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FW: [SFVeg] Re: Top Chiron lawyer's home is vandalized -- Protesters clothed in black linked to animal-rights group

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  • Julie Dull
    p.s. by the way, i used to agree with you but no longer do. Appreciate the dialogue, but sometimes only by raising the issue into the media does it get the
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 18, 2004
      p.s. by the way, i used to agree with you but no longer do. Appreciate
      the dialogue, but sometimes only by raising the issue into the media
      does it get the attention the movement or any issue ultimately deserves.




      "If not me, who? If not now, when?
      We are here on Earth to do good to others. What the others are here for,
      I don't know.
      -- W.H. Auden

      "I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us
      as equals."
      - Sir Winston Churchill
      Free Farm Animals from Cruelty, Cannibalism, Confinement and Drugs:

      The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be
      indifferent to them: that's the essence of inhumanity."-----George
      Bernard Shaw
      Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. -
      Albert Einstein
      Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.
      - Albert Einstein

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Pete [mailto:plcohon@...]
      Sent: Wednesday, August 18, 2004 10:00 PM
      To: Julie Dull; SFVeg
      Subject: Re: [SFVeg] Re: Top Chiron lawyer's home is vandalized --
      Protesters clothed in black linked to animal-rights group

      MessageThere's a difference between constructive and destructive direct
      action, Julie. Constructive direct action, like rescuing abused
      animals, helps both the animals saved and the animal rights movement.
      Destructive direct action, like pipe bombings or home invasions, only
      discredits our movement and takes attention away from the problems we
      seek to redress by putting it on extreme tactics. Thus, in the media,
      the tactics become the story, not the animals, and the movement is

      In any campaign against injustice I don't think that the end ever really
      justifies the means. That's because the means have a way of becoming
      the end. Thus, one unjust society replaces another. But real justice
      is still nowhere to be found.

      In our search for justice, I sure hope we'll avoid creating more
      injustice along the way.

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Julie Dull
      To: 'Matthew G Liebman' ; 'Pete'
      Cc: 'South Bay Veggies' ; 'Veggie Jews' ; 'SFVeg' ; 'Freedom For
      Animals' ; 'BAARN' ; sfbaveg@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Wednesday, August 18, 2004 9:30 PM
      Subject: RE: [SFVeg] Re: Top Chiron lawyer's home is vandalized --
      Protesters clothed in black linked to animal-rights group


      Anyone disagreeing with direct action by those who have strong
      feelings about the injustices faced in the U.S., whether those
      injustices are against people, or animals, should refresh their memories
      about the ability of such direct action to mobilize the public. The
      first such direct action that in itself was considered an enormous
      patriotic act in this country was against big business and for small tea
      farmers, and was known as the "Boston Tea Party". Those of you familiar
      with the reasons of this direct action, I will not bore: for those
      others I suggest you refresh your memories. It was the "kickoff" of the
      Revolutionary War. I disagree that direct action does not work. While
      I laud Gandhi and King's work, and agree it was effective, any student
      of history knows that BOTH violence and nonviolence have their place in
      any effective campaign against injustice. Further, a careful study and
      endless conversation about! which is ore appropriate in any given
      campaingn against injustice was never performed prior to taking action.

      More succinctly said: People may or may not agree with you, but
      sometimes you have to make your voice heard!!!

      Just my $0.02!!


      -----Original Message-----
      From: Matthew G Liebman [mailto:mliebman@...]
      Sent: Monday, August 16, 2004 11:30 PM
      To: Pete
      Cc: South Bay Veggies; Veggie Jews; SFVeg; Freedom For Animals;
      BAARN; sfbaveg@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [SFVeg] Re: Top Chiron lawyer's home is vandalized --
      Protesters clothed in black linked to animal-rights group

      [I've added the sfbaveg list to the recipients, because I think this
      deserves serious attention. Those new to this thread can read from
      bottom up. This thread began this morning on most other bay area AR
      and is in regards to the recent property destruction at the Orinda
      home of
      William Green, a lawyer for Chiron and a major supporter of
      Huntingdon Life
      Sciences. Pete Cohon has criticized such tactics, while I disagree


      First and foremost, I want to say I appreciate the nuance and
      constructiveness of your latest email. I think that the more we
      empirically discuss and evaluate our tactics, the more effective
      we'll be.
      That requires everyone to avoid pigeonholing people as either
      (mainstream) or terrorists (direct action). There are not two
      camps, but rather a spectrum of tactics, most of which will be
      needed for
      animal liberation. As a future animal rights lawyer myself (I'm
      currently a
      student at Stanford Law School), I've chosen to pursue more
      avenues, as you have Pete, but I understand that the battle will not
      be won
      with law alone.

      Second, I really think you should disavow your earlier statement
      finking on those who advocate direct action. Your suggestion can
      only fuel
      a sense of paranoia and fear among those who work for animal
      The only kind of rats we need more of in this movement are the kind
      that we
      save from HLS.

      Regardless of what your dictionary says, violence carries an
      strong connotation, especially in the context of animal rights
      activism and
      the Bush/Ashcroft regime. Words mean what they convey, nothing more
      nothing less. When the animal exploitation industries use the word,
      intend to convey an image of animal rights activists as violent
      humans. It is very important for us to make people realize that in
      30 years
      (I mistakenly said 20 in my last email), ALF actions have caused
      of millions of dollars in damage, and liberated thousands of
      animals, but
      not one single person has been injured or killed. When you partner
      up with
      William Green (who whined about "animal rights terrorists" in front
      of the
      US Senate Judiciary Committee three months ago, also the man whose
      was trashed yesterday) or Teresa Platt (the executive director of
      the Fur
      Commission) to decry violence, you tacitly accept the connotations
      that our
      enemies ascribe to the term "violence." AR advocates should tease
      out the
      multiple meanings of words like "terror" and "violence" to point out

      crucial differences between what we do and what they do. When you
      lump SHAC
      activists in with violent people, you're doing the oppositions work

      As for the Golden Rule, I think it makes for some pretty ineffective

      activism. Should we only use tactics that our opponents are HAPPY
      That seems nonsensical to me. Even mainstream campaigns are not
      with the golden rule. I would not want someone to put me out of work
      (as we
      all wish to do with slaughterhouse employees); I would not want
      someone to
      pass a law against my livelihood (as many of us are lobbying for in
      California against foie gras); I would not want someone to disturb
      me with
      nightmarish pictures of death (as mainstream pamphlets do), and so
      on. Do
      they ENJOY our tactics? Would we enjoy them if they were done to us?
      No, of
      course not. But that doesn't make these tactics immoral.

      If property becomes an object of moral consideration, the rich will
      continue to hold precedence over the rest of us who own less
      property. And
      since property is only that which the law recognizes as belonging to

      someone (as a lawyer, I'm sure you're familiar with legal
      positivism), any
      animal liberation is by definition a property crime, since animals
      nothing more than property in the eyes of the US legal system. Was
      the ALF
      breaking the Golden Rule when they broke into the Penn Head Injury
      Lab to
      liberate tortured primates? Was that not a form of property theft?

      And while we're quoting our "chosen people," how about this one,
      from Dr.
      Maxwell Schnurer:
      "The ALF and Holocaust resistance represent a method of bringing
      about new
      understanding that challenges these mental habits [of
      fragmentation, and consumption]. The actions of these militants
      blaze new
      paths of meaning far beyond the direct action they participate in.
      meaning of active militant resistance can pervade the popular
      of entire societies, and in the case of the ALF and of the Holocaust

      resistance, their actions work to make mindlessness more difficult."

      The world might be a very different place had these Holocaust
      fighters treated the Nazis as they would have wanted to be treated.

      If we could win liberation for animals through sanctuaries and
      alone, not a single person would participate in militant direct
      Everyone wishes it were that simple. It's not.

      As I said in my last email, this is the issue I'm less comfortable
      Pete, you say that these tactics will not win over the hearts and
      minds of
      the average American. I think you're right. Sabotage cannot "help
      our AR
      movement grow into the mass movement we must achieve in order to
      reach our
      goals." But I don't think that's the goal of direct action.

      Our struggle is a multi-layered one. On the one hand, we seek to
      create a
      cultural shift towards ethical respect for non-human animals. On the
      hand, we seek to alleviate the suffering experienced RIGHT NOW by

      We work towards the first, long-term goal through education,
      lawsuits, documentaries, and other mainstream tactics, including
      laudable accomplishments.

      The second, short-term goal demands less patience and demands DIRECT

      action. Sabotage, vandalism, and property destruction will not make
      Green more compassionate. But they just might encourage him and
      others to
      stop supporting HLS. The past 5 years have shown how effective these

      strategies can be at crippling animal abusers.

      Of course, we have to be sure that we don't compromise the first
      goal in
      pursuing the second. If sabotage and property destruction give us a
      image, then we should strongly reconsider those tactics. But it's
      not clear
      that the coverage is always bad press. And it's not clear that bad
      can't be helpful. PETA got terrible press in the 80s for supporting
      the ALF
      rescues, and today it is the dominant voice in popular culture for
      mainstream animal rights. The civil rights movement and the
      Montgomery Bus
      Boycott got terrible press, but we know now that they were right,
      and they
      succeeded to some degree. Karen Dawn of Dawnwatch.com keeps a close
      eye on
      the way these issues play out in the popular media, and her webpage
      is a
      helpful tool to think about AR media images.

      I don't believe that sabotage and property destruction are always
      good in
      and of themselves. They're good to the degree they're effective.
      This means
      the movement should be very thoughtful about when we use these
      activists can't simply smash stuff when the rage hits them.
      destruction can be counter-productive and these activists end up
      selfishly: they satiate their own feelings while animals suffer as a

      result. But this also means that we shouldn't condemn thoughtful
      destruction. Destruction that is calculated at strategic targets, as
      SHAC campaign is, can be effective. Quoting Shakespeare: "There is
      either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."

      Of course some tactics are more effective than others. For me, I
      think open
      rescues are generally better than lab raids. I think home demos that
      for 2 hours are generally better than home sabotages that last for 8

      minutes. I think arguing against animal abusers is generally better
      intimidating them. I think good press is generally better than bad
      But these are my preferences, and I'll save my venom for the
      not for those allies who disagree with my preferences.


      Quoting Pete <plcohon@...>:

      > Thanks for your thoughtful response to my post, Matthew. You
      > "The
      > question is not one of morality, since direct action causes no
      > suffering, only economic suffering." I respectfully dissent.
      > The cornerstone of all morality is, of course, the Golden Rule.
      Since I
      > moderate the Veggie Jews' Yahoo group, perhaps I should phrase it
      in the
      > negative as Rabbi Hillel did: Do not do unto others that which you
      > not
      > want them to do unto you. I understand that it's stated in the
      > in
      > some cultures but the meaning is the same. I don't think any one
      of us
      > would consider it anything less than unacceptable if we were
      > victimized in a way that caused us only economic but not physical
      > suffering,
      > especially in an effort intended to intimidate.
      > I've got a real problem with the "new" definition of violence as
      > something
      > that "can only truly be perpetuated against sentient beings,"
      > to
      > Matthew. I'm afraid that not only I but the dictionary as well
      > with you. According to my admittedly not "new" Funk & Wangles,
      > involves the use of force to achieve ends. It has nothing to do
      with the
      > object of the force or whether it is sentient.
      > But I agree that, at least on one level, as you said, "The
      question IS
      > one
      > of effectiveness." And by that measure alone, violence should be
      > rejected.
      > If you think that violence will help our AR movement grow into the
      > movement we must achieve in order to reach our goals, just ask
      some of
      > the
      > 95% of Americans who eat a standard American diet what they think
      > animal
      > rights "terrorism," as the media calls it. I think you'll find
      that very
      > few of them are sympathetic to our cause. The fact is that
      > Americans, the very people we have to reach with our message, do
      > approve
      > of violent tactics to achieve social change, (at least here in the
      > homeland), and they become more estranged from rather than
      sympathetic to
      > our cause with every new act that they perceive to be "terror."
      > media,
      > which represents financial interests tied to animal exploitation,
      > not
      > miss a chance to portray any small act of isolated violence as
      typical of
      > the AR movement as a whole. They understand the value of making
      > movement look extreme by focusing on violence. So should we, and
      > should
      > learn to avoid that very extremism in order to most quickly defeat
      > forces of cruelty arrayed against us.
      > I regret that my self-righteousness offends you, Matthew. I
      freely admit
      > to
      > having that fault, but as faults go, it's not so bad. It's
      inspired me
      > during my career to provide free legal representation to about 30
      > rights and peace activists charged with demonstration related
      crimes (not
      > one of whom ever served one minute in jail); I've written the
      > sections
      > of the California Green Party platform dealing with animal issues,
      > I'm
      > proud to say it's the most progressive AR platform of any
      political party
      > on
      > earth as far as I know; I've organized Greens for the Ethical
      > of
      > Animals within the California Green Party to get the AR platform
      > passed; I organized the University Alumni Campaign Against
      > for
      > In Defense of Animals to decrease alumni contributions to
      > involved in animal experimentation (and that's just about all of
      > and,
      > most recently, I've organized Veggie Jews to try to spread the
      > message into the Jewish community, whose support is needed to end
      > slaughterhouse abuses. Now, I know that's not much compared to
      what many
      > professional animal activists have done and do every day, but it's
      > best
      > that I could squeeze in while earning a living, and it's a lot
      > than
      > nothing. So, if I am a bit self-righteous at times, at least I do
      try to
      > put it to good and nonviolent use. (Thank goodness you didn't
      point out
      > how
      > egotistical I am. Now that would be a lot harder to defend.) ;-)
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: "Matthew G Liebman" <mliebman@...>
      > To: "Pete" <plcohon@...>
      > Cc: "South Bay Veggies" <southbayveggies@yahoogroups.com>; "Veggie
      > <VeggieJews@yahoogroups.com>; "SFVeg" <SFVeg@yahoogroups.com>;
      > For
      > Animals" <freedomforanimals@yahoogroups.com>; "BAARN"
      > <baarn@yahoogroups.com>
      > Sent: Monday, August 16, 2004 1:11 PM
      > Subject: Re: Top Chiron lawyer's home is vandalized -- Protesters
      > in
      > black linked to animal-rights group
      > > Pete,
      > >
      > > Anger and destruction may make you uncomfortable, and that is
      fine. You
      > may
      > > choose to be activist in other ways. But don't get
      > against
      > > activists that have been successful in bringing HLS attrocities
      > light,
      > > and in bringing HLS to its knees.
      > >
      > > Your inability to distinguish between property destruction and
      > > violence demonstrates the degreee to which you've been duped by
      > forces
      > > that attempt to discredit our movement. Breaking windows that
      > payed
      > > for with blood money is not violence. Neither is embarassing an
      > > abuser in front of his/her neighbors by "outting" them. Violence
      > > punching a beagle puppy in the face. Violence is dissecting a
      > while
      > > she's still alive. Violence is killing 500 animals every day.
      > >
      > > "Violence" can only truly be perpetuated against sentient
      beings. While
      > I
      > > do not participate in property destruction, I understand the
      motives of
      > > those who do. Sabotage has been a driving force behind every
      > > movement, from the Boston Tea Party to the suffragettes to the
      > > resistance fighters. Please reconsider the way you use the term
      > "violence."
      > > I do not support violence in this movement, and I would be
      > > dissappointed if a living being were hurt or killed as a result
      > these
      > > actions. But in 20 years of operation, not a single human being
      > been
      > > harmed by the actions of the Animal Liberation Front. Again,
      > actions
      > > are not for me; but I understand those who are comfortable with
      > >
      > > The question is not one of morality, since direct action causes
      > physical
      > > suffering, only economic suffering. The question IS one of
      > effectiveness.
      > > It's undeniable that the SHAC campaign has struck hard against
      > > economic interests. The media image question is a bit more
      > > Whether or not these types of actions give animal rights a good
      > or
      > > bad image is an empirical question, and not a simple one.
      Clearly these
      > > things turn some people off. But on the other hand these actions
      > the
      > > issue into the public realm where they can be discussed. If you
      > in
      > > the rightness of our cause, you should be comfortable with that.
      > >
      > > Anyone who watched ABC7 news last night saw that for, I believe,
      > the
      > > second time, footage of HLS attrocities were showed on prime
      time news,
      > to
      > > an audience of thousands. This would not have happened but for a
      > broken
      > > windows.
      > >
      > > These actions also help make groups like PETA seem more moderate
      > > comparison. They let people know that this is a serious issue
      > people
      > > feel extremely passionate about. Sure Tribe of Heart does the
      > thing,
      > > and that's great. The more strategies we use, the more effective
      > be.
      > >
      > > I think the strategies we use should be discussed thouroughly,
      with a
      > focus
      > > on whether or not they WORK. This is a tactical discussion that
      > can't
      > > ignore. However, holier-than-though assertions of "childishness"
      > > "terrorism" are not responsible ways of strategic planning.
      > >
      > > For anyone interested in a nuanced and thoughtful discussion of
      > > issues, I highly recommend Steven Best's new book "Terrorists or
      > Freedom
      > > Fighters?" Also, Satya magazine recently did a very balanced 2
      > series
      > > on activism, violence, and sabotage.
      > >
      > > Finally, for those of you not on the veggiejews list, I thought
      > might
      > > be interested in seeing what Pete said in a secondary posting:
      > >
      > > "When groups known to use violent tactics advertise a
      demonstration, we
      > can
      > > speak and write to warn folks of the dangers of such tactics.
      > groups
      > > who engage in such tactics should never be allowed to give the
      > impression
      > > that they speak for our movement.We can avoid all AR actions and
      > > fundraisers by groups that encourage or use violence. In my
      opinion, we
      > > should even go so far as to inform the authorities about any
      past or
      > > planned terror acts in the name of our movement, so as to
      protect our
      > > movement and the animals from the violent backlash that terror
      > can
      > > cause."
      > >
      > > With friends like this, who needs COINTELPRO?
      > >
      > > -Matthew
      > "G-d said, 'See, I give you every seed-bearing plant that is upon
      all the
      > earth, and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit; they shall be
      > for food. And to all the animals on land, to all the birds of the
      > and to everything that creeps on earth, in which there is the
      breath of
      > life, [I give] all the green plants for food.' And it was so.
      And G-d
      > saw all that He had made, and found it very good." [Genesis,
      > Veggie Jews is an on-line and real world organization with events
      > local communities dedicated to supporting Jewish vegans and
      > of all ages and spreading vegan, vegetarian and animal rights
      values into
      > the Jewish community. Our non-Jewish friends are always welcome.
      > tell a friend about us.
      > And remember: It's only kosher if it's cruelty-free.
      Pete <plcohon@...> wrote:

      The following article from today's Chronicle tells the story of an
      by supposed animal rights protesters on the home of a lawyer
      employed by
      one of Huntingdon Life Sciences corporate clients. Huntingdon, as
      probably know, engages in horribly cruel and unnecessary animal
      for it's clients. It's conduct is totally inexcusable.

      But so is the conduct of those who attack a home in the name of the
      movement. Such violent conduct only plays into the hands of those
      who call
      our movement "terrorist" by taking attention away from the serious
      work of
      stopping Huntingdon's cruelty and placing it on the tactics of a few

      extremists. It is noteworthy that, during the Viet Nam war, U.S.
      agents infiltrated to anti-war movement (Project Cointelpro) and
      turned it
      to violent tactics in a successful effort to damage the anti-war
      And it raises serious questions about the motives who would use such

      tactics now in the name of our AR movement.

      Sadly, those same extremists will continue their inexcusably foolish
      harmful tactics as long as there are those who will support them. In
      opinion, those who support such tactics by going to violent
      even if they do not participate in the violence, condone terror
      tactics and
      all the harm that such tactics are doing to the AR movement.

      For an example of just how one can use one's energy and creativity
      to help
      develop the AR movement into a mass movement that will finally end
      of the kind practiced against animal victims by Huntingdon, just
      the fine work of the folks at Farm Sanctuary or IDA's Project Hope,
      dedicate their lives to saving animals and using them to publicize
      plight of so many others who could not be saved. Consider the work
      of Tribe
      of Heart, whose new documentary, Peaceable Kingdom, about Farm
      may well turn the hearts of millions toward a more compassionate

      Then ask yourself: Whose work will really make a difference by
      public sentiment against animal cruelty, those who work in a
      intelligent and realistic way to save animal lives and build a
      movement or
      those who throw childish temper tantrums and commit crimes in the
      name of
      our movement?

      Whether we win this struggle for compassion sooner or later will
      depend on
      the tactics we choose. I, for one, choose to win sooner by rejecting
      violent and childish tactics that can only serve to defeat or slow
      us down.
      For the sake of our movement's success, for the sake of the billions
      trillions of animals who will suffer more every day that our victory
      delayed by extreme and counterproductive tactics, won't you please
      join me?



      San Francisco Chronicle
      Monday, August 16, 2004

      Top Chiron lawyer's home is vandalized
      Protesters clothed in black linked to animal-rights group

      Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer

      Orinda police are investigating the vandalism of the East Bay home
      Chiron Corp.'s top attorney on Sunday, in which a group of people
      windows and tried to flood his home with water during a noisy

      Neighbors said the people were animal-rights protesters wearing
      clothing and masks, and carrying signs. The demonstrators converged
      on the
      home of Chiron's general counsel William Green on Sunnyside Court in
      t 10:15 a.m. while he was away on vacation, neighbors said.

      The protester
      s broke about a dozen windows and turned on his garden hose in his
      rd deck, and left after 20 minutes. No arrests were made, but
      provided license plate numbers to Orinda police.

      "I feel a bit violated
      by this," Green said Sunday evening, minutes after retur
      ing home to survey the damage. "I think it's beyond the pale of what
      be permissible in civilized society."

      The protest comes six months aft
      er Chiron filed a lawsuit against Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty
      USA. Th
      e group's name refers to Huntingdon Life Sciences, a New Jersey
      company t
      hat performs animal testing for clients, including Chiron.

      It was n
      ot immediately clear Sunday whether the protesters were connected to
      the Sto
      p Huntingdon group.

      Green, 60, has previously been the target of protest
      ers over at least the past two years, with flyers stuck on telephone
      and gravestones placed nearby representing dead ani
      als. Other employees have also been awakened by late-night visits by
      ers with megaphones.

      Neighbor Jim Abrams, 60, said the Orinda protest b
      egan with marching and chanting. But tensions grew when Abrams
      tried to block the side gate to Green's home, and some protesters
      d past him.

      "They ran toward one of the gates that goes into the ba
      ckyard," A
      rams said. "They broke some windows, and the hose was running on the
      -- I don't know if they intended to throw the hose into the broken
      There were some people obviously bent on doing some damage."

      lawsuit said that the names, addresses and phone numbers of Chiron
      oyees have been posted on a Web site and that the group has worked
      with a fugitive suspected of planting bombs at the firm and another
      ess last year.

      The suspect, Daniel Andreas San Diego, 25, of Sonoma is ac
      cused of planting a pipe bomb on Aug. 28 at Chiron and another on S
      ept. 26 at Shaklee Corp., a
      leasanton firm that makes health, beauty and household products.

      Diego remains at large, Special Agent LaRae Quy, FBI spokeswoman in
      San Francisco, said Sunday. A $50,000 reward is being offered for
      tips in th
      e case.

      In a June ruling, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Steven Bric
      k said Chiron had a chance

      of prevailing in the lawsuit and denied a request by the
      animal-rights g
      roup to throw out the complaint as a SLAPP suit, or one that
      d its free-speech rights.

      Brick said Chiron's lawsuit had more to do with
      "acts of unlawful harassment and threats" rather than the
      animal-rights gr
      oup's right to free speech. "Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty USA's)
      free s
      peech rights under the First Amendment do not protect its conduct in
      situation," Brick wrote.

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