Article by hi joiney
Origins Band of Mercy Ronnie Lee founded the Band of Mercy in 1971 which became the ALF in 1976 In December 1963 John Prestige a journalist from Brixham Devon was assigned to cover a Devon and Somerset Staghounds event where he watched hunters chase and kill a pregnant deer In protest he formed the Hunt Saboteurs Association HSA ith the support of the League Against Cruel Sports according to The Guardianhich evolved into groups of volunteers trained to thwart the hunts hounds by blowing horns and laying false scents Molland writes that one of these HSA groups was led by a law student Ronnie Lee who formed his group in Luton in 1971 In 1972 Lee and a fellow activist Cliff Goodman decided more militant tactics were needed They revived the name of a 19th century RSPCA youth group The Bands of Mercy and set up the Band of Mercy which attacked hunters vehicles by slashing tires and breaking windows calling their direct action active compassion Volunteers left notes on the vehicles explaining why they had been attacked assuring the hunters that the attacks were not personal In 1973 the Band of Mercy learned that Hoechst Pharmaceuticals was building a research laboratory near Milton Keynes On November 10 1973 two activists set fire to the building causing 26 000 worth of damage returning six days later to set fire to what was left of it It was the animal liberation movement s first known act of arson Then as now it caused a split within the fledgling movement In July 1974 the Hunt Saboteurs Association offered a 250 reward for information leading to the identification of the Band of Mercy telling the press We approve of their ideals but are opposed to their methods In June 1974 two Band of Mercy activists set fire to boats taking part in the annual seal cull off the Norfolk coast which Molland writes was the last time the cull took place Between June and August 1974 it launched eight raids against animal testing laboratories and others against chicken breeders and gun shops damaging buildings or vehicles Its first act of animal liberation took place during the same period when activists removed half a dozen guinea pigs from a guinea pig farm in Wiltshire which resulted in the owner closing the business fearing further attacks ALF formed In August 1974 Lee and Goodman were arrested for taking part in a raid on Oxford Laboratory Animal Colonies in Bicester earning them the moniker the Bicester Two Daily demonstrations took place outside the court during their trial Lee s local Labour MP Ivor Clemitson included among the demonstrators They were sentenced to three years in prison during which Lee went on the movement s first hunger strike to obtain vegan food and clothing They were paroled after 12 months with Lee emerging more militant than ever In 1976 he organized the remaining Band of Mercy activists and gathered two dozen new recruits 30 activists in all Molland writes that the Band of Mercy name sounded wrong as a description of what Lee saw as a revolutionary movement Lee wanted a name that would Molland writes haunt those who used animals Thus the Animal Liberation Front was born Structure and aims Keith Mann is one of Britain s leading ALF activists The movement is entirely decentralized with no formal membership or hierarchy the absence of which acts as a firebreak when it comes to legal responsibility Volunteers are expected to stick to the ALF s stated aims when using its banner Any direct action that contradicts these aimsnd in particular the provision not to harm human or non human lifeay not be claimed as an ALF act To inflict economic damage on those who profit from the misery and exploitation of animals To liberate animals from places of abuse i e laboratories factory farms fur farms etc and place them in good homes where they may live out their natural lives free from suffering To reveal the horror and atrocities committed against animals behind locked doors by performing nonviolent direct actions and liberations To take all necessary precautions against harming any animal human and non human Any group of people who are vegetarians or vegans and who carry out actions according to ALF guidelines have the right to regard themselves as part of the ALF Labs raided locks glued products spiked depots ransacked windows smashed construction halted mink set free fences torn down cabs burnt out offices in flames car tires slashed cages emptied phone lines severed slogans daubed muck spread damage done electrics cut site flooded hunt dogs stolen fur coats slashed buildings destroyed foxes freed kennels attacked businesses burgled uproar anger outrage balaclava clad thugs It s an ALF thing Keith Mann The provision against physical violence has triggered allegations of hypocrisy from the ALF s critics and bitter divisions within the movement about its meaning and importance Steven Best and Jerry Vlasak a California trauma surgeon who volunteers for the North American press office have both been banned from entering the UK after making statements that appeared to support violence Vlasak told an animal rights conferences in 2003 I don t think you d have to killssassinateoo many vivisectors before you would see a marked decrease in the amount of vivisection going on And I think for five lives 10 lives 15 human lives we could save a million two million 10 million non human animals The nature of the ALF as a leaderless resistance means support for Vlasak s position is hard to measure An anonymous volunteer interviewed in 2005 for 60 Minutes told Ed Bradley H e doesn t operate with our endorsement or our support or our appreciation the support of the ALF We have a strict code of non violence I don know who put Dr Vlasak in the position he s in It wasn t us the ALF Above ground The ALFSG raises money for ALF activists in jail Although the ALF has no formal existence a number of above ground groups with open memberships exist to support volunteers and publicize the direct action The Animal Liberation Front Supporters Group adopts volunteers in jail as prisoners of conscience writing to them or sending supplies anyone can join the ALFSG for a small monthly sum The Vegan Prisoners Support Group created in 1994 when Keith Mann was first jailed works with prison authorities in the UK to ensure that ALF prisoners have access to vegan supplies The Animal Liberation Press Office receives and publicizes anonymous communiqus including claims of responsibility It operates as an ostensibly independent organization funded by public donations though the English High Court ruled in 2006 that it was a vital part of the ALF s strategy There are three publications associated with the ALF Arkangel is a British bi annual magazine founded by Ronnie Lee and sold internationally Bite Back is a magazine and a website where activists leave claims of responsibility In 2005 it published a Direct Action Report stating that in 2004 ALF activists removed 17 262 animals from facilities and claimed 554 acts of sabotage vandalism and arson No Compromise is a San Francisco based website that also reports on ALF actions Philosophy of direct action The acronym ALF within the anarchist A symbol ALF activists believe that animals should not be viewed as property and that scientists and industry have no right to assume ownership of living beings who are each in the words of philosopher Tom Regan the subject of a life In the view of the ALF to fail to recognize this is an example of speciesismhe ascription of different values to beings on the basis of their species membership alonehich they argue is as ethically flawed as racism or sexism They reject the animal welfarist position that more humane treatment is needed for animals they say their aim is empty cages not bigger ones Activists argue that the animals they remove from laboratories or farms are liberated not stolen because they were never rightfully owned in the first place Although the ALF rejects physical violence many activists deny that attacks on property count as violent action comparing the destruction of animal laboratories and other facilities to resistance fighters blowing up gas chambers in Nazi Germany Their argument for sabotage is that the removal of animals from a laboratory simply means they will be quickly replaced but if the laboratory itself is destroyed it not only slows down the restocking process but increases costs possibly to the point of making animal research prohibitively expensive This they argue will encourage the search for alternatives An ALF activist involved in an arson attack on the University of Arizona told No Compromise in 1996 I t is much the same thing as the abolitionists who fought against slavery going in and burning down the quarters or tearing down the auction block Sometimes when you just take animals and do nothing else perhaps that is not as strong a message Peter Singer professor of bioethics at Princeton University has argued that ALF direct action can only be regarded as a just cause if it is non violent and that the ALF is at its most effective when uncovering evidence of animal abuse that other tactics could not expose He cites as an example the ALF raid on the University of Pennsylvania head injury research clinic in 1984 during which footage shot by the researchers was removed showing them laughing at conscious baboons as severe brain damage was inflicted on them The university responded that the treatment of the animals conformed to National Institutes of Health NIH guidelines but as a result of the publicity the lab was closed down the chief veterinarian fired and the university placed on probation Barbara Orlans a former animal researcher with the NIH now with the Kennedy Institute of Ethics writes that the case stunned the biomedical community and is today considered one of the most significant cases in the ethics of using animals in research Singer argues that if the ALF would focus on this kind of direct action instead of sabotage it would appeal to the minds of reasonable people Against this Steven Best writes that industries and governments have too much institutional and financial bias for reason to prevail ALF activist Barry Horne playing with Rocky the dolphin Peter Hughes writes that the ALF s attempts to save Rocky led to a paradigm shift in the UK Peter Hughes of the University of Sunderland cites a 1988 raid led by Barry Horne as an example of positive ALF direct action Horne and four other activists decided to free Rocky the dolphin who had lived in a small concrete pool in Marineland in Brighton for 20 years by moving him 200 yards 180 m from his pool to the sea using a ladder a home made stretcher and a hired Mini Metro They were spotted by police with the dolphin stretcher for which as one of the activists put it we had no legitimate explanation They were convicted of conspiracy to steal but continued to campaign for Rocky s release Marineland eventually agreed to sell him for 120 000 money that was raised with the help of the Born Free Foundation and the Mail on Sunday and in 1991 Rocky was transferred to an 80 acre 320 000 m2 lagoon reserve in the Turks and Caicos Islands then released Hughes writes that the ALF action helped to create a paradigm shift in the UK toward seeing dolphins as individual actors as a result of which he writes there are now no captive dolphins in the UK Philosopher Steven Best a former ALF press officer has coined the term extensional self defense to describe actions carried out in defense of animals by human beings acting as proxy agents He argues that in carrying out acts of extensional self defense activists have the moral right to engage in acts of sabotage or even violence Extensional self defense is justified he writes because animals are in too vulnerable and oppressed a position to fight back Best argues that the principle of extensional self defense mirrors the penal code statues known as the necessity defense which can be invoked when a defendant believes that the illegal act was necessary to avoid imminent and great harm In testimony to the Senate in 2005 Jerry Vlasak stated that he regarded violence against Huntingdon Life Sciences as an example of extensional self defense First wave 19761996 Main article Timeline of Animal Liberation Front actions 1976 1999 Early tactics and ideology Rachel Monaghan of the University of Ulster writes that in their first year of operation alone ALF actions accounted for 250 000 worth of damage targeting butchers shops furriers circuses slaughterhouses breeders and fast food restaurants She writes that the ALF philosophy was that violence can only take place against sentient life forms and therefore focusing on property destruction and the removal of animals from laboratories and farms was consistent with a philosophy of non violence despite the damage they were causing Writing in 1974 Ronnie Lee was insistent that direct action be limited only by reverence of life and hatred of violence and in 1979 he wrote that many ALF raids had been called off because of the risk to life Kim Stallwood a national organizer for the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection BUAV in the 1980s writes that the public s response to early ALF raids that removed animals was very positive in large measure because of the non violence policy When Mike Huskisson removed three beagles from a tobacco study at ICI in June 1975 the media portrayed him as a hero Robin Webb writes that ALF volunteers were viewed as the Robin Hoods of the animal welfare world This glamorization of the movement attracted a new breed of activist Stallwood writes They were younger often unemployed and more interested in anarchism than in animal liberation per se seeing it as part of their opposition to the state rather than as an end in itself and according to Stallwood did not want to adhere to non violence In the early 1980s the BUAV an anti vivisection group founded by Frances Power Cobbe in 1898 among the ALF s supporters Sta
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Obama Czar Wants Mandatory Government Propaganda On Political Websites Cass Sunstein, who wrote a white paper calling for conspiracy theories to be banned, wants to legally force Americans to do whats best for our society and dilute their own free speech Paul Joseph Watson www.prisonplanet.com www.prisonplanet.tv www.infowars.com Monday, May 17, 2010 Disturbing audio has emerged of White House information czar Cass Sunstein, who in a previous white paper called for banning conspiracy theories, demanding that websites be mandated by law to link to opposing information or that pop ups containing government propaganda be forcibly included on political blogs. In an audio excerpt of an interview which was posted on the Breitbart.tv website today, Sunstein discusses how conservative websites should provide links to liberal websites and vice versa or even how political blogs should be made to include pop ups that show a quick argument for a competing view. Sunstein said that if this system couldnt be implemented voluntarily, Congress should hold hearings about mandates, which would legally force people to dilute their own free speech. The Harvard Professor also said that blogs should be forced to list a random draw of 25 popular websites, such as CNN.com www.prisonplanet.com