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Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter

From 17 December 2004 Issue

In defense of the Animal Liberation Front

Those who stand against the Animal Liberation Front's actions, the fashionably moderate Republicrats, have had their time to speak. They have already condemned the group as "violent terrorists." It's time for a dissenting opinion.

I find it quite sad (and indicative of the gross materialism of our society) that in our country we hold material possessions in such high regard that we equate their destruction with destruction of living, feeling, sentient beings and call it "violence." The animal front picked targets carefully, destroying specifically those instruments that perpetuated torture of animals; they destroyed the outcomes of said torture ("research"), which in fact had questionable real-world applications to begin with (as there is evidence that animal research is useless in predicting the effects of certain chemicals on humans).

Most students, myself included, had no idea that animal testing even happened here at the UI. Afterwards, it was disclosed by UI President David Skorton that, even if animals were being tested, it was always in a "humane" manner. According to what the animal front discovered, this assertion is absolute rubbish. Frankly, I am more inclined to believe the front than an administrator who obviously has a reputation to uphold.

I am indeed tired of the word "terrorist" being thrown around to describe the group - "intimidation in order to achieve political ends." Name one country that doesn't do this. The very nature of government is coercive. How is it acceptable for the government to use intimidation to achieve its ends (with the utilization of real violence) but not for individual people to fight for what's right utilizing nonviolent means? Why is it that the civil disobedience of the past is romanticized (the civil-rights movement, suffrage movement, etc.) and yet more recent manifestations are now condemned by people throughout the political spectrum (even by so-called "progressive liberals")? An animal-front action has never resulted in another person's death. How many people have died because of U.S. wars of aggression and "economic interest"? That's a pretty big number. How about just during this year?

Are you beginning to see the real hypocrisy here?

I also find it a bit ironic that one of the primary complaints about the action is the financial cost to the university. And yet the university is offering a $10,000 reward for information about the "culprits." Aren't there much better uses for this money? Give someone a scholarship or something. The damage is done. Are we really so bent on "punishment" that we'll whine about the cost of animal liberation and then gladly pay exorbitant amounts of money just to "teach someone a lesson"?

I'm not the only person who feels this way. We are out there in solidarity with the freedom fighters who were only doing what was best for the animals, although many of us are remaining silent because of the fear of persecution and accusations of involvement. The brave men and women of the animal front risk their own liberty to bring liberty to animals on a regular basis all over the United States and England. Smashed computers and a few privileged college kids having to miss a day of class is a small price to pay for this.

Maria Cassino
UI student

"Most of the faces I see on the covers of music magazines are just dreadful - people with nothing to offer the world at all." -Morrissey
smashing apathy with conviction:

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