The UF Lawsuit Victory: Coming Full Circle
By Camille Marino
Dickerson Detention Facility
February 27, 2013
In October 2010, my open records request to the University of Florida for veterinary records on 33 captive non-human primates was denied. UF remained in non-compliance with Florida statutes for 18 months until I won my lawsuit against them on December 30, 2011.
Within days, I received thousands of papers documenting cruel and barbaric experiments to which, funded by taxpayers, the university has been subjecting monkeys for decades. However, the documents I received were redacted to obscure the physical locations in which the animals were imprisoned and tortured. An appeal was filed to demand full disclosure of this public information.
Represented by attorney Marcy I. LaHart, I won my second legal victory against UF yesterday. Three judges unanimously decided that the redactions were illegal. A request for the location of the primates was filed with UF within hours of the decision. We are urging every university campaign to follow suit and keep pushing forward before statutes are re-written across the country.
After winning my first lawsuit against UF on December 30, 2011, I was arrested at an anti-vivisection demo on February 4, 2012. It was blatantly obvious that the vivisection complex orchestrated my arrest and subsequent extradition to Michigan to silence me. And yesterday, February 26, 2013, I secured my second win. I will be released from jail in Michigan in 10 days and will be back home in Florida in less than two weeks. It appears I’ve just about come full circle.
There are few things more vindicating than declaring victory against your enemy when they have you locked in a concrete cell. But that’s just my ego talking. The only relevant fact here is that we just shattered yet one more wall behind which vivisectors terrorize and torture their victims to death in peace and anonymity.
Their crimes cannot withstand the light of day and I remain convinced that exposure is the single-most damaging weapon activists possess.
We’re breaking our hunger strike today in celebration. I don’t know whether we inspired any action in the outside world or if anyone even noticed, but we’ve made some amazing steps forward in here. We formed alliances with several anonymous jail officials, retired school teachers, activists and inmates across the board. And I’ve clearly constructed a persuasive thesis that identifies the vivisection industry in universities as our common enemy. Aside from getting over my paralyzing fear of public speaking, I’m most proud of one of my newest vegan activists who introduced “Vegan Christianity” into the jailhouse culture. As an antitheist myself, I have no use for religion outside. But behind bars, the God opiate is pervasive and I’m hopeful that this new form of activism will follow her to federal prison.
As of this date, all of my outstanding legal issues have been resolved and I am free to return home when I’m released on March 9.
But I’m fully aware that as I evolve and continue to fight back with everything I’m made of, the enemies will continue to come at me even harder. Torturing the innocent to death is how they make their money. My job is to stop them. Neither of us is likely to give up easily.
Animal Liberation will be achieved when the detriments of animal abuse outweigh the benefits.
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