As the old adage goes, “Show me your friends and I’ll show you who you are.” This rings especially true for PETA, which has been listed besides neo-Nazis in a UK government anti-terrorism guide. Released mid-2019, the guide was produced by The National Counter Terrorism Policing Network, a government agency that is comprised of local police forces from around the country.
For those who may be unaware, PETA has a history with accusations of terrorism. A 2001 investigation by the FBI found that PETA had, “financed or contributed to the legal defense funds of some of animal rights extremists charged with crimes.” During the 1990s, PETA paid over $70,000 to Rodney Coronado, an Animal Liberation Front (ALF) serial arsonist convicted of burning down a Michigan State University research laboratory. PETA also made a donation to the North American Earth Liberation Front, an FBI-designated terrorist group responsible for a litany of crimes including firebombing.
Greenpeace isn’t so clean either. In 2014, members of the organization made quite the scene when they vandalized a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In an attempt to raise awareness about renewable energy, members trespassed and laid out giant letters on top of Nazca Lines, ancient sand paintings that have been around since about 500 BCE.
Greenpeace has also committed vandalism by destroying genetically modified crops. Genetic engineering technology can help crops weather drought conditions or fortify them with vital vitamins, but Greenpeace is ideologically opposed to this techthese advancements. Greenpeace activists are also facing federal and state charges for disrupting shipping channels in Houston.
While PETA, Greenpeace, and other groups mentioned are shocked at their inclusion in the guide alongside neo-Nazi organizations, it’s reasonbable to mention them.
The document’s purpose is to allow police to properly prepare and respond to threats and prevent possible offenses from being committed. Many non-violent protests these groups hold create disruption and panic. According to the document, at these protests there is “potential for the event to be hijacked or infiltrated by more extremist groups.” Police say the document’s purpose is to help program partners “identify and understand the range of organisations they might come across.”
Pro tip: If you don’t want to be listed alongside unsavory extremist groups, don’t act like extremists.