Facebook Friending Lands Activist in Prison
Rod Coronado is an activist who has been involved with many different causes and campaigns since the ’90s. He has published articles and given lectures on his experiences working with various animal rights groups including The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
Coronado has been convicted of multiple crimes associated with his activism, including some that were clear violations of Coronado’s constitutional free speech rights.
Regardless, he has since publicly renounced illegal and destructive means as effective methods of creating social change. He stated in an open letter from prison “Let our opposition who believe in violence carry the burden for its justification, but let those who believe in peace and love practice a way of life that our society sorely needs now more than ever.”
As part of his most recent plea agreement, Coronado was ordered not to use unmonitored computers and not to associate with violent activists or activists who advocate violence. The Facebook action that resulted in Coronado’s arrest was accepting a friend request from Earth First! activist Mike Roselle.
But Mike Roselle is not a violent activist. In fact, Mike Roselle has never been charged with a violent crime.
This is a clear example of the government’s witch hunt of any activists who are associated with animal rights or environmentalism. This is a clear case of guilty by association, where Coronado is being imprisoned for what the government thinks that people connected to Roselle might have done.
Coronado’s Probation Officer also stated that Coronado had been using an unmonitored computer or computer-related device to access Facebook. But court documents seem to state the PO had known about this since March.
Coronado has again and again stated his desire to get away from his past and start a new life, free of violence, but it seems no matter what you do, there are some people who won’t let you live down your past.
Rod Coronado was sentenced earlier this month to four months in prison for violating the terms of his probation. When he is released, will he finally be allowed to live his life, or will he continue to be subject to legal hassles? Only time will tell.
Photo: Public Domain