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Campaign newsletters

The Hillgrove Campaign 1-9, 11-14 (1997-1999. Oxford, England)

CLOSE HLS newsletters (2006-2007. Location unknown)

Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (UK) Newsletters 1-58. (1999-2011, Various Locations, England)
















N.A.L.L. newsletter – Summer 1985, Spring News 1985 (1985, Manchester, England)

Every time we receive a NALL related donation everyone at TALON can’t wait to read it, even if it is just a small newsletter or leaflet. Our fascination with the group stems from their early socialism, their insistence that mass-militancy trumps individual direct-action, and their acts of solidarity with other movements. While their publications don’t always touch on those factors, fans of the Leagues will not be disappointed with these two issues of the NALL newsletter, especially the Spring News, which comments on the unstrategic militarism happening at the time, specifically the Mars bar poisoning hoax and publicity stunts of groups like the Hunt Retribution Squad.

The excitement doesn’t end there, however! Despite the poor editing, these volumes contain many clues as to the organizing model, rhetoric, history, and strategies employed by NALL- and then there are the small tidbits that will make you love them even more! An embracing of ecological politics, a tendency towards anonymity for the sake of rejecting the big egos that cause so much damage to movements, the fact that NALL was originally called Manchester Animal Liberators, the mention of a cafe run by three NALL members… If you are as fascinated with this classic organization as we are you will absolutely love these two dispatches!


SHAC USA – Vol. 1*, Issue #1 (2001, Philadelphia, PA)

Editor’s note: Several of our upcoming posts were shared with us courtesy of the University of Victoria’s Special Collections Library. Our thanks go out to everyone who has helped make these little pieces of our movement’s history widely available again.

*It should also be noted that there was a previous SHAC USA newsletter that was numbered Vol.1, #1. That issue was produced by Joe Bateman prior to Kevin Jonas’ return to the US in the very early days of the campaign. We are actively seeking that rarity, if you have it please contact us HERE.

It was just under a week ago that I celebrated the two year anniversary of getting off probation in the SHAC 7 case. I spent the night eating pizza and looking through old mementoes of the campaign. It was an exciting thing to be a part of, especially in those early days when grassroots groups across the country were getting fired up to smash Huntingdon Life Sciences. Every hour seemed to bring news of more people joining the attack.

I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t disheartened that HLS is still out there killing animals after all of our work to stop them, but I would also be a liar if I said that I believed they will continue to get away with it. As the Bodhisattva once said, “Everything moves in cycles,” and from what I’ve seen of the movement lately, times are about to get a lot tougher for the abusers- just like they did back in 2001. It’s all coming ’round again.

Anyhow, this here was the first (relaunched) issue of the legendary SHAC USA newsletter. It covers the opening shots of the battle against Huntingdon in the U.S., the start of our secondary targeting against Stephens Incorporated, and coverage of the early regional demonstrations at HLS’ lab in New Jersey. It is filled with our triumphs (the legal battle over the website,) and errors (Announcing that this was the first year of what was predicted to be a 3 year campaign, showing support for the ultimately worthless Bank of New York secondary targeting,) but most importantly it has this reminder: “The Time For Action Is NOW.”


The Vegan News #1 (1944, Leicester, England)

Seventy years ago an ethical vegetarian named Donald Watson began to see the problems inherent in consuming milk and eggs. The prevailing wisdom at the time was that a human could not be healthy without those products, so Watson attempted an experiment. He altered his diet to be entirely plant based and found the results to be encouraging. Soon after he coined the word “vegan” and started the first Vegan Society. In 1944, with a membership of twenty five, they released their first newsletter.

The relevance of this document to animal liberationists can not be understated. While Donald Watson was not among those carrying on anti-vivisection or blood sports work in the 1940s, his vision of a human culture that could live without the products of cruelty laid the foundation for all the work that has come since. Without the hypocrisy inherent in defending one species while exploiting another, new realms of possibility opened up for philosophy and action in our relationship with non-humans.

The inaugural issue of The Vegan News makes for an interesting read. Many of the arguments inside could be pulled straight out of today’s Facebook debates. However, because of the work of those first 25 members of the vegan society, these discussions are now being lead by hundreds of thousands of vegans, and eventually will be made by tens of millions of us. It all started with this hand typed, self published newsletter made almost seven decades ago.

Special thanks to Ryan Shapiro for sharing this document with us.


SHAC USA Volume 2, issues 2 and 4 (2002, Philadelphia, PA)

It is hard to describe the feeling of constant elation that I had working on the campaign against Huntingdon Life Sciences. After years of grassroots organizing it seemed that the movement was finally moving forward with speed and determination. News constantly poured in from all corners of the globe that a new target had been chosen- and eliminated. Everyone participating was energized, hopeful, and on the attack.

One of the reasons that so many people were inspired to take action against HLS was the SHAC USA newsletter. Each issue featured the groundbreaking graphic design work of Jake Conroy. His layouts and other artistry made each copy a pleasure to behold, and also left other organizations scrambling to improve the designs of their own publications. If you doubt that a periodical could prompt someone to pickup a sign, bullhorn, or brick, than you feel very different than the US Government. They were so threatened by Conroy’s print and web work that he was indicted in the SHAC 7 case, and received one of the longest sentences of all of the defendants.

These two issues of the newsletter date from 2002, which was an exciting time in the campaign. After Stephens Inc. had capitulated, thousands of people suddenly had faith that they could, in fact, change the world. We all knew that we were a part of something special, and I think that comes across in the text and imagery of of these two movement gems. Sure, we were cocky, our rhetoric sometimes went too far, and we weren’t always as organized or prepared as we claimed- but we walked our talk to the best of our ability and our efforts took the movement far.

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