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Federal Authorities Arrest Peaceful Protesters
by animal liberation press office
Saturday Feb 21st, 2009 8:30 PM
For Immediate Release
February 22, 2009
Federal Authorities Arrest Peaceful Protesters
Animal Liberation Front, Other Clandestine Groups Prosper as Result

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 http://www.animalliberationpressoffice.org or http://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."

- 30 -

For more information visit, http://www.animalliberationpressoffice.org.

Animal Liberation Press Office
6320 Canoga Avenue #1500
Woodland Hills, CA 91367

press [at] animalliberationpressoffice.org

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Runningwolf
( zacharyrunningwolf [at] yahoo.com ) Sunday Feb 22nd, 2009 1:57 AM
UC Berkeley maintains 13,000 Native American remains for scientific purposes. While asserting it needs 40,000 animals a year to torture and kill and with the new Cha-Ching center add another 28,000 animals to the heap of four leggeds and wing ones to be torture without anaesthesia. And you call these brave souls terrorists because they are exposing this atrocity-freedom of information. Oh by the way this is the same University that has John Yoo who gave justification for torture (on children) to the Bush administration. Who is the Terrorists? UC Berkeley Of coarse.
by Mike Novack
Sunday Feb 22nd, 2009 5:38 AM
A little confusion about whose intent matters?

Let's keep things separate. The reason the authorities are ALSO mentioning actions like "writing on sidewalk" is their desire to connect other people JUST doing things like writing on sidewalks with these folks.

As far as I can tell, there is just one thing they are acused of that justifies the charge of "terrorism" but it's a doosey --- the attempted masked house invasion. Perhaps it was THEIR intent just to smash up the furniture but guess what. Their intent doesn't matter until they are on the way out, fleeing. On the way in, it's the householder's call to make. That house invasion was a challenge to an encounter escalated to DEADLY FORCE. That husband hurt successfully holding the doorway against them? He was entitled to use whatever force necessary to keep them from getting in -- and THEY, not he, would be considered the attackers. Our mores as well as our laws.

by c
Sunday Feb 22nd, 2009 12:26 PM
They're might have a hard time conclusively linking them to the arsons at the two researchers houses (unless they aren't revealing some evidence they intend to use), but are choosing to prosecute for the fliers and the scuffle on the lawn of another researcher earlier on. While my sympathies lie with the researchers because I could be included in that group, the fight on the front porch sounded like it hadn't been planned ahead of time, because they parked right in front of the house. This makes me wonder about the text of the flier. Does anyone have a jpeg of it? Was it just a list of addresses and sentences about the research specialty that they object to... or was there any text actually suggesting violence or property destruction?
This seems like it would be the important key point. In the RNC8 felony case in Minneapolis, the federal prosecutors based their search warrant and evidence of intent of property destruction on the humorous 'Come to Minneapolis' video that the group released on youtube. I thought it was funny, but it was clear that the police would look at this. The police and prosecutor are allowed to pretend to have absolutely no sense of humor, and can legally interpret elements such as a bowling ball rolling down the sidewalk, or people lighting a barbecue with a gasoline bottle as encouragement to do harm.
Likewise, even though people casually use phrases like 'I'm going to kill you', couldn't the FBI legally overinterpret phrases in an antiresearch or anti-Huntingdon flier as assault - where assault basically means making a specific threat.
by will
Sunday Feb 22nd, 2009 3:25 PM
All of the media in santa cruz was hyping up a "home invasion" but it was also very explicit that nobody actually entered the house. There was a quote in an interview that the husband of the researcher went out to "grapple" with the activists who were being loud and knocking on the door from outside the house. Sounds more like these researchers couldn't handle a (quite legal) home demonstration. I don't know why this whole idea of a 'home invasion' is being perpetuated by people who aren't the media or the feds.
by 67
Sunday Feb 22nd, 2009 3:44 PM
Were they on a trip in Costa Rica? Maybe that is what triggered their early response, with just the evidence relating to the Kinko's security camera and printing fliers. Perhaps they were speculating that a couple of them might stay in Costa Rica for an extended period of time and then they wouldn't be accessible for arrest later.
by Delilah Atkinson
Sunday Feb 22nd, 2009 6:42 PM
Early arrest? These events in question happened a full year ago. This whole thing is bullshit. They're charging them with terrorism for doing legal home demonstrations (protected by the first amendment). They are claiming that "chalking on the sidewalk" "wearing masks to conceal identities" and "trespassing in the front yard" of a vivisector. (granted trespassing is not legal, but this misdemeanor is hardly terroristic, and is generally something that is overlooked when it comes to first amendment related activities).

The feds are just trying to pin legal above ground activists with terrorist charges to discredit the animal rights and liberation movements in the eyes of the public.

Additionally. The feds would have NO problem at all extraditing people from costa rica. I'm sure the timing of the arrest had more to do with the fact that they realized they don't have any way to connect the SC firebombing with the legal/above ground home demonstration actions, and begrudgingly accept that, but want to set an example to animal rights movement that they have no tolerance for the current anti-UC-vivisection campaign.

My guess is that they're also super pissed that they haven't caught a single person or have any leads on the UCLA anti-vivisection actions.

Way-to-go feds, you caught some picketers.
by I'll give you some peace of mind
Sunday Feb 22nd, 2009 6:47 PM
Will: "activists who were being loud and knocking on the door from outside the house. Sounds more like these researchers couldn't handle a (quite legal) home demonstration"

Making excessive noise, especially in a residential area, such as by operation of any tool, equipment, vehicle, electronic device, set, instrument, television, phonograph, machine or other noise- or sound-producing device = DISTURBING THE PEACE (ILLEGAL)

Entry onto private property without owner's permission = TRESPASSING (ILLEGAL)
even if the activists never entered the house if they were in the porch, yard or anywhere else (except the sidewalk/street) they are trespassing

If it was legal the police wouldn't have responded and conducted an investigation. And if definitely wasn't a small home demonstration either if a FBI terrorism task force had to get involved.
by will
Sunday Feb 22nd, 2009 6:53 PM
" If it was legal the police wouldn't have responded and conducted an investigation. And if definitely wasn't a small home demonstration either if a FBI terrorism task force had to get involved. "

i think this pretty clearly shows your bias and your ignorance. You have obviously never heard of the red scare, the green scare, cointelpro, or the patriot act.

go back to protestwarriors (or the santa cruz sentinel forum for that matter)
by da
Sunday Feb 22nd, 2009 10:16 PM
charge them with the same charges someone with a loud stereo would have, someone sitting on your prch refusing to leave, or public nuisance.

but not terrorism
by readit
Sunday Feb 22nd, 2009 10:46 PM
Read one of the only decent things written on this subject I have read yet:

http://www.greenisthenewred.com/blog/2009/02/22/aeta-arrests/#more-1070
The odd thing here is the press spin by Dean Singleton's MediaNewsGroup, for example in the Santa Cruz Sentinel and San Jose Mercury, both owned by Singleton (who is also the chair of the AP board, I believe).

http://www.cjr.org/resources/index.php?c=medianews

The story is here:
http://www.mercurynews.com/centralcoast/ci_11755120

1) "Three of the four were linked to the Riverside Avenue home police raided after the attempted home invasion attack of a UC Santa Cruz researcher a year ago, according to Santa Cruz police spokesman Zach Friend."

Nevertheless, the only charges are as follows:

2) "A criminal complaint filed against the suspects Thursday said three of them -- Pope, Buddenberg and Stumpo -- were first detained outside the El Cerrito home of a UC Berkeley scientist in October 2007. Authorities said all four suspects participated in a day of demonstrations outside the homes of six other Berkeley researchers in January 2008, and a vehicle linked to the incidents was registered to Khajavi's mother."

Obviously, this is an attempt to intimidate peaceful people into not protesting the activities of the UC administration - but at the same time, these people have very poor tactics - hiding behind bandanas is a tactic used mainly by undercover police or university employees out to instigate violence - and that's probably who was behind the firebombing of UCSC scientists, in all likelihood.

In any case, McDonald's and Taco Bell kill far more animals under far more brutal conditions than exist in any laboratory - the real problem with the UC is corporate corruption and conflict-of-interest - the professors are all out to be entrepreneurs, on the public tab, and that's what animal research at the UC is al about these days - the claim of "public benefit" is a blatant lie. These are the people who gave us Vioxx and Celebrex and Paxil and Adderall, right? They get a cut every time their drugs are sold - so yes, they will distort and otherwise lie about the science in order to make a buck.
"but at the same time, these people have very poor tactics - hiding behind bandanas is a tactic used mainly by undercover police"

5 Reasons for Activists to Cover Their Faces at Protests
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/02/23/18572759.php

FBI Arrests 4 Activists as “Terrorists” for Chalking Slogans, Leafleting and Protesting
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/02/22/18572695.php
by fumbling bumbling idiots
Monday Feb 23rd, 2009 11:32 PM
I'd be curious how much of the recent monies obama got passed by congress are going to be earmarked to the fbi and now they can tout their press release to members of congress to buy more over inflated salaries and toys for the popo. this might serve to dissuade some, but it'll piss of more and means the fight is righteous. UC's animal torturing should be stopped, its wrong. the apes and other animals that are tortured deserve better. besides that, most of the reasearch done to supposedly advance science is tainted by animal cells when they should be using human stem cells to have valid science. biologist know this, yet they chase the almighty funding dollars and in the process produce junk science results and torture animals. they animal torturers are the terrorist

http://www.dakotavoice.com/2009/02/fda-approves-embryonic-stem-cell-experiments-on-humans/