Bite Back – Issues 1-2 (1999, Bristol, England)
One of at least four publications to share the same moniker, this version of Bite Back came into being at the turn of the century. Glossy, full magazine sized, and free, Bite Back was a wonderful tool for reporting on the exciting campaigns of its era. Anyone interested in pressure campaigning will enjoy the brief articles, updates, and images from Hillgrove, Shamrock, Regal Rabbits, and Huntingdon Death Sciences.
We have very little information about this publication and do not know if there were subsequent issues. If you have more information please contact us HERE.
SEAL (Straight Edge Animal Liberation) Issue # 3 (1996, Apple Valley, MN)
Well, let’s see here: collegiate lettering, gratuitous X’s, Earth Crisis worship, and “True Till Death.” This cover hit’s every checklist point for a straight edge vegan publication in the 90’s. It then continues with exactly what you’d expect on the inside: moral peacockery, anti-abortion bullshit, and an unwillingness to confront any of the failings of “The New Ethic’s” tendencies towards unethical behavior. Anti-gay bigots are given space to distribute literature, Hardline bands are reviewed, all sans criticism for their abhorrent political leanings.
That said, this isn’t a complete waste of ink. There is a long interview with Freeman Wicklund before his split with militancy that details three years of exciting activity in Minneapolis, activity which led to the publication of No Compromise and the escalation of direct action amongst the animal lib grassroots. Anyone seeking to understand the movement’s mid-90’s shift would do well to read Wicklund’s words. There are also interesting nostalgic tid-bits for those of us who were around during this time, like advertisements for Amy from NJ ADL’s well known zine Anxiety Closet.
Do you have other issues of SEAL? We would love to obtain and preserve them. Please contact us HERE if you can help.
Arkangel #10-11 (1993-1994. London, England.)
The early 1990s were a tumultuous time for the movement in England. Hunters began hiring professional security services to beat and harass saboteurs, the violence became so extreme that when Tom Worby was murdered by a hunt masters vehicle, the hunters nearby laughed and mocked his death. The hopefulness of the 1980s was fading away, and campaigners were becoming more hardened, which in turn led to a decline in public support as groups like the Justice Department began sending out small mail bombs. Many organizations were mired in infighting over strategy and issues of class and race. And then there was the problem of repression. Scotland Yard’s Animal Rights National Index had gathered detailed profiles on over 21,000 animal liberationists by 1990, and their spying on the movement was only set to intensify.
Through it all a dedicated core of individuals forged ahead and took animals from places of abuse, educated others about the plight of non-humans, and spread the message of compassionate action across oceans and artificial borders. Arkangel tells the story, and we are happy to continue our posting of the complete set here on TALON.
Do Or Die #1-10 (1993-2003, Brighton, England.)
A few years ago a friend asked me if I had a complete set of Do or Die, the British Earth First! publication that inspired and incited eco-warriors throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. At one time I did have them, but they had long since been stolen by a Joint Terrorism Task Force.
After a brief discussion, we decided that Do or Die was too important to fade into obscurity. We began tracking down each issue, and decided that while we were at it we ought to archive some other publications as well. That effort is how this web site began, and now, thanks to 56a infoshop of South London and Tim @ NEDS Northampton, we can finally share the very rare issue #2. This completes our collection, and our original mission as well.
When read as a set, Do or Die is a chronicle of people from across the globe counter-striking capitalism, ecocide, and the state. Each issue is better than the last, but more importantly, each page is a spark licking at the fuse of the bomb that is your heart. Once lit, you’ll know that these pages are not mere history, but a reminder that we can explode onto the world stage like the fighters before us have. Do or die, now is the time to rise.
Animal Liberation Through Direct Action – (Date of publication unknown, likely 1998. Country of origin unknown, likely England)
Animal Liberation Through Direct Action was one of the better primers available in the 1990s. Designed for activists who had never before participated in illegal actions, the pamphlet discusses the basic security, surveillance, and planning necessary to carry out liberations and economic sabotage. It also includes a brief history of the movement, a first hand account of a mink farm raid, and statements from various ALF cells.
Sabotage : A Comic / Zine About The Fine Art Of Hunt Sabotage (1992 – Cardiff, UK)
Produced by the Vale and Valleys Hunt Sabs, this short zine provides exactly what the title suggests. The interior has articles and comics from a wide cross section of saboteur subcultures, from crusties to older folks in white tennis shoes. The quality of the content is all over the map as well, but still makes for an interesting look at sabbing culture and technique in the early 1990s.
S.A.R.P. Newsletter #12-15 (1993 – Northampton, England)
Only a few short years after reforming Support Animal Rights Prisoners, the contributors to the project (primarily Barry Horne) threw in the towel. Their raison d’être was being fulfilled by the ALF SG newsletters, and Barry felt as if the group wasn’t having the unifying, inspirational impact that he had hoped for. The final issue, mostly written by press officer Robin Webb, starts off light and positive, but ends with an angry missive from Horne accusing most activists of being mere radical t-shirt collectors rather than actual radicals. Across the span of decades and beyond even his own death, this stab at those unwilling to fight for liberation still hits its mark. It is a sad ending to an information packed publication, but not every issue of this last year of SARP is so intense. Tiny fragments of our history fall off these pages like gold dust- collect them together and you have a treasure. Barry might have died on hunger strike, but he did not leave us behind. His words and actions will continue to remind us where we came from, and for whom we fight. Rest in peace, comrade, and thank you for all you have given us…
Undercover ALF video: Broadview Egg Farm (1998. Burlington, WA)
Throughout the mid to late 1990’s at least one illegal direct action happened somewhere in the United States every day. Many of these actions were somewhat futile- at least on their face. While it is true that a glued lock or a spray painted wall means very little to companies like McDonalds, it is also true that no one is born with the skill set to make revolutionary change for non-humans. We can only learn through trial and error, and gaining the confidence to undertake bigger actions often starts with something small like breaking a window.
Fortunately, actions that are unlikely to gain public sympathy aren’t the only low-risk way to build confidence and save lives. Consider, for example, egg farms. Although egg consumption in the United States is declining, battery farms are still everywhere. They are easy to find, largely unprotected, and simple to enter. The animals housed on these farms are in desperate need of liberation, and the only difficulty in doing so is finding them homes. In today’s era of urban chickens, this is getting easier. Any vegan with a back yard and the resources to buy or build simple housing could provide one of these beautiful creatures with a better life.
In 1998 one small group of people decided to raid an egg farm in Burlington, Washington. They shot a video of the action and distributed it to media outlets and supportive activists. Most of the news coverage was positive, 11 chickens were saved from a short life of misery and imprisonment, and I like to imagine that the action had a positive, skill building effect on the activists themselves.
Presented below is the video itself, along with the media statement sent by the rescuers.
S.A.R.P. Newsletter #6-11 (1992 – Northampton, England)
One of the big frustrations of working on the TALON site is that the materials we archive contain so much information it becomes difficult to organize and contextualize it all. Our posting of the Barry Horne SARP newsletter revival has made this sense of frustration more distinct than ever.
1992 was an eventful year for the movement: Mike Hill was murdered by hunter Alan Summersgill, the Doddlestone six were arrested protesting that murder, in North America Darren Thurston was arrested, Ronnie Lee was released, Kieth Mann was on remand and just about to escape from prison… This is just the tip of the iceberg as far as the significant events that took place over twelve long months twenty one years passed. We could spend pages discussing how these incidents shaped the future, how recent revelations about police informants in the UK have changed our understanding of old arrests, and so on. Unfortunately there is no time to pull at all of these strings- but the SARP newsletters certainly will provide inquisitive readers with many threads of their own to pull. From details of Operation Fox to “Laugh Along with the ALF,” each newsletter if filled with intriguing bits of our collective history.
Rage And Reason (First edition publication date and location unknown. AK Press edition: 1998, San Francisco, CA)
Despite assurances from Ingrid Newkirk and Steven Seagal to the contrary, this book just isn’t all that good. Marketed as an animal rights revenge novel (complete with former Special Forces commandos skinning furriers) Rage and Reason was banned in some countries upon its initial release. The hype over these bans fueled great curiosity among those of us in North America who were having a difficult time obtaining a copy. In 1998 AK Press produced a new edition which immediately landed with a dull thud in the movement. We all bought and read R&R at the same time, and a few days later one could feel the collective disappointment.
I will not ruin the “surprise” for those of you have have yet to read the book, but… well, shit. Let’s just say that if you find yourself enjoying the story, brace yourself for the cop out coming in the final pages. Also: non-vegan protagonists in an animal liberation murder story? Yeah, they’ve got the dedication to risk life sentences for beheading CEO’s of agri-businesses, but they just can’t stop eating yogurt! Pfft!