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An Eco-Illogical Disaster Waiting to Happen
by Gary Schneider
19 September 2003Animal Liberation

The Animal Liberation Front and Earth Liberation Front are an eco-illogical terrorist disaster waiting to happen.

Forget al-Qaida, Hamas and Hezbollah, we’ve got our very own, home grown religious extremists actively engaging in acts of terrorism, including bombings, arson and vandalism.  Their aim is not the promotion or defense of extremist Islamic notions. No, these folks bow down at the alter of the o-zone God and the endangered fruit fly. Using names that conjure socialist poster images of Che Guevara, like “Earth Liberation Front” (ELF) or “Animal Liberation Front” (ALF), these misguided souls fancy themselves to be underground social revolutionaries promoting some noble and just anti-capitalist cause on behalf of the environment and animals.  More correctly, they are a sophomoric collection of anti-American enviro-zealots desperately seeking legitimacy, and it is only a matter of time before innocent people are killed. For those of us that place the value of human life above that of plants--that’s a bad thing.

Indeed, some of their senseless actions and unbalanced statements--such as “earth rapers”--may ring comical at times, but their acts of arson and the bombs they use are very real, and represent a clear and present danger to our citizenry.

ELF was founded in Brighton, England, in 1992 by Earth First! members who refused to abandon terrorist tactics when Earth First! was evolving into a more "mainstream” organization.  By 1996 the first widely publicized acts of terrorism reached our shores as ELF/ALF destroyed the U.S. Forest Service Oakridge Ranger Station just south of Eugene, Oregon with an act of arson. The cost estimate for this act was over $5 million. Subsequent acts of terrorism perpetrated by ELF/ALF have occurred nearly every year since, most recently with the August 22nd Hummer dealership fire-bombings in a suburb outside of Los Angeles.  They are also suspected of a $50 million arson fire on August 1st in San Diego.  All total, these disturbed little “elves” have caused somewhere around $90 million in destruction since 1996.

According to Bron Taylor, a professor of religion at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh who has studied the radical environmental movement for more than a decade, ELF has a firm belief in three fundamental tenets: “That ecosystems have an inherent worth that cannot be judged in relation to human needs; that human actions are bringing the earth toward mass extinctions; and that political action is insufficient to bring about the wholesale social changes needed.” In reality, what ELF/ALF stands for is significantly more than what is depicted in the almost benign statements made by Mr. Taylor. 

A more accurate picture of the political positions assumed by these groups is more succinctly expressed in the verbal emissions of their de facto spokesman, Craig Rosenbraugh:

  • February 28, 2000: The ELF and the ALF are clear representations of the people's struggle against the capitalist ideology and its horrifying effects on the planet and life. This struggle will not be stopped.
  • January 30, 2001: Dating back to the time when we enslaved people and committed mass amounts of genocide, the law then was done for profit and based on capitalism. The possibility of solving grievances or problems caused by capitalism (through) passive means are next to nothing.
  • November 1, 2001: In light of the events on September 11, my country has told me that I should not cooperate with terrorists. I therefore am refusing to cooperate with members of Congress who are some of the most extreme terrorists in history. Currently they are responsible for allowing the slaughter of now over an estimated 1,500 Afghanistan civilians. They are responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks due to horrendous U.S. foreign policies of imperialism and they are responsible for the current ongoing genocide against the innocent people of Afghanistan. This alleged war on terrorism has largely been conducted to allow the U.S. to attempt to oust the Taliban, and put in place a new puppet regime in Afghanistan who would allow the U.S. to build their much sought after pipeline from the Turkmenistan oil reserves through southern Afghanistan, Pakistan, and to the Gulf. These sort of practices, mixed in with domestic policies of racism, classism, and further imperialism at the expense of life demonstrate the truly terrorist reality of the U.S. Congress and Government. I could not live with myself if I cooperated with that injustice.

Evidently, ELF and ALF are nothing more than another set of misguided socialist holdovers hiding behind the cloak of environmentalism and animal rights.  By Rosenbraugh’s own admission, they adhere to outdated and ill-conceived Socialist notions of Capitalist exploitation and American hegemony.  And as such, they have stepped-up to the role of being a terrorist arm of brethren groups like A.N.S.W.E.R. and the World Workers Party, et al.  They are exposed by their own words and discredited by their very tactics.  If environmental protection were their true aim, would not acts such as arson, which create significant volumes of pollution, be frowned upon? According to Rick Genovese, the Fire Marshall on the scene in the Hummer fire bombings, these fires caused more pollution than the SUVs would have emitted in a lifetime.

What is more disconcerting is the elves’ stated willingness to escalate their acts of violence.  Back in early 2001, Rosenbraugh stated ELF/ALF’s position against harming or taking human lives, but warned:  “I can’t say at this point in time that things won’t escalate in the future if things do not change for the better…” Well apparently things have not gotten better. We are now well into 2003 and ELF rhetoric is beginning to sound more like that of Osama Bin-Laden than that of peace-loving tree gropers.   Rosenbraugh states, “…a variety of tactics should be considered, but they must include political violence….political violence must be understood as a viable option.”

By ELF’s own inference, it is just a matter of time before more than property is destroyed. They are an eco-illogical terrorist disaster waiting to happen.  The Department of Homeland Security clearly has one more extremist organization on the list to shut down in order to protect America.

Gary Schneider is the President and founder of TheRealityCheck.Org.

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