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Animal Rights Extremists Arrested For Violent Activity

October 4, 2009

Federal authorities have arrested four suspects this past week after an increasingly violent pattern of animal rights activists attacks on University of California researchers ranging from Oct. 21, 2007 through July 29, 2008.

Nathan Pope, 26, of Oceanside, former UC Santa Cruz student Adriana Stumpo, 23, of Long Beach, Joseph Buddenberg, 25, of UC Berkeley, and former UCSC student Maryam Khajavi, 20, are suspected for violent protests in Santa Cruz and Alameda. Previous crimes include demonstrating outside a professor’s home at UC Berkeley, chalking and demonstrating in front of several other homes, attempting to forcibly enter a researcher’s home and possibly planting firebombs, an accusation that has not been verified but could result in murder charges. They have collaborated in efforts at UC Berkeley, UCLA and UC Santa Cruz.

While most animal rights activists in the past have generally focused their actions against institutions, attacks against individuals are becoming more and more common. According to the Foundation for Biomedical Research, there were 10 episodes against the center in 2000 and 77 in 2006.
Most recently, in January 2009 the UC Davis campus was on high alert after the “Revolutionary Cells Animal Liberation Brigade” posted bomb warnings on an Internet Web site.

None of the suspects have been charged but they will most likely be charged, in part, under the federal Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, which calls for a penalty of no less than five years for “threats, acts of vandalism, property damage, criminal trespass, harassment or intimidation.” The group will appear in a U.S. district court later this month.

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