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Animal Rights Militia

Liberate! 1-7 (1996-1997. Birkenhead, New Zealand)

Arkangel 1-5, 7-11 (1989-1994. London, England)

BUAV Liberator (Various issues, 1983, 1984, and 1986. London, England)

Combat 1-2 (1990, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)

A Cat In Hell’s Chance (2002, London, England.)

In the annals of animal rights history there are but a handful of legendary campaigns still talked about by activists of all ages. The story of Hill Grove cat farm is one such fabled war, and with good reason. Hill Grove was a watershed moment for the movement and eventually led to the founding of the Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) campaign. The battles that raged there included the beating and intentional poisoning of protesters, attacks by company employees, systematic police brutality, a security bill that ran into the millions of British pounds, and eventual victory for the cats being imprisoned in farmer Chris Brown’s compound.

A Cat in Hell’s Chance attempts to document this significant stage in our movement’s development. While the book is in need of a better editor, and is at times disjointed, it does cover all of the major events involved. Including all the way back to the first protests and raids against Hill Grove in the 1980s. Lovers of animal rights history, and young warriors curious about the successful tactics developed by earlier generations, would do well to read this long out of print book.

UPDATE: If you would like a physical copy of this book, it is available through the New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society and can be found HERE.

Animal Warfare (1989, David Henshaw, London, England)

Based upon a television show of the same name, Animal Warfare was one of the first books written about the rise of animal liberation militancy. Its author, David Henshaw, is decidedly anti-animal rights, and at times his coverage is so unfair and deceitful that it’s tempting to write this publication off as mere tabloid journalism. That would be a mistake. While clearly written from the perspective of a person intent on smearing activists, this paperback also provides us with a look at our history less slanted by movement propagandizing and cheerleading. At times that picture is not pretty.

Authored during the rise of what some English activists called “the cult of militancy,” Animal Warfare takes the fodder provided by the most extreme actions of the early 80s and spins an ugly tale of car-bombs, poisoning hoaxes, graveyard desecration, and alliances with racist organizations such as the National Front. While there are plenty of grotesque distortions of facts, there are also valuable lessons to be learned about how the best tactical decisions consider our movement’s ability to survive backlash while building mass.

At a time when many modern activists seem intent on repeating the mistakes of the past, (or at least blogging as if they intend on repeating those mistakes), Animal Warfare contributes to our ability to learn about media falsification, the dangers of militaristic posturing, and the events which led to the weakening of England’s mass militant movement for animal liberation.

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