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.
No Compromise 23-26 (2004, Santa Cruz / San Francisco, CA)
One of the lessons that archiving old animal liberation publications has taught me is that the most extreme actions have rarely produced much in the way of results for animals. A public that already sees veganism as odd might still see the value of rescuing animals from a laboratory, but will never support a car bombing. When innocents are injured, or when murder was the goal, the backlash starts to creep into our own ranks, and as we fracture law enforcement and industry groups take advantage. In the end, I can think of no bombing (or contamination, or grave robbing, etc.) which advanced the cause of animal rights more than it harmed it. This is not to say that bombings and the like could never be successful. At later stages of many revolutionary struggles, when the majority of the public supports the cause, bombs can clear away in one night what years of protest could not. While a movement is in its infancy, however, it could be argued that more often than not bombs blow up in our faces.
And so it was in 2004 when a group calling itself the Revolutionary Cells Animal Liberation Brigade carried out two bombings of HLS related targets in California. The movement was left to make lemonade from truly shitty lemons, and No Compromise did their best to mitigate the harm of the actions while keeping activists focused on the real enemy.
The year continued with the indictment of the SHAC 7, the emergence of Austria as a leader in the movement, and some exciting open rescues. Sarahjane Blum and Ryan Shapiro’s organization, GourmetCruelty.com, carried out one such operation that piqued public interest and eventually resulted in a sympathetic program on Animal Planet. Elsewhere Gina Lynn was imprisoned for defying the Seattle grand jury, Billy Cottrell was arrested for a massive SUV dealership arson, and the Universtiy of Iowa was treated to the most sophisticated lab raid to occur since the early 90s.
Every time we post a year of No Compromise we say the same thing: that this is essential reading for those who wish to understand the recent history of our movement. This posting is no exception. No Compromise was the best AR publication of its era, and 2004 saw the publication refining its strengths and providing their readers with four of the best issues yet.
In memory of Jill Phipps.
On February 1st of 1995 our movement lost one of it’s shining lights to the tires of a truck transporting baby cows to slaughter. Jill Phipps, a former member of the Eastern Animal Liberation League, was trying to block the road to prevent the murder of those young calves when the driver chose to run her over.
Across the world people were outraged, and even mainstream publications in England ran articles with headlines proclaiming Jill a martyr- but to think of her in that light is an over simplification. Jill was the smiling face at street stalls who introduced many people to the concept of animals rights, a second generation militant in a family of deeply committed liberationists, a participant in raids that caused economic damage to those who harmed non-humans, and a mother who stood trial for ALF activity while she was still pregnant. By all accounts she was a sincere, friendly, and inspiring person whose willingness to sacrifice for the oppressed knew no bounds. If we are ever to bring about Jill’s dream of a world free from speciesism we must all aspire to emulate her level of commitment, passion, and caring.
Every year on the first day of February animal rights activists all over the world remember Jill, but remembering is not enough. A faithful tribute to our fallen comrade requires action, and we ask that our readers dedicate their activism and resistance this month to Jill Phipps.
Do Or Die #5 (1995, Brighton, England)
The story of Earth First! in the United States is well documented and frequently repeated, and someday it will certainly make it’s way to digital distribution here on Conflict Gypsy. (Scanning those hundreds of copies of EF! Journal is going to put our volunteers into early graves if we are not careful, so don’t expect to see a full set anytime soon!) Until that time it is our pleasure to delve into the history of Earth First! elsewhere in the world, starting in England and the other places still under colonial rule known as the “United Kingdom.”
Beginning in 1991 there was an explosion in activism across the pond. Wilderness, urban environmental, anti-road, alternative transportation, animal liberation, anarchist, squatters rights, and other specialized, single issue activist realms began to coalesce into an exciting new mass. The origins of this widespread movement had broad roots. Some trace its beginnings to the poll tax riots, others say it was government crack downs on raves, squats, and social centers. Where ever it came from, it grew within a few short years into a spectacular and inspiring mess for the status quo!
From encampments protecting wild areas, to sabotage, to street protests that took over whole city centers, the UK suddenly seemed alive with resistance. While never reaching a size that threatened the powers that be, these outbursts of love and aggression were never the less refreshing to those of us in the United States longing for a similar explosion in revolutionary zeal. Suddenly, Do Or Die became the must read publication that no-one could quite seem to get their hands on!
Professionally bound and book sized, each issue of DoD contained news, research and analysis about the exploits of radical activists worldwide. Conflict Gypsy will be posting a full set of these journal format prizes as they become available to us. The earliest issue in our collection, #5, contains lengthy articles on the live export protests that eventually ended with the death of Jill Phipps, the NO M65 campaign, and virtually everything else worth noticing in Europe in 1995. If you have earlier editions of DoD, please contact us at conflictgypsy (at) gmail (dot) com