An interview of Rodney Coronado conducted by Mirha-Soleil Ross was recently posted on Infoshop.Org and offers an interesting look at the mind of an animal rights terrorist.
Coronado offers the standard sort of defense of his indefensible actions. He starts off by claiming that, say torching a lab, is not really an act of violence at all but rather of self-defense,
Well, to take a gun away from the hand of someone who is ready to use it to kill someone cannot be considered a violent action because it is understandable that you are preventing a much greater crime from taking place. Similarly, to take away the tools that are used solely for the destruction of innocent life before they can be used to cause that destruction is the prevention of a much greater and evil crime. So in such instances, I consider aggressive acts to be non-violent and we’re living in a society today that legally sanctions the destruction of the last ancient redwoods, that legally sanctions the decimation and extinction of 10 000 species a year. I think it is a non-violent action in our society to remove those tools that cause that destruction before it can be done. And to have the label of terrorist, extremist, violent offender or criminal leveled against us by the people who themselves are responsible for an incredible amount of suffering, torture, and realistically terrorism, violent terrorism, is ludicrous. I think that society and people in the public only have to look at who has the blood on their hands to recognize who the real violent members of our society are.
Which degenerates into the “we live in a violent society maneuver,
Well I think that once we begin to recognize terrorism and real violence in our society and recognize it’s something that our society will not tolerate, then we need to recognize that when governments commit murder, it is called legal military maneuvers or police operations. But when rebel forces or people that are defending their homelands or their environment do it, then it’s labeled as terrorism or violent responses. So I think it is important for us to recognize that the only reason that this type of reaction is happening is because our government and our society live in this hypocrisy and double-standard whereby not only we don’t oppose all violence in our society but in fact we legislate and legally sanction a lot of it.
How could they claim to have a concern with violence when there’s so much violence happening legally in our society around us today. And these accusations are always made when we destroy property but they are never made when industry officials and their hired foot soldiers and the police practice violence on a regular basis against our non-violent protesters. The only reason we are seeing the Animal and Earth Liberation Fronts respond as aggressively and outside of the law is because we are no longer respected as non-violent protesters and demonstrators. We are seeing an increased amount of pepper spraying of activists and of civil and human rights being violated.
Followed by the claim that, really, democracy itself is being subverted because Congress doesn’t legislate based on the number of letters it receives,
Here in the United States, there is no other issue that receives more letters in congress than animal issues. Now if we lived in a true democracy, that would translate into laws that would protect animals. But instead what we are seeing to this day are animals in laboratories with only the bare minimal protection. And some animals like rats and mice and birds and fish and farm animals aren’t even recognized as animals, they are called non-animals. So as long as our government fails to answer to the majority of the public’s concern for animals and the environment, they can be damn sure there is going to be an increase of actions by people who have no faith in the government.
And, of course, the world Coronado wants is so much better than this one that the ends justify the means,
Also, we have to recognize that what we fight for is something so much more beautiful and compassionate and loving than anything that the dominant society has ever offered us. Everything that they have ever created, all this illusion of reality that they force us to live under is based on fear and intimidation and consumerism and all these things that you have to strive to achieve and respect. Not because you believe in it but because you are afraid of the consequences and of what happens if you don’t adhere to societal norms. And you have to look at what the alternative is and what we represent. And we represent the power of love, the power of the earth. That power isn’t created by man but it’s something that you see in a river in a mountain range, in a wilderness, in a wild lynx or mink and that is something that is so sacred. For me, as an individual, when I was on the run from the FBI and being hunted, I realized for the first time that I had so much more of a similar relationship to my animal creation than I ever had previously. And I believe that I was closer to them than I had been before. Only when I got to that level of feeling like a hunted animal, did I really gain the level of appreciation for my life and freedom that we all have strived to gain because this is such a beautiful thing we have before us.
And such a religious experience requires an equally silly theology (emphasis added),
We nurture ourselves with the same energy and life force of the earth that they nurtured themselves with and their spirits speak to us. We live in this urban environment so we respond accordingly. Because we are in the belly of the beast, we respond by rejecting animal abuse and environmental destruction. And in this day and age we are called environmental or animal rights’ activists but I think it’s important for all of us to recognize that it’s much bigger than just the environment and the animals. It’s about earth rights. It’s about air rights, water rights, rock rights, the rights of every natural creation to survive. So we have to get outside of these little pockets and compartments that society tries to force us in and rip off those labels that they stick on us.
Down with entropy!
Rod Coronado: A Voice for Liberation. InfoShop.Org, April 14, 2003.
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