Timeline of Animal Liberation Front actions, 1976–99
This is a time line of Animal Liberation Front (ALF) actions since its formation in 1976 until 1999.
Two years after Ronnie Lee and Cliff Goodman had been charged for the raid on the Oxford Laboratory Animal Colonies in Bicester, as part of the Band of Mercy, the "Bicester Two" as they were known; Lee emerged even more militant than before. There had been daily demonstrations at the court during their trial, including Lee's local Labour MP Ivor Clemitson. He then collected up the remaining activists from the Band of Mercy upon his release, including another two dozen new willing activists, 30 in all, and the Animal Liberation Front was born.
It was reported that in early operations by the ALF, individuals targeted slaughterhouses, furriers, butchers shops, circuses, breeders and fast-food restaurants, causing £250,000 in the first year alone.
In Monkey Business, by Kathy Snow Guillermo, she writes that the first ALF action in the United States was the removal of the so-called Silver Spring monkeys, who were being cared for by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in a safehouse. They were kept there are after a researcher from the Institute of Behavioral Research in Silver Spring, Maryland, had blatantly acted in violation of the animal cruelty legislation for laboratory practice. The animals were then returned five days later, after learning that legal action against the researcher could not proceed without the monkeys.
- December 24
The president of PETA, Ingrid Newkirk, writes that an activist codenamed "Valerie" flew to England, after the publicity triggered by the Silver Spring monkeys case. She was directed by Ronnie Lee to a training camp for activists, who at the time was working for the BUAV, before returning to Maryland and breaking into Howard University. Twenty-four cats were removed by the ALF cell she had founded, with some of the cats suffering from back legs that were crippled.
- May 28
The Head Injury Lab of the University of Pennsylvania is raided by the ALF with $60,000 worth of damage caused, and 60 hours worth of video tapes stolen which shows researchers laughing and joking as they cause brain damage to baboons. PETA then released the documentary Unnecessary Fuss, causing the chief veterinarian to lose his job.
- December 9
- April 20
Sixteen ALF activists take 468 animals, including a five-week-old macaque named Britches, after raiding the University of California, and cause $700,000 in damages. After the raid, which the ALF filmed, eight of the seventeen projects involving the use of animals at the laboratory, which were currently going on, were stopped, because of the footage. The University said "years of medical research were lost".
- October 26
- December 23
A bomb package inside a Binns department store was discovered in Newcastle-upon-Tyne city centre in England. The area was evacuated and a bomb disposal team defused the device. A woman claiming to be from the ALF claimed responsibility in a telephone call to Metro Radio, with the intention to damage the store in protest against Binns selling animal fur.
- April 15
Two years and two weeks after 500 animals were taken from the University of California, an ALF arson is claimed at the Animal Diagnostics Laboratory, causing $5.1 million, one of the largest and most costly actions yet for the movement.
- November 28
"ALF" and "murderers" is spray-painted at V. Melani, which is set on fire causing $200,000 in damages. The company are a poultry distribution company in Santa Clara, California.
- On the 2nd, one of the laboratories at the Veterans Administration hospital is set on fire, a part of the University of Arizona, causing $500,000 worth of damage.
- Timed incendiary devices are left at a meat company on the 13th April, the ALF claim the fire.
- July 4
- March 17
Harlan Interfauna is raided by Keith Mann, Barry Horne and Danny Attwood, as part of a small ALF cell. The activists entered the animal units through holes they punched in the roof, removing 82 beagle puppies and 26 rabbits. They also removed documents listing Interfauna's customers, which included Boots, Glaxo, Beechams, and Huntingdon Research Centre, as well as a number of universities. A vet who was an ALF supporter removed the tattoos from the dogs' ears, and they were dispersed to new homes across the UK. As a result of evidence found at the scene and in one of the activists' homes, Mann and Attwood were convicted of conspiracy to burgle and were sentenced to nine months and 18 months respectively.
- June 10
- December 15
A mink pelt drying company, Hynek Malecky facility, is set fire by the ALF, with costs estimated at $96,000. The raid is claimed as the ALF and Rod Coronado is later charged with the arson.
- February 28
Another mink research facility is attacked, Michigan State University, again another arson, this time causing substantially more damage at the cost of $1.2 million. Rod Coronado was charged with the attack, with PETA donating $42,000 towards his legal defense. An extensive autobiographical account can be found in the book Recipes for Disaster: An Anarchist Cookbook, which details the materials, methodology, and tactics needed to carry out such an attack and other forms of direct action.
- April 14
The ALF use an incendiary device, causing $6,000 in damages at Oneata Beef Company, Syracuse, New York.
- June 15
- December 24
Three Dutch Girl Ice Cream trucks in Eugene, Oregon, have incendiary devices placed under them by the ALF, costing $15,600.
- April 2
An Egg Products store in Salt Lake City is burned to the ground, with also the ALF destroying two trucks that were ownded by the company. The damage totaled $100,000.
- In Detroit, Oregon, 27th, a U.S. Forest Service truck is set on fire. The claim is a joint one by the ALF and the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), a similar movement who formed in 1992.
- Three days later, a U.S. Forest Service Oakridge Ranger Station is burned down in Eugene, Oregon, causing $5.3 million, also claimed by both the ELF and the ALF.
- November 12
The ALF claim that they have thrown a firebomb through the window of the Alaskan Fur Company, in Bloomington, Minnesota, the damages is estimated at over $2 million.
- February 15
- Another joint claim by the ALF and the ELF of a series of firebombings on the 11th of March, destroying the offices of the Agricultural Fur Breeders Co-Op and four trucks, in Utah, costing an estimated $1 million.
- Three days later, the "Animal Liberation Front - Eco-Animal Defense Unit" claim the spiking of 47 trees in a clearcut area, Oregon. The action is also claimed by the ALF and the ELF.
- On the 18th, nearly ten years after the $5.1 million arson at the University of California by the ALF, the "Bay Area Cell of the Earth and Animal Liberation Front" set fire to the Center for Comparative Medicine facility, which was under construction at the time.
- On the same day, Montgomery Furs is torched by the ALF, the store is a trapping supply firm in Utah.
- April 19
In Indiana, the ALF set fire to a truck belonging to Archer's Meats.
- July 21
- On the 16th, in Utah, a McDonald's restaurant is completely burned to the ground by four ALF activists, totaling $400,000 worth of damage in total.
- The very next day, two Molotov cocktails are thrown through the window of Cosmo's Furs, in Illinois, claimed by the ALF.
- Only a couple of days later, on the 19th of August, the Wildlife Pharmaceuticals in, Colorado, is set on fire by the ALF.
- Several trucks are set on fire belonging to Jersey Cuts Meat Co, in New Jersey, on the 26th, with the ALF claiming responsibility. Three of the trucks are completely destroyed, each costing $60,000.
- February 28
A window is broken at The Outdoorsman Sport Shop, which is then used by the ALF to set fire to the building in Indiana. Slogans were also painted at the store.
- May 4
The Florida Veal Processors Inc, in Florida, is burned to the ground causing half a million dollars in damage. The ALF then claim to have carried out the action.
- June 28
- July 16
Nearly a year after the previous set of meat trucks were destroyed in New Jersey, another truck is destroyed, this time belonging to Steven Corn Furs, the action is claimed again by the ALF. Furthermore, present in this vehicle was a drive-along Barbie truck belonging to Steven Corn's daughter. The truck was destroyed as well.
The ALF claimed responsibility for releasing into the wild up to 6,000 mink from a mink farm in Ringwood, UK. About 2,000 of the minks were immediately recaptured, another 2,000 were killed and the rest remained unaccounted-for at the time the incident was reported. Anti-fur activists denounced the action as "a disaster for the [anti-fur] campaign, and it's a disaster for the mink". The action was described by a Royal Society for the Protection of Birds spokesman as an "act of monumental stupidity," amid fears that the non-native carnivorous minks would cause ecological damage. The ALF said it would continue its campaign until the British government introduced new animal-welfare legislation for animals used by the fur industry.
- On the 16th, another arson occurs in New Jersey by the ALF, they target a Leather and Fur Ranch van.
- The ALF & ELF release 500 wild horses and torch the Bureau of Land Management in Burns, Oregon, on the 29th November. This is claimed in protest of BLM's intention to round up the wild horses and process them for the sale of horsemeat.
- March 27
Six vehicles are firebombed by the ALF that are owned by Big Apple Circus in New Jersey.
- April 5
- May 9
- The ALF target Chilrder's Meat Co., in Oregon, destroying a refrigeration unit, a shipping dock and a two-story building. The fires are estimated to have caused $150,000 in damage.
- June 25
A Worldwide Primates truck is destroyed by the ALF in Miami, Florida.
- In Wisconsin on the 9th, United Feeds, a feeder supplier to mink farms, is burned to the ground. Gene Myer's Fur Farm is then raided, releasing mink into the wild, with both actions claimed by the ALF.
- Forty six dogs are taken from Bio-Devices Inc, California, on the 29th August. The research laboratory is also set on fire, causing $250,000 in damages, with the ALF claiming responsibility.
- Two days later, the ALF burn down a McDonald's restaurant in Georgia to the ground. It is reported that Bruce Friedrich, of PETA announces the news on an animal rights website.
- September 23
The ALF claim an arson at Phippsburg Sportsmen's Association, Massachusetts, although their attempts fail.
- October 22
Four vehicles belonging to Harris Furs are toched by the ALF in Rhode Island.
- On the 1st, a Gap clothes store has four gasoline bombs thrown inside, which the FBI claimed the ALF were responsible for.
- British documentary-filmmaker Graham Hall told police and the Mail on Sunday that he was kidnapped and branded with the letters "ALF" across his back after meeting a man claiming to have information on a dog-fighting ring and filming ALF activists "boasting about bomb making and choosing sites for violent attacks." His film was shown on Channel 4 in the UK during the 1998 hunger strike of ALF activist Barry Horne. Hall said he was taken by several masked men, one of whose voices he said he recognized from a previous gathering of activists, to an unknown house, then was tied to a chair for several hours and branded. No charges were laid as a result of his complaint. In response to the attack, Robin Webb stated "The ALF's policy has always been that there should be no harming life in its work, and we abide by that. There are probably many people with grudges against Mr Hall because of his films over the years, but this attack has nothing to do with us."
- Monaghan, Rachael. "Terrorism in the Name of Animal Rights," in Taylor, Maxwell and Horgan, John. The Future of Terrorism. Routledge 2000, pp. 160-161.
- Carbone, Larry. '"What Animal Want: Expertise and Advocacy in Laboratory Animal Welfare Policy. Oxford University Press, 2004, p. 76, see figure 4.2.
- Guillermo, Kathy Snow. Monkey Business, National Press Books, pp. 69-72.
- Newkirk, Ingrid. Free the Animals: The Amazing True Story of the Animal Liberation Front, 2000.
- Best, Steven in Best & Nocella (eds), Terrorists or Freedom Fighters, Lantern Books, 2004, p. 21.
- Lowe, Brian M. Emerging Moral Vocabularies. Lexington Books, 2006, p. 92.
- Rudacille, Deborah. The Scalpel and the Butterfly: The Conflict Between Animal Research and Animal Protection. University of California Press, 2001, p. 136: Rudacille quotes Jo Shoesmith, an attorney and long-time animal rights activist in the U.S., who says that Newkirk's account of "Valerie" is not only fictionalized, as Newkirk acknowledges, but "totally fictitious."
- Eco-Violence: The Record, Southern Poverty Law Center, Fall 2002.
- The video footage released by PETA can be viewed at Unnecessary Fuss 1 Unnecessary Fuss 2 Unnecessary Fuss 3 Unnecessary Fuss 4 Unnecessary Fuss 5 (videos).
- McCarthy, Charles R. "Reflections on the Organizational Locus of the Office for Protection from Research Risks" Archived 2007-04-23 at the Wayback Machine, Online Ethics Centre for Engineering and Science, October 28, 2004; accessed October 2, 2006: On the basis of Unnecessary Fuss, PETA petitioned the Office for Protection from Research Risks (OPRR) to have the University of Pennsylvania's head injury lab closed down. The OPRR initially refused to act on the basis of edited material and after more than a year of refusing to turn over the original tapes, PETA eventually did so. The edited tape was found to have "grossly overstated the deficiencies in the Head Injury Clinic", but OPRR also found serious violations of accepted procedure.
- Best, Steven in Best & Nocella (eds), Terrorists or Freedom Fighters, Lantern Books, 2004, p. 22.
- Group raids labs, takes animals, Associated Press, in the Philadelphia Inquirer, April 22, 1985.
- "The man, the activist" Archived 2003-12-20 at the Wayback Machine, first published in Arkangel.
- Mann, Keith. From Dusk 'til Dawn: An insider's view of the growth of the Animal Liberation Movement. Puppy Pincher Press, 2007, pp. 267-275.
- Best, Steven and Best & Nocella. Igniting a Revolution: Voices in Defense of the Earth, Lantern Books, 2006, p. 56.
- Animal rights group claims responsibility for mink release BBC News, August 9, 1998. Retrieved 2 October 2006.
- Anti-fur campaigners slam mink release BBC News, August 11, 1998. Retrieved 2 October 2006.
- Activists warn of more mink releases BBC News, August 18, 1998. Retrieved 2 October 2006.
- "Branded," Mail on Sunday, November 7, 2006
- Film-maker 'branded in attack' BBC News, November 6, 1999. Retrieved October 2, 2006.
- Young, Peter Daniel (2010). Animal Liberation Front: Complete Diary of Actions, The First 30 Years. Voice of the Voiceless Communications. ISBN 978-0-9842844-0-5
- Mann, Keith, (2007) From Dusk 'til Dawn: An Insider's View of the Growth of the Animal Liberation Movement, Puppy Pincher Press, ISBN 978-0-9555850-0-5
- Best, Steven, and Nocella, Anthony J, (2004) Terrorists or Freedom Fighters? Reflections on the Liberation of Animals, Lantern Books, ISBN 1-59056-054-X
- Newkirk, Ingrid, (2000) Free the Animals: The Story of the Animal Liberation Front, Lantern Books, ISBN 1-930051-22-0
- External links