A year after firebombings, no arrests, though awareness remains among scientists
By J.M. Brown - Sentinel staff writer
Posted: 08/02/2009 09:43:11 AM PDT
Updated: 08/02/2009 10:05:19 PM PDT
SANTA CRUZ - A year ago today, UC Santa Cruz molecular biologist David Feldheim and his wife woke up at 5:45 a.m. when a firebomb exploded on their front porch of their town home on Village Circle, a small enclave of modest housing near campus.
The couple and their two children, then 2 and 4, fled the flames by climbing down a second-floor fire escape. Feldheim bruised his feet as he scrambled to safety, but the rest of his family was unharmed.
Minutes later, outside a cluster of faculty residences on campus, a second firebomb ripped through an unoccupied Volvo station wagon belonging to one of Feldheim's colleagues. Because the incidents occurred just four days after the discovery of fliers threatening harm to UCSC scientists who use animals in their research, it was immediately clear to police what likely motivated the attackers.
The fliers, left on a community billboard at a downtown coffee shop, contained pictures, photos, home addresses and phone numbers of Feldheim and a dozen other UCSC scientists. The crudely made pamphlets, printed on 8-by-11-inch white copy paper, warned: "We know where you work, we know where you live."
At the time of the firebombings, authorities had been investigating a string of animal-rights incidents targeting the University of California, including firebombings of vehicles connected to UCLA scientists, as well as trespassing and vandalism at the homes of professors and lab aides at UCSC and UC Berkeley. But no one expected the kind of violence that would follow.
"The Santa Cruz incidents are illustrative of a shift in the approach animal-rights activism has taken," said Frankie L. Trull, founder and president of the National Association of Biomedical Research in Washington. "Many, many scientists really sat up and took notice with Santa Cruz. The firebombing of a car. A scientist climbing out of a second-story window. These are inexplicable, unforgiveable kinds of actions." Read More
A year after it happened, these vegan animal rights activists that attempted to murder an entire family, which included very young children, are still on the loose. There is always plenty of room for civil discussion in this country, but when someone thinks the best way to make their point is to try killing children it just proves how sick they really are. Never ever should someone think the life of a mouse in a laboratory is more valuable than a human child. Hopefully someday these terrorists will be caught and punished.