First things first: A video of yesterday's Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on Eco/AR extremism and violence is available here (scroll down to October 26). Though I haven't yet had a chance to see it, I'm told Jerry Vlasak has "done incredible harm to the AR cause and himself":
BE SURE to watch the video on the committee's website, especially about 1 hour 20 minutes into it where Frank Lautenberg questions Vlasak. Incredible! It should be in the hands of every reporter covering the issue, in the hands of every citizen. [ . . . ]
Lautenberg is to be commended for demonstrating that the emperor has no clothes! We all should be writing notes of appreciation. Vlasak has done incredible harm to the AR cause and himself.
The mainstream media apparently continues to ignore Investment Terrorism, the sort of intimidation that SHAC evidently instilled in the heart of Catherine Kinney, President of the New York Stock Exchange, that caused her to precipitously "postpone" the listing of HLS on the Exchange at the last moment, without explanation.
One notable exception is Debra Saunders, who wrote another superb column, this one on the hearings, which appeared today:
"ALL AMERICANS took pride when the New York Stock Exchange reopened only four business days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks," Mark Bibi, a lawyer for Life Sciences Research, which tests drugs and chemical on animals, testified before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Wednesday. The committee was investigating the New York Stock Exchange's decision to pull a planned listing of Life Sciences on Sept. 7, after animal-rights extremists vandalized a members' yacht club. So Bibi opined, "A handful of animal extremists had succeeded where Osama bin Laden had failed." [My emphasis . . . ed]
The company was delisted in 2000 because of damage due to "economic terrorism," according to the Financial Times. Bibi and other execs were breakfasting at the NYSE on the morning of Sept. 7, preparing to celebrate the listing on the exchange, when NYSE officials abruptly announced they were postponing the listing.
At the time, NYSE President Catherine Kinney wouldn't say why. A lawyer she sent Wednesday to testify before the committee also refused to say why. He said the exchange is still considering a Life Sciences listing.
Deputy Assistant FBI Director John E. Lewis testified that, shortly after Carr Securities began marketing the Life Sciences stock, activists vandalized the yacht club, to which Carr biggies reportedly belonged. Carr cut all ties with Life Sciences. Later, the NYSE, once defiant in the face of terrorism, caved.
Interesting — Saunders correctly transferred Kinney's shameful, panic-stricken decision to the NYSE itself. Kinney's decision was the NYSE's decision.
Kinney's precipitous decision has discredited the institution she represents: she should resign.
Animal-rights fanatics have figured out that you beat medical research that uses animals not by going after the researchers, but by going after those who do business with the researchers. They cow Wall Street, not by flying into buildings, but by trashing members' clubs.
. . . which is how tertiary targeting works. These are the same tactics used so widely in the UK, and readers of AC will be aware of how AR extremists there terrorized an entire village for years, and whose tactics even included desecrating a grave.
Bibi knows what it is like to be a target. Anonymous thugs vandalized his house, smashed his car's windshield and made nasty phone calls to his home in the middle of the night.
Skip Boruchin, the only trader who refused to be scared out of business with Life Sciences Research, testified about the relentless intimidation he and his family endured. Activists painted his yard red with slogans such as "Skip is a murderer." On line, they called him a "child pornographer." One Web site instructed people to send sex toys to his ninetysomething mother at an assisted-living home. Another Web site listed the names, phone and Social Security numbers of 19 neighbors, and threatened to publicize information about their credit cards or medical history. [My emphasis . . . ed]
This is called tertiary targeting — it's essentially taking hostages.
Violence? Well, there were the two bombs set at Chiron's Emeryville offices in 2003. Agents believe the second bomb was timed to go off as first-responders arrived. The FBI also believes the violence is escalating.
Jerry Vlasak, a Southern California physician who is spokesman for the North American Animal Liberation Press Office, also testified Wednesday. Vlasak dismissed the intimidation of Boruchin and others as "getting a little spray paint on the wall."
Committee Chairman James Inhofe, R-Okla., questioned Vlasak about a statement Vlasak had made defending the assassination of medical researchers. Once again, Vlasak justified violence. For "people who are hurting animals and who will not stop when told to stop," he answered, one option would be murder, a "morally justifiable solution."
You can listen to Dr. Vlasak speak those words here.
If anti-abortion fanatics were behind this vandalism, the Life Sciences saga -- not to mention Vlasak's support for killing medical researchers -- would be the stuff of countless editorials. But because the fanatics say they stand for beagles -- not Bibles -- the cognoscenti barely take notice. They're too busy complaining about how GOP limits to federal funding might crimp research to notice that some zealots advocate killing medical researchers.
Yup — Ms Saunders has made this point before, and I can't help but think she's correct.
If animal-rights nuts can get away with this brand of personal intimidation, extremists of all ideologies will take note. What began in the rat-hugging left will grow on the extreme right and the extreme left.
Bibi sees his company's plight as a "test case for a whole new brand of activism through personal intimidation." And it's winning: Life Sciences Research still remains off the New York Stock Exchange. Terrorism works.
Vlasak testified, "The animal-rights movement has been notoriously nonviolent up to this point."
It sounds as if the days of the friendly spray-painting, bomb-setting, child-porn accuser and club-vandalizing rat-hugger may be over. No more Mr. Nice Guy.
Ouch. Saunders did herself proud.
I'll have more on this later.