NC #7: News Shorts
from No Compromise Issue 7

Earth First! activist Judi Bari died of cancer in early March at the age of 47. She organized protests against logging in the Redwood forests in Northern California and was successful in building coalitions between loggers, mill workers, and forest defenders. In 1990, she was the victim in a car bomb attack which injured her and another passenger of the car. Police and FBI tried to implicate her as a suspect in the bombing to discredit Earth First! and further harass forest defenders.

Judi's serious injuries, which kept her in traction for weeks, did not dampen her spirit to fight, and she initiated a lawsuit against the Oakland police and FBI for defaming Earth First! and attempting to destroy evidence in the bomb case. The lawsuit will continue to be pursued now that she's gone.

With Judi's death, the environmental movement has lost a strong and compassionate voice. Her humor, tenacity, and hope will be sorely missed, but her fighting spirit lives on in those of us who continue the struggle for earth liberation.

A Denver, Colorado judge dismissed four activists' charges of trespass and disturbing the peace after arresting officer Captain Maldino admitted on the stand that he never asked the protesters to leave. Last October, the activists locked-down at the Denver Coliseum to protest the Ringling Brothers/Barnum & Bailey Circus. They were members of Rocky Mountain Animal Defense.

Troy Gregorino, an animal advocate who removed computer disks from a primate lab at Kent State University in Ohio, was sentenced to one year of probation and a $200 fine for his actions. The action resulted in over a month of massive media coverage in northern Ohio, some of which included the airing of graphic footage of invasive research on primates. The disks were stolen from graduate student Deborah VanTillburg who does behavioral research on monkeys.

One hundred and fifty British anti-hunt activists clad in black ski masks welcomed hunters attending a Hunt Ball taking place at a hotel near Arundel, Sussex. Hunter, businessman, and Ball attendee Brian Trafford, 65, told a British paper: "My business takes me all over the Soviet Union, and I've had a few brushes with the Mafia over there--but that was nothing compared to this. Our car was surrounded by 50 or more, banging on the roof. They smashed the back windscreen and the side window and the glass went all over my daughter-in-law. Then one jumped on the bonnet and smashed the windscreen. Then they yanked open the door and tried to pull me out. My driver is only a young chap and he was petrified." Angry activists smashed numerous car windows and the damage was estimated at thousands of pounds. Despite the presence of 80 police, no one was arrested.

British activists conducted actions during Easter weekend in memory of hunt saboteur, Tom Worby, who was killed by hunter Anthony Ball of the Cambridgeshire Foxhounds on April 3, 1993. Actions included a home demo at Bob Coley's house, the Managing Director of Interfuana--a company that breeds beagles for vivisection; a candle-light vigil at the Cambridge Foxhounds Kennels; a smash-and-dash attack at both Coley's house and the Hunt Kennels that resulted in most of their windows being broken; a protest at Interfauna; two demonstrations at the Huntington Research Center, one of which was so rowdy it prevented vivisectors from entering or leaving the building; a demonstration at a vivisection supplier that breeds rodents which resulted in its windows and fence being destroyed and feces smeared over the premises; a successful hunt sabotage; a home demo at Prime Minister John Major's house while machine-gun-toting police looked on; a protest at a cat breeder establishment in Oxford which got its windows smashed; and another trashing of Coley's house.

Chris Rogowski and Chet Bronski used chains and U-locks to lock down on the center ring during the elephant performance at the Ringling Brothers/Barnum & Bailey Circus in Worcester, Massachusetts. The circus was stopped for half an hour until the activists could be cut free.

A Whopper-Eating Contest at New York University was disrupted by a last minute protest of animal liberationists. At the start of the contest, activists bolted to the front table where the grotesque display was being held, surrounded it so no one could see the "event," and started chanting anti-meat slogans. The disruption lasted for the entire length of the contest and an irate crowd of about 60 shouting people added to the mayhem. No arrests were made.

Australia's Animal Liberation Action Rescue Team entered Happy Hens Egg World in Victoria and individually stamped thousands of battery eggs with the message: "Made with Cruelty." They also removed several birds from the horrible conditions. The birds were given veterinary attention.

Just weeks after 36 activists locked down at the Bunge Piggery in Corowa, Australia, two investigators were arrested for trespass after videotaping horrendous conditions there. The video shows three sows with maggot-infested, bleeding prolapses, being trampled by other pigs while they squeal in pain. It also shows over 600 pregnant sows locked in individual stalls barely larger than their bodies and tormented, bored, and neurotic animals madly sucking at the bars of their stalls, yelling in fevered distress. The Bunge Piggery is the largest pig farm in the southern hemisphere. It confines over 230,000 pigs in 80 sheds. The judge ruled in favor of the investigators.

The Animal Liberation Front has taken responsibility for numerous attacks on butcher shops and other animal abusers in Auckland, New Zealand. The New Zealand Herald reports that the A.L.F. have caused over $150,000 damage in the Auckland area alone this year.

According to a Circus Fans of America publication, The White Tops, Vidbel's Olde Tyme Circus will not use elephants in their performances this season. The article further states that Vidbel's has been "plagued by animal rights zealots" over the last few years. This is the first year since the circus started in 1984 that they will not exploit elephants during their performance.

For World Day for Animals in Labs, protesters at the University of Washington placed 3,000 flags in the school's lawn in memory of the 3,000 animals killed each week in UW vivisection labs. On the same day, animal liberationists' presence at the UW Health Science Fair for local high school students, resulted in nervous vivisectors packing up their tables and leaving.

Inmate Harold Thompson filed a lawsuit demanding a vegan-vegetarian diet line be provided at all Tennessee prisons. The lawsuit, filed under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, argues that people who believe in the sanctity and reverence of all life should be given meals appropriate to their beliefs just as the Muslims and Jews are given meals free of pork. A similar lawsuit filed in South Carolina resulted in all South Carolina prisons providing a vegan-vegetarian diet line. Letters of support can be sent to: Mr. Harold H. Thompson, #93992, Turney Center Industrial Prison, Route 1, Only, TN 37140-9709.

The Law Student Animal Rights Alliance recommends activists who plan to represent themselves in court read the following books: Everybody's Guide to Municipal Court ($29.95), Everybody's Guide to Small Claims Court ($18.95), and Represent Yourself in Court: How to Prepare & Try a Winning Case ($29.95). These books can be ordered from NOLO Press, an organization of lawyers trying to make the law accessible to people. Call NOLO Press at 1-800-992-6656 to order these titles or ask for their catalogue. If you can not afford these books, ask your local library to add these fine publications to their collection.

A 400-pound Bengal tiger attacked and killed his trainer and tormentor, 50-year-old Wayne Franzen, during a circus performance in Carrolltown, Pennsylvania. When Franzen turned his back toward the tiger, the tiger pounced on him, bit into his neck, and started dragging him around the ring. Some 200 children and their parents watched in horror as Franzen was killed.

Chicago Animal Rights Coalition activist Steve Hindi was found not guilty of spitting in the face of David Perri, the curator for Marineland in Niagara Falls, Ontario. The charges stemmed from a protest at the Marineland back in September of last year. (See NC #5, page 3, for story.)