Are Feds Preparing Indictment Against Rodney Coronado?

San Diego City Beat recently reported that a federal grand jury investigating a August 1, 2003 fire at an apartment complex may be close to indicting convicted animal rights terrorist Rodney Coronado for violating a law passed after 9/11.

According to the City Beat, after 9/11, Congress made it a crime to,

teach or demonstrate the making or use of an explosive, a destructive device or a weapon of mass destructionÂ… with the intent that the teaching, demonstration or information be used forÂ… an activity that constitutes a federal crime of violence.

Over the past few years, Coronado has given dozens of speeches in which he concluded by showing audiences how to make an incendiary device. According to City Beat,

Coronado doesn’t deny that near the end of his talk at the LGBT Center in Hillcrest, where he spoke mostly about his history as an animal-rights activist, he picked up a container of apple juice from a nearby food table to “show that weapons [animal-rights activists] use are very simple devices.” It’s something he’s discussed in other public forums, he told CityBeat, to explain to his audience not only the “why” behind actions he’s carried out, but also the “how.”

“It’s always been in the sense that this is the most aggressive and extreme our movement gets,” he said. “It’s for people to understand that as much as the FBI says we’re a highly organized group, we aren’t.”

Coronado is also currently under indictment for allegedly destroying a mountain lion trap in Sabino Canyon, Arizona.


Imminent Indictment. Kelly Davis, San Diego City Beat, August 2005.

Profile of Researcher Who Spent Six Months in Jail to Protect Rodney Coronado

This month Alta Mira press published Skidmore College professor Rik Scarce’s book Contempt of Court: A Scholar’s Battle for Free Speech from Behind Bars describing the six months Scarce spent in jail for refusing to testify to a grand jury about his interviews with Rodney Coronado.

When he was a doctoral student at Washington State University, Scarce interviewed Coronado as part of research he was doing for his book, Eco-Warriors. Apparently, Scarce liked to keep his friend close and his research subjects closer, as Coronado was house-sitting for Scarce when the Animal Liberation Front broke into a lab at Washington State in 1991 and caused more about $150,000 in damages.

Not surprisingly, Scarce was subpoenaed in 1993 to testify before the grand jury investigating the Washington State attack. When he refused to answer questions put to him by the grand jury, U.S. District Court Judge William Fremming ordered Scarce jailed for contempt of court. Scarce remained imprisoned for 159 days when the judge decided further incarceration was unlikely to lead to Scarce testifying.

The Washington State University break-in was never solved.

Scarce’s story is, of course, interesting in part due to the recent jailing of New York Time’s reporter Judith Miller over her refusal to divulge information about sources to a grand jury investigating the disclosure of a CIA agent’s identity. This writer believes that there should simply be no shield protecting journalists or researchers from divulging information in the investigation of a crime. Scarce’s position is even more ridiculous, given that he clearly had a personal relationship with Coronado beyond any interviews he did with Coronado for his research (in fact, Scarce refused to even testify if he’d ever had any confidential conversations with Coronado, much less what those conversations might have included).

Scarce deserved the censure and imprisonment he received for trying to shield Coronado.

In an odd twist, after receiving his PhD, Scarce ended up teaching for a while at Michigan State University — Coronado, of course, was ultimately convicted of firebombing at lab at the university.

But Coronado’s subsequent conviction and advocacy of violence don’t stop Scarce and Coronado from getting together when the two appear the same animal rights extremist conferences. According to a 2004 State News article,

Last year, Scarce was reacquainted with Coronado for the first time in more than 10 years at a “Revolutionary Environmentalism” conference in California.

. . .

At that conference, Scarce spent about an hour with Coronado in his hotel room, getting reacquainted.

“We had just the most wonderful talk,” Scarce said. “He is continuing to think deeply about the environmental movement and what it is all about.”

Yeah, that must have been a scintillating conversation.


‘Scared to death,’ but kept his word. Dennis Yusko, Times Union, July 22, 2005.

Can Scholars Protect Confidential Sources? Peter Monaghan, The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 7, 1999.

Rodney Coronado On His Recent Legal Troubles

In 2004, convicted animal rights arsonist Rodney Coronado, 38, was arrested after he and fellow Earth First activist Matthew Crozier, 32, along with Esquire writer John Richardson, allegedly entered Sabino Canyon, Arizona, and destroyed a mountain lion trap. Coronado faces up to seven years in jail.

All three were charged with federal misdemeanor trespassing on national forest land, interfering with a forest officer and violation of a special closure order (the canyon had been closed by officials due to the threat from aggressive mountain lions). Coronado and Crozier were also charged with federal felony conspiracy to impede or injure an officer. The state of Arizona also charged Coronado and Crozier with misdemeanor charges related to their removal of the trap and a sensor set up near the trap.

On the federal charges, which are clearly the most serious, Coronado could spend six and a half years in prison. And Coronado does not even bother to pretend he might be not guilty — in fact, he’s downright proud of what he did.

In an essay published in animal rights extremist magazine No Compromise, Coronado writes (emphasis added),

. . . While 2004 marked my fifth year out of prison, it was also the year that finally saw my re-arrest by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Something those bastards have been trying to do since 1999, when I walked out the gates of the Federal Correctional Institution in Tucson. My arrest wasn’t unexpected. As with many a practitioner of nonviolent civil disobedience, my actions were taken with a full understanding of the consequences I faced should I be arrested for opposing and interfering with this occupying government’s efforts to kill mountain lions last March.

Thank you, bastards at the FBI!

Coronado goes on to erase any doubt that he is guilty of the crimes of which he is accused (emphasis added),

When it came down to the lions versus the combined guns, snares, ground sensors, helicopters, hounds and 4×4 trucks of taxpayer-supported professional hunters, I found out who were the lionsÂ’ real friends and who really believed in animal liberation and deep ecology. Like many a direct action I have participated in, the people I patrolled that canyon with are some of the bravest and most beautiful people I know. ItÂ’s for these reasons my friends and I are now being threatened with seven years in federal prison. Because a few of us were not willing to sit back and watch as our public lands and wildlife were destroyed to once again assuage human fears of the uncontrollable wild in a never-ending invasion.

And I was, still am and always will be proud to be able to take such a stance against overwhelming odds when the people and places I love are being threatened or destroyed. It is with such honor, that I snuck into Sabino Canyon night after night, past federal officers patrolling for native wildlife whose only offense was not enough fear of humans and continuing to hunt in their occupied homelands. When we choose to be warriors of the Earth and her Animal Nations we accept that it might be our own lives and freedom that are one day threatened or taken away. That is the way for every generation of warrior and protector whose duty it is to protect home and family.

This gives us a nice insight into just how nutty Coronado was. When he referred to the “occupying government” above, I originally assumed he was making about related to his Native American activism. But no, as he makes clear, it is the lions themselves whose “homeland” is occupied by the government — although Coronado apparently is unconcerned about the sanctity “homelands” of the prey that the mountain lion hunts! Some “Animal Nations” are apparently more equal than others.

Coronado then complains that his fellow activists aren’t emulating his illegal ways sufficiently (emphasis added),

As IÂ’ve said before, IÂ’m proud to be an enemy of the United States. The enemy of a global invader that allows terrorism to happen on a daily basis. A regime that routinely allows not only the torture of animals in its licensed and regulated laboratories, but people in its military concentration camps as well. IÂ’m not surprised by any of this behavior, its what you come to expect from people who since their arrival have always used violence and terror to achieve their objectives.

The only thing that surprises me about it all is that there are not more of the many people I have met over the last twenty years of this struggle fighting here beside me. While a couple of those dear comrades sit in prison or are under federal indictment, many more hide amongst the society responsible for the violence we oppose, enjoying the privileges won with the very kind of terror they supposedly oppose.

So this is my question to you. How bad do things have to get before you are willing to fight back? And IÂ’m not talking about anything you do in front of a computer or that involves music bands, pamphlets, puppets or patches, IÂ’m talking about fighting back as if it was your own life under attack. Its not about who else is doing it among movements, groups or friends, when will you be ready to be the first? To do what the law says is wrong, but what you know in your heart is right. That has been and always will be the way peoplesÂ’ voices are heard, not through doing what is popular and polite, but a stand that however unpopular, allows you to exist as a part of a solution to it all, a life free from the liberal first world guilt felt by the aware but apathetic within different movements for social change. A stand that says to one and all, that you as one human being will not allow injustice to go unchallenged, despite the threatened consequences by those perpetuating it.

I couldn’t agree more. What we need are more animal rights extremists in jail and under federal indictment rather than enjoying the privileges of our society. Come on, guys and gals — step up to the plate and really stick it to the animal oppressors by going to prison. That’ll show ’em.

With any luck, Coronado can set a shining example in a federal prison for the next several years.


Fighting Back: Crimes of Resistance. Rodney Coronado, No Compromise, March 3, 2005.

2 mountain lion activists face new counts of theft. Patty Machelor, Arizona Daily Star, March 29, 2005.

Scared of lions? So move, activist says. Tony Davis, Arizona Daily Star, March 27, 2004.

Australian Minister Accuses PETA of Involvement with Terrorist Groups

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals recently threatened to sue Australia’s Agricultural Minister Warren Truss after Truss accused the animal rights group of providing aid and comfort to animal and environmental terrorists.

Truss apparently cited testimony by the Center for Consumer Freedom about PETA’s alleged involvement with the Animal Liberation Front and Earth Liberation Front. CCF reprinted part of Truss speech which said,

But even more concerning, it has been alleged in a US Senate hearing by the same organization that PETA has provided aid and comfort to people associated with two groups considered domestic terrorist threats by the FBI — the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) and the Animal Liberation Front (ALF).

According to the FBI, the two groups have been responsible for more than 600 crimes since 1996, causing more than $43 million in damage. The ALF even brags on its website that the two groups committed “100 illegal direct actions” — like blowing up four-wheel-drives, destroying the brakes on seafood delivery trucks, and planting firebombs in restaurants — in 2002 alone.

PETA lawyer Jeff Kerr threatened to sue Truss calling the claims part of a smear campaign by a “discredited group.”

If the statements are untrue and part of a smear campaign, then why hasn’t PETA sued the Center for Consumer Freedom for making the same statements for several years now? Perhaps PETA doesn’t think it would help to go into court only to have CCF show PETA’s own 2001 tax return showing a $15,000 donation to the Earth Liberation Front. Or maybe it doesn’t want to be reminded of Ingrid Newkirk’s odd behavior in the Rodney Coronado case which was cited in the government’s sentencing memo (emphasis added),

Forensic evidence discovered during the investigation confirmed that Coronado played an important role in planning and executing the ALF’s campaign of terrorism. Investigators learned that immediately before and after the MSU arson, a Federal Express package had been sent to a Bethesda, Maryland address from an individual identifying himself as “Leonard Robideau”. The first package went to Ingrid Newkirk, PETA’s founder.

. . .

Significantly, Newkirk had arranged to have the package delivered to her days before the MSU arson occurred.

Not to mention quotes from everyone from Bruce Freidrich to Dan Mathews to Newkirk herself expressing approval for actual acts of violence and destruction and anticipation that more such acts might be forthcoming.

I suspect that this lawsuit will have the same sort of longevity as PETA’s lawsuit against New Jersey over another PETA attorney’s violent altercation with a deer.


PETA may sue over Truss’ terror comments. Australian Associated Press, March 3, 2005.

Not A G’Day For PETA Down Under. Press Release, Center for Consumer Freedom, March 4, 2005.

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.

Rodney Coronado and Journalist Formally Accused of Illegally Dismantling Trap

A federal complaint was issued this month against animal rights terrorist Rodney Coronado and Esquire journalist John Richardson who were arrested on March 24 for allegedly dismantling a mountain lion trap in Sabino Canyon, Arizona.

On March 9, 2004, the U.S. Forest Service closed Sabino Canyon and began setting traps for mountain lions after reports of aggressive lions in the area that were deemed a threat to public safety.

A trial in the case is scheduled for June 3, and Coronado and Richardson could face up to 6 months in jail if convicted.


Complaint: Writer Helped Disable Trap. Associated Press, March 10, 2004.