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Not Impressed With the ALF: An Opposing Viewpoint

Not Impressed With the ALF: An Opposing Viewpoint

Every now and then it serves to prick the smug and self-righteous fools who think they alone have the answer. And today I’m targeting the fools who run under the banner of the so-called Animal Liberation Front (ALF).
The Animal Liberation Front claims to be a leaderless group, a "philosophy" only, and attempts to legitimize itself with references to Thoreau and the Underground Railroad.
According to the ALF "primer," the "Members of the Animal Liberation Front act directly to stop animal suffering, at the risk of losing their own freedom. Direct action refers to illegal actions performed to bring about animal liberation. These are usually one of two things: rescuing animals from laboratories or other places of abuse, or inflicting economic damage on animal abusers. Due to the illegal nature of ALF activities, activists work anonymously, and there is no formal organization to the ALF. There is no office, no leaders, no newsletter, and no official membership. Anyone who carries out direct action according to ALF guidelines is a member of the ALF."
Of course, this is nonsense. One visit to the ALF website serves to emphasize that the group is well organized, funded, and has structure and (secret) leadership. After all, the website and promotion doesn’t just happen: somebody is paying for it, creating it, writing it, editing it, and directing it.
And the ALF has its supporters. Bite Back, the radical "direct-action" website that supports a number of radical groups, salutes the ALF in this gushing tribute:
"Literally every day the brave women and men of the Animal Liberation Front are out liberating, smashing, painting and burning their way across the world for no other reason than to bring us closer to animal liberation!"
Whenever some nutcase takes "direct-action," both the ALF and Bite Back websites publish the event.
For example, this narrative is found on both sites:
"In the early morning hours of July 16, 2013, anarchists in San Diego took action on behalf of the millions of fur-bearing animals who are trapped, enslaved, and killed to sustain the global fur industry. We first visited Furs By Graf at 7670 Claremont Mesa Boulevard in the Claremont neighborhood. Every single piece of plate glass on this hideous enterprise was soaked in glass etching solution. The exterior of the store was covered in red spray painted slogans. Bottles of foul smelling butyric acid were sprayed into the interior, leaving this place of commerce smelling like death; identical to the odor present on every fur farm. We hope this is a costly clean up, and serves to drive away all patronage. We then hiked to owner Ludi Graf's home, at […] Street in Spring Valley. His home was given the same treatment. We paint stripped his luxury winnebago parked in the driveway. Slogans were painted in blood red on his garage and the winnebago. The windows of the winnebago were etched. The remainder of the etching solution was applied to the windows of his home. Concrete destroying muriatic acid was poured on his driveway. It was another short hike to manager Kimberley Graf's home at […] in La Mesa. Her luxury pickup truck was painted red and soaked in paint stripper. All windshields and windows on the truck were smeared with etching solution. We covered her house and driveway in spray paint. Muriatic acid was dumped on the porch. These actions were taken to vocalize the cries of the millions of wild beings yearning for freedom. This is in vain unless it inspires others to liberate and sabotage. Every fur farm prisoner deserves a jail break."
This asinine narrative ended with: "In solidarity with our comrades fighting in Vancouver, Animal Liberation Front"
Disgusting. Not only did these fools see fit to dump caustic chemicals into the environment, and create needless waste by destroying things, they felt justified in violating the rights of others under the banner of freedom; in this case, the grandiose "millions of wild beings yearning for freedom."
These fatuous jerks, and the people who support them, should take a trip to the clothing store and buy brown shirts. That way they would be more easily recognized for the fascist monsters they are.
Any thinking person recognizes the tactics of these morons: the secrecy, the rallying cry of freedom and liberation (while terrorizing others), the constant attempt to link their despicable actions to past moral crusades, the chilling absolute self-righteousness, and the-end-justifies-the-means philosophy.
Every hate-mongering group throughout history has used these tactics. Every genocide movement, every fanatical religious movement, every political purge: all of them. I’m sure every suicide bomber, just before walking into a crowded market full of innocents, comforted himself with the belief that his sacrifice-and the bloody mangled mayhem he was about to create-was for the good of the People; Party; God; Movement; Cause; Revolution; whatever.
Those assholes who committed the acts in the above narrative almost certainly justified their actions in the same manner.
Naturally, the ALF disavows itself from "violent" activities. In one of the most blatant self-serving statements I’ve ever seen, the ALF states: "Any action involving violence is by its definition not an ALF action, and any person involved is not an ALF member."
And then, incredibly, the ALF proudly states: "In over 20 years, and thousands of actions, nobody has ever been injured or killed in an ALF action."
Wow. I guess not, since any violent action is by definition not an AFL action, and therefore cannot exist. George Orwell might have wished he thought of that one.
Nonetheless, the ALF openly advocates the destruction of property. By publishing and publicizing narratives like the one above, the ALF, whether it wants to admit it or not, encourages a violent, confrontational approach as a means to promote its agenda.
This is wrong. It is not only wrong; it is cowardly and approaches terrorism. In fact, let me restate: it is terrorism.
The Animal Liberation Front, as a group, philosophy, or whatever it wants to consider itself, is a joke. It is anathema to any thinking person who values the wisdom and process of seeking effective change through discourse and persuasion, above-board and in the light of day.
Heaven save us from cowardly fanatics who operate in secrecy and darkness, trying to justify their vile activities under the banners of freedom and liberation. 

David Urban

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