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.
Arkangel #8-9 (1992. London, England.)
After serious problems with police raids and repression, Arkangel managed to produce two issues in 1992. The focus of the magazine was still the networking of local grassroots organizations and opinion pieces by members of the movement, but some wonderful morsels of history pop up between these covers. Beyond the charm of finding out where the graphics that we’ve been reprinting forever come from, you will also learn about the early days of the McLibel case, how the British government prepared for Ronnie Lee’s release from prison, and many other interesting tidbits.
What was of greatest interest to me, however, was a short article in issue #9 written by Sue Smith. Sue is an unsung hero of the animal liberation movement, one of the founders of the Band of Mercy, and an original ALF activist. She was never caught for illegal activity, and it was only after her death that her participation in direct action became known. There is little written about her, but her brief article gives us a tiny sense of her level of compassion and concern. If any of our readers have more information about Ms. Smith, please contact us.