Earth Liberation Front
Earth Liberation Front Communiques
We include in this anthology the following Earth Liberation Front communiques, along with the official ELF introduction to its philosophy, ELF guidelines, and an interview with an anonymous ELF member We include these communiques nett because we favor or support the ELF more than other revolutionary groups, but because as yet this is the most complete collection of communiques available, one that has not been published together and is not presently available on the Internet. As these communiques are important for scholarly research and activist reflection, this text has historical and political significance. We gratefully acknowledge the ELF Press Office, which gave us these communiques to publish here.
About the E.L.F
The Earth Liberation Front is an international underground movement consisting of autonomous groups of people who carry out direct action according to the KTF guidelines. Since 1997, E.L.F. Lells have carried out dozens of actions resulting in close to $100 million in damages.
Modeled after the Animal Liberation Front, the E.L.F. is structured in such a way as to maximize effectiveness. By operating in ce]]s (small groups that consist of one to several people), the security of group members is maintained. Each cell is anonymous not only to the public but also to one another. This decentralized structure helps keep activists out of jail and free to continue conducting actions.
As the E.L.F. structure is non-hierarchical, individuals involved control their own activities. There is no centralized organization or leadership tying the anonymous cells together. Likewise, there is no official "membership." Individuals who choose to do actions under the banner of the E.L.F. are driven only by their personal conscience or decisions taken by their cell while adhering to the stated guidelines.
Who are the people carrying out these activities? Because involved individuals are anonymous, they could be anyone from any community. Parents, teachers, church volunteers, your neighbor, or even your partner could be involved. The exploitation and destruction of the environment affects all of us—some people enough to take direct action in defense of the earth.
Any direct action to halt the destruction of the environment and adhering to the strict nonviolence guidelines, listed below, can be considered an E.L.F. action. Economic sabotage and property destruction fall within these guidelines.
Earth Liberation Front Guidelines
To inflict economic damage on those profiting from the destruction and exploitation of the natural environment.
To reveal and educate the public on the atrocities committed against the earth and all species that populate it.
To take all necessary precautions against harming any animal, human and non-human.
There is no way to contact the E.L.F. in your area. It is up to each committed person to take responsibility for stopping the exploitation of the natural world. No longer can it be assumed that someone else is going to do it. If not you who, if not now when?
Earth Liberation Front FAQ
Q: Aren't there environmental groups to take care of these problems?
A: Yes, but obviously they're not getting the job done otherwise there wouldn't be houses for us to burn down! All successful movements in history have had a variety of methods, from education all the way to direct action.
Q: Are you terrorists?
A: No, we condemn all forms of terrorism. A common definition of terrorism is "to reduce to a state of fear or terror." We are costing them money. If change falls out of your pocket, you are not in a state of fear or terror. If you give money to the homeless, you are losing money, but you are not being terrorized. Even if your house is robbed, you are not being terrorized. We are non-violent. Houses were checked for all forms of life, and we even moved a propane tank out of the house all the way across the street just because—in worst case scenario—the firefighters could get hurt. We show solidarity with our firefighters, and we are sorry to wake you up in the middle of the night. Don't be mad at us, be mad at urban sprawl. We encourage all citizens to donate generous contributions this year to your local volunteer firefighters.
Q: Don't companies have the right to property?
A: We are just trying to cause the rich sprawl corporations enough money so they stop destroying the planet, and thus the health, well-being, and ex- istencc of humankind. Corporations do not have rights. Humans do. Corporations lost their "right" to property the second the earth's inhabitants lost their freedom to life and happiness. Cancer is not happiness. Dead animals are not life. Polluted air and mudslides affect people s lives. Property is theft.
Q: Why don't you use legal methods?
A: They don't work as well. Mahatma Gandhi disobeyed the law to free his people. Harriet Tubman used illegal methods to free slaves on the Underground Railroad. Nelson Mandela even used violent methods to end the Apartheid. John Brown killed slaveowners and raided a federal arsenal to try to start a slave revolt. How many successful movements in history can you think of off the top of your head that came about only by education? How do you "protest" against slavery? Holding signs and handing out Hy- ers on southern plantations? Today, these "unlawful" people are all seen as martyrs, and someday we will too. Try to realize this NOW. Not all laws are just. Malcolm X says "By Any Means Necessary" in order to obtain freedom. But, we do not hurt people, we never have in our long history, and we never will. We respect all life, even our worst enemies that give us cancerous drinking water. (If someone is going to shoot you in the back six times, do you nicely, kindly ask him to shoot you only three or four times? No, you frcakin' turn around and punch them in the face, grab the gun from them, and shove it up their ass!)
The earth isn't dying, it's being killed, and those who are killing it have names and addresses.
What are YOU doing for the earth tonight?
No Compromise In Defense of Our Earth!
Stop Urban Sprawl Or We Will.
March 14, 1997 Mackenzie River watershed, OR
Tree spiking at Robinson-Scott timber harvest site in the Mackenzie River watershed, Willamette National Forest. Joint ALF / ELF claim.
Welcome to the struggle of all species to be free.
We are the burning rage of this dying planet. The war of greed ravages the earth and species die out every day. E.L.F. works to speed up the collapse of industry, to scare the rich, and to undermine the foundations of the state. We embrace social and deep ecology as a practical resistance movement. We have to show the enemy that we are serious about defending what is sacred. Together we have teeth and claws to match our dreams.
Our greatest weapons are imagination and the ability to strike when least expected.
Since 1992 a series of earth nights and Halloween smashes has mushroomed around the world. 1000s of bulldozers, powerlines, computer systems, buildings and valuable equipment have been composted. Many E.L.F. actions have been censored to prevent our bravery from inciting others to take action.
We take inspiration from Luddites, Levellers, Diggers, the Autonome squatter movement, the A.L.F., the Zapatistas, and the little people-those mischievous elves of lore. Authorities can't see us because they don't believe in elves. We are practically invisible. We have no command structure, no spokespersons, no office, just many small groups working separately, seeking vulnerable targets and practicing our craft.
Many elves are moving to the Pacific Northwest and other sacred areas. Some elves will leave surprises as they go. Find your family! And lets dance as we make ruins of the corporate money system.
Form "stormy night" action groups, encourage friends you trust. A tight community of love is a powerful force.
check out targets that fit your plan and go over what you will do
powerlines: cut supporting cables, unbolt towers, and base supports, saw wooden poles.
transformers: shoot out, bonfires, throw metal chains on top, or blow them up.
computers: smash, burn or flood buildings.
Please copy and improve for local use.
October 21, 1998 Vail, CO
On Wednesday, October 21 st 1998 the Earth Liberation Front released a communique to the Sheriff's Department, the Owners of Vail Inc. and various media, allegedly from an anonymous Massachusetts Institution of Technology internet address claiming responsibility for what became known as the "largest act of eco-terrorism in US history."
"ATTN: News Director, On behalf of the lynx, five buildings and four ski lifts at Vail were reduced to ashes on the night of Sunday, October 18th. The 12 miles of roads and 885 acres of clearcuts will ruin the last, best lynx habitat in the state. Putting profits ahead of Colorado's wildlife will not be tolerated. This action is just a warning. We will be back if this greedy corporation continues to trespass into wild and unroaded areas. For your safety and convenience, we strongly advise skiers to choose other destinations until Vail cancels its inexcusable plans for expansions. Earth Liberation Front."
December 19, 2000
Greetings from the front.
The Earth Liberation Front claims responsibility for the torching of a luxury home under construction in Miller Place, Long Island on December 19th. Anti-urban sprawl messages were spraypainted on the walls, then accelerants were poured over the house and lighted. Let there be no mistake that this was a non-violent action and the house was searched for any living thing before being set alight. This is the latest in a string of actions in the war against urban sprawl. Urban sprawl not only destroys the forest and green spaces of our planet, but also leads directly to added runoff of pollutants into our waterways, increased traffic that causes congestion and air pollution, and a less pleasing landscape. Our earth is being murdered by greedy corporate and personal interests. The rape of Earth puts everyone's life at risk due to global warming, ozone depletion, toxic chemicals, etc. Unregulated population growth is also a direct product of urban sprawl. There are over six billion people on this planet of which almost a third are either starving or living in poverty. Building homes for the wealthy should not even be a priority.
Forests, farms, and wetlands are being replaced with a sea of houses, green chemical lawns, blacktop, and roadkill. Farmland is being bought out by land developers because of their inability to compete with cheap corporate, genetically-engineered, pesticide saturated food. The time has come to decide what is more important: the planet and the health of its population or the profits of those who destroy it. The purpose of sloganeering is not self righteous posturing as has been reported, but a direct warning to the Earth's oppressors. Apparently, Long Island's growing smog and cancerous water is not a good enough warning to those directly responsible for it. The site of this recent action was warned twice of impending actions with the monkeywrenching of several vehicles and spraypainted messages. It's time for the people of Long Island to put their foot down and no longer passively tolerate our island's rape. It is time for Nassua and Suffolk County Police to realize we are but the symptoms of a corrupt society on the brink of ecological collapse. Law enforcement should be directing their time and resources towards the real terrorists. Those who commit murder and theft upon our populace daily. Big business is the enemy of the people, yet most people remain blind of it due to the massive propaganda and the power they wield. Every major media outlet on Long Island is in their pockets. The time for action is upon us. We are watching.
Earth Liberation Front
December 31, 2000
As an early New Years gift to Long Island's environment destroyers, the Earth Liberation Front (E.L.E) visited a construction site on December 29 and set fire to four unsold Luxury houses nearly completed at Island Estates in Mount Sinai, Long Island. Hopefully, this caused nearly $2 million in damage. This hopefully provided a firm message that we will not tolerate the destruction of our Island. Recently, hundreds of houses have been built over much of Mount Sinai's picturesque landscape and developers now plan to build a further 189 luxury houses over the farms and forests adjacent to Island Estates. This action was done in solidarity with Josh Harper, Craig Rosebraugh, Jeffrey "Free" Luers and Craig "Critter" Marshall, Andrew Stepanian, Jeremy Parkin, and the countless other known and unknown activists who suffer persecution, interrogation, police brutality, crappy jail conditions, yet stand strong.
Whether it's denying a prisoner vegetarian or vegan food/phone calls (which is a right), or even the terrorism of the Grand Jury, they stand strong. Oppression of our brothers and sisters will only make us up our tactics, by means, frequency, and cost. The more brutality you give our brothers and sisters, the more money we cause the oppressors. Our hearts go out to all of them.
Keep up the fight.
"Never Give In"
April 4, 2001
Take Actions Against Globalization Now!!!
The Earth Liberation Front has very recently paid a visit to a Nike outlet in the town of Albertville, MN. This visit was in solidarity with all people of all nations to fight globalization, and to support the growing anti global sentiment. This is also a call for direct action against globalization in solidarity with all of the anti FTAA actions scheduled in Canada later this month.
After witnessing first hand the treacherous conditions that Nike workers experience daily in sweatshops around the world, it was decided that no NGO organization, could have the immediate impact necessary to end conditions that exist currently at any sweatshop.
Instead, direct action is a more efficient tactic to stop Nike in their footsteps. Unfortunately, due to weather conditions, the visit was short, and although the plan was to destroy the roof, only minor damages were sustained.
Although the roof of this Nike outlet did not go up in flames as planned, this action is still a message to Nike they cannot ignore. In fact, there are only two options for Nike at this point. Option I-you can shut down all of your sweatshops immediately, and immediately place all assets into the communities that you have stolen from. Along with this, you must close down all Nike outlets, starting with the Albertville, MN location (you are especially not welcome in this town!!!)... Or, Option 2—people across the globe will individually attack Nike outlets, as well as retailers that sell Nike (including college campus shops) until Nike closes down, or adheres to demand #1.
It is important to point out to Nike that the violence they use against the poor, and especially those that do all the work for them, will only be met with violence towards what they hold dearest... their pocket books. All E.L.F. actions are non violent towards humans and animals. But if a building exists which perpetuates and sponsors violence towards people or animals (such as a Nike outlet, or a Gap outlet, etc.), then by god, it's got to be burned to the ground!!! The E.L.F. whole heartedly condones the use of violence towards inanimate objects to prevent oppression, violence, and most of all to protect freedom. Direct action is a wonderful tool to embrace on the road to liberation.
Philip H. Knight, Chairman and CEO NIKE, Inc.
One Bowerman Drive
Beaverton, OR 97003-6433
Fax: (503) 671-6300
May 21, 2001 Seattle, WA
ELF burns an office and a fleet of 13 trucks at Jefferson Poplar Farms in Clatskanie, Oregon. The ELF simultaneously burned down the office of Toby Bradshaw at the University of Washington. Total damages for both sites exceeded $5 million. This marks the first time in North American history that the ELF has targeted two separate locations in differing states at the same time.
At 3:15am on Monday, May 21, the research of Toby Bradshaw was reduced to smoke and ashes. We attacked his office at the University of Washington while at the same time another group set fire to a related target in Clatskanie, Oregon, 150 miles away.
Bradshaw, the driving force in G.E. tree research, continues to unleash mutant genes into the environment that are certain to cause irreversible harm to forest ecosystems.
After breaking into Bradshaw's office at the Center for Urban Horticulture, we inspected the building for occupants and set up incendiary devices with a modest amount of accelerant. Although we placed these devices specifically to target his office, a large portion of the building was damaged. This extensive damage was due to a surprisingly slow and poorly coordinated response from the fire department, which . was evident by their radio transmissions.
As long as universities continue to pursue this reckless "science," they run the risk of suffering severe losses. Our message remains clear: we are determined to stop genetic engineering.
From the torching of Catherine Ive's office at Michigan State University to the total incineration of GE seeds at the D & PL warehouse in Visalia, CA, the Earth Liberation Front is growing and spreading. As the culture of domination forces itself into our very genes, wild fires of outrage will continue to blaze.
Early Monday morning, May 21, we dealt a blow to one of the many institutions responsible for massive hybrid tree farming in the Northwest. Incendiary devices at Jefferson Poplar in Clatskanie, Oregon, burned an office and a fleet of 13 trucks. Unfortunately, due to a design flaw, one targeted structure was left standing. We torched Jefferson Poplar because hybrid poplars are an ecological nightmare threatening native biodiversity in the ecosystem. Our forests are being liquidated and replaced with monocultured tree farms, so greedy, earth raping corporations can make more money.
Pending legislation in Oregon and Washington further criminalizing direct action in defense of the wild will not stop us and only highlights the fragility of the ecocidal empire.
As we wrote in Clatskanie "You cannot control what is wild."
ELF Earth Liberation Front
August 11, 2002 Innne, PA
The ELF claims attack on the United States Forest Service Northeast Research Station in Irvine, Pennsylvania causing over $700,000 in damages and destroying 70 years worth of research.
The Earth Liberation Front is claiming responsibility for the 8/11102 arson attack on the United States Forest Service Northeast Research Station in Irvine, Pennsylvania.
The laboratory was set ablaze during the early morning hours, causing over $700,000 damage, and destroying part of 70 years worth of research. This lesson in "prescribed fire" was a natural, necessary response to the threats posed to life in the Allegheny Forest by proposed timber sales, oil drilling, and greed-driven manipulation of Nature.
This facility was strategically targeted, and if rebuilt, will be targeted again for complete destruction. Furthermore, all other US Forest Service administration and research facilities, as well as all DCNR buildings nationwide should now be considered likely targets.
These agencies continue to ignore and mislead the public, at the bidding of their corporate masters, leaving us with no alternative to underground direct action. Their blatant disregard for the sanctity of life and its perfect Natural balance, indifference to strong public opposition, and the irrevocable acts of extreme violence they perpetrate against the Earth daily are all inexcusable, and will not be tolerated. If they persist in their crimes against life, they will be met with maximum retaliation.
In pursuance of justice, freedom, and equal consideration for all innocent life across the board, segments of this global revolutionary movement are no longer limiting their revolutionary potential by adhering to a flawed, inconsistent "non-violent" ideology. While innocent life will never be harmed in any action we undertake, where it is necessary, we will no longer hesitate to pick up the gun to implement justice, and provide the needed protection for our planet that decades of legal battles, pleading, protest, and economic sabotage have failed so drastically to achieve.
The diverse efforts of this revolutionary force cannot be contained, and will only continue to intensify as we are brought face to face with the oppressor in inevitable, violent confrontation. We will stand up and fight for our lives against this iniquitous civilization until its reign of TERROR is forced to an end—by any means necessary.
In defense of all life,
December 2, 2002 Harborcreek, PA
ELF & ALF joint claim fire at the Mindek Brothers Fur Farm.
At 2:00 AM on November 26, 2002, anonymous cells of the A.L.F. and the E.L.F. visited the Mindek Brothers Fur Farm (4200 Shannon Road) in Harborcreek, Pennsylvania. Before disappearing into the night, a large fire was set which completely destroyed the farm's feed barn and its contents, causing extensive financial loss.
The A.L.F. is also claiming responsibility for releasing 200 breeding mink in May and 50+ in September from the same farm.
Working together, cells from A.L.F. & E.L.F. demolished this feed facility due to its role in the systematic torture and killing of thousands of innocent creatures yearly—animals which possess the same complex emotional/physiological traits as loved household pets, yet are denied all reasonable consideration and confined to a miserable "existence" in tiny wire cages hardly large enough to turn around in.
Imprisoned in fur factories, these solitary creatures are forced to endure intensive confinement for the entirety of their lives, next to, or not uncommonly, packed into the same excrement and disease-laden cages as their doomed relatives. In their natural state, these animals maintain a vast territory encompassing several miles. However, on fur farms such as this one, most of these semi-aquatic animals "enjoy" less than 24 inches of space, living on chicken wire, exposed to incredible levels of disease, cannibalism, and weather extremes. With what is essentially still a wild animal, these squalid conditions produce a perpetual state of chronic distress, unimaginable to human beings. This stress leads to severe psychosomatic illness, causing disturbing behaviors like self-mutilation, cannibalism, and incessant pacing and scratching in attempts to escape from their prison.
After experiencing the blistering heat, filth, intensive confinement, and other amenities of the mink shed for half of a year, they are either gassed, electrocuted, or have their necks snapped. If they are genetically superior, they often stay on the ranch indefinitely in such conditions, only to be killed in the same manner when they lose their usefulness.
These cells have witnessed all of these things and more just as disturbing, first hand at this farm, and feel that they must pose this question to the public.
Would this deplorable situation be allowed to continue if the animals happened to be cats, or puppies perhaps, rather than their canine relative the North American Mink? Clearly, it would not. Brutality is brutality—these animals are no less deserving of basic "rights" than the animals we call our friends, and the law protects as such. Thus it is, in the face of this glaring hypocrisy, with their very real suffering in mind, that we take the justice and mercy that the law fails to provide into our own hands, and provide it for those who cannot act in their own defense.
The economic value of a dead body or a frivolous luxury item can not be compared to the inherent value of a life—thus unnecessary killing is absolutely unjust. This has been recognized by much of the rest of the world, and in multiple cases, fur farming has been completely banned by other "first-world" governments. It is time for the worlds most accomplished and proven terrorist, the United States, to respond and follow suit. If it does not, this inexorable struggle on behalf of innocent life will continue.
December 28, 2002 Philadelphia, PA
ELF claims vandalism against new housing development in Philadelphia suburb.
Letter to Editor / Media Release
Greetings. Recently, we visited a housing construction site in Northeast Philadelphia, along Rhawn St., to give a Christmas present to the developers. There, what was natural land—and a home for birds, squirrels, deer, etcetera—is now a sprawling pit of mud. Others' attempts at stopping this devastation failed; we felt the only thing we could do, and the thing that felt right, was to fight back for those who can't. So we went to the site and attacked construction vehicles however we were able to—glued locks, sugared gas tanks, disconnected hoses, spray painted vehicles, broke windows. Also we attacked the "sample house" on Rhawn St.-the first house built to attract buyers. We covered the walls in spray paint, glued locks, and broke many windows.
We are not "terrorists." We are not teenage vandals. We are middleaged, long-time residents of Philadelphia/the suburbs who are tired of seeing the earth destroyed for money. New housing units (and these are "luxury houses," starting at $200,000) are not needed; tens of thousands of housing units in Philadelphia are vacant, or for sale. There is no excuse for the terrorism of developers, destroying the little bit of natural land left for money.
We will not sign our names, but we want to. If construction is stopped and the woods allowed to grow back, we will turn ourselves in gladly. We pray the destruction of developers in Philadelphialthe suburbs is stopped— and that our kids don't grow up in a concrete world, built over ashes of the destroyed earth.
"Sally and Peter" Philadelphia/suburbs
January 1, 2003 Erie, PA
ELF torches Bob Ferrando Ford Lincoln Mercury Dealership causing $90,000 in damages. Specifically targeted were SUVs in the lot.
At 5:30 am on January 1, 2003, the Earth Liberation Front attacked several SUVs at Bob Ferrando Ford Lincoln Mercury in Erie, Pennsylvania. At least four vehicles were entirely destroyed and several others sustained heavy damage, costing an estimated $90,000.
Despite decades of popular environmental activism, the mainstream environmental movement, which began arguably in the early 19605, has failed in its attempts to bring about the protection needed to stop the destruction of life on this planet. In many ways, it has served only to accelerate this destruction. Its occasional "victories," reforms, or small concessions, have fostered hope in a means of social change that has proven unable to produce tangible protection of life, time after time.
By focusing its energy on temporary "solutions," they have altogether ignored the roots of the problem at hand. Western civilization, with its throw away conveniences, its status symbols, and its unfathomable hoards of financial wealth, is unsustainable, and comes at a price. Its pathological decadence, fueled by brutality and oceans of bloodshed, is quickly devouring all life and undermining the very life support systems we all need to survive. The quality of our air, water, and soil continues to decrease as more and more life forms on the planet suffer and die as a result. We are in the midst of a global environmental crisis that adversely effects and directly threatens every human, every animal, every plant, and every other life form on the face of the Earth.
There is absolutely no excuse for any one of us, out of greed, to knowingly allow this to continue. There is a direct relationship between our irresponsible over-consumption and lust for luxury products, and the poverty and destruction of other people and the Natural world. By refusing to acknowledge this simple fact, supporting this paradigm with our excessive lifestyles, and failing to offer direct resistance, we make ourselves accomplices in the greatest crime ever committed.
Time is running out-change must come, or eventually all will be lost. A belief in state sanctioned legal means of social change is a sign of faith in the legal system of that same state. We have absolutely no faith in the legal system of the state when it comes to protecting life, as it has repeatedly shown itself to care far more for the protection of commerce and profits than for its people and the natural environment. Clearly, the state itself causes and profits from many of the various atrocities against life that we must struggle against. To place faith in that same state as though it will act in the interests of justice and life is utter foolishness and a grave mistake.
Therefore, the E.L.F. will continue to fight to remove the profit motive from the killing of the natural environment, and to draw public attention to that which is deliberately concealed from them by the forces that control our lives and destroy our home.
We urge our sisters and brothers-let us strive to become the revolutionary force we've always spoken of being, and begin to take the control of our lives out of the hands of those who would destroy us. NO COMPROMISE.
Happy New Year Bob Ferrando!