For the first time in history, authorities in Oklahoma arrested their own citizens under the anti-terrorism law, something which is bound to become a hot topic of debate, considering that the men were protesters.
Although the law was essentially passed to capture terrorists, in all probability from another country, this time it was two people in Oklahoma protesting against Devon Energy that were taken into custody.
A total of four were placed under arrest, but two were held on the basis that they had allegedly violated an Oklahoma anti-terrorism law prohibiting “terrorism hoaxes”. The demonstrators were protesting against Devon Energy and its role in fracking and tar sands mining, including the Keystone XL pipeline.
In a show of civil disobedience, two people locked themselves to a revolving door leading into the atrium of Devon Tower. They used a bike lock. Meanwhile, their other two associates unfurled a banner from the second floor with a Mockingjay emblem from The Hunger Games. The banner also had a slogan that read, “The odds are never in our favor”.
There was also a second banner, this one showing support for indigenous activists in Canada who have been fighting to prevent energy extraction on their land.
Attorney Douglas Parr, who is representing the two individuals that unfurled The Hunger Games banner, spoke to The Dissident and said that glitter “fell off the banner” to the floor of the atrium. Both men left the building when asked to vacate, but were later sought out by the police and arrested. Their accomplices, locked to the revolving door, were also taken into custody.
Stefan and Bailey were booked for violating of an Oklahoma felony statute called “terrorism hoax”, which prohibits people from “willfully faking a terrorist attack. The men at the revolving doors, meanwhile, were charged with trespassing.
Parr said that to “my knowledge, it is the first time that any of these statutes in Oklahoma have been used with regard to protest activity.” It’s also the “first time terrorist charges” have been “used as a basis for an arrest”.
So it is not only the Arabs and people from Muslim states that are susceptible to arrest by US authorities for terrorism.
At the same time, one must question if individuals protesting peacefully for their demands can be classified as terrorists. After all, they didn’t blow anything up nor did they appear to have any such intentions.