Resistance Volume 1 1-4, Volume 2 1 (1999-2001. Portland, OR. USA)
Craig eventually became known internationally for his support of political violence and ecotage, but for a few years he was an advocate of Gandhian nonviolence. After participating in several voluntary arrest actions he co-founded the group Liberation Collective in 1996 as a blanket organization meant to tackle a wide variety of social ills. The group planned a number of media spectacles across the United States, from Buy Nothing Day car smash-em-ups in busy downtown streets to the cross country Primate Freedom Tour. (The PFT was credited in large part to a group called Coalition to End Primate Experiments, but the greater part of the organizing was done by LibCo members.)
After the failure of attempts such as One Struggle to document a broad movement for ecological sanity and justice for all life, Liberation Collective took up the torch and released the first issue of Resistance. The inaugural issue was unlike any other in the series though. The main forces behind the publication, Craig and Leslie James Pickering, had politics that were no longer meshing well with the rest of the group. Liberation Collective was falling apart due to a number of factors, and ultimately LJ and Craig struck out on their own, founding the North American Earth Liberation Front Press Office and continuing the Resistance project as a newsletter of their new organization.
The third issue of Resistance launched what was to become the best source of information for a rapidly expanding underground movement. The Earth Liberation Front was becoming active across the United States, but supportive coverage could be difficult to find. Even the Earth First! Journal wasn’t always willing to support the large scale arson attacks of the ELF, and when they did they lost membership. (Famously, Julia Butterfly left Earth First! after the Journal gave positive coverage to the Vail arson.) Resistance, however, published nearly every ELF communique unedited, and covered the multiple federal investigations into the groups actions. Activists seeking a better knowledge of the events leading to the green scare and “Operation Backfire” arrests would do well to start by reading the early volumes of Resistance.
The SG Volume 2, 1 (1987. London, England)
Sadly, this didn’t save the SG’s volunteers from further political prosecutions. During this time British security services estimated that up to four hundred direct actions were happening every day in the United Kingdom, with more financial damage being incurred by animal abusers than the British government faced at the hands of the IRA in Northern Ireland. The state was not willing to risk these actions spreading no matter how legal the efforts of those publicising them. So, after a single, wonderful issue, the SG newsletter was once again put out of business. At least they went down fighting! This newsletter features inspiring reports, hilariously snarky editorials, and some of our favorite images from the frontlines of the fight against speciesism.
Sadly, this didn’t save the SG’s volunteers from further political prosecutions.
During this time British security services estimated that up to four hundred direct actions were happening every day in the United Kingdom, with more financial damage being incurred by animal abusers than the British government faced at the hands of the IRA in Northern Ireland. The state was not willing to risk these actions spreading no matter how legal the efforts of those publicising them. So, after a single, wonderful issue, the SG newsletter was once again put out of business. At least they went down fighting! This newsletter features inspiring reports, hilariously snarky editorials, and some of our favorite images from the frontlines of the fight against speciesism.
CLOSE HLS newsletters (2006-2007. Location unknown)
We are still seeking additional issues of Close HLS. If you have them- or other publications of note- please contact us!
Support Animal Rights Prisoners newsletter #1-5 (1991 – Northampton, England)
Barry was one of the most dedicated activists our struggle has ever known, but it would be a disservice to him to strip him of his humanity by pretending that he was without error. There are some poorly examined ideas in the pages of SARP that deserve measured critique, but for every weakness there are also beautiful moments that give voice to our imprisoned comrades, remember our dead, and call for nothing less than a revolution to liberate non-humans. Barry wrote with an intensity and single minded dedication that reminds us of just how precious each second spent fighting is, and how we must stop wasting those ticks of the clock. To Barry, life, and even death, should be utilized battling the scourge of speciesism. These newsletters are Barry’s voice ringing out from decades past, telling us to ACT NOW in solidarity with the animal nations.
An Animal Liberation Primer, 2nd and 3rd Editions (Publishing dates unknown. Country of origin unknown) Popular primer widely distributed in the 1990s. Focused on security culture, direct action philosophy, tactical decision making between animal rescues and economic sabotage, and how-to directions.
Animal Liberation Primer, The (Publishing date unknown. Country of origin likely USA) Containing material mostly culled from other similarly named primers, this is a short how-to guide for small scale property damage, arson, and liberations. Contains a basic run down of security measures, mental preparation, and history of the Animal Liberation Front.
Animal Liberation Through Direct Action (Date of publication likely 1998. Country of origin likely England) One of the better primers available in the 1990s, the pamphlet discusses the basic security, surveillance, and planning necessary to carry out liberations and economic sabotage. Also includes a brief history of the movement, a first hand account of a mink farm raid, and statements from various ALF cells.
As Darkness Falls (1995, USA.) Dangerous, amateurly written, likely made by people with little personal experience utilizing direct action.
Earth First! Direct Action Manual 1st Edition (1997. Eugene, OR. USA) Earth First! chapters on the west coast of the United States won a few campaigns using blockading and civil disobedience in the 80s and 90s. As word spread about new tactics developing in the forests there was a clamor from other activist groups to build their own lockboxes, barrels, tripods, and “black bears.” The DAM Collective answered this demand by printing the Earth First! Direct Action Manual, a nicely illustrated, bound book containing how-to instructions on scouting, security, dealing with police, and setting up voluntary arrest scenarios utilizing “lock downs.” It also contained short articles about Critical Mass, The Animal Liberation Front, varying theories on non-violence as an ethic vs. tactical choice, and practical security measures for activists.
Going Underground for Animal Liberation (1993. England) Thoughts on animal liberation, the value of direct action, and security measures.
How to Sink Whalers, Driftnetters, and Other Environmentally Destructive Ships (1993. Chico, CA. USA) The scuttling of ships used to harm the ocean has a long and proud tradition in our movement. Classically, large boats were sunk with limpet mines attached magnetically to their hulls, but another method became popular in 1986 when David Howitt and Rod Coronado sank two boats in harbor in Iceland by opening the sea water intake valves. Their method, originally published as an epilogue in later editions of Dave Foreman and Bill Haywood’s Ecodefense, was later excerpted for publication in this zine format gem.
Interviews with ALF Activists (1986. England) According to Keith Mann, Interviews with Animal Liberation Front Activists had an initial print run of around 1,500 copies which were mailed to to the postal boxes of supportive groups. Inside were detailed instructions on fire bombs, as well as press clippings and interviews with the people behind much of the resistance taking place in England. Readers will notice pages missing from our .PDF of “Interviews.” After many years of photocopying, the final several pages- which contained addresses of laboratories- had become obsolete. In fact, many of them were out of date at the time of publication as they had been taken from documents issued by the Home Office 5 years prior to printing.
Into The 90s With The ALF (1991. England) Basic cut and paste primer from early 1990s. Discusses the course of direct action and hunt sabotage after the murder of Mike Hill.
Meeting the People and Ideas of the Animal Liberation Movement (Publication date unknown. Amsterdam, Netherlands) Containing mostly reprints from early issues of No Compromise, this is a good read with a mouthful of a title!
My First Little Book of GM Crop Decontamination (Date of publication likely 2002. Country of publication likely England) Essentially a more complete, British version of The Nighttime Gardener with illustrated instructions on locating and destroying genetically modified crops.
Nighttime Gardener (2000. United States) Originally released to coincide with the WTO protests, Nighttime Gardener quickly became the standard primer on anti-bioengineering crop pulls. These actions, which were once popular all across the world, were aimed at preventing GM cross contamination with other plants and corporate control of agriculture.
Power is Ours, The (Publication date unknown. Country of origin unknown.) Basically a reprinting of the Into the 90s with the ALF with a new lay-out and introduction. Contains a small piece about a raid carried out against the Oxford University vivisection program where 64 cats were rescued.
This Is The ALF 1-2 (1990, 1994. New Zealand) A brief snapshot of the animal liberation movement in New Zealand from the late 1980s into the 90s. The Diary of Actions is impressive for a country of this size.
We are still seeking primers. If you have them- or other publications of note- please contact us!
State of the Movement 1-3 (1986-1990, Tarzana, CA USA.)
The 1980s was a time of explosive popularity in the animal rights movement, and initially, that boom brought together some very unlikely people. Celebrities like Bob Barker held meetings where Rod Coronado would be seated next to the heads of welfare groups. Mass marches took place in cities all across the United States, with tens of thousands of people participating in demonstration on major days such as World Day for Animals in Laboratories and Fur Free Friday. But amidst all this activity, the con artists and career builders were lurking. The tremendous potential for fund raising also meant a corollary potential for salaries, and after a while, the mainstream groups had well-paid executives who wanted to do anything they could to avoid offending their donor base. The philosophy of the movement was weakened as calls for the abolition of vivisection became calls to stop using “pound seized pets” in experiments. Activists who had once loudly supported direct action began whispering supportive words to militants in one breath and then denouncing them to the media in another. Compromise spread like melted soy margarine and soon the whole movement was covered in the oily goo of half-assery! Amidst this rush to mediocrity, State of the Movement mercilessly mocked those who were selling the animals futures down the drain.
PETA News, Various issues (1985-1990. Washington, D.C.)
“When questioned on Irish television about an action against a butcher shop, Morrissey, an avid vegetarian, was asked “What about the safety of the butchers?” Responded Morrissey, “When you think of the horror experienced by millions of animals in slaughterhouses each year, what’s a few butchers?” His song Meat Is Murder topped the charts in 1985.” PETA News Volume 3 #1
Imagine for a moment that a young animal rights activist with very little knowledge of the movement’s history finds a time machine and heads back into the early 1980s. Upon arrival they decide to get involved with a militant group and begin asking who they should join. At every turn they are told that PETA is the most militant group in the United States. This seems absurd to our young activist! “All PETA does is embarrass the movement with offensive ad campaigns and nudity! They are celebrity driven and devoid of substance, they kill healthy feral cats and don’t even have a rights based philosophy! They even demoted an employee for publicly supporting politically motivated arson!” Angered, our imaginary friend stomps into the DC area offices of the group to re-write history, and is shocked with what they find…
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals experienced a meteoric rise in membership and notoriety in the early 1980’s as a direct result of their support for (and participation in) illegal direct action. Their relationship with the Animal Liberation Front was symbiotic: PETA provided the ALF with whistlebower information, credible spokespeople, and sympathetic coverage of raids. In return, PETA was placed in the media spotlight and received undercover footage and documents from the ALF that were often parlayed into high profile (and lucrative) campaigns. The atmosphere of popular militancy was exciting, and after years of slow progress people felt that supporting PETA meant backing a faster, more direct path to rights for non-humans.
PETA sold ALF support merchandise in their newsletters, ran a legal defense fund for people accused of unlawful activism, and helped popularize the concept of mischief in defense of animals. For example, PETA News sold squirt bottles of red permanent fabric ink alongside the warning that since the damage done to furs would be permanent, you should only spray the ink on your own furs! Articles talked about a likely apocryphal 15 year old who got grounded for passing out “Throw a Brick Through McDonald’s Day” pamphlets, and later chuckled as he got caught with paint bombs under his bed. Incidentally, the same article described how young “Kevin” made the paint bombs. These examples only just barely scratch the surface of the early militancy of Alex Pacheco and Ingrid Newkirk’s fledgling organization.
The story of animal rights in the United States can not be told without a thorough examination of the early days of PETA, an era sure to shock newcomers. In the coming months we will begin a more in depth analysis of their early days, but in the meantime jump into the time machine and prepare to have your mind blown by these early issues of PETA News.
X Ultra-Militance X 1-6 (2003-2004. Hampshire, England)
Black Beast 1-3 / Turning Point 5-8 (1985-1987. Oxford, UK)
We are still seeking additional issues Turning Point. If you have them- or other publications of note- please contact us!