Kevin Tubbs, one of the six arrested on December 7, 2005 for a variety of Eco-terrorist acts, has a support group. Mr. Tubbs, as you may recall, has been charged with arson at Romania Chevrolet in Eugene and with the 1998 arson of a U.S. Department of Agriculture research center in Olympia, Washington.
(According to his mother, Mr. Tubbs "once worked for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals". Additionally, a reliable source tells me that PETA activists Kevin Tubbs and Matt Rossell were arrested for disrupting a cattle ranchers meeting in Des Moines, which took place on December 15, 1993. According to PeTA, Mr. Rossell once worked for the Oregon Regional Primate Research Center, quitting in 2000 after two years, claiming the Center was "a chamber of horrors." It's noteworthy that Mr. Rossell took the job after being busted with Mr. Tubbs, long after he'd become an Animal Rights activist — so when he joined the staff at the ORPRC, it was almost certainly to find or invent dirt on them. Mr. Rossell now evidently works for In Defense of Animals.)
In any event, here's what's on the support group's page, which is entitled "Statement of support from the family and friends of Kevin Tubbs":
On December 7th, our family's world was shattered to pieces with the news that our cherished and loved companion, son, brother and friend, Kevin Tubbs, was arrested and is facing outrageous charges that carry a potential life sentence. Because it is a politically charged case, our compassionate Kevin is being labeled a "terrorist," and we are in dismay over the possibility of a very harsh and unjust sentence if he is convicted.
Kevin is a uniquely gentle, loving person who is uncommonly generous to friends and strangers alike. He is not a violent person. He is a stable provider, beloved by all who know him. The picture painted in the media is not our Kevin and we will continue to stand by him through this nightmare.
Instead of a happy holiday celebration this Christmas, our family was stricken by grief. On the day Kevin was publicly humiliated by being taken away in handcuffs from his job of 6 years, his long-time girlfriend returned home to find their house ransacked, all of their presents ripped open and their terrified dogs locked in a tiny bathroom for most of the day. Right now, all of our lives are on hold, anxiously awaiting his return to us.
There follows contact information, and information on how one can contribute to Mr. Tubbs' defense.
Though it has yet to be determined if Mr. Tubbs is guilty or not, I am unmoved by such rhetoric, at least in the face of the information that is coming out about him and his colleagues.
He deserves the presumption of innocence, but if he's found guilty, he deserves a good long time behind bars. The tragedy then would be that he suckered himself into acting out violently in the name of an incoherent ideology.
Although I have not verified it yet, one source tells me that the support site's URL appeared in a bulletin issued by the Earth Liberation Prisoners Support network. The same source sent me a post indicating as much, which looks authentic, and which he says he mined from an AR bulletin board. And the ELP site helpfully lists him as one of "[t]he remaining new American ALF/ELF defendants."
Which brings me to my point: each of these six prisoners — well, 5 now, with the suicide of Mr. William Rodgers — is in a very ticklish position. Each must decide whether his/her interests are better served by being tied to the ELP or not, and whether they can negotiate themselves a reduced sentence, which might require flipping on someone else, someone involved in another "direct action."
By way of review, here's how things stand:
Mr. William Rodgers, of course, is in the next world by way of his own hand and a suffocating plastic bag he liberated from his jail's commissary. (Mr. Rodgers was charged in the arson of a USDA lab in Olympia, Washington; the Romania Chevrolet Truck dealership fire in Eugene OR; and the Superior Lumber Company arson. He and Ms Gerlach were also a suspects in the $12 million Vail arson, though neither has been charged.)
Mr. Daniel Gerald McGowan (aka Jamie Moran) has indicated he doesn't want ELP calling for his support. He (wisely, to my mind) wants to present the face of an independent soul, one working for social justice (and undoubtedly World Peace . . .) but is not affiliated with any radical group.
A source tells me that Ms Sarah Kendall Harvey also wants not to have ELP solicit support for her. But the ELP site nevertheless lists her along with Mr. Tubbs and Ms Gerlach as one of "[t]he remaining new American ALF/ELF defendants".
The ELP abandoned Mr. Stanilas Gregory Meyerhoff because he flipped and seems willing to bargain. That's a wise decision for him, but certainly bodes ill for several of the others who he is alleged to have committed crimes with (Mr. Meyerhoff is charged in the Superior Lumbar Co. arson with Mr. Rodgers [RIP] and Mr. McGowan [aka Moran]; in the arson of the Jefferson Poplar Farms with Ms. Gerlach; and in the toppling of a Bonneville Power Administration tower with Ms Gerlach and one Josephine Overaker, who's still at large).
Ms. Chelsea Dawn Gerlach is evidently accepting support from the ELP herself, or at least hasn't made any attempt to distance herself from them (she's listed on the ELP site as one of the American ALF/ELF defendants [op cit]).
The charges against Ms. Gerlach seem to place her in the deepest of quagmires (if convicted, she could face 290 years in prison). She is charged with the Childress Meat Packing arson; toppling the Bonneville tower; the Jefferson Poplar arson; and she is a suspect in the Vail arson. Her lawyer is seeking information that may assist her from a radical bulletin board.
So what we have here are many cracks forming in the solidarity of the alleged perps, both with one another and with any organization, like the ELP, that can damage them by association.
It seems to me that, assuming the ELP is actively supporting Mr. Tubbs' and claiming him as one of their own, his family and his real friends might want to rethink whether or not they like that and want it to continue. (Prosecutor: "Mr. Tubbs, if you aren't affiliated with the ALF/ELF people, why are you listed as an ALF/ELF prisoner on the ELP site? Did you ask them to remove your name from it? Why not?")
I think Mr. McGowan and Ms Harvey have the right idea: distance themselves from any semblance of connection with the ELP. I think Mr. Tubbs and Ms Gerlach are . . . well . . . playing with fire.