[Ppnews] Lauren Regan on Eugene pleas

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Nov 15 08:52:35 EST 2006

This interview has some information on Daniel's 
plea and is worth sharing. There is no mention of 
their website which is <http://www.cldc.org/>cldc.org
Family and Friends of Daniel McGowan

Willamette Week


HOT ACTION: Lauren Regan, director of the Civil Liberties Defense Center

November 14th 2006 8:00am
BY: <http://www.wweek.com/wwire/?author_id=22>Julie Sabatier |
Lauren Regan

Hot Action, a post running on wwire each Tuesday 
that aims to explore political action and 
activists, debuts this week with Lauren Regan, 
director of the Civil Liberties Defense Center in Eugene, Oregon.
Regan works on the legal team defending Joyanna 
Zacher, Nathan Block, Daniel McGowan and Jonathan 
Paul. Those four people pled guilty to arson and 
conspiracy charges last week in Eugene as part of 
an ongoing federal “eco-sabotage” case, involving 
13 members of the Earth Liberation Front and the Animal Liberation Front.
The arsons, at venues such as the Vail Ski Resort 
in Colorado and the Cavel West meatpacking plant 
in Redmond, took place in four Western states 
from 1996 and 2001, causing an estimated $30 
million in property damage—but no harm to human life.
Between court appearances and a multitude of 
meetings, Regan found a little time to chat with 
us by phone about arson and integrity.
WW: Why did Zacher, Block, McGowan and Paul 
change their pleas to ‘guilty’ when they 
originally said they were not involved in these crimes?
Lauren Regan: I can’t speak for them 
individually, but generally I can say that they 
chose to accept responsibility as long as 
accepting responsibility did not mean informing 
on others and cooperating with the federal 
government. Their co-defendants became federal 
informants almost immediately. In a nutshell, 
they basically wanted this to be the end of this 
investigation. The informants have given a lot of 
information about people and movements that does 
not necessarily have a direct connection to this 
case. All four definitely did admit in open court 
that they participated in the arsons that they were accused of.
Three months ago, it looked like contesting the 
government’s warrantless wiretaps in this case 
could change the whole outlook. Why did you and 
your clients ultimately decide not to pursue this challenge?
Initially, the government admitted that they 
didn’t know if there had been any illegal wiretap 
involved in this investigation. After months of 
negotiating, [the defendants] agreed to withdraw 
the NSA [National Security Agency] motion in 
exchange for the government accepting any change 
of plea. They basically got the same outcomes as 
the non-cooperating defendants as those that were 
offered to the cooperating defendants. The 
non-cooperating defendants will get 18 months 
more. In essence, there’s an 18-month tax for not 
becoming a snitch, which these defendants were 
more than happy to accept in order to keep their 
integrity and their ethical views intact.
No one has yet been charged with “terrorism” in 
this case. Is that likely to change?
No one has been charged with terrorism, but the 
government will be seeking a terrorism 
enhancement for all defendants and we’re going to 
fight like hell to oppose that. The government is 
seeking this enhancement, in my opinion, not 
because they’re seeking to increase the potential 
jail time (even though it can enhance it up to 20 
years). We believe the government is seeking this 
enhancement because that way they can say, ‘we 
haven’t caught any real terrorists—Osama or 
anything—but we did catch these ‘eco-terrorists’ 
in the Northwest.’ 
<http://www.wweek.com/author/?author=JULIE%20SABATIER>JULIE SABATIER

The Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 863-9977
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