Random clips (1996 and 1998, various locations.)
Speciesism is so entrenched that your average person sees nothing wrong with the anal electrocution of a mink in order to steal their fur. This same person, however, will scream bloody murder over an empty building being set alight to prevent such torture. Our society habitually denounces those who resist our everyday cruelties, until somehow logic manages to penetrate and suddenly the rebels are seen as being right all along. At one point in the United States the majority of (invading European) citizens saw nothing wrong with human slavery, and newspapers shouted their outrage over slave revolts, the underground railroad, and the burning of auction blocks that sold thousands of people into bondage. Through the efforts of generations of abolitionists, however, the tide was eventually turned, and none of those aforementioned papers would now dream of supporting the slave trade. The rebels who were hated by the public, who were jailed and hanged and ridiculed to the delight of the media, are now seen as heroes.
There are, of course, very real differences between the movements to end human and non-human slavery, but the role of the media has remained very much the same. Luckily our movement has had, from time to time, articulate spokespeople who can explain why direct action is taken on behalf of animals. In the 1990s Freeman Wicklund, then the publisher of No Compromise magazine, would act as a press liaison in order to explain the motives of the underground. Later, Katie Fedor would start the North American Animal Liberation Front Press Office. Working closely with former ALF prisoners and the Canadian SG, she appeared regularly on television defending the actions of anonymous saboteurs. (As an interesting side note, Kevin Kjonaas once interned for Katie’s press office, and actually received college credits for defending the ALF!)
We present here several news clips featuring Freeman and Katie in the 90s doing one of the hardest jobs a good press officer must do: defending the use of arson to save animals.