After Santa Cruz anarcho-vandals broke the windows of banks, condos a local “green business”, a church, as well the office of the Service Employees International Union and the court house, the animal rights nuts have followed their lead and upped the ante by fireboming the house of a scientist employed by the University of California at Santa Cruz.
This is from the SF Chronicle:
The devices used in two firebombings targeting UC Santa Cruz biologists are similar to some used in the past by animal rights activists, investigators said Sunday.
The bombs were so powerful they were like “Molotov cocktails on steroids,” said Santa Cruz police Capt. Steve Clark.
One struck the home of assistant biology Professor David Feldheim on Saturday morning, forcing him to flee with his family. The other exploded just a few minutes earlier, gutting a car parked outside the campus home of a second researcher.
Later, Santa Cruz County sheriff’s deputies went to the home of a third researcher who received a threatening telephone message, but officers found no explosives.
More than 50 investigators, including some from the FBI’s regional terrorism task force, are looking into the attacks.
Feldheim, whose townhouse was firebombed just after 5:30 a.m., uses mice in laboratory research on brain formation.
He told The Chronicle that he and his wife, along with their 7-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter, had to drop a ladder from the window of a second-floor bedroom to escape after smoke filled the home’s first floor.
“Everyone is OK,” Feldheim said in an e-mail. “The kids are taking it pretty well. My wife and I are very shaken up. I also injured both feet in the escape.”
Feldheim was treated at a hospital and released, police said. Clark said the attack on Feldheim is being considered an act of terrorism and attempted murder.
Clark said the bomb at Feldheim’s house was similar to those used by animal rights extremists in the past, adding, “There are instructions on how to make it on their Web sites.”
Feldheim and the unidentified faculty member who received the threatening message were named on pamphlets that were left on a stack of newspapers in a downtown Santa Cruz coffee shop last Tuesday, Clark said. The unsigned pamphlets at Caffe Pergolesi, which printed 13 researchers’ pictures and addresses, called them murderers and torturers and said, “Animal abusers everywhere beware.”
The name of the researcher whose car was bombed was not on the pamphlets, Clark said.
The attacks may mark an escalation in a series of protests against UC researchers that prompted a Los Angeles Superior Court judge to issue a temporary restraining order against three animal rights groups in February.
Predictably, the individuals commenting at Indymedia and elsewhere have a different take on the situation, claiming it was a “false flag operation,” blaming the attack on “COINTELPRO,” the FBI and other state agencies. And these people wonder why they are so marginalized in the U.S.? The easy answer, blame it on the state.
For more on the anarcho-vandalism see, Santa Cruz Anarchists Get Stupider (But I am a Liberal!).
From the last link (above):
UCSC biologist David Feldheim, whose Village Circle home was targeted, performs research on mice to understand how brain connections form during development. Feldheim and his wife and two young children escaped their house on a fire ladder from a second-story window.
That bombing is being investigated as an attempted homicide because the family was home, Clark said.
“Obviously, I am upset and worried for my family’s safety in the future,” Feldheim wrote in an e-mail to the Sentinel on Sunday. “This incident came close to doing some real harm.”
Feldheim, a UCSC researcher of six years, said he had installed a security system and motion lights at his home in response to a previous threat.
“Once we rebuild our house and move back in, I don’t know what more we can do,” he wrote. “I don’t think the university can do too much to prevent these kind of attacks. I would like to see the citizens of Santa Cruz and our elected officials including the mayor step up and condemn this kind of violence.”
Feldheim said he badly bruised his feet while getting out of his house and was taken to the hospital for X-rays. He said he didn’t break any bones, but will have to walk with crutches for a few days until the swelling subsides.
While a spokesman said he didn’t know who committed the act, the Woodland Hills-based Animal Liberation Front called the attacks a “necessary” act, just like those who fought against civil rights injustices. Spokesman Dr. Jerry Vlasak showed no remorse for the family or children who were targeted.
(H/t for image, Secondhand Smoke)