Earth Liberation Front and Arsonist "Support Committees" Funded By PETA, Says Center for Consumer Freedom
From: Mike Burita of the Center for Consumer Freedom, 202-463-7112
WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 -- In the wake of this week's congressional hearings on eco-terrorism, new evidence shows a close relationship between the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the violent Earth Liberation Front (ELF). The FBI has labeled ELF as "the largest and most active U.S.-based terrorist group."
Richard Berman, Executive Director for the Center for Consumer Freedom, said the financial links between PETA and ELF are very disturbing. "An investigation of IRS documents shows that over the past 6 years PETA has given significant money to the legal support funds of criminals with close affiliations to both ELF and Animal Liberation Front (ALF)," Berman said. "More shocking is our most recent discovery of a direct donation to Earth Liberation Front from PETA in April 2001."
PETA's 1995-2000 IRS tax filings show the following:
In FY2000, PETA gave a direct contribution of $1500 to the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) to "support their program activities."
In FY2000, PETA gave $5000 to the "Josh Harper Support Committee." Josh Harper is an ALF-affiliated criminal arrested numerous times and convicted for assaulting a police officer. In 1998, Harper told Eugene Weekly newspaper "we're going to continue to be confrontational, we're going to continue to be militant. If people see that as extreme, then so be it."
In FY1999, PETA gave $2,000 to David Wilson, a Utah-based animal-rights extremist who was then a national "spokesperson" for the ALF. In March of that year, Wilson bragged to Mother Jones magazine: "We started with animal rights, but we've expanded to wildlife actions like the (October 1998 ski resort arson) one in Vail. We're the ones bridging the environmental gap."
In FY1995, PETA gave a $45,200 contribution to the "support committee" of Rodney Coronado, a convicted arsonist who firebombed a research facility at Michigan State University. PETA also gave an unreturned $25,000 "loan" to Rodney Coronado's father.
PETA has used their closely controlled Foundation to Support Animal Protection to launder over $500,000 in contributions to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, an organization whose president collaborates with a violent animal rights group known as Stop Huntington Animal Cruelty (SHAC). SHAC is a special-interest subset of ALF responsible for firebombings, property destruction, grand theft and assault.
"People are being deceived by PETA's self-portrayal as a warm and cuddly animal rights organization," Berman said. "PETA should explain to their contributors why their money is being used to help finance domestic terrorism."
------ The Center for Consumer Freedom is a coalition of more than 30,000 restaurants and tavern operators working together to protect the public's right to a full menu of dining and entertainment choices, through education, training and public outreach. To learn more, visit www.consumerfreedom.com.