Nice Try, FBI!

by Rabbit / Earth First! Newswire

Billboard located on I-95 in Lake Worth, FL, March 3, 2014

Billboard located on I-95 in Lake Worth, FL, March 3, 2014

Earlier today, an ally spotted a billboard along Interstate 95 in the city of Lake Worth, Florida—the current home of the Earth First! Journal. It is a “wanted” ad that offers an “Up To $250,000” reward for any snitch who turns Daniel Andreas San Diego in to the FBI.

For those who don’t know, Daniel is accused of having been a member of the Revolutionary Cells—Animal Liberation Brigade, a group that took responsibility for bombings at two California corporations in 2003—the Chiron Corporation and the Shaklee Corporation. Both targets were chosen because of their ties with the notoriously cruel animal testing company Huntingdon Life Sciences. The bombings caused property damage but not injuries.

In 2003, while under heavy surveillance, Daniel disappeared, and in 2009 he was added to the FBI’s Most Wanted terrorists list, which instigated a global search. Despite the efforts of the feds, as far as I know no one has seen Daniel since he walked away from his parked car in 2003.

So, why put this billboard up now, and why in Lake Worth—directly across the country from his last known location? Well, I suppose the implication is that Daniel is in the area, and therefore someone commuting in traffic might recognize him chilling on the beach and take it upon themselves to make a grip of money by screwing him over for life. Because, you know, if I was living underground with the global surveillance of the state nipping at my heels, I’d probably hide in the town of the main publishing hub for the Earth First! movement, one town over from Bite Back magazine—you know, where no one would think to look…

Although it’s frustrating and sometimes terrifying, it is also possible to make a funny little hobby out of observing the feds desperately grasp at terrorist straws down here in South Florida. They pull stunts like this all the time. For instance, last October I found myself involved in a set-up by the Department of Homeland Security and Florida State cops, who are accusing me and eight other protesters of violent acts (“attacking” a vehicle) during a Smash HLS protest outside of a primate breeding and transport facility. Just like their apparent wishful thinking as to Daniel’s current whereabouts, it’s clear they wanted us to be violent, but wishing won’t make it so. In the two cases that have wrapped up so far, neither protester was found guilty of violence. There are still seven others undergoing the trial process, some facing up to five years, for some bullshit dreamed up by a desperate government.

This is by no means the first time they’ve made these unfounded accusations of violence against animal rights activists in South Florida. In 2011, the FBI approached two people they believed had connections to local activists. One, a dog rescuer, was asked to inform on animal rights activists, whom the FBI said were going “too far” and who they “feared” would get “violent.” She was offered a reward for any information, but refused to snitch. In another case reported that same week, an FBI agent approached a web designer pretending to be a personal trainer in need of a new website. During a second meeting the agent revealed their need for information on animal rights activists, for which they promised to “pay really well.” But alas, this attempt failed as well.

And it’s not just animal rights activists getting spied on in South Florida. You may have heard of the recent incident where members of Everglades Earth First! and the Global Justice Ecology Project had the FBI called on them for giving a presentation at Palm Beach State College as part of their Genetically Engineered Tree Roadshow. The FBI reportedly called to warn that the presenters were known to be “disruptive.” A security guard was posted outside the classroom during the power point presentation, and the student who invited them was told that she must get permission before inviting the presenters to campus again. This occurred just days after the same folks had been banned from the University of Florida in Gainesville for three years, after trying to give the same educational presentation on genetically engineered trees.

Just like the billboard and the lawsuits, making threats against an educational roadshow is clearly a fear tactic. After all, if you can’t talk science at a school you were invited to speak at without being followed by the FBI, what can you do? The fear tactics of the police state are coming in increasingly absurd flavors. Let me give one more example: In late January, in apparent anticipation of the 2014 Earth First! Organizer’s Conference and Winter Rendezvous, Broward County Sheriffs advertised their lockbox deconstruction skills, including the use of chainsaws and jackhammers to tear away at pvc and concrete wrapped around the arms of protesters. This obvious attempt at intimidation clearly wasn’t too successful—less than a month later Earth First!ers locked down at the Florida Power and Light headquarters, blockading traffic from entering the driveway. Despite their “expert” training and power tools, it took police over two hours to remove the protesters. Mysteriously, no chainsaws or jackhammers were seen during the process.

Okay, this got a little long-winded. This is all to say: Thanks cops and feds. You may not protect us and you may not serve us, but you do make us belly laugh from time to time.

In honor of Daniel—may he ever be one step ahead of the bad guys—I’ve posted the Revolutionary Cell—Animal Liberation Brigade guidelines below. Peruse them at your leisure:

RCALB Guidelines:

1. To take strategic direct action (be it non-violent or not) against the oppressive institutions that permeate the world.
2. Make every effort to minimize non-target casualties, be they human or non-human.
3. Respect a diversity of tactics, whether they be non-violent or not.
4. Any underground activist fighting for the liberation of the humyn, earth or animal nations may consider themselves a Revolutionary Cells volunteer.

Oh, and Daniel, wherever you are—maybe don’t visit just yet.

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