Webster's New World Dictionary defines terrorism as: the use of force or threats to intimidate, etc. [ibid] esp. as a political policy.
It's possible the colloquial use of the word terrorism has moved beyond Webster's, Princeton University's, or others' definitions. None of the definitions I read required violence, murder, assault, or property destruction. Threats as a means to coerce is a good enough definition.
To make our case for us, BAMN's national coordinater, Donna Stern, couldn't help but make more threats in The Woodward Talk regarding attempts to stop their intimidation:
The topic of police intervention led Stern to deliver a taut reminder that BAMN is well aware of its civil liberties. “If Ferndale (tried to stop us from protesting), they would be in violation of our freedom of speech and our freedom of assembly (rights), and we would sue,” she said. “Just because you don’t like what we’re doing doesn’t mean you have the right to block democracy.”Maybe the problem with describing BAMN's actions as terrorism isn't with the word terrorism. Rather, it may be because the terrorists we're most familiar with; Hamas, al-Qaeda, Timothy McVeigh, as well as eco and animal-rights activists, have taken terrorism to extremes previously thought unconscionable. Sure, al-Qaeda may represent the vanguarde of uber-terrorists, but their pushing the envelope doesn't make BAMN's threats and intimidation any less coercive, it only makes other terrorists more blood-thirsty and desperate.
If you'd like to suggest another word than terrorism to describe BAMN's threats to Ferndale businesses to join their fight against a 3rd party or risk pickets, boycotts, harassing customers, and economic penalties to business and employees, I'm anxious to hear from you.