"True credit for this book goes to the Animal Liberation Front and other clandestine groups who risked their freedom for animals and gave this book over 1,300 entries. Without them, there would be no A.L.F. history. And without them, hundreds of thousands of animals would not have been saved." - Peter Young, editor
This document is a tribute to actions over words. Diary of Actions: T he First 30 Years is the first attempt at compiling the complete history of recorded A.L.F.actions - from lab raids to paint bombs - in one collection. This is the unwritten history of an underground movement that rises to the call of non-human animals, rescuing them through direct or indirect means under the cover of darkness. With this collection, we wish to offer historians and activists the first attempt at a comprehensive resume of the U.S.'s most prolific underground movement, and the last hope for thousands of animals each year.
The information compiled here was pooled from numerous sources. Every effort was made to verify the accuracy of the data, and ensure the thoroughness of this timeline's scope. It can be speculated that reported actions represent but only a portion of all A.L.F. (and other) activity. This is not presented as an all-inclusive list. Instead, it attempts to collect all actions reported to the greater movement, and many which were less publicized.
In bringing this information together in one place, some points become evident. The sheer prolificness of underground activists in this 30-year old movement is immense, with 1,353 recorded actions in 30 years. Of the 4,934 animals rescued from labs, 128, 314 released from fur farms, thousands of other animals liberated, and the unquantifiable effects of sabotage actions, fewer than 30 activists have been arrested. Of those, only a small handful have served any substantial amount of prison time. The cost / benefit calculation is clear: for the animal liberation movement, the A.L.F. represents a net gain.
The actions here are diverse, in both tactics and impact. Look closely at this time line, and it will tell a story. Direct action trends corresponding to above-ground campaigns. Cells building their skill level, evolving their tactics, and disbanding for reasons unknown. We see expertly coordinated lab raids of the 1980s fading to the surge of small-scale property damage of the mid-1990s, the further surge of fur farm raids, the return of the lab raid, the wave of HLS campaign actions, and the gradual fading of lower-impact retail-level actions into the less numerous, yet higher-impact actions in the era of this timeline's end.
The greatest power of the Animal Liberation Front perhaps has yet to be realized. While U.S. history has not yet shown us a focused direct action campaign that has collapsed an entire industry and rid it from this earth forever, let us not scale our hope to the limits of recorded history, but the boundless potential of the unwritten future. Every activist who attended an anti-fur demo this year pairing off and visiting a fur farm would guarantee there were no fur stores to protest next year. Every person who dined at a vegetarian restaurant today pairing off and visiting a slaughterhouse tonight would ensure every restaurant was vegetarian tomorrow. And every person who refused an animal tested
product today striking a high-impact blow against animal experimentation tonight would guarantee a more hopeful future for all of vivisection's victims.
This is the story of those who make animal liberation a reality.
Peter Young, editor