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All posts for the month November, 2011

by Jackie Alexander (Gainesville Sun)

The way to describe livestock raised to produce food for humans is slavery, rape and murder, said longtime animal rights activist Gary Yourofsky.

“I want you to think about if the moment you were born someone had planned the day of your execution,” he said, “because that’s what it’s like to be a cow, turkey or pig on this planet.”

Yourofsky, founder of Animals Deserve Absolute Protection Today and Tomorrow, spoke to Professor Naima Brown’s social problems class at Santa Fe College about living a vegan lifestyle.

“Thou shalt not kill,” he said. “There’s not an asterisk next to that commandment.”

Yourofsky said he’s been arrested more than a dozen times and banned from five foreign countries. He also gave a lecture Tuesday at the University of Florida.

Brown said that some people believe the meat and dairy industry are social ills.

“On the other side, there are people who believe what (Yourofsky) does is a social problem,” she said.

Yourofsky showed a video depicting conditions inside various farms and slaughterhouses, likening it to slavery.

“Do you think they get manis and pedis and tummy rubs?” he asked.

Humans aren’t carnivores or even omnivores, Yourofsky said. From intestines to teeth to genetic makeup, humans were built to be herbivores, he said.

“You’ve been duped,” he said. “They’re killing you, they’re killing animals and they’re killing the planet.”

Yourofsky said vegetarians are also to blame for suffering, as they eat milk and cheese.

“I think there’s more cruelty in a glass of milk than a steak,” he said. “Every time you have a glass of cow milk, a baby cow does not.

Audience member Milo Neelands began to ask if there is a middle ground diet that is a “cruelty-free” way to eat locally grown meat. Neelands, a botany student, settled on “cruelty reduced.”

“A local murder is not better than a murder that happened in Nigeria,” Yourofsky said. “There’s no middle ground in being cruelty-free.”

Neelands said Yourofsky’s speech was compelling.

“My idea of an ethical diet is slightly different and a little more inclusive,” Neelands said.

Yourofsky said people have been conditioned to eat meat and that children wouldn’t harm animals. Children’s stories are full of cartoon animals, he said.

Brown said the lecture forced students to evaluate their lifestyles.

“We don’t want our children to know about slaughterhouses,” she said, thinking back to when she first learned of them. “It was tough to understand.”

But his speech won’t help change all people, Yourofsky said. Some students think that preaching peace, occupying Gainesville and sporting a “coexist” bumper sticker makes them environmentalists.

“That is not getting involved,” he said, recounting a time he freed hundreds of minks from a farm.

Although he’s proud of his record, Yourofsky said he’s stopped demonstrating — and wishes more animal activists would as well.

“In this day and age, demonstrations do nothing,” he said. “Nothing works but teaching somebody.”

“I am not here to be your enemy,” he said.

by Lisa Grossman

It was a good day in court today for the innocent prisoners in the University of Florida’s animal experimentation labs. I know this because the state attorney’s office (on behalf of UF) not only changed their deal agreement with me after my deciding to do community service for trespassing instead of going to trial, but they suddenly wanted me to agree to their new stipulation of having no further contact with UF! Not no trespassing-no further contact. Just sign here and go away for good?

This day is a huge victory for NIO activists and another step closer to getting the lab innocents freed. Because the more they unfairly persecute any of us, the closer we’re getting to exposing them! Soon I expect they’ll just start making stuff up to jail me for violating probation- especially with UF being in contempt tomorrow for refusing to surrender public records requested. If they weren’t guilty they would let people in to see and would be laughing at activists instead of making up bogus legal obstacles to the truth.

I don’t mean to sound naive, but I was truly shocked to see the prosecution changing their deal without a word until questioned by the judge and the defense lawyer. Since the only ones to benefit would be UF, it sure looks like UF can affect the law with the states attorney’s office.

Background:
In August I was charged with trespassing in the UF Genetics Lab on July 9th during a demo to tell UF students and their parents that their degrees would soon be worthless if UF continued barbaric animal experiments instead of using myriad of alternatives available. After UF going to the Gainesville Sun a few times instead of me to announce charges, several court appearances including not guilty and discovery for trial- I decided that UF had some evidence that could possibly incriminate me. I finally agreed to no charges after 6 months of probation and 3 days on Alachua County’s work crew- authored and offered by the states attorney. Today was the formal hearing to accept these terms.

Judge: Ms. Grossman do you agree to the prosecution’s terms of 3 days on the work crew, 1 year of probation and to no longer have any contact with UF? Hold on- does this state that the charge is a 2nd degree misdemeanor and 1 yr jail time?

Defense Lawyer: No your honor this is misdemeanor trespassing.

Grossman: No sir I did not sign any agreements beyond 6 months probation and no trespassing at UF. Is prosecution saying I cannot call or email UF or talk with students?

Judge: Yes, apparently so. Why would you even need to call UF?

Grossman: For one thing as of tomorrow in this court they will be in contempt for refusing public records about their lab animals. I plan to respond to that and keep continuing work to exposing them. I won’t trespass there again and I accept the work crew, but not to no contact with UF. That’s not right.

Prosecution table: Uh well sir, I’m just repeating what’s in (states attorney’s name) notes here.

Defense Lawyer: Your Honor, may we approach?

(We can’t hear that of course, but the defense lawyer said he was explaining my cause and what I have been doing at UF.)

Judge: Ms. Grossman….

Grossman: I do not agree to any UF contact and didn’t sign to that. Nor did I sign to 1 year probation.

Defense Lawyer: Your honor my client has no problem with the probation, just the continuing costs that she can’t afford.

Judge: Ms. Grossman would you agree to a no trespassing stipulation, 3 days work crew and 1 yr probation first 3 months $50 a month, second 3 months $25 per month then discontinuing probation after 6 months?

Grossman: Yes. As long as I’m allowed to continue protesting on public property. (looking at the 2 UF representatives) I’m not just going to stop and go away.

Judge: Yes your first amendment rights are yours to exercise, keeping in mind that you do these things at your peril if they go into harassment.

Grossman: I’m a middle aged woman with a power point flyer, I’m not dangerous. I have never done anything harassing or beyond my rights except this trespass.

Judge: OK. Wait don’t leave yet, I have to formally sentence you for the record…..

My court services paperwork states only no trespassing at UF under special circumstances.

by Camille Marino

NIO Florida co-founder, Lisa Grossman, appeared in Alachua Criminal Court this morning to accept a plea agreement of six months probation for violating a trespass order at the University of Florida earlier this year.

UF’s lawyers approached the bench and had the terms of the agreement changed to one full year probation during which time the activist must agree to have absolutely no contact with the university.

Lisa and her lawyer addressed the Court refusing to accept these terms. Grossman spoke articulately citing a lawsuit that NIO filed against UF last month demanding access to public vivisection records that we have been denied now for over a year. Currently, the university is in noncompliance with Florida state law. They are now under a Court order to turn over this information by November 23.* Therefore, we fully expect that within 24 hours, UF will stand in contempt of court in this state as well. Grossman refused to relinquish her First Amendment rights to legally and peacefully address this issue nor was she willing to abandon our anti-vivisection campaign at this institution.

Upon having these facts entered into the official record, UF acquiesced and the original terms of the plea agreement were reinstated.

Grossman struck a blow this morning for the constitutional rights of every activist who’s been touched by repression.

*Update: UF’s response to the court is now scheduled for December 1.

Based on a lengthy email exchange with Editor of Homeland Security, Matthew Harwood, several months ago, neither of us is under any illusion that he is anything but an industry-paid hack. “Security Management” exists to advance their clients’ interests. Following is the portion of their November 2011 report discussing the threat posed by NIO. The balance of their propaganda is available below.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIRkqU3SBDI&w=560&h=315]

Security Management Highlights November

Listen in as Associate Editor Laura Spadanuta talks with security experts and editors about topics in the November Security Management, including tips for protecting trade secrets, a new animal-rights-group tactic that targets students, court cases on premises liability and the right of two torture whistleblowers to sue former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and lessons from a major cybercrime bust.

Download audio file

Posted by The Daily Commercial (Leesburg)

A Wildwood-based animal-rights activist is suing the University of Florida over primate research records.

Camille Marino, founder of the group Negotiation is Over (NIO), made a request last fall for records on 33 primates at UF research facilities. The university denied the request and Marino sued the university last week in an Alachua County circuit court

“We need to know what’s going on inside their labs,” she told the Gainesville Sun. “They’re not exempt from the law. … What are they hiding?”

Marino has called the university “a beacon of institutional animal torture.”

“It is clear to me that animal liberation demands that we subvert and undermine the foundation upon which animal abuse rests in universities,” she told the website letthemeatmeat.com. “That means bio-med students need to be dealt with now before they become fully-entrenched professional sadists.”

According to its own website, NIO strives to be an instrument of defiance, disruption, disobedience, subversion, creative and aggressive grassroots action, and a catalyst for revolutionary change. NIO’s belief is that “Total liberation — human animals, nonhuman animals, and the earth — will not happen by politely asking abusers to be decent.”

UF spokeswoman Janine Sikes said the university has not been served a copy of the lawsuit and would respond appropriately when it was.