As I noted previously, David Agranoff had his home raided by law enforcement officials in August as part of their investigation into a $50 million August 1 arson in San Diego. Agranoff and other activists complain that Agranoff is being needlessly harassed by law enforcement officials.
Well, Agranoff certainly should understand needless harassment. As he told Mark Gabrish Conlan in an interview posted on Indymedia, Agranoff has quite a history of harassing those he disagrees with,
Zenger?s: How did you first get into trouble with the law?
Agranoff: My first arrest was at Sims Poultry, a poultry producing plant in my hometown. I was caught in the act of spray-painting the trucks, in an act of economic sabotage — not a very effective one. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. It’s not that I don’t support people doing those kinds of actions, but there’s a lot of things people need to understand before they choose to take an underground action like that. I didn’t understand what it involved, and that’s why I got caught. I was just acting on emotion and anger that I felt towards the industries that harm animals.
Agranoff here is referring to his 1993 arrest and conviction for vandalizing Sims Poultry. He plead guilty to criminal mischief and resisting arrest, and was given a one year suspended sentence. Agranoff says in his interview that he has been arrested 15-20 times since while protesting various businesses.
Agranoff emphasizes that after his first arrest he decided not to participate in such acts anymore, but nonetheless admires the “heroism” of those who do,
However, when someone says, “What do you think of the ELF”, then I have to say that if somebody felt compelled to risk their freedom and their life — since, if they’re caught in the act of doing this, it’s very possible that they could be shot at — to do actions like that, as far as I’m concerned, that is true heroism. By putting their life on the line to defend the environment, they’re putting the earth and all life forms on it before themselves. They are trying to defend the planet and willing to risk their own lives for that. That is a true act of bravery, and it puts me in a position where I have to defend the people who make those kinds of decisions.
Activist Victim of FBI, Corporate Harassment. Mark Gabrish Conlan, August 2003.
ALF claims responsibility for Sims arson. Steven Hinnfield, Herald Times (Indiana), May 15, 2002.