood of an insurance executive who did business with Huntington Life Sciences, the infamous animal-testing lab. The FBI agents wanted Potter to help identify and spy on other animal-rights activists—or risk ending up on the domestic terrorism watch list.

Potter didn’t tell the agents what they wanted to know. Instead, he began to investigate heavy-handed law enforcement efforts aimed at environmentalists. While some environmental groups, like the Animal Liberation Front, have done risky and potentially dangerous crimes against property, Potter shows how law enforcement has come after individuals who are guilty of no more than showing support for militant efforts online. And he questions whether the charge of “terrorism” is used too broadly against activists, and shows how it can skew investigations and manipulate public opinion.

Watch the video interview of Will Potter, conducted by Michael May:

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Michael May is a former Observer managing editor. He’s now a freelance journalist based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


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