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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wonder how people feel about ALF and liberation tactics and economic sabotage in general? Pro, con? Losing strategy or the only way to strike back? Effective or marginalizing?

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...i%2Dnews%2Dhed

Lobster firm fleet vandalized

Animal-rights group suspected; FBI is called in

By Virginia Groark and Jon Yates

Tribune staff reporters

Published February 4, 2003

Lines to brakes and refrigeration systems on a fleet of Villa Park seafood company trucks were cut over the weekend, damage the FBI is investigating as the act of a radical animal rights group opposed to the killing of sea creatures.

Vandals entered an unsecured lot on the 200 block of North Avenue and cut the lines on dozens of Supreme Lobster and Seafood Co. trucks. They also wrote "ALF--No Brakes" on a bay door of a company building.

Investigators believe ALF stands for the Animal Liberation Front, a loose group of animal rights activists whom the FBI considers active domestic terrorists. According to an anonymous e-mail sent to the Tribune, members also called themselves the "Groundhog Crew" because they claimed to have damaged the trucks early Sunday, which was Groundhog Day.

In the e-mail titled "ALF Communique," the group alleged the Midwest's largest lobster distributor was responsible for the deaths of more than 1 billion sea creatures over the last 25 years.

"Their lives cannot be returned, but we will continue to strike at them until future generations are truly free," the e-mail stated.

"Didn't know groundhogs were such fans of sea creatures, did you?" the group asked.

Company officials discovered the damage to 48 trucks early Monday when a driver got into one of the trucks, according to a company official who asked not to be identified for fear of retribution.

"He pulled the truck out and goes to hit the brakes, and he had no brakes," the company official said. The truck came to a stop before leaving the parking lot and did not hit anything or anyone, according to police and company officials.

When employees realized the truck's brake line had been cut, they checked other trucks in the fleet and found more damage, said Villa Park Police Detective John Szkolka.

"It kept snowballing and snowballing, and that's when they called us," said Szkolka, whose department was notified around 5:30 a.m.

After learning that ALF may be involved, police contacted the FBI, which joined the investigation Monday afternoon.

"We are investigating this as a possible act of domestic terrorism," said Ross Rice, spokesman for the FBI in Chicago.

The company was able to lease trucks and conduct business, although some deliveries were a few hours late, the company official said. Police did not have an exact estimate of damages, but the company official said it was in the "tens of thousands."

Supreme Lobster, a 29-year-old family business, imports and distributes fresh and frozen seafood from around the world to more than 5,000 restaurants, supermarkets, retail outlets and hospitality institutions in the Chicago area. The company's territory also includes Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin, according to its Web site.

Rice said cutting the brake lines of so many trucks could have had a "near catastrophic effect." His office has made no arrests and filed no charges.

"At this point it would be premature to say the [ALF's] claim of responsibility is accurate," he added.

ALF officials could not be reached for comment. The group's spokesman, David Barbarash of Vancouver, British Columbia, stepped down last month, saying the media focused too much on him and not on the group's message. His phone has been disconnected.

Though ALF is alleged to have committed other acts in the Midwest, including releasing 1,200 minks from a Waverly, Iowa, ranch, Sunday's incident shocked officials in the seafood industry.

"There have been groups that have tried to liberate lobsters and put them back into the ocean," said Sue Barber, executive director of the Maine Lobster Promotion Council in Bangor. "But I have never heard of brake lines being cut. And that's kind of frightening because if someone got into that truck and drove, you are putting humans at risk."

Experts said ALF has little structure and no apparent leadership, with independent cells across the country and in Europe that vandalize animal farms and other facilities. A Web site says the group's goal is, in part, to "inflict economic damages to those who profit from the misery and exploitation of animals," and "reveal the horror and atrocities committed against animals."

In recent years, ALF has claimed responsibility for releasing foxes from a ranch in Pennsylvania, stealing dogs from an Italian research facility and setting fire to a truck outside a poultry plant in Indiana.

Other animal rights groups do not agree with their tactics. Steve Hindi, head of Geneva-based Showing Animals Respect and Kindness, said vandalism can do more harm than good for the animal rights movement.

"That kind of thing is just not the answer," he said. "If it is animal rights people, it's profoundly frustrating when that happens."

Tracing ALF can be challenging. The group tends to work at night and has been difficult to prosecute.

Richard TeKippe, former lead prosecutor in Chickasaw County, Iowa, said ALF claimed responsibility for freeing minks from a farm two years ago, but no one was arrested.

"Some organization issued a statement saying they were responsible for it, but you can't prosecute based on that," he said. "We were never able to identify any witnesses."
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I support any means necessary in the fight for animal liberation. Democratic or non-democratic means. Non-democratic means tend, of course, to turn the populace against the cause, but do democratic actions, like those of PETA, help? Most people think of even these moderate organizations(PETA, HSUS, etc) as extreme.

Democracy does not involve these victims of humanity, why then should those who fight for them respect democracy?

I've always been doubtful of democracy..
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by kirkjobsluder

I don't think that the issue is democratic vs. non-democratic. After all, military action is "democratic" as is civil disobediance. I distrust claims that violent action is justified under any circumstances.
So you consider this violent?

My opinion is that property damage is not violence, and that includes arson (that ELF is so fond of using). As long as no one is harmed physically...

Some people disagree with that analysis, but it's an interesting topic of discussion.
 

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Attacking someone's livelihood, setting fires, and in this case cutting barke lines is violent.

Personally, I hope they catch the whackos that did this and they get the chance to toss the salad a few times in prison.
 

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They do not physically attack economic livelihood, so no.

There is a difference between me deciding not to buy your product and someone else deciding not to buy it, and then burning down your building also.

I won't even dignify your comparing economic terrorism to lay offs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So then your idea that attacking someone's livelihood is inherently violent isn't true.

So it's the act that's violent? The fire, the destruction of property? Damage inflicted to inanimate objects is violent, to you?
 

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No. Choosing not to buy a product is not an attack. Laying someone off because you cannot afford to pay them is not an attack.

Throwing a brick through someone's window is. Hacking their web site is. Cutting their brake lines is. Burning down their building is.

If I burn down your house, you would feel attacked. If I cut the brake lines in your car, you would feel attacked. Seems pretty simple.
 

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I am saying that it is an attack on livelihood, which in most cases will be against property. However, engaging in consumer choice (boycott) or employer choice (lay off) is not an attack.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Mera'din

So wait, back up here... You're stating that it's the destruction of property that is violent, not an attack on someone's livelihood? Yes or no?
Also, I do believe destroying someone's property is a violent attack also. You don't burn down someone's house or cut brake lines with good intentions, you do so to cause harm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You're sending mixed signals here, I'm just trying to figure out where you stand.

Initially, you stated that attacks on someone's livelihood is violent, and you went on say you'd like to see the perps anally raped in prison.

Then you say that attacks on livelihood, such as layoffs and boycotts, are NOT violent.

So, that makes attacks on livelihoods NOT violent - something else in the act is what makes it violent, not the attack on the livelihood.

Then, I ask if it's the destruction of property that is the violent aspect of the acts, and you can't give me a straight answer as to whether or not you believe that destruction of property is the factor that makes these actions violent.

If there's more aspects of these actions that you believe are what makes them violent, please tell me.

Cuz the only other option I see is that you see these actions as violent in a completely arbitrary fashion - and will not apply the same standards of violence to other actions.

If I'm mistaken please clarify.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Tame

Also, I do believe destroying someone's property is a violent attack also. You don't burn down someone's house or cut brake lines with good intentions, you do so to cause harm.
Ok, now we're getting somewhere. So, all destruction of property is violent, in your opinion? I want to make this clear before going on. Is that what you believe, that destruction of property is violent in and of itself?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Mera'din

Then you say that attacks on livelihood, such as layoffs and boycotts, are NOT violent.

So, that makes attacks on livelihoods NOT violent - something else in the act is what makes it violent, not the attack on the livelihood.

No, those are not attacks. Choosing to not employ someone or not buy a product is not attacking someone. It's really rather simple.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Mera'din

Ok, now we're getting somewhere. So, all destruction of property is violent, in your opinion? I want to make this clear before going on. Is that what you believe, that destruction of property is violent in and of itself?
The intentional destruction of someone's property with intent to cuase harm is a violent act, imo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Tame

The intentional destruction of someone's property with intent to cuase harm is a violent act, imo.
Ok, now we've established where you stand on why these actions are considered violent.

My next question is, do you consider all violence wrong, or do you believe there to be such a thing as justified violence?

(I already know the answer to this, but for purposes of clarity and so I can't be accused of putting words in your mouth, I'd like to hear your answer)
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Mera'din

My next question is, do you consider all violence wrong, or do you believe there to be such a thing as justified violence?

Yes, violence can be justified. However, if it is illegal, I believe the perpetrators need to be willing to face the consequences of their actions, until the laws in question are changed.

And yes, I would find it amusing for ALF and ELF members to be horribly abused in prison. I disagree with their mission and goals, I would hope that the possibility of nasty acts in prison might keep the little weasels in line.
 
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