Total Liberation Tour 2004

In case you missed it, Total Liberation Tour 2004 — featuring radical bands and animal rights speakers — wrapped up in late July, but not before making a fascinating stop in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The Brigham Young University NewsNet provided a good summation of the tour,

After the first few bands the speaker, introducing himself only as Evan, spoke on the need to return to a primitive lifestyle and abandon civilization in order to experience true freedom and wildness.

Nothing could tape that, but local organizer Jakob Nyberg came close as he tried to tell the press that the tour had nothing to do with animal rights or environmental extremism. Nyberg was forced to defend the tour after Harrison David Burrow allegedly torched a BYU building the week before the concert.

The Associated Press reported,

The concert, called the “Total Liberation Tour,” was one of 10 stops
scheduled nationally to promote a variety of causes, such as animal and
minority rights.

The FBI had said that the tour would feature top leaders of both
ecoterrorist groups Animal Liberation Front and Earth Liberation Front,
which are suspected in two high-profile arson fires in Utah in the past

Nyberg, 27, who volunteered to help organize the Utah stop when he heard the
national tour was being planned, said there was no connection between the
show and the groups, and he didn’t know anyone involved in that kind of

No connection between the tour and the ALF or ELF? Hmmm…here’s a Total Liberation Tour poster:

Leslie James Pickering is an Earth Liberation Front spokesman. Andrew Stepanian and Rod Coronado, of course, are both convicted Animal Liberation Front criminals. Josh Harper is a former ALF spokesman.

Nyberg is either an idiot, a liar or both to claim that there’s no connection between the ELF/ALF and the Total Liberation 2004 tour.


Vegans, animal rights activists gather for tour. Jacob Conde, BYU NewsNet, July 15, 2004.

Organizers deny FBI claim that concert related to ecoterrorism. Associated Press.

Pickering on ELF

San Diego’s Channel 10 interviewed former Earth Liberation Front spokesman Leslie James Pickering in February in which the apologist for terrorism did an excellent job of summarizing the views of ELF extremists,

Violence is a necessary element of an oppressive struggle.

And certainly the ALF and ELF are nothing if not oppressive.

Pickering added that the goal of ELF activists should be nothing less than the overthrow of the United States government,

I don’t think they’re [ELF extremists] going far enough at all. They’re only part of a larger building revolutionary movement that won’t stop until it has a successful overthrow of this country.


Former ELF leader defends group’s efforts. TheSanDiegoChannel.Com, February 18, 2004.

Tom Foreman's Interview with Leslie James Pickering

Back in April, National Geographic ran an interview with former Earth Liberation Front spokesperson Leslie James Pickering that featured some interesting exchanges with National Geographic’s Tom Foreman.

Foreman does a nice job of bringing out what the Earth Liberation Front is ultimately opposed to,

Pickering: . . . We’re not gonna stop at what the system tells us to stop at, because it’s the system that’s causing the problems that we’re fighting against.

Foreman: What is the system?

Pickering: The system is the status quo, you know, the American lifestyle . . .

Foreman: . . . everything that’s not you?

Pickering: (laughs) The establishment is the American dream, this capitalist society that we’re living in, this imperialist society that we’re living in, the way of life that we’re taught to appreciate and aspire to. We (ELF) don’t value property, and profits and economic gain over health or over the natural environment or over the natural world.

Foreman also catches Pickering in an obviously hypocritical position,

Foreman: So as a tactic, this idea of burning buildings is a great idea?

Pickering: Oh, it’s excellent.

Foreman: Does it ever occur to you that you’re at an age in your life when many people wouldn’t trust you to manage the Wal-Mart — let alone decide the fate of the world? Do you ever say to yourself, “Maybe 15 years from now I’m gonna see this differently?”

Pickering: Of course, of course, and that’s just it, I’m not deciding the fate of the world at all.

Foreman: But you’re deciding the fate of people when you burn their places down?

Pickering: What I’m saying is that I am not letting you or anyone you represent decide the fate of my world.

At this point, Foreman should have asked Pickering if the latter believe that anyone with strong-felt political positions has the right to go out and burn down the homes of their opponents. Unfortunately, the interview ends there.


Q&A: Extreme Environmentalist on “Radical Change”. Tom Foreman, National Geographic, April 22, 2003.