Tag Archives: animal liberation front

Comic Book Review: Liberator #1

19 Jun

Liberatorfrom Earth First! Newswire

The first issue of the Animal Liberation Front-inspired comic book, Liberator, hits shelves today. Check it out for pages of awesome animal fury against cruel anthropocentrists.

Liberator #1 [Black Mask Studios, 2013] is about two activists—one who puts her freedom on the line by committing civil disobedience, and one who works underground, running an autonomous campaign of liberation and sabotage against dog fighting rings and fur farmers. Security culture, tactical diversity, shitty coworkers, asshole cops, explosions—Liberator seems to have it all. It’s refreshing to see a comic hero fighting for something I care about, rather than protecting the financial security of the rich and middle class. The comic world hasn’t had anything approaching this since Grant Morrison’s Animal Man chickened out during a laboratory arson.

The art, with illustrations by Javier Sanchez Aranda and coloring by Joaquin Pereyra, is lively and engaging, if a little more technophilic than I would have expected from such a niche publication. But where Liberator really sets itself apart is with its writing. In a medium dense with mutations and magic, Matt Miner presents us with a new kind of hero. Damon, the protagonist, is a barista by day and an almost Travis Bickle-like ski mask-donning animal rescuer by night.

Continue reading

Orginal Animal Liberation Front Communique From 1986 Raid

29 Dec

Read the Original Typed Communique from 1986 Oregon ALF Raid

by Peter Young

Building Raided by the Animal Liberation Front in 1986

Recently I had the good fortune of getting access to a rare ALF document retrieved from the University of Oregon’s internal files. Someone had found the original typed communique sent to the school by the Animal Liberation Front after their raid of the U of O’s labs in 1986, and offered it for publication here – to be read in full, maybe for the first time since the 1980s.

Over 200 animals were rescued in the raid, equipment destroyed, and photos confiscated. The ALF issued this communique in response to misinformation about the raid spread by the university.

The person who found the communique scanned the original document, which I am posting here. To my knowledge, this communique has not been published in full for 25 years – if ever.

The entry for this raid from the ALF Diary of Actions reads:

October 26th, 1986
Eugene, OR
University of Oregon raided. Overnight
break-in at two buildings. 264 animals
(12 hamsters, 28 cats, 24 rabbits, 100
rats and pigeons) liberated. $120,000 in
damage to the labs.
A.L.F. Unit #5, Pacific Northwest

The only person to admit to a role in this raid is Jonathan Paul, recently released from prison, after serving 4 years for another ALF action: burning down the Cavel West horse slaughterhouse in Redmond, Oregon. As part of his plea agreement in that case, Paul admitted to a role in a host of other Animal Liberation Front actions, including the raid of the University of Oregon labs.

Take inspiration from this well-written, powerful, and little-seen ALF document.

Read the communique here.

Justin Solondz Pleads Guilty

21 Dec

UW Center of Urban Horticulture after May 2001 Fire

The man accused of building the firebomb used by Earth Liberation Front radicals to torch the University of Washington’s Center for Urban Horticulture in 2001 pleaded guilty this morning in U.S. District Court in Tacoma. Justin Solondz, 31, pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy and arson under a plea agreement with federal prosecutors, who agreed to recommend a seven-year prison sentence when Solondz is sentenced on March 16.

The man accused of building the firebomb used by Earth Liberation Front radicals to torch the University of Washington’s Center for Urban Horticulture in 2001 pleaded guilty this morning in U.S. District Court in Tacoma.

Justin Solondz, 31, pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy and arson under a plea agreement with federal prosecutors, who agreed to recommend a seven-year prison sentence when Solondz is sentenced on March 16.

A former student at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Solondz was arrested July 6 in Chicago after his expulsion from China, where he had been serving a prison term for selling drugs.

Solondz was a purported member of a cell of radical environmentalists known as “The Family” who are believed to have participated in a string of arsons and other sabotage that caused $80 million in damage in Washington, Oregon, California and Colorado. Prosecutors claimed that Solondz built a firebomb in a “clean room” behind a home in Olympia, transported it to Seattle and served as the getaway driver the night of the UW arson.

The firebomb was planted in the office of UW professor Toby Bradshaw at the Center for Urban Horticulture. Bradshaw was targeted because the arsonists believed, mistakenly, he was genetically engineering trees. [EF!J Ed. note: see correction below]

Damage from the arson was estimated at more than $6 million.

In June, Solondz’s former girlfriend, Briana Waters, pleaded guilty to charges of arson, conspiracy to use a destructive device, possessing an unregistered destructive device and the use of an explosive device in a crime of violence in connection with the arson. She agreed to testify against Solondz.

Two other women, Lacey Phillabaum and Jennifer Kolar, pleaded guilty to the UW arson and were sentenced to three and five years, respectively. [EF!J Ed. note: Kolar and Phillabaum also cooperated with the state by testifying against others arrested for  ELF actions. Further details about them and other are listed here.]

Also charged in the UW arson was William C. Rodgers, who committed suicide in an Arizona jail in December 2005.

Solondz was indicted in Washington state and California in 2006. The FBI issued a $50,000 reward in late 2008 for information leading to his arrest. At the time, the FBI said he might be in Canada, Europe or Asia.

He surfaced in Dali, a Chinese city popular with Western tourists, using a phony Canadian identification and an altered appearance. He was arrested in a drug investigation in March 2009 and was sentenced to three years in prison.

Article reposted from Seattle Times.

EF! Journal Editors’ note and correction: Bradshaw was indeed involved with genetic engineering of poplar trees at the time of the arson, which is plainly clear from the University of Washington website: “Toby Bradshaw, a research professor in the department of Botany, is just one of many UW professors using genetic modification in their research…” 

The Seattle Times article’s allegation that the “arsonists believed, mistakenly, he was genetically engineering trees” is an outright lie perpetuated by industry PR machines. The dispute was only a minor technical matter between the language of the ELF communique and the quote by Bradshaw himself—the ELF alleging that he was engineering trees for commercial release, Bradshaw claiming that his research would never leave the lab.

Meanwhile, the massive push by biotech lobbyists continues with the assistance of lackeys like Bradshow at their service, as does the battle to stop GE trees from spreading across the world (including the US.) Just ask groups like the Global Justice Ecology Project about AborGen.

Activists Silenced by Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act File Lawsuit

19 Dec

by: Mike Ludwig, Truthout | Report

(Photo Illustration: Lance Page / Truthout)

Animal rights activists filed a federal lawsuit on Thursday to challenge the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA), a law they say has violated their First Amendment rights and allows the government to label peaceful protesters as “terrorists.”

Plaintiffs Sarahjane Blum and Iver “J” Johnson, who have both been animal rights activists for more than a decade, said AETA intimidated activists into silence and squashed their movement.

“I spent years uncovering conditions on foie gras farms and educating the public about the way ducks and geese are abused,” said Blum. “I no longer feel free to speak my mind on these issues out of fear that my advocacy could actually convince people to stop eating foie gras – affecting those businesses’ bottom line and turning me into an animal enterprise terrorist.”

Critics claim AETA has implications for dissenters beyond the animal rights movement. Attorneys with the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), who are representing the plaintiffs, told reporters that the Bush-era law is too broad and could be interpreted as designating certain acts of civil disobedience as terrorist activity.

Meeropol said AETA’s language is so broad that Occupy Wall Street protesters could be labeled terrorists if they caused a bank with a cafeteria that serves meat to lose property or business during an action.

On the surface, AETA seems to target direct action groups like the Animal Liberation Front that, in the past, have taken credit for arsons that destroyed factory farms and liberating animals from laboratories. AETA is often lumped in with the so-called Green Scare of the last decade, which saw a government crackdown on animal rights and environmental activists in the name of fighting “eco-terrorism.”

Fur farmers and pharmaceutical companies that test products on animals lobbied for AETA and claim the law protects property from destruction and employees from intimidation. Critics, however, claim the AETA is written so broadly that anyone who interferes with an animal enterprise’s profit margins could be labeled a terrorist and sent to prison.

Johnson said his fellow activists are now afraid to organize and engage in legal protest activity because they fear even marching and chanting could be considered terrorist activity under AETA.

“There was a general fear in the community that engaging in First Amendment speech could cause them to be designated terrorists under the AETA,” said Johnson.

The law amends the 1992 Animal Enterprise Protection Act (AEPA) and makes it easier for the justice department to target animal rights activists. In 2006, a group of activists from the group Stop Huntington Animal Cruelty now known as the SHAC 7 were convicted of conspiring to violate AEPA by publishing a web site advocating protest activity against animal testing labs and their employees. Each activist received prison sentences for this web publishing.

In 2009, terrorism officials arrested four activists under AETA in California for protesting in front of people’s homes. The activists faced ten years in prison for leafleting, chanting, drawing on the sidewalk with chalk and using the Internet to find information on animal researchers. A federal judge dismissed the case in 2010 after CCR filed a motion.

Animal Liberation Front (A.L.F.) Liberates Elk from Oregon Farm

9 Sep

Article by Peter Young, reposted from Voice of the Voiceless

Animal Liberation Front cuts away fencing, release elk from farmAnimal Liberation Front raids Oregon elk farm

On the night of August 29th, the Animal Liberation Front raided the Damascus Elk Farm (23255 SE Highway 212) in Clackamas, Oregon. Fencing was stripped away, giving the animals a chance at escape. According to the communique received by the Animal Liberation Press Office, the ALF were forced to make a premature departure in the middle of the raid due to a “disturbance”.

This is the second deer farm raid in Oregon in the past year, and the third ever in the U.S. The previous raid took place in October 2010 at a deer farm in Molalla, Oregon. That action followed the same model: fencing was stripped away from pens, allowing the animals to escape into the surrounding countryside.

The full communique reads:

“On the night of August 29th, a small band of animal liberationists crept quietly onto the property of Damascus Elk Farm located at 23255 SE Highway 212 in Clackamas, OR. This farm raises dozens of Roosevelt Elk for commercial slaughter. Once we made it to the elk pens, wire cutters were used to successfully remove a large section of fencing from one of the pens. Unfortunately due to a disturbance, we had to cut our action short and we were unable to open the remaining pens. The total number of animals (if any) that got away is unknown, but the intent of our action should be made perfectly clear: to prevent directly the violence that is inherent to animal agriculture and to liberate sentient animal back into their native habitat.

Across the country there are thousands of elk and deer being held captive on farms, waiting to be liberated back into the wild. These acts of liberation are generally low risk and can directly save the lives of animals. Elk and deer farms have little to no security and the small size of the industry makes these farms particularly vulnerable to sabotage.

With this act we attempted to remove the last barrier between these wild creatures and their new, free lives. Link by link, these barriers will be dismantled in our society, to create a new ethic of freedom and accountability. Assist us in the struggle for liberation, or stand on the wrong side of history.

 For all those imprisoned.  -Animal Liberation Front”