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Santa Cruz Indymedia | Animal Liberation

SC incendiary devices deployed at UC faculty
by Sentinel repost
Saturday Aug 2nd, 2008 7:17 PM
Conan Knoll/Sentinel Staff writer
Article Launched: 08/02/2008 04:29:01 PM PDT

SANTA CRUZ - Firebombs were intentionally set on a porch and in a car belonging to two UC Santa Cruz researchers in separate incidents early this morning in what police have classified as acts of domestic terrorism.

Police are calling at least one of the incidents attempted homicide.

In one incident, a faculty member's home on Village Circle off High Street was intentionally firebombed at about 5:43 a.m., according to police. The address of the residence was one of those listed in threatening animal rights pamphlets found Tuesday in a downtown coffee shop. In the second incident at about the same time, a car parked in a faculty member's driveway on Dickens Way on campus was firebombed, police said.
The family on Village Circle was home at the time of the firebombing and the victims, including two young children, escaped on a fire ladder from a second-tory window, according to police. Injuries were sustained by family members during the escape but police did not release details.

Santa Cruz Police investigators, the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and UCSC Police are conducting a joint investigation, collecting evidence and interviewing witnesses. The case has been turned over to the FBI.

"It's unconscionable that any reasonable person would consider this an acceptable tactic to get their point across," said Santa Cruz Police Chief Howard Skerry in a statement. "We are working hard with the other agencies and committing
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all available resources to follow all possible leads. We urge anyone with information to come forward."

Paula Goldman, who lives next door to the house on Village Circle, said she woke up when she heard a fire alarm going off, looked out the window and saw the front door of the townhouse on fire. She grabbed a hose and doused the flames, Goldman said.

"With what happened previously and what happened last week with the pamphlets we just assumed," that it was related to animal research, her husband Joel Goldman said. "We know it was premeditated. It was pretty obvious."

This appears to be the latest in a string of incidents targeting UCSC researchers.

Flyers identifying 13 UCSC scientists, some of whom use mice, fruit flies and nonprimate organisms in their research, were discovered at a downtown coffee shop Tuesday. The flyers say, "Animal abusers everywhere beware; we know where you live; we know where you work; we will never back down until you end your abuse." The names, home addresses, home phone numbers and photos of researchers also were published on the flyers.

In February, masked demonstrators rattled the front door of a UCSC researcher, whose husband chased the intruders away while the researcher protected her children in the back of the Westside home.

Hours after the attempted home invasion, authorities raided a Riverside Avenue house where several students live. No arrests have been made, and police say the hard drive of a laptop confiscated at the house had been cleaned several times, increasing suspicion among investigators.

Police are investigating the flyers as criminal activity.

"These unconscionable acts put the researchers, their families - including their children - and their neighbors in grave danger," UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal said in the statement Saturday. "These are odious assaults on individuals and on the principles of free inquiry by which we live."

The campus is taking the incident "extremely seriously" and is working with law enforcement agencies to identify perpetrators and taking steps to support researchers, Blumenthal said in the statement.

"The personal safety and security of all our students, faculty and staff is our highest priority," Blumenthal said in the statement.

All the involved agencies are taking additional steps to protect the safety of the other people listed in the animal rights pamphlets, according to police.

Santa Cruz Police investigators ask anyone with information about the incident to call 420-5820. To leave anonymous information regarding the incidents call the tip line at 420-5995.

Sentinel Correspondent Corrine Speckert contributed to this report. Contact Conan Knoll at 706-3252 or cknoll [at] santacruzsentinel.com.
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by SJMN repost
Saturday Aug 2nd, 2008 7:22 PM
SANTA CRUZ - A UC Santa Cruz chemist whose photograph, home telephone number and home address were published in a threatening animal rights flyer said he does not test on animals and is angry over the "invasion of privacy."

Pradip K. Mascharak, a 25-year UCSC researcher, said the crudely made flyers discovered Wednesday at a downtown coffee shop are misleading. As a chemist, he said he can't use animals in his research, which most recently has included creating a nitric oxide compound to treat skin cancer.

"They should have better things to do," Mascharak said Friday. "Are they stupid enough not to see that I am a chemist, not a biologist?"

As police investigate who may have created or distributed the flyers targeting only UCSC researchers, an animal rights advocacy group announced that a Santa Cruz company has racked up the second highest number of violations from federal investigators.

Stop Animal Exploration NOW!, or SAEN, an Ohio-based group that collects and publishes federal compliance reports on labs across the U.S., said this week that Santa Cruz Biotechnology Inc., a firm that produces antibodies for medical use, received 27 violations by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The violations, made during visits in 2006 and 2007, ranged from findings of poor care of animals, including goats and rabbits, to the hiring of unqualified employees.

The company's ranking placed it behind only one other lab in California, TB Holdings of Berkeley,
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which had 35 violations during the same years, according to SAEN.

Jessica D. Milteer, a USDA spokeswoman, said she could not immediately verify whether the specific reports posted on SAEN's Web site were accurate replicas of official reports. But Milteer confirmed her agency routinely provides such reports to the advocacy organization under Freedom of Information Act requests, and said she had no reason to suspect the group's postings were fraudulent.

Matt Mullin, a spokesman for Santa Cruz Biotechnology declined to comment Friday, saying only the company's top two executives were authorized to discuss the violations. Neither was available, he said.

Michael A. Budkie, who founded SAEN 12 years ago, said the Delaware Avenue lab purposely keeps animals in poor health, according to the eight inspection reports he has published on his site dating back to 2001.

"We're talking about situations where the animals in question are receiving very little in the way of veterinary care," Budkie said. "You can't have an animal producing antibodies without having it in a terribly deteriorating condition."

Budkie said he supports nonviolent forms of civil disobedience, which some would argue the flyers go beyond.

The flyers identify 13 UCSC scientists, some of whom use mice, fruit flies and other nonprimate organisms in their research. Police are investigating the flyers - as well as several vandalism incidents and an attempted home invasion targeting researchers since February - as criminal activity. Police say the intent is to terrorize, but activists from national animal rights groups have characterized the incidents as nonviolent demonstrations.

Santa Cruz Police Capt. Steve Clark declined Friday to say whether any scientist named in the flyers has reported being harassed since the pamphlets were discovered at Caffe Pergolesi. He also would not say whether police have questioned three UCSC students who were living in a Riverside Avenue home raided hours after masked intruders shook the door of a UCSC researcher in February.

That incident sent shock waves through the university and led officials to hire private security guards for the researcher and some colleagues. She and others named in the flyers, which contain two misspelled names and some erroneous personal information about researchers, did not return messages Friday seeking comment.

Mascharak said the activists who made the flyers are "ignorant" because, as a chemist, he is not licensed to conduct animal testing.

"I've not held a mouse in my hand my whole life," he said.

He suspects activists may have mistaken a recent online report saying the chemical compound he works with could be tested on animals in the future - a project other scientists would have to undertake, he said.

"I would be glad if they want to inquire about it directly, rather than printing a threatening message and scaring my family," he said, of the those responsible for the flyers. "Don't they realize that it is just a kind of terrorism."

The cafe customer who reported the flyers to police agreed, equating the pamphlets to "wanted posters" featuring doctors who conduct abortions. The pamphlets, which are made up of three white pieces of paper stapled together in the center, refer to the researchers as murderers and warn "We know where you live, we know where work."

"This borders on downright terrorism," said the customer, a man legally known only as Rodent. "They're trying to frighten people."

Assemblymember Gene Mullin, a San Mateo Democrat whose district includes several biomedical labs, authored a bill this year that would make harassing animal researchers a specific crime, but the measure is being held for revisions and could be reintroduced in coming weeks. (An aide said there is no known relation between Mullin and the Santa Cruz Biotechnology spokesman, Matt Mullin.)

"I remain committed to crafting language that provides an additional tool for law enforcement to protect researchers and their families who have and continue to be targeted by extremist organizations," said Mullin. "The Legislature needs to send a message that violence or threats of violence are not acceptable."

Contact J.M. Brown at 429-2410 or jbrown [at] santacruzsentinel.com.
by Concerned
Saturday Aug 2nd, 2008 8:11 PM
I don't care who you are or how you feel. There is no excuse for doing what these people did. It's only right for these people to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
by miles
Saturday Aug 2nd, 2008 9:46 PM
Yeah, it's great when people pretending to be radicals invoke The Law as a guarantor of social peace. If only those extremists wouldn't upset the status quo, then everything in my life would be peachy, and I wouldn't be reminded that the smooth operation of class society is based on the slaughter and torture of animals, indigenous people, ethnic minorities, political and social dissidents, etc. The Law is the first line of defense for those who murder and torture Others. The deferral of personal responsibility has now become ingrained in bourgeois ideology. Screw that. People are responsible for the things they do, and if the perpetrators of the arson do get caught and prosecuted to the fullest possible extent of your precious Law, then they should get as much sympathy as they deserve.
by comment repost
Sunday Aug 3rd, 2008 8:29 AM


Actually, while we don't know anything of substance and won't for a while I would think, we do know that the faculty member whose home was bombed was indeed on the list.

And we also know that the other faculty member whose car exploded was in fact not on the list.

However, another scientist who lives in faculty housing, same street and set of condos, was.

One could speculate, as I have heard already, that whoever did this may have targeted the wrong address. Apparently some of the information on the pamphlet was not accurate, as was reported in an earlier story by yet another targeted person.

I am not positive, but from what I know, the researcher whose car was destroyed actually does not work with animals.
Dubya and his minions in the global corporate capitalist elite are rejoicing today. Finally, they have a substantive basis for discrediting the animal rights movement and for arguing that "domestic terrorism" from that and other movements devoted to defending the powerless and the voiceless, like the environmentalist movement (aka ALF, ELF, Earth First!) is a serious "threat". These actions are likely to result in the redirection of hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars away from medical care for poor and working people, child care for working women, affordable housing for disabled people, etc. etc.

They also undermine and sabotage thirty years of conscious and committed effort by grassroots ELF, ALF, etc. activists to avoid exactly this outcome, quoting Wikipedia: "To date no one has been killed as a result of an ELF or ALF action since both groups forbid harming human or non-human life. [17]"

This track record of limiting violence to "property" has been a powerful rhetorical tool in the hands of folks like myself who may view individual actions as stupid and unwise, but are sympathetic to the aims and underlying motivations. It provided a very clear means of distinguishing between "real" terrorists and radicals.
by Brain
Sunday Aug 3rd, 2008 10:06 AM
Thomas, shut up. For all you and I know, this was done by Dubya and his minions in the global corporate capitalist elite. Do not mention letters that have nothing to do with this.
by Going too far
Sunday Aug 3rd, 2008 11:51 AM
Whoever was responsible for the two attacks on UCSC researchers are cowardly. It's a joke when people who call themselves compassionate to animals have no regard for human life. Children were at home during one of the attacks and could have been killed.

This type of action is extremist and polarizing. I hope they catch whoever is responsible.



Sentinel coverage:

http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/ci_10084756

San Jose Mercury News:

http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_10080239?source=most_viewed
by perhaps
Sunday Aug 3rd, 2008 12:04 PM
its too far to have citizens stand idly by,while the security state arrests and threatens citizens who speak out about homeland buses and spying on people ,instead of their alleged terror war to protect ''americans''.stop the state violence and collateral damage to citizens in the wr on anti fascism
by au tt
Sunday Aug 3rd, 2008 12:08 PM
did you know that rabbits,who are some of the most silent creatures around,are known to SCREAM when detergent is poured into their EYES during ''testing''????
by points
Sunday Aug 3rd, 2008 12:12 PM
the idea is,until you stop trying to exterminate non neocon warmongers ,you cannot hold back the tide of balance
by navs r
Sunday Aug 3rd, 2008 1:02 PM
Alternatives to Animal Testing - The Smart—and Humane— Solution

It’s an age-old question: What do we use if we stop using animals as test subjects? And there is a simple answer. Thanks to advancements in modern technology, there are now safe and reliable methods of testing products that save animal lives while assuring the safety and well-being of the public.

Proponents of non-animal testing methods in the scientific community have shown that these methods are often more reliable, quicker and cost-effective. Examples of these nonanimal methods range from computer and mathematical models to the use of human volunteers. In vitro tests include ones that use cell or tissue cultures, such as artificial test skin derived from human foreskin. Chemical tests include the Neutral Red Bioassay that uses a neutral red, water-soluble dye that is added to normal skin cells in a tissue culture plate, and a computer measurement of the level of uptake of the dye by the cells is used to indicate the relative toxicity.

In addition to efforts by industry to develop and implement non-animal methods, other academic and private funding sources have been established to advance efforts to eliminate animal testing. The U.S. Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM) was launched in 2000 with the passage of legislation passed unanimously by both Non-animal testing methods produce more accurate and useful results. houses of Congress.
by Moil
Sunday Aug 3rd, 2008 1:14 PM
But in order to get the foreskin don't you have to conduct an act of vivisection on a living human being??!!
by Sign
Sunday Aug 3rd, 2008 2:09 PM
navs r, please stop. you actually have no idea what you are talking about. mathmatical and computer models can not even begin to simulate the complex pathways and processes of even the most basic organisms.

"Proponents of non-animal testing methods in the scientific community have shown that these methods are often more reliable, quicker and cost-effective. Examples of these nonanimal methods range from computer and mathematical models to the use of human volunteers. In vitro tests include ones that use cell or tissue cultures, such as artificial test skin derived from human foreskin. Chemical tests include the Neutral Red Bioassay that uses a neutral red, water-soluble dye that is added to normal skin cells in a tissue culture plate, and a computer measurement of the level of uptake of the dye by the cells is used to indicate the relative toxicity. "

The key word there is 'in the scientific community'. It's a general understanding in the scientific community that computer models aren't very accurate. If a computer cannot even predict the structure and folds of a protein then how is it going to be able to tell toxicity and efficacy levels accurately. And more reliable you say? I understand most of the people who read this don't know a f***ing thing about science, but there is no way that a culture of foreskin cells is going to more realibly mimic human skin than human skin itself. It's really important that people like you stop talking about drug/animal testing as if you are some sort of authority.





by heis
Sunday Aug 3rd, 2008 2:48 PM
well - without even bothering to engage on the philosophy and ethics involved here, it is clear that from a practical standpoint, these actions are bad for the rest of the animal rights community. I'm not going to even make a point about nonviolent advocacy always being more effective or correct in the end. Most people agree that in certain circumstances such as an authoritarian country or military rounding up people into camps or slaughtering a minority group, then it is more than justified to fight back. But perhaps here, whoever this was has a screw loose and imagined that they would be a 'freedom fighter' for the cause of the lab mice, and justified in the same fashion.
but seriously, for the purposes of their own cause, this is going to make any normal incoming student who had sympathies for their cause have to avoid joining any campus groups... because the newspaper has made clear that the FBI and ATF are committing all available resources to this. Actually, students in all sorts of liberal groups on campus including CalPIRG might have to worry, because they could easily overreach and try to obtain membership lists of everything. It puts a damper on social relations with activists, such as showing up at events by the tree sit.
Secondly, if they actually get caught, then the community might be hit up for their legal defense, which could be a lost cause. Frankly, it's sort of surprising that the campus housing area didn't have security cameras near the gate, or the researchers with their names on the list hadn't set up their own cheap cameras. Our paranoid schizophrenic neighbor has a security camera aimed at the street, and the area where his Jeep Cherokee is parked, and they aren't that hard to set up.
by AntiStupidity
Sunday Aug 3rd, 2008 2:55 PM
Thomas wrote:
"Dubya and his minions in the global corporate capitalist elite are rejoicing today. Finally, they have a substantive basis for discrediting the animal rights movement and for arguing that "domestic terrorism" from that and other movements devoted to defending the powerless and the voiceless, like the environmentalist movement (aka ALF, ELF, Earth First!) is a serious "threat". These actions are likely to result in the redirection of hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars away from medical care for poor and working people, child care for working women, affordable housing for disabled people, etc. etc."

They also undermine and sabotage thirty years of conscious and committed effort by grassroots ELF, ALF, etc. activists to avoid exactly this outcome, quoting Wikipedia: "To date no one has been killed as a result of an ELF or ALF action since both groups forbid harming human or non-human life. [17]"

I agree with Thomas. This act is a blow to those who fight for the rights of animals and against testing, using safe methods of activism no worse than our founding fathers ever used. Now "domestic terrorists" thanks to the acts of a few dedicated ignorant fools. Those who devoted their lives to such activism lost allot by these few foolish acts. Children could have died. It sounds as if they may have had the wrong house. This only helps the very people they are fighting. This is good advertising for those go past the boundaries of safe and humane testing.

Lets not forget the humans in our own countries history that were tested without their own knowledge by our won government. This is all common knowledge now. Prisoners, homeless, all used as test subjects without their knowledge. Don't ;et the act of a few idiots change the good works or such non violent groups as he points out.

It is conspiratorial, but it would not be anything new to see the other side plan and do such attacks for the very reasons that its good advertising and politics for the companies that make money off the unneeded suffering of animals.

My apologies to the families that were attacked.
by trust no one
Sunday Aug 3rd, 2008 3:50 PM
You can't believe what you read in the papers.

Not saying this was NOT done by animal activists but the truth is that ALMOST NO ONE KNOWS for sure. Yet all kinds of people here act like they know what the true story is. I'm sure it's even worse on the corporate newspaper sites.

Governments, including our own, have been known to use false flag operations to discredit and justify attacking enemies, perceived and real: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_flag

It's quite typical of authorities drive a wedge between other leftwing groups and so-called fringe groups with heated rhetoric (http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2005/05/19/17383601.php), as well as false flag operations. With a relatively simple operation like this, they can muster public support to pass laws like the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2006/11/12/18329237.php). When more mainstream-ish groups buy into the fearmongering, they are actually allowing the government to slowly but surely repress their own rights to express dissent. How many "peace" groups have been spied on in the name of fighting terrorism? We may never know the full answer to that.

Going back a few years, the whole official Chiron "bombing" in Emerville story never really washed with me for several reasons that I won't go into here. Something funny is up with that, including that perhaps Daniel Andreas was a goverment operative rather than the perpetrator as authorities still claim. Could he have been another "Anna" (http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2006/01/20/17969021.php) as in the Auburn "ELF" case (http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2006/01/18/40662.php) and when he couldn't prod anyone into committing a crime, he disappeared and the "crime" somehow happened anyway? The pretext of looking for him certainly allowed the gov't to raid and intimidate a lot of local AR folks (http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2005/04/24/31542.php).

I'm sure other long-time readers here can provide countless examples of themselves. And I won't even go into what our government was able to get away with after 9/11 -- raising the question of who benefited from that most profitable of crimes. I will link to the historically documented Operation Northwoods for folks who think our own government would never even consider perpetrating such a crime: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Northwoods.

In short, don't jump to conclusions and think you know the whole story.

- trust no one
by navs r
Sunday Aug 3rd, 2008 5:10 PM
Haaa, got your bridges into a bunch. Exactly my point of posting that about using animals in testing. Its junk science.

Science of the Future

Drs. Ray and Jean Greek, and others, have pointed out that the theory of evolution and molecular biology predict that animal models will be very poor models of human disease. In light of modern scientific thought and the mass of empirical data, the burden of proof lies with those who claim the animal model is productive.

In science, the burden of proof falls on the claimant, not the critic. Therefore, we ask those who claim that animal models are valid to “show us the data” that supports their case. They have not been able to do. We suspect that they will not be able to do so in the future as such data seems not to exist.

This section divides biomedical research into disciplines like human-based research such as epidemiology, in vitro, research with human tissue, genomics, drug discovery and development and so on and technology-based research. These divisions are artificial; epidemiology, a human-based research modality, uses technology and even in vitro research to analyze data and to draw conclusions. Genomics is human-based, uses technology, is mainly an in vitro type of research and involves human tissues. This is the nature of biomedical research; there must be overlap, as no area of biomedical research stands alone, just as no body part exists independent of the others.

Unlike animal studies, the great advances in science that have given us the high standard of medical care we enjoy today are the result of human-based research, most notably clinical observation, epidemiology, post-mortem examinations (autopsies), human tissue research, genetics, in vitro research, pathology, and advances in technology.

Technology-based research has given us computer and mathematical modeling and CT and MRI scanners. The specialization of physicians, nurses, and hospitals, along with reforms in public sanitation, has increased the length and quality of life. In the not-too-distant future, drug prescriptions will be customized to a patient’s individual genetic profile, thus eliminating adverse drug reactions.

Some may be disappointed that we do not offer a one to one replacement for currently used animal models. In other words, we do not present animal test or model X and say “replace it with Y.”

As shown in previous works, the animal model is no longer adequate for modeling human disease or testing drugs, hence, the paradigm needs to be replaced. If the paradigm is incorrect, it is highly unlikely that useful data will come from experiments based upon it. (For example, basing research on the old notion of four bodily humors will probably not yield useful data.)

Empirical evidence such as we have presented confirms this. Discussing individual animal tests or animal models has, to a great degree, already been done. The purpose of this information is to show the myriad testing and research options available today that are scientifically viable, not to outline why animal test X should be replaced by nonanimal test Y. If animal test X is not efficacious then it should be abandoned--regardless of what else is out there--simply because it does not work.
by Repost
Sunday Aug 3rd, 2008 6:54 PM
Two suspected arson fires were started early Saturday morning. The first was on the porch of a UC Santa Cruz scientist's home, the second in another faculty member's car.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnX8MYIEiys
by fairy
Saturday Nov 22nd, 2008 12:27 PM
What I find interesting is people who claim to be animal rights activists who don't consider humans animals so feel justified in threatening people. We're all just mammals. The idea we're not animals is a deeply religious idea that's essentially dualistic and separates humans from nature (and divides human qualities into good/divine/me/us and bad/evil/Other/them). It's an ideology and moral belief system that privileges humans as above other creatures. The planet will continue and so will life if we make earth uninhabitable for humans, it just won't continue with humans.