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'The Ents are going to war'

Earth Liberation Front arsonists channel Tolkien in their latest house-burning effort.
 
 
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We pull our inspiration from all places, but I have to say, there's something quite odd about the choice of J.R.R. Tolkien's Ents from the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy as mascots for the eco-radicals at the Earth Liberation Front.

They've been setting housing developments on fire for a few years now in the Washington, D.C. metro area. The latest attack came against a housing development in Hagerstown, Md.

ELF torched one brand new house, and singed three others, doing about $300,000 in damage.

The Washington Post got its hands on what appears to be a letter from the ELF claiming responsibility for the attacks:

The sender's address contained the name Treebeard, after the leader of the treelike beings called Ents. In the books, Treebeard watches his friends in the forest being destroyed by the forces of darkness. The e-mail closed by quoting the ancient, talking tree, after he had seen enough: "The Ents are going to war."

What I find strange about the choice of Ents-as-mascot is this: This world is indifferent, and the pathetic fallacy remains pathetic. Nature doesn't fight back. When the last suburban house is torched, it isn't going to wake up the Ents.

Jan Frel is an AlterNet staff writer.