DIRECT ACTION

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 1998:

Convicted Animal Liberation Front arsonist
Douglas Joshua Ellerman, 19, remains at large after failing
to appear for sentencing in Salt Lake City on May 6, but a
sweep by five agencies seeking Ellerman on June 18 and 19
nabbed four Salt Lake City men who were charged on June 23
with releasing mink from the Beckstead Mink Farm in West
Jordan, Utah, on June 22, 1996 and July 17, 1996. The
actions allegedly did more than $200,000 in property damage.
The accused include Jacob Lyman Kenison, 19, and
Brandon James Mitchener, Alexander David Slack, a n d
Sean Albert Gautsch, all 22. Also charged was a fugitive
John Doe, believed to be Ellerman.
The Natrona County Sheriff’s Department, in
Casper, Colorado, said on June 21 that persons claiming to
be “Islamic Jihad Ecoterrorists” had done $100,000 in damage
to local ranchers during the preceding week by cutting fences
dividing federal, private, and state lands in Natrona,
Fremont, and Carbon counties in more than 150 locations.


Two trucks were burned and police found 40
firebombs planted in 20 other vehicles on June 1 at the
premises of the livestock hauling firm A.E George & Son in
Bruton, Somerset, United Kingdom. Two employees discovered
the firebombs as they began detonating at about 3:30
a.m., and began removing them on their own. The London
T i m e s noted that the bombs were placed “at the start of
National Vegetarian Week.” Said Animal Liberation
Front press officer Robin Webb, “I am certain that this is
the work of the ALF. It bears all the hallmarks of previous
attacks against similar businesses.”
Oxford University vivisection defender Colin
Blakemore and Hillgrove Farm owner Chris Brown
escaped injury on June 11 when letter bombs sent following
threats to Brown from the “Provisional Animal Liberation
Front” did not detonate. Thirty-nine demonstrators among an
estimated 400 were arrested 12 days earlier during a protest at
Hillgrove Farm, which breeds cats for pharmaceutical
research at Oxford. Of the 39, 24 were arrested after being
identified from video as participants in an April 18 action.
The Thames Valley Police have now reportedly spent nearly
$1 million since January 1998 to contain actions directed at
Hillgrove Farm. Blakemore, a physiologist, has been perhaps
the most prominent vivisector in England since experiments
he did involving sewing shut the eyes of kittens and
monkeys came to public attention in 1972. He now works
mainly with tissue samples, he says, but still actively defends
invasive research. Two of his children unwittingly took delivery
of a shrapnel bomb disguised as a present at Christmas
1993, but it was recognized before they could open it.
Blakemore and other members of his family have been
assaulted on many occasions. In January 1998 a mob extensively
vandalized the Blakemore home, terrorizing
Blakemore’s wife, his 83-year-old mother-in-law, and a visiting
professor with bricks and bottles. Blakemore was at work.

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