For Immediate Release
November 10, 2008
Los Angeles, CA: Last week, University of California regents and their corporate attorneys obtained a civil conviction in Santa Monica of peaceful picketer Pamelyn Ferdin, who was charged with handing out leaflets detailing the torture of non-human primates in UCLA laboratories. Ferdin is a regular protester of animal abuse, albeit one who has never participated in illegal actions of any kind. Jailing her (sentencing is set for November 18) undoubtedly demonstrates the university’s frustration at an inability to determine who is costing them hundreds of thousands of dollars via acts of sabotage, as the Animal Liberation Front(ALF) and other clandestine organizations labor to stop the torture and murder of innocent non-human primates at the hands of UCLA and other campus vivisectors like Baldwin Way, Arthur Rosenbaum, and Edythe London.
Using a well-known law firm, Irell and Manella (840 Newport Center Drive, Suite 400, Newport beach, CA), UCLA sought and obtained a temporary restraining order(TRO) on May 14th of this year, naming five persons and three organizations. Ferdin was not named; one defendant, UCLA Primate Freedom, appears to be a fictional group being used by the lawyers as a catch-all to restrain any and all activists from demonstrating. Two clandestine, direct-action groups, the Animal Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Brigade, were also named, but presumably were not served with the order since they are, after all, clandestine. The current TRO prohibits such legal action as passing out leaflets with vivisectors’ addresses on them, and protesting within 50 feet (150 feet after 6pm) of any UCLA vivisector’s home.
The reasons Ferdin has never been named in the TRO are twofold: (1) she has filed, and won, an anti-SLAPP motion in each of 3 similar TROs filed against her in the past, which decried her loss of guaranteed civil liberties, and which resulted in her obtaining over $100,000 in legal fees from the opposition. (2) By not being named, she is denied a jury trial (scheduled for February 18th, 2009 in the current case) to defend herself. Instead, she was charged with contempt for acting “in concert with’ others named in the TRO, thus depriving her of the right to file an anti-SLAPP motion or impanel a jury. She was then forced to appear before an arguably mentally ill judge, John Segal, who by all appearances was paid by UCLA to render them a favorable decision; he ignored virtually every word uttered and case cited by Ms. Ferdin, while engaging in mutual heavy-petting with the plaintiffs attorneys (John Hueston and Wendy Scruggs for Irell and Manella). Ferdin, who faces additional criminal prosecution for the same charges later this month, could be sentenced in this civil case to 6 months in jail and fined.
Perhaps inadvertently, the UCLA regents are sending the same message loud and clear to the underground, which has proclaimed such for many years: direct action gets the goods, and keeps activists safe and out of the legal morass that passes for a justice system in this country. Out of thousands of illegal direct action that has forced hundreds of animal abusers to change their ways, and saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of animals, no more than a handful of activists have ever been caught, and fewer still have spent significant time in prison. Historically, when it comes to helping animals being tortured to death in places like UCLA laboratories, nothing will effect change, nothing will force perverted animal abusers to change their ways, and nothing will minimize untoward effects on brave activists, like illegal direct action. If it was not crystal clear before, UCLA regents have proclaimed loudly: “Legal protesters will be hunted down and punished for their noble attempts at shining the light of day on animal abusing thugs, but the ALF is what is hurting our ability to do business-as-usual.” To quote the former primate killer Dario Ringach, after being intimidated by direct action warriors, “I quit!”; there’s more Darios out there who will come to see the light as long as the ALF and other clandestine activists stay on the job. After at least fourteen acts of major direct action against the University of California alone in the last year, exactly zero activists have had to waste time in court or jail. Enough said.
Jerry W. Vlasak, MD, a press officer for the North American Animal Liberation Press Office, states “Animal research is destined to end, and if the University of California could end their own addiction to easy grant money for this fraudulent research, they could instead lead the scientific community in the legitimate pursuit of medical cures using methods of research shown to be more effective than the use of non-human animals, including primates. Instead however, UCLA continues to harass and intimidate legal picketers and leafleters, which only seems to increase the numbers of those who prefer to remain under the cover of darkness.”]