The Animal Liberation Front Supporters Group newsletter #17 (1985, London, England.)
(Editors note: The complete set of SG newsletters is now available HERE.)
It is not usually our habit to put up a single issue of a serialized publication as we prefer to post an entire year, or run of magazines, in a single post. However, we must make an exception for the ALF SG newsletter #17, which contains a fantastic investigation of the Band of Mercy and comes complete with an image of their first press statement from November of 1973. The significance of that image, the very first communique from an underground group fighting on behalf of other species, can not be understated.
When one considers how entrenched animal exploitation is in our culture, the idea that a tiny band of revolutionaries could push back against that social tide by burning down an animal laboratory under construction is a watershed moment. The arson attacks and raids carried out by the Band of Mercy were pivotal in the creation of the animal rights movement.
This issue has much more in store for readers. The second communique from the Animal Rights Militia is presented in it’s entirety, and although it provides a myopic examination of the role of liberatory violence it is none the less a fascinating read for lovers of animal rights history. The story of the famous Ecclesfield Beagle raid is presented by one of it’s participants, Roger Yates has a long letter explaining his feelings on the uselessness of national groups, and funny pseudonyms abound! If you thought Earth First!ers had funny names, wait till you get a load of Captain Kirk, Martial Rose, and Black Vixen!
If you look carefully you may notice that this issue is missing some pages. We do not know if this is because they were removed by their original owner, or if this is one of the issues of the SG rumored to have been “edited” by the British government as it left post offices on it’s way to subscribers.