Will Potter, founder of the GreenIsTheNewRed blog, discusses the prison-within-a-prison Communications Management Units (CMUs) designed to silence non-violent activist prisoners, limited oversight and questionable legal authority for CMUs, the tendency of governments to criminalize dissent from the left and right and why the erosion of individual rights (even of prisoners) negatively effects the whole society.
MP3 here. (23:39)
Will Potter is an award-winning independent journalist based in Washington, D.C., who has become a leading authority on “eco-terrorism,” the environmental and animal rights movements, and civil liberties post 9/11.
He has tracked how lawmakers and corporations have labeled animal rights and environmental activists as “eco-terrorists.” And he has closely followed the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, the Earth Liberation Front arrests in “Operation Backfire,” and the landmark First Amendment case of the SHAC 7.
Will has testified before the U.S. Congress on his reporting, and frequently speaks with journalists and in public forums about efforts to roll back civil liberties in the name of fighting terrorism. Media interviews have included Democracy Now, United Press International and Air America. Speaking engagements have included the New York City Bar Association, Yale Law School and the Los Angeles County Bar Association, among many others.
He has written for publications including: The Chicago Tribune, The Dallas Morning News, The Vermont Law Review, Legal Affairs, The Chronicle of Higher Education, In These Times, The Texas Observer, The Washington City Paper, Z and Counterpunch. His work has been circulated widely on political websites, and has appeared in Opposing Viewpoints (Greenhaven Press, 2006), Punishing Protest (National Lawyer’s Guild, 2007), Censored ’08 (Seven Stories Press, 2007), and course materials for universities. He created the news service GreenIsTheNewRed.com, where he reports on the Green Scare and history repeating itself.
His reporting on the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act has been recognized by Project Censored “for outstanding investigative journalism,” as one of the top 25 “stories that didn’t make the news” in 2007. He has also received the Mark of Excellence award for feature writing, presented by the Society of Professional Journalists, in addition to recognition from Scripps Howard, and the Press Club of Dallas.
Will frequently ghostwrites op-ed columns for public figures—including a former U.S. president, members of Congress and a former assistant defense secretary—on civil liberties issues like the Patriot Act. They have appeared in publications like USA Today, The Washington Times and The Orlando Sentinel.
Will received his master’s in writing from The Johns Hopkins University and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in journalism.