L.A.'s animal terrorists
Animal rights advocates must repudiate the extremists who attack medical researchers -- and those who provide them support.
Tim Rutten March 11, 2009
On monday in Washington, President Obama heralded the return of what he terms "sound science" to the administration of federal policy.
At that moment in Los Angeles, a joint federal and local law enforcement task force was investigating the latest incident in a 3-year-old terrorist campaign being waged against UCLA medical researchers. This time, a group that calls itself the Animal Liberation Front firebombed a car on Saturday belonging to a neuroscientist whose research into psychiatric disorders involves primates.
This was the latest incident in a long-running war. Since July 2006, extremists who oppose the use of animals in any medical research have attacked UCLA scientists or their property in five actual or attempted arsons and five acts of criminal vandalism. Telephone threats have been made, and researchers' children have been followed to and from school.
There also have been more than 40 demonstrations, many at the scientists' homes -- often in the middle of the night by people whose identity is concealed by hoods -- involving intense harassment, including banging on windows and chanting profanities.
As UCLA Chancellor Gene Block, himself the director of a medical research lab, told me: "Imagine having protesters outside your home on many weekends, screaming to your children and neighbors that you are a murderer, or being pointed to a website that describes you in the most vile terms possible, lists your home address and encourages people to do you harm, or going to bed wondering whether this will be the night that someone tries to burn down your house." (The university has spent more than $1 million in extra security costs since 2006.)
A strong point is made in this article for animal rights activists to consider. Will they condemn the actions of these terrorists that they did in the name of animal rights? They don’t seem to come running out of the woodwork to speak against these people. So in the end, it seems that most animal rights groups seem to support this type of activity. If they don’t, they should prove me wrong.