Alberto Toscano argues that "the case of France's Tarnac Nine shows we are losing the political literacy to distinguish between sabotage and terrorism":
The war on terror, which we were once told was infinite, seems past its sell-by-date. Even David Miliband has declared the term to be "misleading and mistaken". But its effects on our polities persist. Following an age-old script, laws that had been sold as emergency measures have sunk their roots deep into the practices and mentalities of our governments. All forms of dissent that are linked, however tenuously, to politically-motivated illegal behaviour now fall within the purview of anti-terrorism measures, which claim to a nebulous "security" as their ultimate rationale.
While the geopolitical imperatives that underlay the war on terror are being fundamentally questioned, anti-terrorism continues to be used and abused as a flexible repressive instrument across Europe and beyond. From ecological activism to sociological research, there is little that anti-terrorism legislation cannot cover. The case of the "Tarnac Nine", which has recently drawn such attention in France after a series of spectacular arrests on 11 November 2008, is a case in point (more...)