In the first week of August,
a group of New Jersey furriers filed a lawsuit accusing the Animal Defense League of Jersey, the Animal Liberation Front and others of violating
federal racketeering laws. The lawsuit alleges that the ADL was part of
a conspiracy to illegally impair the operation of a legitimate business.
For its part, the ADL took
the odd tactic of putting itself on record in support of some acts of
violence against animal enterprises. ADL spokesman Darius Fuller told
the New Jersey Star-Ledger that although his group is distinct from the
ALF, physical destruction of property is sometimes a necessary act. “It’s
just a simple question of which is more important, life or property,”
Fuller said. Fuller also told the Star-Ledger that his group has regular
contact with the ALF.
Somebody give Fuller a little
more rope — he is on a roll.
Meanwhile, the Animal Defense
League of Pennsylvania and the Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade announced
a conference in Philadelphia on legal challenges against animal rights
groups and how to respond to them. In a joint press release the two groups,
who were named as defendants in another Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization lawsuit filed by Jacques Ferber, claimed “Jacques Ferber Furs is abusing this RICO suit in an attempt
to achieve an injunction against CAFT and ADL. Yet another step
taken to drive off those fighting to end oppression. Who will be next?”
One of the interesting things
to note about the press releases issued from the various animal rights
groups about these RICO lawsuits is that although lawsuits against pro-life
activists and groups really set the precedent for going after protesters
who express support for illegal actions, none of the animal rights groups
has referenced this precedent much less given an opinion on the application
of the law in those cases. I, for one, would like to know if CAFT and
others believe anti-abortion protesters were also the targets of “oppression.”
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