From the antis

The People’s Agenda (Random issues, 1992-1993, Washington, DC, USA)

The People’s Agenda was the official newsletter of Putting People First, an industry front group that pretended to represent good ol’ fashioned American animal abuse. In actuality, they were heavily funded by the industries they defended, from fur farmers to meat packers. Their PR angle involved the typical lies about caring for animal welfare, placing human rights above those of plants and animals, and conflating animal liberation philosophy alternately as a new age religion or an extension of Marxism. At times the articles contained herein make for hilarious examples of dirty journalism, and other times they provide us with lessons about how our actions can be spun and used against us. Interestingly, there are also underground actions reported in the People’s Agenda that are either hoaxes, or real actions gone wrong that never received coverage in AR publications.

Putting People First was one of many anti-animal rights organizations that prospered during the 80s and 90s. While many of these groups are still around, most notably the Center for Consumer Freedom, their heyday seems to have passed. It would be a mistake to believe that decline occurred because these groups lost the support of a large segment of our society. Actions taken in opposition to human supremacist politics are still widely opposed by those who enjoy the position of power that they hold over non-humans. The real reason that these groups are no longer as plentiful is that our movement isn’t the threat that it once was. As we come out of the chilling effect created by the SHAC 7 conviction, you can bet that publications like this will become popular once more. Combating their press and political strategy will be crucial to our progress, and familiarizing ourselves with their past actions will go a long way towards defeating them in the future.

AMA Animal Research Action Plan (1989, leaked document, Chicago, IL. USA)

Long before the rise of whistle-blowing superstar WikiLeaks, the animal rights movement had been obtaining documents that our opposition never intended for us to see. One significant example of this was when the North American ALF Supporters Group obtained the American Medical Association’s plan to counter the animal rights movement in the United States. This plot, which became popularly known in the movement as the “AMA White Paper,” was quickly disseminated to the movement through old fashioned postal mail and excerpts in sympathetic periodicals.

The plan itself was pretty basic and involved elements still in use by corporate PR and security firms to this day. Essentially, a wedge was to be driven between the militant aspects of the movement and the national organizations, the public was to be told that animal rights activists are anti-science and stood in the way of “choices” which the average person may wish to make, and that congress should be heavily lobbied to increase penalties for people breaking the law to save animals. These tactics are still used against the movement today, and this publication remains a vital read for those fighting animal slavery.