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.
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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.