Craig Rosebraugh On Terrorism, Animal and Otherwise

In February, the Portland Tribune ran a profile of former Animal Liberation Front/Earth Liberation Front spokesman Craig Rosebraugh. Rosebraugh has taken the whole terrorism ball and run with it to its logical conclusion.

Specifically, Rosebraugh apparently has concluded, correctly, that torching laboratories and construction sites and releasing mink are not going to change society’s approach to animals or the environment. His solution? If civil disobedience doesn’t work and property destruction doesn’t work, then killing people just might.

In early 2003, Rosebraugh issued a press release calling for “large scale urban rioting” to stop the war against Iraq, and according to the Portland Tribune, he’s taken the logical next step in his support of terrorism,

Rosebraugh, however, says the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks are defensible because the terrorist acts were meant to send a legitimate message to Americans. He even put a color photo of the second World Trade Center tower bursting into flames on the cover of his book.

But remember, the idea that some animal rights activist care more about animals than human beings is just nonsense invented by far right “animal abusers.”


Activist indulges capitalistic craving. Jim Redden, Portland Tribune, February 6, 2004.

Craig Rosebraugh on the Need for Violent Political Revolution

Former Earth Liberation Front spokesman Craig Rosebraugh gave a lengthy interview to a small anarchist magazine, “The ‘A’ Word” which was posted to the far Left Infoshop.Org web site. In the rambling interview, Rosebraugh outlines his justification for a violent political revolution in the United States.

For Rosebraugh, the violent acts committed by the Earth Liberation Front were not radical enough,

Question: In the past decade we have seen inspiring developments within the radical environmental movement, where do you hope this movement will go in the coming years? (since you say that ELF isn’t necessarily a revolutionary movement)

Rosebraugh: While there have been inspiring developments within the radical environmental movement, realistically the actions at least to me are only inspiring in comparison to many other ineffective and shameful strategies. The ELF, which 1997 has inflicted approximately $45 million in damages on entities destroying life on this planet, still has demonstrated itself to be a reformist organization. While I have and continue to support the group and all of the actions it has taken, I consider it a reformist group because it is targeting single (or even multiple) issues under the existing power structure. The ELF definitely serves a needed purpose, to effectively demonstrate to individuals, corporations, and governmental agencies that they will be held accountable for their environmentally destructive practices. However, until a revolutionary movement changes the political structure of the United States government, serious environmental threats will not cease, nor will overall societal injustice both domestically and as a matter of foreign policy.

Whether one is concerned with human rights, environmental protection, or even animal advocacy, none of these single-issue concerns can be thoroughly addressed by reformist pursuits. A revolutionary movement is needed in the United States to at minimum allow for an atmosphere where there is a possibility of justice for all of these single-issue concerns.

The interviewer asks Rosebraugh about another violent terrorist group (emphasis added),

Question: What similarities do you see between the ELF and the Weather Underground Organization? Are there strengths/weaknesses you see between the two? What can we learn from the WUO and how does it apply now?

Rosebraugh: One perhaps obvious similarity is that both organizations have been considered marginal by their movements. The Weather Underground, while being a self-described anti-imperialist organization, was considered a hindrance to the Vietnam anti-war movement by those in more mainstream groups. Similarly, the ELF has been condemned by organizations such as the Sierra Club who have gone as far as to work directly with the FBI to stop ELF actions. While the ELF has considered itself a part of the environmental movement, the Weather Underground, at least in theory, considered itself more focused on anti-U.S. government and anti-imperialist activity. This, again in theory, is the direction I believe justice pursuits need to go. However, the actual policies and actions of the Weather Organization I considered to be ineffective. For one, the group failed to educate even a small sector of the U.S. population on the need for a political and social revolution. As a result when their actions were committed people judged them as extremist and marginal. Secondly, the actions the Weather Organization took were far too reactionary and geared toward publicity. This may have not been a conscious decision to go for publicity but due to their being no revolutionary or anti-imperialist movement, the actions of the WU were very isolated and exclusionary. The ELF at least is directly involved in the environmental movement. The counter culture of drug use, among other forms of liberation experimentation were also implanted into the daily lives of those in WU. I think this had a negative effect overall and helped in the ineffectiveness of the organization. A final easily noticeable difference between the two groups is that the WU used explosives and the ELF has only thus far used incendiaries. This may be of no importance or it may have some relevance due to public support. I am not certain this can easily be answered.

The main lesson I believe that should be taken from the WU is that certainly a revolutionary movement is needed in this country. But it must be that, a movement not one small group acting as a revolutionary force. This movement must begin simply with public education. Until at least a portion of the U.S. public understands and believes in the necessity for a political and social revolution, that movement cannot be successful. A group or groups can work as a catalyst, but in order for a movement to be built their actions must not remain exclusionary.

Ah, so the main problem with the Weather Underground is that they preferred publicity over educating the public, not that these terrorists were responsible for killing two police officers and a bank guard during the armed robbery of a Brinks armored car.


Fighting to Win: An Interview with Craig Rosebraugh. Darby Kargymm, The ‘A’ Word, 2003.

Craig Rosebraugh Urges Violent Action to Stop War Against Iraq

Former Animal Liberation Front spokesman Craig Rosebraugh seems to have turned his support of violence to a new cause — stopping the impending war against Iraq. Not surprisingly, Rosebraugh has little use for the activists holding peaceful demonstrations, an instead calls for large scale riots and other acts of violence designed to force the United States to put police and even military units in American cities.

In a post on Philadelphia Independent Media Center, Rosebraugh offers the following seven steps that those opposed to the war should take,

1) Attack the financial centers of the country. Using covert or black block techniques, depending on the situation, physically shut down financial centers which regulate and assist the functioning of U.S. economy. This can be done in a variety of ways from massive property destruction, to online sabotage, to physical occupation of buildings. However the latter I would shy away from, especially the open civil disobedience type of activities which purposely involve arrests. This movement needs all the assistance it can get and absolutely NO good will come from going to jail. Allowing yourself to be purposely arrested demonstrates that an individual has at least some faith in the U.S. legal system. This is completely foolish. One primary objective is to engage in serious unrest and disruption and NOT to get caught. Not getting caught means you are able to continue the struggle the next day.

2) Large scale urban rioting. With massive unrest and even state of emergencies declared in major cities across the country, the U.S. government will be forced to send U.S. troops into the domestic arena thereby taking resources and political focus away from the war. Unstable conditions in much of the country also serve as a political embarrassment for the Administration and could assist in forcing them to stop the war to deal with domestic concerns. Rioting should be focused on governmental agencies and corporations -? especially those that are profiting from the war or destruction of life.

3) Attack the media centers of the country. It is the corporate media who has and continues to influence and control the minds of the mass body of people in the United States. These new media outlets cannot be utilized by the movement as they are owned by the very corporations one should be opposing. Using any means necessary, shut down the national networks of NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, etc. Not just occupations but actually engage in strategies and tactics which knock the networks off the air.

4) Spread the battle to the individuals responsible for the war and destruction of life -? the very heads of government and U.S. corporations. No longer should these people be able to hide behind their occupations, living their lives in peace while they simultaneously slaughter countless people. Hit them in their personal lives, visit their homes, and make them feel personally responsible for committing massive atrocities.

5) Make it known publicly that this movement DOES NOT support U.S. troops as long as they are serving an unjust and horrifying political regime. Create an atmosphere lacking of support to assist U.S. troops at home and abroad in losing their morale and will to fight. If you are supporting the troops you are supporting this war and the very U.S. government that is the primary terrorist regime in the international arena.

6) Actively target U.S. military establishments within the United States. Again, following the above stated goal of NOT getting caught, use any means necessary to slow down the functioning of the murdering body.

7) When engaging in the above six activities, strike hard and fast and retreat in anonymity. Select another location, strike again hard and fast and quickly retreat in anonymity. Engage only in actions where you will be victorious. Do not be concerned with alienating the mainstream sectors of the movement -? that mainstream has NEVER stopped a U.S. military activity or war. Do not get caught. DO NOT GET CAUGHT. Do not get sent to jail. Stay alert, keep active, and keep fighting. Remember, an action is only good (especially at this juncture in U.S. society) if it will serve to severely disrupt the political system of the country, its economy, and the corporate interests that drive this society.


Craig Rosebraugh on the Anti-War Struggle. Craig Rosebraugh, March 17, 2003.

Center for Consumer Freedom on PETA's Evolving Explanation for ELF Donation

A couple weeks ago I noted that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ staff members had been telling mutually contradictory stories about why exactly they donated $1,500 to the Earth Liberation Front (see Surprise — Someone at PETA Is Lying about That ELF Donation). The Center for Consumer Freedom not only beat me to the punch, but they also found several additional incidents which show a twisting, turning pattern of PETA apparently trying to figure out exactly how best to sell the donation in the media.

On March 22, 2002, the Center for Consumer Freedom sent a long letter to the House subcommittee investigating ecoterrorism. Here is an excerpt from that letter detailing PETA’s constantly evolving position about its ELF donation,

Understandably, PETA was (and still is) subjected to increased public scrutiny following my February 12, 2002, revelation of this donation. In the weeks that followed, however, PETAÂ’s various spokespersons have told at least seven different stories about that grant:

  • “[Ingrid Newkirk] said she did not remember the check to ELF, which was reported on the organization’s 2000 tax return.” (ABC News, February 26)
  • “She [Newkirk] also said the money PETA gave to the North American Earth Liberation Front was in response to a request for funds for educational materials.” (Associated Press, March 4)
  • “Newkirk also confirms that it donated money to the ELF for, ‘habitat protection.Â’” (KOMO television, Seattle, March 5)
  • “PETA [said they] contributed $1,500 during the 2000 fiscal year to ELF for education and habitat protection.” (The Denver Post, March 6)
  • “The only reason we did it is because it was a program that we supported. And it was about vegetarianism.” (PETA director of policy and communications Lisa Lange, on “The OÂ’Reilly Factor,” Fox News Channel, March 7)
  • “When we gave $1,500 to the Earth Liberation Front press office, it was for help with legal bills for one good animal protectionist who we felt was being harassed.” (“Open letter” e-mail to animal-rights activists, written by PETA correspondent Bridgett Cherry, March 13)
  • “In April 2001, PETA sent a check in the amount of $1,500.00 to the North American Earth Liberation Front Press Office to assist Craig Rosebraugh with legal expenses related to free speech issues regarding animal protection issues.” (PETA general counsel Jeff Kerr, letter of March 14)

While PETA may now claim to have earmarked the grant in question for any number of lawful purposes (depending on what day you ask them), I urge you to recognize that such grants are “fungible.” If PETA had used its tax-exempt donations from the public to make a sizable gift to Al Quaeda, Hamas, or the Irish Republican Army, we would not be having a discussion about whether or not it is technically possible to make a donation to terrorists without intending that the funds be used to conduct terrorism. The Earth Liberation Front should be treated no differently, especially considering its status with the FBI.

Of course PETA’s main reply to the Center for Consumer Freedom has been ad hominem attacks on the CCF.

One interesting thing that seems apparent reading between the lines of PETA’s evolving story as well as discussions I’ve had with reporters and others who have looked into this story is that it appears almost no one at PETA was aware of the ELF donation other than Newkirk. One person told me flat out that Lisa Lange seemed to be completely out of the loop on this. The clear implication of this is that donating to ELF was something deemed sufficiently controversial even within PETA that Newkirk didn’t bother to discuss it or inform other PETA staffers about the donation.

Well, what did they expect? That an organization that hides its activities from donors (I’ve never seen an donation pitch from PETA mentioning their donations to animal rights terrorists) would necessarily share them with staffers? Ha.


Letter to House Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health. Center for Consumer Freedom, March 22, 2002.

Surprise — Someone at PETA Is Lying about That ELF Donation

The revelation that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals donated $1,500 to the Earth Liberation Front seems to have done quite a bit of damage to PETA’s reputation and (hopefully) may even jeopardize its tax exempt status. But what exactly did that money go for? Oddly enough, PETA seems to be trying to tell two contradictory stories about this.

As I mentioned before, PETA’s lawyer, Jeffrey Kerr, formally responded to an inquiry from Rep. Scott McInnis. Robert Gehrke of the Associated Press summed up Kerr’s response this way,

But Kerr said that in April [2001] the group [PETA] did write a $1,500 check to the North American ELF media office to assist in the legal defense for the group’s spokesman, Craig Rosebraugh, in free speech matters.

Not what I think their donors had in mind … and apparently not what PETA’s Lisa Lange had in mind. Because Lange told a completely different story to CNSNews.Com,

PETA spokesperson Lisa Lange acknowledged a $1,500 donation to ELF for a “project of habitat protection,” which concluded, “meat eating is a huge problem for the environment.”

“This is one of our focuses of our vegetarian campaign reaching to environmentalists, basically saying you can’t be an environmentalist and eat meat, and the ELF was going to be doing some publicity on that very thing,” Lange said. “We saw it as an opportunity to get our message out.

“None of our money goes toward illegal activities,” Lange insisted. “This specific project we funded was a quality project.”

This article appeared on March 8, 2002. On March 13, 2002, Ingrid Newkirk sent a letter in response to the article which acknowledged that the money had in fact gone to defend Craig Rosebraugh, but offered no explanation at all as to why Lange was telling people that it was for a “project about habitat protection.” Newkirk wrote,

What we do, say, and how we spend our money is always legal and open to scrutiny.

When we gave $1,500 to the Earth Liberation Front press office, it was for help with legal bills for one good animal protectionist who we felt was being harassed and has never been charged with anything at all.

Then why was Lange trying to spin this as just some basic anti-meat habitat protection project?

Imagine that — a PETA activist making up facts and distorting the truth!


PETA Under Attack for Funding Alleged Eco-Terrorists. Jason Pierce, CNSNews.Com, March 8, 2002.

PETA President Responds to Critics. Ingrid Newkirk, Letter to the editor, CNSNews.Com, March 13, 2002.

Group accuses Congressman with a ‘New McCarthyism.’ Robert Gehrke, Associated Press, March 16, 2002.

PETA's Earth Liberation Front Donation

After delaying and dithering for awhile, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals finally came clean in March about its $1,500 donation to the Earth Liberation Front. The donation went to a legal defense fund for Craig Rosebraugh.

PETA lawyer Jeffrey Kerr sent a letter to Rep. Scott McInnis who has been investigating ecoterrorism saying, among others things,

PETA does not provide financial or any other assistance to any person or group for the purpose of so-called terrorist activities. Any suggestion to the contrary is simply wrong, defamatory, and the product of lobbyists, public relations consultants and other paid spokespeople for animal-exploitive industries.

Actually, Kerr’s statement is a lie. PETA provides philosophical justification and moral support for terrorism. If Kerr disagrees, please ask him to explain exactly what Bruce Friedrich meant when he said that he does not blow things up but that, “I do advocate it, and I think it’s a great way to bring about animal liberation.”

Kerr says that McInnis is part of a “new McCarthyism” for pointing this out, but McInnis doesn’t go around saying how he wished PETA’s headquarters would burn down or how he wishes people would break in and steal PETA’s property, as Newkirk has repeatedly said about animal facilities.

Kerr can try to spin this any way he wants, but as McInnis spokesman Josh Penry put it,

The remarkable thing is these people seem surprised that they’re getting called on the carpet for giving money to an eco-terrorist group. Here’s a hint: Stop underwriting domestic terrorist groups and people will leave you alone.

I have a better idea. If Kerr and PETA think they do nothing wrong when they give money to defend environmental and animal rights terrorists, why don’t they simply start doing so openly? Why not start including that fact in PETA’s fundraising literature? I’m sure the people who send donations to PETA would love to know that they are using those donations to help pay the legal fees of people associated with the Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front. What’s PETA so afraid of that they have to hide this from potential donors?

Hopefully this latest incident will finally push the Internal Revenue Service to reevaluate PETA’s nonprofit status. Surely if the guidelines for 501(c)(3) nonprofits mean anything they mean that openly advocating violence and contributing to groups that advocate violence need not be subsidized by the American taxpayer.


Group accuses Congressman with a ‘New McCarthyism’. Robert Gehrke, Associated Press, March 16, 2002.

No tax-exempt terrorism. Editorial, Rocky Mountain News, March 14, 2002.