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Animal Protection > Activist Index

Finding a Partner (or Two)
from No Compromise Issue 8

 The following article is one person's story of her involvement with the A.L.F. This is the second letter in a three part series. In part one, she explained how she overcame her fear and excuses and started conducting solo A.L.F. actions. In part II, she tells us of how she found partners to help her with her actions and how they worked together as a team.

No Compromise anonymously received these letters and we re-print them here to, once again, reveal the truth about the character, dedication and resourcefulness of the A.L.F. This letter is printed for informational purposes only and is not intended to encourage people to partake in any illegal activities.

LOOKING FOR PARTNERS

It is really very difficult to explain to someone how they can find close, trust-worthy partners who are willing to take the same risks and are knowledgeable and strong enough to withstand heavy bouts of police interrogation, intimidation, and harassment. Though you never plan to be faced with this situation, it is a realistic risk and you and anyone you work with should understand with a firm knowledge that if this situation arises, you and anyone you work with will not cooperate at all with any law enforcement agencies!

There is no cut and dry pattern or formula for choosing or finding partners. THIS IS GOOD. If there was a pattern or formula, it would open the door for infiltration of law enforcement and corporate agents.

However, by executing the fast food action by myself, it lead me to a second person whom I later hooked up with.

FRIENDS AND COMRADES

Another member of our current cell really was not "chosen." We had merely known and trusted each other since high school when we used to forge passes out of study hall so we could skip school and go swimming in the river.

We had both been vegetarians (and outcasts) in high school and I taught him about animal rights as he shared with me his views of deep ecology. It wasn't long before we started working together. My point here is that there was no formula with which to evaluate my friend. Merely, I had spent years with him as a best friend and we pretty much knew each other inside and out.

These are the best kind of partners to have since you already have an established relationship and friendship that no law enforcement agent would be able to make up. So I'd like to emphasize that this is the best way of "finding" a partner: working with someone you have a history with. And, always trust your intuition. If some-one doesn't feel right or you get "weird vibes" from him or her, DON'T work with that person! The opposite is true here also, but I don't need to explain that since, when you find that true connection, the feeling is pretty much unmistakable.

The other partner I connected with after the fast food restaurant action had a long history in the environmental movement. I only shared my interest in illegal direct action with her after she had complained to me consistently about a billboard advertising animal products and how someone should correct the billboard so consumers would know exactly what suffering that product really hid.

After hearing repeated complaints from my friend (was she checking me out, too?), we went for a walk. Here I told her that the billboard she hated so much appeared to be easily accessible (I had already re-conned it) and that if she wanted to help redecorate it, that would be jolly.

Needless to say, she thought this was a grand idea and, within a matter of days, the billboard had been corrected. Red paint bombs made from Christmas ornaments also gave the appearance of blood running down the advertisement.

CRITIQUING THE ACTION

The day after the billboard action, my friend and I went on another walk (we NEVER talked in a house or car!) to discuss and critique our action. This may seem silly to some, but it is the best way to learn from your mistakes and make improvements for further actions.

Meetings like this--restricted to only those involved with the action--are great to learn from. Other than that they should never be discussed again. In this case, we realized that the warning system we had set up to warn of cops (a loud whistle) didn't work. I had been warned twice of police in the area by her whistle, but I was never sure when to resume work on the billboard. Also, the whistling merely attracted attention to my partner rather than to me.

Because of this, we ended up putting together our savings and buying a police scanner, frequency book, and a cheap pair of two-way radio headsets. Because of the headset's low price ($49.95 for the pair), I knew they would not be reliable for an action where the lookout is a long distance away. Nevertheless, they would suit our needs for more billboard, fast food restaurant, and fur shop actions.

BUILDING TRUST AND SOLIDARITY

These are the actions that should be done most often to build up confidence, unity, and comradeship. The more of these types of actions done, the more competent, confident, and experienced you and your cell will become, and you can soon "move up" to bigger and better actions. (Bigger and better being defined here as larger actions with more severe amounts of damage being done to the target. This, of course, includes arson attacks.)

These actions will come in time if you and your partners stay active and build up a unity and confidence that becomes almost intuitive. Myself and the two individuals I currently work with have almost a psychic connection in which we usually always know what the other two people are thinking. This will not happen overnight and, if you expect it to, you will be let down. That is why I must emphasize motivation and persistence.

It took me about two years of actions like this and now I currently work regularly with two separate cells and a handful of other people who occasionally seek my assistance. Through persistence and perseverance you will build up a network of resources including tools, money, people, and experience.

If you tell yourself that there are no suitable targets to strike, you should stop and ask yourself if this is what you really want to be doing. If it is, just go to the nearest phone book and let your fingers do the walking. The yellow pages will give you the names, phone numbers, and addresses (and a map of the local area) of countless animal exploiters. This is an invaluable and easily accessible resource, available 24-hours a day in any city or town you may find yourself in.

In one instance, our cell drove two states away to "remodel" an establishment profiting off of animals' deaths. Once there however, we realized this would not be possible. Instead of going home disappointed, we simply went to the nearest pay phone and let our fingers do the walking. Before we left that state, one animal abuse establishment had been completely destroyed!

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