Times Colonist

Learning a lesson from Tre Arrow

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Environmen­tal activist Tre Arrow admitted in an Oregon court this week that he firebombed three cement trucks in Portland and damaged seven pieces of logging equipment near Mount Hood. The arson attacks, committed in 2001, caused damage estimated at $250,000 US.

Arrow pleaded guilty to two counts of arson. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 12 and the time he served in jails in British Columbia will be taken into considerat­ion.

Why did Arrow end up in jail here? In March 2004, he was caught trying to steal bolt cutters from a Canadian Tire store. He struggled with security staff, then with police. Taken to the police station, he gave his name as Joshua Murray. His lie was not exposed until a fingerprin­t check was made.

It turned out that Arrow, formerly known as Michael Scarpitti, was on the most-wanted list of the Federal Bureau of Investigat­ion, classified as an eco-terrorist.

Off he went to jail, where he insisted that he would eat nothing but raw fruit and vegetables. Locals rallied to his aid to ensure he did not starve. He insisted he was innocent of the U.S. charges.

In September 2004, Arrow admitted in court that he was guilty of theft and had misled a Canadian immigratio­n official. The extraditio­n case took time to make its way through the courts. It was May 2006 before he was finally ordered out, and not surprising­ly, he appealed.

How did he spend his time in jail? Among other things, he spoke with children, via speakerpho­ne, at a local independen­t school. Late last year, Arrow lost his appeal to remain in Canada. Three months ago, he was finally returned to Oregon after spending four years as a guest of Canadian taxpayers. In a courtroom in Portland, he admitted his guilt.

In his time here, Arrow became a hero to a certain breed of environmen­tal activists. He said he was innocent and they believed him. He said he was being persecuted and they bought that line as well. They were conned.

Tre Arrow is no straight arrow. He is a liar, a thief and an arsonist, willing to resort to violence to get his way.

He wasted the time of many Canadians, from those in the justice system to his gullible supporters. He wasted public money and gave nothing but lies and whining in return.

Arrow should not be seen as a hero or a martyr. He should not even be seen as an environmen­talist; his tactics bring disrepute to an honourable cause.

He belongs right where he is — in an Oregon jail.

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