For Immediate Release
San Francisco, CA: Federal authorities have arrested four animal rights activists accused of protesting animal abuse at UC Berkeley and Santa Cruz, a FBI press release reported Friday. None of those arrested has been charged with acts of economic sabotage or other illegal acts of animal liberation on behalf of animals imprisoned, tortured and killed in University of California laboratories. Instead, these arrests have targeted above-ground, legal animal rights protestors and blatantly abrogate their first amendment rights, civil liberties and right to hand out pamphlets. Thomas Paine, American’s best known pamphleteer, must be rolling over in his grave.
According to the FBI press release, the activists are accused of “chalk[ing] defamatory comments on the public sidewalks”, protesting “generally in all black clothing and wearing bandanas to hide their faces”, and distributing leaflets with the contact information for vivisectors on them.
The irony is, that by targeting legal protesters, federal and state authorities are inadvertently encouraging more illegal direct action on behalf of non-human animals. One has only to look at the increased number of actions of economic sabotage, vandalism and live animal liberations over the last 2 years (see www.animalliberationpressoffice.org or www.directaction.info ) to realize that LEGAL activists are being increasingly driven into clandestine and anonymous actions, morally justified but illegal actions which are rarely punished.
As a supporter of direct action, the Animal Liberation Press Office is pleased at the increase in actions by the Animal Liberation Front and other clandestine groups; the increase is expected to continue as long as authorities persist with their heavy-handed abuse of legal protesters. In today’s climate, it appears that it’s less risky by far to engage in underground activities then in legal pickets.
Press officer Jerry Vlask, MD states: “The University of California needs to be held accountable for wasting millions of taxpayer research dollars on useless animal research, while more accurate, efficient and inexpensive investigative techniques are available in this twenty-first century to study human illness and find cures. Harassing legal picketers makes little sense, and it’s ridiculous to portray the four activists arrested on behalf of tortured and abused animals as “terrorists”; the real terrorists are those who maim, imprison and kill innocent non-human animals for their own personal gain.”
To read the original FBI Press Release, click here.