imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

FBI: Use of Stickers Constitutes "Eco-Terrorism"

by Mike Weiss, SF Chronicle Staff Writer Monday, Feb. 04, 2002 at 2:48 PM

In the latest twist to define dissent as terrorism, the FBI has stated that use of stickers now constitutes "eco-terror." In more honest times, unlawful placement of stickers was termed graffiti or vandalism. While public space has been invaded with more and more corporate billboards and advertising, grassroots movements worldwide have made use of stickers with slogans to circumvent the diminishing opportunities to be heard. The FBI has stuck the label "eco-terrorist" on the environmental movement, singling them out from the countless groups using stickers to spread their message.

Eco-terrorists frustrate FBI

Sentencing of The Santa Cruz 2 marks a rare victory for the agency

Mike Weiss, Chronicle Staff Writer

Sunday, February 3, 2002

When a pair of activists known to compatriots as The Santa Cruz 2 were sentenced to prison in federal court in San Jose last week, it marked a rare victory in the hunt for the underground Animal Liberation Front.

Identified by the FBI as a terrorist group, the ALF and its sister organization, the Earth Liberation Front, claim their members committed 137 illegal eco-terror actions last year -- including 10 in California -- that caused .3 million in damage.

The actions ranged from plastering stickers on a Los Angeles bank to setting a .6 million fire at the University of Washington. Just last week, ALF/ELF said members had sabotaged a biotech park under construction in Maine and set fire to a new genomics research center being built at the University of Minnesota.

But "few individuals associated with the ALF and ELF have been apprehended, " the FBI acknowledged in its most recent report on domestic terrorism.

"They're a loosely knit organization," says FBI domestic terrorism spokesman Steven Berry in Washington. "The bulk of their communication is via the Internet and computer. There's no real structure and hierarchy such as we see in other criminal organizations."

On Feb. 12, the House Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health is scheduled to hold a hearing about eco-terrorism. Environmental activists have called for nationwide protests against the hearings.

The subcommittee's chairman, Scott McInnis, is a Republican from the Vail, Colo., area, where the eco-underground set a series of spectacular fires that caused million in damage to a ski resort in October 1998. A photo of that fire flickers on the ELF Web site's home page.

'GROWING FRUSTRATION'

"There's growing frustration some of these attacks are not being solved, that people are not being brought to justice," says Josh Penry, the subcommittee staff director.

"The reason they have proved so elusive is . . . largely a function of their invisible nature," says Penry. "They're structured into loose cells that work independent from each other, and each individual element or member of the organization is not aware of the activities of the others."

Another difficulty is that law enforcement information is dispersed among a variety of agencies. "I'm not aware of any central clearinghouse for ALF/ELF events," says the FBI's Berry.

The FBI had intended to issue reports in 2000 and 2001 on domestic terrorism, but, Berry says, it has not yet done so. The FBI's last comprehensive look at the eco-terrorists was compiled for 1999.

Meanwhile, on its Web site, the ALF/ELF boasts that only three of its activists are in prison and another five awaiting trial or sentencing.

Among the latter were Peter G. Schnell, 21, and Matthew Whyte, 18, who were sentenced Monday to 24 and 14 months in prison, respectively, a year after a police patrol happened upon them assembling one-gallon Molotov cocktails just past midnight in a parking lot near Capitola City Hall in Santa Cruz County.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Frewing contended that Schnell and Whyte were associated with the ALF. He described Schnell as having "a pattern of terrorizing people." The slim redhead from New Jersey is the son of a computer consultant and a social worker for disturbed teenagers, according to court records.

OTHER ACTIVITIES

Schnell was on probation when he was captured and had seven outstanding warrants, including one for resisting arrest during an animal rights protest in New York and another for assault during an attack on a McDonald's during the World Trade Organization protests in Seattle in 1999.

Whyte grew up in Orange County, the son of a civil engineer. At 16 he was detained in San Francisco by University of California police who caught him and others trying to storm a lab where animals were kept. He is receiving mental health counseling, his attorney Mark Vermeulen told the judge.

They pleaded guilty to one count of possessing an unregistered firearm, while charges of making an unregistered firearm were dismissed.

But they disclosed little to federal agents. Schnell and Whyte said they bought material for their firebombs at Kmart, that they reconnoitered their intended target the day before and that they had been planning to firebomb dairy trucks.

"The implication was that they felt dairy cows were mistreated," said Frewing.

If the federal government seems to have a dearth of information about the eco-underground, the ALF/ELF itself produces reams. The ALF's recently posted 2001 annual report has enough charts, statistical analyses and appendixes to be a government document itself.

The report has a taunting humor. Its action-of-the-year award went to the October release of about 2,000 mink from an Iowa ranch. After 800 had been recaptured, the culprits returned and re-released them. Among the animals released in 2001, the ALF includes not only thousands of mink and ducks, hundreds of chickens and horses, but one snail.

The ALF/ELF also churns out press releases when actions are claimed by their underground brigades.

LEGAL, PUBLIC VOICE

David Barbarash operates the ALF press office out of Vancouver. His role resembles that played in years past by Gerry Adams for the IRA in Northern Ireland. Barbarash is the legal, public voice for an illegal underground organization.

The action communiques that reach him are anonymous and untraceable, says the 37-year-old activist, who won't discuss his personal life beyond saying that he was arrested three times and convicted in 1992 for releasing 29 cats from a breeder. After that, he says, "I couldn't continue as an active ALF member."

The organization has four stated guidelines. To free animals from "places of abuse" such as fur farms and biomedical laboratories. To inflict economic damage "to those who profit from the misery and exploitation of animals." To make public "the atrocities committed against animals." And to take "all necessary precautions against hurting any animal, human and nonhuman."

"No people have been killed or injured as a result of an ALF activity," Barbarash says, a statement the FBI acknowledges to be true.

The ALF also defends its continued actions, even after the events of Sept. 11.

"To compare the horrific actions we witnessed on Sept. 11," Barbarash says, "to the actions of people who work to save animal lives and our planet while not using violent means is, frankly, ridiculous."

That claim of nonviolence is, of course, rejected by law enforcement. "Each and every one of these actions are violations of federal law," says the FBI's Berry. "Generally their actions are arsons, and arsons are difficult to investigate because not much evidence is left behind. They plan their acts well. That does not deter us from going after them. We are determined to bring to justice these individuals who commit acts of eco-terrorism."

EIGHT ACTIONS

Since Sept. 11, the ALF/ELF has claimed eight actions, including two in California. On Oct. 15, a hay barn was burned at a wild horse and burro facility operated by the Bureau of Land Management in Lassen County near Susanville, and an unsuccessful attempt was made to free about 160 wild horses that BLM adopts out to ranchers and others. The ALF claims that almost all the adopted animals are slaughtered for meat and other products.

On Nov. 13, some ,000 damage was done to files and equipment at Sierra Biomedical, a La Jolla laboratory.

Among the other actions were an attack on a primate research facility in New Mexico; a fire bomb detonated at another wild horse corral in Nevada; and beagle pups released from a breeder in upstate New York.

In federal court Monday, Frewing asked for a stiff sentence for Schnell and Whyte. The prosecutor noted that the firebombs they were assembling were similar to ones described in a primer of the ALF.

Whyte and Schnell were contrite. Pausing frequently to keep his composure, Whyte told the court, "I have a lot of regret for what I've done. . . . I know now there's better ways to go about creating change."

Schnell told the court: "I still definitely believe in compassion toward animals. . . . I'm ready to make a change in my life, ready to take responsibility. . . . I have much regret."

Taking into account their age and saying he believed they would not commit such crimes again, U.S. District Judge James Ware imposed minimum sentences. Their possible affiliation with ALF, Ware said, "is not of great moment to this court."

California targets

Here are the "direct actions" in California last year claimed by the Animal Liberation Front and its sister group, the Earth Liberation Front:

-- Lab equipment and records destroyed at Sierra Biomedical in La Jolla (San Diego County), Nov. 11.

-- Hay barn burned at Bureau of Land Management wild horse and burro facility near Susanville (Lassen County), Oct. 15.

-- Attempted sabotage at Heavenly Ski Resort in South Lake Tahoe, July 25.

-- Bank stickered in Los Angeles, June 21.

-- Crops uprooted at DNA plant technology research facility in Brentwood, May 16.

-- Graffiti spray-painted on boarding kennel in unspecified location, May 8.

-- 28 rabbits released from ICRC Co. in Castroville (Monterey County), April 28.

-- 468 chickens released from Sunny-Cal Eggs in Beaumont (Riverside County), March 17.

-- Cotton gin burned at Delta and Pine Land Co. in Visalia (Tulare County), Feb. 20.

Report this post as:

Local News

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

Two Podcasts on fbi corruption A06 10:13PM

Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS A06 7:29PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy