Santa Cruz Animal Rights Nuts Firebomb Scientist’s House

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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!).

More here, here and here.

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)

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13 responses »

  1. Ah, you beat me to it! I do love how omnipotent the government is in the eyes of those who claim that every one of these acts is COINTELPRO. I recommend all those who believe such things to go waste some time at a government institution; spending any amount of time at the DMV should dispel those feelings.

  2. Pingback: Radical Nuts Arrested in California, On the Loose in Greece « The New Centrist

  3. Haha! This might not even be ALF. You have to remember ALF isn’t one big group. ALF is anyone who participates in direct action against animal abuse(within guidlines). Maybe this is ARM, but none were harmed and I think that was the point. Shake um up a little bit.

    Despite what the media tells you this is not the full story. You’d think someone sponsered by notorious animal abusers would tell the truth. Oh!The ALF guidelines are:

    1. TO liberate animals from places of abuse, i.e. laboratories, factory farms, fur farms, etc, and place them in good homes where they may live out their natural lives, free from suffering.
    2. TO inflict economic damage to those who profit from the misery and exploitation of animals.

    3. TO reveal the horror and atrocities committed against animals behind locked doors, by performing non-violent direct actions and liberations.

    4. TO take all necessary precautions against harming any animal, human and non-human.

    5. To analyze the ramifications of all proposed actions, and never apply generalizations when specific information is available. See Mission Statement.

    • Thats a nice little cartoon and story you got there, considering ALF pledges to not hurt any form of life including humans. They make sure their targets (laboratories, medical clinics etc..) are empyt before setting fire to them.
      Nice try.

  4. To “Cheyenne” and “not a stupid person”:

    Dr. Jerry Vlasak who is identified as an “ALF spokesman” said he condones the attack as a “necessary act”.

    More on the good doctor here:
    http://activistcash.com/biography.cfm/b/3437-jerry-vlasak-dr

    “I don’t think you’d have to kill — assassinate — too many vivisectors,” Vlasak said, “before you would see a marked decrease in the amount of vivisection going on. And I think for 5 lives, 10 lives, 15 human lives, we could save a million, 2 million, 10 million non-human lives.”

    Yeah, dude sounds real nonviolent to me. It’s well known to those of us outside the movement, that many of you are misanthropes and a few are sociopaths.

  5. Dr. Jerry Vlasak is a bit out there, I don’t know what to make of him. He says he was quoted out of context, but I’m not sure it’s much better in context. But both ALF and ELF guidelines define a direct action as an ALF or ELF action if and only if no animals or people are harmed in the endeavor.

    The trick is, if some cell wanted to harm people, all they would have to do differently is not announce their actions as ALF, but rather as the Animal Rights Militia, or “The Justice Department”. And it’s the people who are getting more and more radical, not an organization that is largely descriptive, not prescriptive.

  6. A bit out there? That’s a major understatement. The doc is completely wacked. Nuts. Bonkers.

    I understand that someone–or a group of people–produced a statement of guidelines defining what is, or is not, an ALF or ELF action. However, there is no central authority in ALF or ELF to punish members if they fail to follow these guidelines. So your differentiation of “the people” getting more radical rather than “the organization”, is a moot point because there is no real organizational structure in either ALF or ELF. Just people doing their own thing, man.

    It’s basically a situation where anyone who wants to claim they are a member of either organization is able to do so–there are no membership fees that I am aware of–and anyone who engages in these sorts of activities can claim that is an ALF or ELF action.

  7. all i can say is good on them. Im glad people can stad upforwhat they believe in and teach peopl like that a lesson. maybe a less drastic one but they tortue animals so why sholdnt they be a bit shook up??

  8. Mollie, you need to seriously reevaluate your idea of what is “good”. For example, firebombing peoples houses is not good. BTW, one of the scientists in question did research on fruit flies. Yeah, warm and cuddly fruit flies.

    • OK, but im sure not all the experiments were carried out on fruit flys were they? no, they where probaly done on defenseless rabbits or dogs. And ok i can see u arnt an animal lover but surely, even you, can appriciate pain. Yeah heres a big newsflash for ignorant people who couldnt give a damn about animals just some scientists house, ANIMALS FEEL PAIN! yeah unbeliavable right.?

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