No Compromise #12-14 (1999, Old Bridge, NJ and Santa Cruz, CA)
If I had to create a list of my favorite years in animal and earth liberation history, 1999 would be in the top 5. As the movement looked towards the new millennium there seemed to be an intense urgency in the air, perhaps people felt the need to close the 20th century with a bang or leave their mark before the world ended in a technological melt down on Y2K! Whatever the reasons, direct action reached a fever pitch. Lab raids returned to the United States, the Earth Liberation Front continued it’s ascendancy, Hillgrove farm was shut forever, and everyone seemed to be preparing for the World Trade Organization ministerial in Seattle. Across the globe there was a sense that people were not going to take it anymore, and whether you were struggling against bio-technology or prisons or speciesism, chances are good that you were employing some form of illegal tactic.
No Compromise may not have covered everything going on in the global struggle, but if it was animal lib related then chances are it was covered in these three issues. From the death of Alex Slack to end of the annual Hegins pigeon massacre, you’d be hard pressed to find a more complete overview of these twelve action packed months.
Underground 10-13 (1998 Ontario, Canada)
Our Underground collection continues its way into 1998, a somewhat bittersweet year for the movement. After a period of steady growth in both illegal direct action and militant grassroots activity, No Compromise editor and well known activist Freeman Wicklund denounced the ALF (and most forms of protest) at a large demonstration in southern California. His “new” perspective was merely a recycled, pro-animal form of pacifist strategy taken from Gene Sharpe, and he demanded that people take sides. Freeman was charismatic and many young people had first began their involvement after hearing him speak. They were now torn by his change of heart. Many people dropped out, and above ground pressure campaigns largely ground to a halt.
’98 also saw a continuation of the previous years snitching epidemic, but, as always, some positive developments buoyed our spirits and resolve. In Oregon, protestors jumped the fences at a farm which bred rabbits for vivisection, and soon the United States had it’s first daylight raid underway. Katie Fedor, an organizer with Minnesota’s Student Organization for Animal Rights, became the United States’ first ALF Press Officer in more than a decade, and soon she was speaking out in favor of sabotage and liberations in major media outlets on a regular basis. The conviction of the “GandALF 3” was suddenly overturned on grounds that they had not, in fact, conspired with person unknown to carry out unknown actions at unknown locations! Finally, good people with dedication and resolve rained hell down on animal abusers all year long, resulting in thousands of lives lived outside of cages. It’s hard to keep a good movement down.