In February , two teenagers pleaded guilty to burning down housing under construction on Long Island, New York.
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One of the teenagers, Matthew Rammelkamp, testified that he "obtained and received information from the ELF Web site and used that information in furtherance of that conspiracy. I and others then reported, by press release, those acts. Rammelkamp's testimony demonstrates the link between the increasing levels of ecoterrorism in recent years and the growth of the Internet.
Electronic message boards, list services and chat rooms link virtual communities of like-minded ecoterrorists regardless of location. Dozens of ecoterror-related Web sites supply information on how to make bombs and implement attacks, and also offer ideological support and motivation. Activist cells report their actions to these sites, and news of these acts circulates widely. Some of the sites also provide activists with encryption keys so that e-mails cannot be traced.
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Along with names and addresses, the group has posted spouses' names, social security numbers and bank account information. Once the information is relayed electronically, SHAC activists protest outside the homes of targeted employees. In May , for example, Los Angeles protestors gathered at a. Afterward, on its Web site, SHAC warned "we'll be back" and "we know where you live, we know where you work, and we'll make your life hell until you pull out of HLS.
The bombings against Chiron and Shaklee at the end of coincided with the launching of a new SHAC site providing a list of companies tied to HLS that can be sorted by company or state. SHAC's main site also has a "targets" section, which the group hopes will inspire visitors "to get out and smash HLS in any way you can - no matter where you are. Publications like the ALF Primer provide operational instructions and advice and are available for download on several Web sites. The Primer advises activists, for instance, that if "you are using tools such as crowbars or bolt cutters this is mostly for liberations , sharpen or file them after every action, since slight markings on the tool can leave traceable markings on what is opened.
In August , for instance, ALF activists released approximately 10, mink from their pens on a farm in Sultan, Washington. ALF and ELF propaganda is also circulated on the Frontline Information Service FIS , an e-mail-based initiative created in that offers an "uncensored clearing house for information and news about animal liberation activities and activists. In a statement released by ALF and ELF claiming credit for the blaze, the groups said the fire was meant as a warning to corporations worldwide. In another incident involving McDonald's and incendiary devices on March 3, , two explosives designed to spread fire quickly once ignited were found at a McDonald's in Chico, California.
The phrases "meat is murder" and "species equality" were spray-painted in red, as was "Animal Liberation Front. Although the two incendiary devices failed to ignite, a week later a different McDonald's in Chico was damaged by another device. The Internet also helps eco-activists support associates imprisoned for animal or environmental direct actions. Earth Liberation Prisoners ELP , which produces the online newsletter The Spirit of Freedom, provides information about convicts described as "political prisoners" and attempts to mobilize support and aid for them.
Jeffrey "Free" Luers and Craig "Critter" Marshall, perhaps the two most well-known ecoterrorists in jail, are among those listed by ELP as political prisoners. Since their sentencing, many from the environmentalist, animal rights and anarchist movements have solicited financial support for them, created Web sites to generate publicity and organized concerts on their behalf to raise both awareness and funds.
Green Anarchy, a Eugene, Oregon-based newspaper also includes a list of "prisoners of war" organized by movement anarchist, anti-imperialist, animal liberation, etc. The Earth First! Journal has a political prisoners section that provides contact information for anarchists, "ecological resistance," anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist convicts. Because they often operate anonymously in small cells, ecoterrorists have been difficult to apprehend. However, during the past two years law enforcement authorities have made a number of significant arrests and several ecoterrorists have been charged for their criminal activity and sentenced to prison terms.
Many eco-activists affiliate themselves with a brand of anarchism that opposes modernization and its effects on the natural environment. Some call themselves primitivists, or green anarchists, and contend that humans were better off thousands of years ago, before the advent of farming.
Based on an ideology devised by John Zerzan and centered in the Eugene, Oregon, area, primitivism "views technology and civilization as an unnecessary evil and believes humanity would be much happier and healthier outside the modern industrial world," according to the Eugene-based radical publication Green Anarchy. Various anarchist publications and Web sites articulate the movement's ideology. For example, Green Anarchy provides ideological support for anti-capitalist and anti-authoritarian groups, as well as for the animal and earth liberation movements.
A letter written by the imprisoned activist Craig "Critter" Marshall, published in Green Anarchy, illustrates the connection: "Only by hitting corporations and government establishments where they 'feel it' will they ever collapse and take this 'whole stinking order' with them. In , activists joined forces for the Green Anarchy Tour, which traveled the country in "an attempt to bridge the gap between the punk movement, the revolutionary anarchist movement, the ecological movement, and the prisoners of war that have been incarcerated for their involvement in the struggles listed above.
A similar tour was scheduled to travel across the country in the summer of The "Total Liberation Tour," which promoted a radical social agenda and sought to gather hardcore bands and speakers representing radical animal rights and environmental groups, was scheduled to make stops in nine cities throughout the U. The tour was a failure, however, and the only stops that received any notable media attention were Syracuse, New York and Salt Lake City, Utah. The tour was so disappointing that the Web site promoting it stated, "The days of Vegan Straight Edge, and hardcore music as a vibrant political force, have long since passed.
Every one who wishes to participate in this struggle should obtain a high-quality combat handgun and rifle of common model and caliber. Terrorism in the name of animal and environmental protection has steadily increased during the past decade in the United States. Automobile dealerships, forestry companies, corporate and university-based medical research laboratories, restaurants, medical-supply firms, fur farms and other industries continue to be targeted. Lewis of the FBI's Counterterrorism Division noted the "upswing in violent rhetoric and tactics" among ecoterrorists and said that in recent years ALF and ELF "have become the most active criminal extremist elements in the United States.
Despite a few successes by law enforcement in capturing those responsible for ecoterror-related crimes, most acts remain unsolved.
Ecoterror cells remain extremely difficult to identify and infiltrate, and it is unlikely that this rapidly growing movement will disappear soon. A widespread campaign of intimidation and violence by animal rights extremists against University of California UC scientists and researchers has been marked by numerous acts of harassment, vandalism and a series of firebombings and attempted firebombings deliberately targeting individuals. The packages were never received, according to authorities.
Despite some legal efforts taken by the UC system and the state of California, animal rights extremists, who often operate in small and loosely affiliated cells, have continued their activity and most of the attacks remain unsolved. In addition to having their homes and cars vandalized, and in some cases firebombed, employees at these universities have been harassed and received death threats. Incidents targeting individuals and property associated with the UC system include the following:.
The activity of animal rights extremists in the Los Angeles area in recent years extends well beyond the UC system. The city's Department of Animal Services and its former general manager, Guerdon Stuckey, have also been targeted. This is why we covered Deborah's black SUV with tons of stripper and poured red paint all over the steps, walkway and fancy ornamental light fixtures. He got off way to [sic] easy.
Eco-Terrorism: Radical Environmental and Animal Liberation Movements
ALF has also claimed responsibility for acts of vandalism against Deputy Mayor Blackman, including two at his home and one at the home of his parents. The group claimed to have glued locks shut and splattered red paint on the front porch of the Blackmans' home on December 30, , in an effort to "bring attention to the blood being spilled because of their son Jimmy. The Web site included a "target" list of UCLA personnel, along with their photographs and home addresses, but also featured a disclaimer saying that "those who consider themselves part of the Primate Freedom Project UCLA chapter, do not engage in or encourage any illegal activities.
For example, following the attempted firebombing of the home of Lynn Fairbanks, the director of the Center for Primate Neuroethology at UCLA, on June 30, , a PFP spokesperson said that the director "is riding a gravy train to personal gain, nothing else, and I hope the ALF stops her in her tracks. The site has been taken down. PFP's presence outside of Los Angeles includes the National Primate Research Exhibition Hall, a museum in Madison, Wisconsin, that likens the treatment of animals in research labs to that of Jews and others who suffered during the Holocaust.
The museum's Web site explains, "Like a Holocaust Memorial at the Gates of Auschwitz, the National Primate Research Exhibition Hall makes the clear statement that what is occurring in these labs across the country and the world is wrong and must be stopped. The campaign against the University of California began several months after an annual animal rights conference was held in Los Angeles.
The "Animal Rights National Conference" featured representatives of the Primate Freedom Project PFP and Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty, a radical animal rights group known for posting on its Web site the names, addresses, phone numbers and other personal information of people who work at companies doing business with its primary target, Huntingdon Life Sciences, a British-based research firm that runs an animal testing laboratory in New Jersey.
Jerry Vlasak, a trauma surgeon in Southern California who co-founded the Woodland Hills-based North American Animal Liberation Press Office, which shares information and statements from extremist cells that commit criminal activity, was also in attendance.
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As one of the primary spokespeople for the extreme animal rights movement, Vlasak frequently speaks to media in support of acts of violence and intimidation carried out against UC scientists. For example, following the March arrest of four individuals in connection with incidents of harassment and intimidation against animal researchers at UC-Berkeley and UC-Santa Cruz UCSC , including an attempted home invasion, Vlasak praised the foursome for the alleged actions: "We applaud anybody who steps up to the plate.
Vlasak regularly advocates killing humans in order to save animals during interviews with print and broadcast media. He has referred to the notion of murdering medical researchers in order to save laboratory animals as a "morally justifiable solution," and has stated that, "if animal abusers aren't going to stop perpetrating these types of atrocities, they ought to be stopped using whatever means necessary. The tactics and ideology promoted by Vlasak have increasingly been put into practice by animal rights extremists targeting the UC system, and Vlasak blames targeted researchers for any harm done to them.
In response to the firebombings at UCSC in August , Vlasak implied that researchers knowingly jeopardize the safety of their families by testing on animals: "It's regrettable that certain scientists are willing to put their families at risk by choosing to do wasteful animal experiments in this day and age," Vlasak said in one interview. In another interview, Vlasak said, "If their father is willing to continue risking his livelihood in order to continue chopping up animals in a laboratory, then his children are old enough to recognize the consequences…This guy knows what he is doing.
He knows that every day that he goes into the laboratory and hurts animals that it is unreasonable not to expect consequences.
Following the firebombing of a UCLA primate researcher's home in February , Vlasak stated, "This recent attack should come as no surprise to [Edythe] London; I wouldn't be astonished if she remains a target until she stops her heinous experiments upon these innocent and unconsenting primates. Vlasak made some of his most incendiary comments about animal researchers during an animal rights conference in Los Angeles in , when he told an audience that the assassination of scientists working in biomedical research would save millions of animals' lives.
And I think for five lives, ten lives, 15 human lives, we could save a million, two million, ten million non-human lives. The deliberate targeting of university employees involved in animal research is not a new phenomenon, nor is it limited to California. For example, a group calling itself Tucson H.
Tucson H. The group dedicated both acts to the four individuals arrested on February 20 in connection with incidents of harassment and intimidation against animal researchers at UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz. A sampling of other college campuses targeted by animal rights extremists, who have carried out acts of vandalism, animal release, arson and other types of property destruction, includes:. Skip Navigation. Expand search Search. Media: No Compromise, Earth First!
The Radical Environmental and Animal Liberation Movements : Extremism in America - oi
Journal, Green Anarchy, Bite Back Magazine, many Web sites Influences: Mainstream animal and environmental welfare groups, anarchists Criminal Activity: Arson, bombing, harassment, vandalism, animal release. Introduction In recent years, an increasing amount of terrorist activity in the United States has been carried out in the name of animal and environmental protection.
Activities It is difficult to identify exactly when ALF first acted domestically; a very early incident in involved vandals breaking into the New York University Medical School and releasing five animals. Activities ELF first claimed sole responsibility for an attack in the U. Origins Activists in the U.