"Whoa!" Moment

If you have been following Pacific Northwest news, there has been an ongoing story about a group of ELF/ALF activists that called themselves “The Family” that have been arrested since December. Portland’s Indymedia site has a copy of their indictment from the 20th of this month. There is an article about them in the New York Times today.

The weird thing, for me, is that I worked with one of these people. He was Joe Dibee (known as “Seattle” in the group). I worked with Joe for the last two and a half years or so. He worked for one of my (until recent) peers in the QA org for my group. He and I did not talk much at all but said “Hi” and he occasionally came to my office because one of my tasks was ordering and dispersing hardware for our orgs. He seemed like a decent guy but kind of a non-entity in a way. Not that there wasn’t stuff going on but we didn’t really connect on any level. Other coworkers have told me that they had spoken to him about outdoors and environmental related things and it was clear that he cared a lot about them.

At the beginning of the holiday season, he left work (one assumes that this is one he ran) but I didn’t really notice because it is the time a lot of people take off during December. I only noticed about a week or so before all the news stories hit (after I got back from my own trip) because it was mentioned that he was no longer working with us and that seemed odd. Suffice it to say, it was handled professionally and was not stemming from his legal matters directly. Asking around, I began to hear rumors of the FBI and such. Finally, on the 20th, the indictment went up and news stories started mentioning him by name. We’ve talked about it amongst ourselves at work but everyone just kind of shrugs and says, “Well, that’s pretty weird…” and moves on. I don’t think anyone knows what to do when you realize that your coworker is accused of providing times for incendiary devices for ELF attacks.

This Seattle Times article discusses it a bit and has a picture of him: link