When Does Activism Become Terrorism?
mobbsey at gn.apc.org
Wed Mar 20 21:38:02 GMT 2002
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This guy is a real right-wing, wise-use asshole, but the story's interesting
given the use of 'terrorism' tag on animal rights activists -- pretty much as
the FBI wished it would happen without a prosecution taking place!
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When Does Activism Become Terrorism?
Friday, March 15, 2002
By Steven Milloy
Should a second-year law student know better than to get mixed up with
domestic terrorists, get arrested and then risk violating the terms of his
bail especially since dad is a prominent federal lawyer?
Though the term "duh" springs to mind, "just do it" seems to have been the
thinking of University at Buffalo Law School student and animal rights
extremist Bryan Pease.
His inability to resolve this simple problem begs the question of how well
Pease and his compatriots have thought through their activities.
Our tale begins last Dec. 5, when members of the Animal Liberation Front
classified by the FBI as a domestic terrorist group burglarized the North
Rose, N.Y., facility of Marshall Farms USA Inc., stealing 30 beagles and 10
Marshall Farms is one of the largest breeders of animals used in life-saving
medical research conducted at pharmaceutical company, university and
Though no arrests were made, ALF claimed credit for the attack and threatened
On Feb. 21, Pease was arrested at 1:15 a.m. while dressed in full camouflage
for trespassing on Marshall Farms' property by a K-9 unit of the Wayne County
Pease was interrogated by the New York State Police Counter Terrorism
Intelligence and released on bail again.
Pease had been arrested previously in Conway, Ark., the month before, on Jan.
14, and charged with commercial burglary, third-degree battery enhanced by
violent criminal group activity, criminal mischief, resisting arrest, and
Police say Pease and other animal rights thugs stormed the offices of
Stephens Inc., an Arkansas investment firm, through the back door and began
kicking employees and destroying property.
Stephens apparently earned the wrath of Pease and gang by helping rescue from
bankruptcy Huntingdon Life Sciences, a British medical testing company that
Law student Pease may soon get more first-hand experience with the legal
process. The Conway prosecutors' office says it will investigate and commence
proceedings to revoke Pease's bail.
Neither Pease's father, the chief civil attorney in the U.S. Attorney's
Office for the Northern District of New York, nor University at Buffalo Law
School Dean R. Nils Olsen Jr. would comment.
Dean Olsen didn't even know that one of his budding lawyers seemed to be a
Not everyone is as tongue-tied as Pease's elders.
A spokesperson for the 63-year-old, family-owned Marshall Farms pointed out
the value of medical testing that involves its specially bred dogs.
Many cardiac procedures and devices, including by-pass surgery, angioplasty,
pacemakers, and replacement valves and arteries, were developed through
testing on dogs. Cardiac surgeons train using dogs. Research identifying
insulin as the key hormone for sustaining diabetics was conducted with dogs.
All drugs, including veterinary drugs, and many other consumer products must
be tested on non-rodent animals typically dogs, pigs or monkeys before
use. Safe levels of exposure to pesticides for farm workers and in food are
established through dog testing.
Marshall Farms is in good standing with the U.S. Department of Agriculture,
which establishes and enforces rules for the proper care of animals raised
for lab research.
It's too bad the same can't be said of ALF's care of the animals stolen from
One of the dogs "liberated" was later found abandoned in West Palm Beach,
Fla., thin and hungry raising questions about the claims that ALF never
injures animals and that the animals stolen from Marshall Farms will never
have to endure "brutal conditions."
ALF, whose members are anonymous to shield them from prosecution, says it's
non-violent. But Pease, an ALF sympathizer at least, was charged in Arkansas
with violent crimes.
While a student at Cornell University, Pease promoted a speech by an Animal
Defense League member on the "historical uses of violence in liberation
movements." Pease advocated the wearing of ski masks at a protest to show of
solidarity with ALF and supported Mumia Abu-Jamal, the political activist who
murdered a Philadelphia policeman.
Pease has jeopardized his own legal career even before it begins and
embarrassed his prominent attorney-father and law school. But this pales in
comparison to the violent criminal he seems to be growing into and the threat
that ALF represents to progress in medical research.
Perhaps that's something young Pease might contemplate in the prison cell he
may soon occupy.
Steven Milloy is the publisher of JunkScience.com , an adjunct scholar at the
Cato Institute and the author of Junk Science Judo: Self-defense Against
Health Scares and Scams (Cato Institute, 2001).
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(Edward Burroughs, 1659 - from 'Quaker Faith and Practice')
Paul Mobbs, Mobbs' Environmental Investigations,
3 Grosvenor Road, Banbury OX16 5HN, England
tel./fax (+44/0)1295 261864
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