Animal Protection > Activist Index

Funding Your Actions
from No Compromise Issue 9

 This is our third and final installment of one person's story of her involvement with the ALF. In part one of the series, we learned how she overcame her fear and started conducting solo actions. In part two, she told us how she found partners to help her with her actions and how they worked together as a team. In this letter, the anonymous ALF-er shares tips on saving money as well as raising funds to support a cell.

Again, No Compromise has no affiliation with the author of this article but is printing it here to reveal the truth about the character, dedication and resourcefulness of the ALF. It is printed for informational purposes only and not intended to encourage individuals to partake in illegal activities.

Your actions will, to a slight extent, be limited by your funding. Therefore, it is very important that absolutely NO money is spent frivolously. However, once you decide that you will be taking direct action, the first thing you should do is set up a fund.

Don't use your own personal bank account or ANY bank account. All financial transactions must be off the books and receipts for expenses (tools, gas, etc.) should always be destroyed. There are a few different ways of increasing your fund. If you or any of your cell mates (no pun intended) have a job, you may want to immediately put 10 percent (or more) of each paycheck directly into the fund. With three employed people, this can quickly increase the size of your fund in a short time.

Another possibility would be for someone to adopt your cell. Though this may sound far fetched, it's not. However, adopters, I feel, cannot be actively sought. In my experience, adopters have had a long history with cell members and share the same philosophy. The only thing keeping them out of the trenches themselves is something like a physical disability, a family with children, a prominent job or political position, etc.

Again, for security reasons, donors should not be "looked for" or "asked" as much as simply "found" or "known." Remember, having a long and trusted history with the person is probably the safest way to prevent leaks or infiltration. Also, donors should never make contact with the cell (only the known individual in the cell). And, of course, the donor should never know of any plans or potential targets. If the donor wants to know what their money has been up to, they can have newspaper clippings anonymously mailed to them or to a pre-arranged post office box.

Donors should be made aware of the RICO laws as well as the most current "anti-terrorism" legislation that has been passed. It's also good to know their feelings on arson, explosives and other controversial tactics before they receive clippings of such events. Remember, security precautions with donors are important and necessary to insure the safety of both the cell and the donor(s).

If you have donors asking too many questions, wanting to meet other cell members, etc., you will want to remind them of the necessity for security. If they persist, or you feel uncomfortable, it may be time to find different donors. Remember to use common sense and to always trust your intuition.

Finally, and most importantly, don't rip off your donor! Donors need to be thought of and respected as fellow members of your cell, despite their physical absence. Remember, they are helping to make your actions possible. Don't misuse funds. This is the quickest and easiest way to lose a donor and the cohesive trust of your cell.

Another quick and easy way to save money for your fund is to eliminate or greatly reduce your cost of living. This can happen in a variety of ways and forms, but a few brief examples include getting clothes and supplies from free boxes, dumpster-diving, Salvation Armys (and their drop boxes), garage sales, flea markets, etc.

Also, when traveling, (and at home) eat your own food! Good road trip food includes sandwiches, bagels, trail mix, fruit, bread, etc. Tupperware makes it easy to take cooked rice, pasta, baked potatoes, etc. along for those longer road trips. Also, this food can be acquired from food boxes, dumpster-diving, free lunch groups, etc. Taco Bell bean burritos without cheese are NOT an acceptable road food as money is too scarce to be going to the PepsiCo corporation (which exploits animals) or even to a private restaurant that serves animal parts as part of their menu.

In other words, turn away from the consumer-trained frame of mind and become more autonomous and self-sufficient as a cell. This seems to be a harder transition for people living in a big city or suburban area, but it is just a matter of self-discipline. Try to wean yourself (and your cell) off of all that Babylon tries to addict you to. You shouldn't be seen in a Taco Bell in a strange town the same night that the McDonald's next door is going to burn down anyway!

Another big savings is to camp while you're on the road. Besides saving you $20 to $50 a night, you don't have to worry about being recognized by an employee, signing your name, presenting ID, being on a "security" camera, having your vehicle recognized, etc. Besides, camping will give you a little time to communicate with nature and let you reflect on why you're doing what you're doing. The electricity from motel room lights, televisions, phones, etc. help to scatter and disrupt thinking anyway. Having a clear mind makes for clearer thinking and better decision-making - every cell should have.

In bigger actions where two or three cells might need to meet to discuss plans, media work, etc., a motel may be needed. In this case extra security precautions need to be taken on renting the room, parking in the area, entering and exiting the building, etc. Common sense and experience will help with these precautions. DON'T take security risks.

Despite your low cost of living (my only expense is gas money), there will always be expenses to pull off an action. From gas money to tools to clothes, you will need a source of funds. Of course, more time and energy may be needed to fundraise if you want more sophisticated tools (which you will want for more sophisticated actions), such as police-quality walkie talkies, night vision goggles, a 200 channel scanner with headset, vehicle(s) and whatever else your cell needs to insure a safe and successful action.

Another way to increase your action fund is by fundraising, you know, the good old fashioned way like having a garage sale, bake sale, tabling, car wash, etc. We've done this many times. Whether you're just passing out literature, selling books, selling vegan goodies, etc., always have a donation jar available. Of course, you can't tell people you are raising money for illegal activities and since I don't like to lie to people, I always raise funds to "help animals."

For more specific inquiries, I explain how this money will end up "informing" and educating the public about animal abuse. Of course your fundraiser doesn't have to have anything at all to do with animals (which is much more secure) but that will have to be something for the fundraisers themselves to decide. Also, take advantage of any school fairs, Earth Day events, street fairs, concerts, etc. to raise money. Remember, the heavier the traffic, the heavier the donations.

If you are fund-raising for a legitimate organization, funds need to be diverted before they are turned in or recorded. There really are countless ways to make and save money for your cell's action fund: garage sales, campus organizations, concerts, short-term jobs, funders, etc. Your imagination is your only limit. Don't let lack of funds prevent you or your cell from taking action.

If this is happening, then you need to concentrate on fundraising until you have enough money to execute your plan(s). Just remember, money is the root of all evil (it fuels animal exploitation). Be careful with it, use it wisely, and don't let it disrupt the cohesiveness of your cell. And, in the end, make the animal abusers the ones to really pay.

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