The A.L.F. Primer
A guide to direct action and the animal liberation
Before you even consider undertaking any action read this entire guide,
then read it again. Know every detail inside and out, particularly those
parts regarding preparation and security.
This guide is dedicated to the brave men and women of the Animal
Liberation Front. In this age of insanity you may be branded a terrorist,
but you will one day be remembered as a selfless warrior who dared to
fight for what is right.
This guide is anti-copyrighted. Any reproduction, in part or in full,
without the expressed, written consent of the authors would be greatly
This guide is for your entertainment, information, and general interest
only. It is not meant to encourage the activities described within.
We're just writing this for the heck of it. We would never dream of
encouraging someone to use the proven-effective methods presented within
to free innocent beings from the depths of hell, or to destroy the tools
used to torture, mutilate, and murder them. We'd much prefer you sit at
home watching TV and remain apathetic.
The History of the A.L.F.
The Animal Liberation Front has it's roots in 1960's England. At this
time a small group of people began sabotaging hunts there. This group,
the Hunt Saboteurs Association, would lay false scents, blow hunting horns
to send hounds off in the wrong direction, and chase animals to safety.
In 1972, after effectively ending a number of traditional hunting events
across England, members of the Hunt Saboteurs decided more militant action
was needed, and thus began the Band of Mercy. They moved on to destroying
guns and sabotaging hunter's vehicles by breaking windows and slashing
tires. They also began fighting other forms of animal abuse, burning seal
hunting boats as well as pharmaceutical laboratories. After the jailing
of two Band of Mercy members in 1975, word spread, support grew, and the
Animal Liberation Front was begun in 1976.
Who are the A.L.F.?
Members of the Animal Liberation Front act directly to stop animal
suffering, at the risk of losing their own freedom. Direct action refers
to illegal actions performed to bring about animal liberation. These are
usually one of two things: rescuing animals from laboratories or other
places of abuse, or inflicting economic damage on animal abusers. Due to
the illegal nature of A.L.F. activities, activists work anonymously, and
there is no formal organization to the A.L.F. There is no office, no
leaders, no newsletter, and no official membership. Anyone who carries
out direct action according to A.L.F. guidelines is a member of the A.L.F.
Animal Liberation Front Guidelines
- To liberate animals from places of abuse, i.e. fur farms,
laboratories, factory farms, etc. and place them in good homes where they may live out
their natural lives free from suffering.
- To inflict economic damage to those who profit from the misery and
exploitation of animals.
- To reveal the horror and atrocities committed against animals behind
locked doors by performing non-violent direct actions and liberations.
- To take all necessary precautions against hurting any animal, human and
The third section contains a very important word - non-violent. The A.L.F.
does not, in any way, condone violence against any animal, human or non-
human. Any action involving violence is by it's definition not an A.L.F.
action, any person involved not an A.L.F. member. The fourth section must
be strictly adhered to. In over 20 years, and thousands of actions, nobody has ever been injured or killed in an A.L.F. action.
One View of the A.L.F.
One A.L.F. member put it this way, "I see participating in the A.L.F.'s raids
not as a momentary forfeiture of the highest human values - goodness,
generosity and the like - but rather as an embodiment of them... We feel
a sense of urgency for the animals whose pain and imminent death is
absolutely real to them today."
Does Direct Action Work?
Susan Paris, president of vivisection front group Americans For Medical
Progress (AMP), admits the Animal Liberation Front has had a large
impact on vivisectionists.
She writes, "Because of terrorist acts by
animal activists like Coronado, crucial research projects have been
delayed or scrapped. More and more of the scarce dollars available to
research are spent on heightened security and higher insurance rates.
Promising young scientists are rejecting careers in research. Top-notch
researchers are getting out of the field."
The August 1993 Report to
Congress on Animal Enterprise Terrorism describes the A.L.F.'s effectiveness
as, "Where the direct, collateral, and indirect effects of incidents such
as this are factored together, A.L.F.'s professed tactic of 'economic
sabotage' can be considered successful, and it's objectives, at least
towards the victimized facility, fulfilled."
If we look past the
"terrorist" rhetoric, we can see that it's a fact - direct action works.
If you don't take their word for it, ask any animal rescued by the A.L.F. and
I'm sure they would agree that direct action works.
Are You Ready for the A.L.F.?
Direct action is nothing to take lightly. The moment you carry out your
first action you are at risk of being arrested. Direct action is very
demanding, physically and mentally. Are you in top physical shape? If
you were being chased by a police officer, could you outrun him? Could
you scale a barbed wire fence? Living under the constant stress of
possible arrest can take its toll mentally as well.
A.L.F. activists should
also remain drug and alcohol free, as these things decay physical and
mental ability, give the police another reason to investigate you, and
waste money better spent on supplies.
Veganism is obviously encouraged,
as it is both morally responsible, and will better your physical
condition. Some A.L.F. members will also limit their association with
mainstream animal rights groups, as to remain less visible to police
Finding People to Work With
One of the most important steps towards getting involved in direct action
is finding people to work with. In any A.L.F. action you are putting your
freedom on the line, so you must be positive you can completely trust the
people you are working with. It is essential to find people who will not
sell out you or the movement should an arrest occur.
You should always
work with people who you know well, people who you know you can rely on.
Security is an important issue in direct action, so people with a tendency
to brag or who won't be able to keep their mouth shut are a bad idea.
Starting your own cell is better than joining an existing one, since if
you know of an existing one, their security obviously isn't too good.
Asking someone if they want to get involved is never an easy thing to do.
Bring up the subject in a general way and see how the person feels about
direct action first, and move on from there.
Cells usually consist of 2
to 5 members. Use the minimum number of people needed for each action,
but don't forget the importance of look outs. Having extra people
unnecessarily puts them at risk.
One person should be chosen as the
leader of the group. This doesn't mean that person has any special power
or privileges, and it often won't come into play at all. But if during an
actions things go wrong, someone will need to make split second decisions,
and in this case there is no time for democracy.
Progress as a group,
starting with minor actions to get used to each other, discussing after
each action what went well and what didn't, and discussing how to improve
and hit harder.
Before you even think about undertaking any action, read. Know this
guide inside and out. Before you do anything you'd better know how to do
it right, or you may wind up in a lot of trouble. As with anything, the
first time is the hardest. So start small. If your first action is a
liberation of a large laboratory with high security you are going to have
problems. Start by gluing locks or some spray paint.
You can go about
finding a target a few ways. First, you may want to decide what kind of
establishment you want to target - a fur shop, a butcher shop, a factory
farm or slaughterhouse, or maybe a fast food restaurant?
If you are
planning on getting involved in direct action you are hopefully already
aware of various animal rights issues and probably know where and how to
find whichever kind of abuser you want to target.
Your local animal
rights group is probably aware of abusers in the area, but keep in mind
that local animal rights groups are the first people the police will
question. The easiest way to find a target is to let your fingers do the
A phone book can direct you to all your local fur shops, butcher
shops, etc. If fast food restaurants are your goal, you can't go down the
street without seeing one. Once you've begun and know what you are doing,
go big. The more actions you take part in the more likely it gets that
you will get caught, so be sure that when you hit you hit hard.
After selecting your target become familiar with it. You may want to
study a road map and become familiar with the surrounding area. You
should first visit the sight in daylight. Park well away in a
non-suspicious place, like the parking lot of a large store or a side road
with many cars. Approach on foot and get as close as possible.
good look around (without looking suspicious) and think about how you are
going to do whatever it is you are going to do.
Once back to your car,
draw a map including everything you can remember. Now it is time to draw
up your exact plan. Leave nothing to chance.
Figure out every detail and
be certain that everyone is completely familiar with every detail. You
don't want to find yourself at the site trying to get your act together.
Next, return to the site once more before your action, this time at night.
Follow your route to the site just as it will be during your action. You
can think of this as a dress rehearsal.
Get as close to the target as you
can. This should also be as close to the time of day your action will
take place (actions are obviously almost always carried out at night), so
that you can see what security and other factors are in effect at that
time. Always plan for things to go wrong.
Know what you will do if you
come in contact with a security officer or police. Know which way you
will run, if you will go as a group or alone, and where you will
rendezvous. These recommendations are general. For something as simple
as gluing locks, less intense planning is needed. For something as complex as a raid, a lot more planning may be necessary.
Consider leaving your immediate area for actions; repeatedly working
close to home can be a tip off to police. Also be sure to not keep a
regular schedule of days and times your actions take place - if the
police establish your pattern it's one more thing they can use to catch
If you choose to report your actions, don't name your specific
group. If so, the police will know just what actions are carried out by
your group, making finding you easier.
Always have a story set if
stopped by the police. Know where it is you will say you are coming from
and going to. If you are going to be using your car for actions, remove
all bumper stickers. Also be sure all lights, license plates, etc. are
OK. Drive carefully and legally.
Don't give them reason to stop you. Be
sure to have enough gas before leaving for an action, so you don't have
to stop on the way, or especially while transporting animals. Clothing
is important as well.
Wear nothing with identifiable markings. Consider
many targets are equipped with security cameras, and always assume the
one you are hitting is. Any tattoos should be covered, any piercing
covered or removed. You want to wear dark colors, but all black can look
suspicious, so just keep it dark but not unusual.
Ski masks are commonly
employed during direct action, but be ready to ditch them if need be -
they can be quite incriminating, especially on a summer night. A hooded
sweatshirt, a baseball cap, and a scarf are a better idea in some
locations. On high risk operations you may want to get some oversized
shoes from a thrift shop to avoid leaving tell tale footprints. Stuffing
the toes will make them wearable.
Another option is to keep a pair of
shoes used just for direct action with your tools at a safe house. If
this is the case, only put them on while on the way to an action and
take them off on the way back, as not leave corresponding footprints
around your house or on your carpet.
Wearing socks over your shoes or
covering the soles in duct tape also works well against footprints. For
actions where the police are going to be investigating more heavily,
even hairs and fibers on clothing may be a problem. In this case you can
buy clothes from a thrift store just for that night, and throw them away
afterwards. Another possibility on high risk operations is to wear
boiler suits, which cover all your clothes, and can be removed quickly
after back to the car.
Always wear gloves and be mindful of
fingerprints. Be careful of using thin latex gloves, since fingerprints
can be left through them. Put one pair over another if you choose to use
them. Fingerprints will also be left on the inside of the glove, so if
you use them , dispose of them separately from any other evidence. Be
careful whenever purchasing equipment for an action.
Buying a gallon of
bright red paint a block from home and dumping it on the McDonald's two
blocks away the same day is not a good idea. Purchase everything far
away from home and always with cash, as well as long before an action is
to take place when possible. Be careful of using materials that will
give away where you are from.
For instance, if using newspapers in an
arson attack far from home, using your local paper will be dead
give-away. Wipe everything you are taking with you completely to remove
fingerprints, in case anything is dropped or has to be left behind. You
have to scrub hard to remove prints, and some soap or rubbing alcohol
may help. Clean everything as if it is going to be left behind, since
sooner or later something you didn't plan to leave will drop.
For this same reason you should take as little as possible with you, and
connect whatever you must take to your body.
A rubber band through your
belt loop with each end attached to your key chain will keep it secure,
even if you are being chased and have to go headfirst over a fence, etc.
Even if you don't touch something while purchasing it by wearing gloves
for instance, wipe it anyway so it can't be traced Obviously, do not
have drugs, weapons, or anything else illegal on you or in you car
during an action. If you are using tools such as crowbars or bolt
cutters (this is mostly for liberations), sharpen or file them after
every action, since slight markings on the tool can leave traceable
markings on what is opened.
Also, never keep tools at your house. If you
are keeping tools used in actions, store them at a safe house. A safe
house is the house of a person not involved in the actions at all,
someone who the police would never investigate. Never buy cheap tools,
especially if you are using walkie talkies. Your freedom and the
animal's lives are on the line, so go for the quality equipment.
The government is actively monitoring animal liberationists,
particularly suspected members of the A.L.F., so watch your back. They are
opening mail and tapping phone lines, so never ever ever say anything
incriminating over the phone, mail, or e-mail.
Always assume that you
are being watched and your house may be searched at any time (they have
gone so far as dismantling heating ducts while searching the houses of
suspected A.L.F. members, so never assume anything is hidden well enough).
Discussing direct action works on a need-to-know basis.
anyone anything that they do not absolutely need to know. Never discuss
actions with people not involved, for your safety and theirs. If someone
asks you about the A.L.F., say that you aren't involved, but you have heard
or read about it.
That way you can discuss the A.L.F. without incriminating
yourself. If someone says something incriminating over the phone,
quickly excuse yourself and hang up before they can get another word in,
then explain to them what they did wrong next time you see them in
person. Keep in mind that homes, cars, and anywhere else can be bugged.
Try to discuss actions in areas that are secure (where nobody can
overhear), but that they would be unable to bug. Take a walk through the
woods, for instance.
Except for the purpose of improving your group and
it's effectiveness, once an action has taken place, never discuss it
again. The damage was done, animals' lives were saved, and that's the
important thing. Bringing up old "war stories" is an unnecessary risk.
All this may seem like paranoia, but the government will go to any
length stop us.
Besides, it's better to be a little paranoid than in
jail. Effectiveness Start small, then move on to bigger things. Even the
simplest actions take practice to get right, so try one thing at a time
until you've gotten it down. Once you've mastered the small things, use
them in combination to really ruin an abuser's day.
possibilities of combining breaking windows and paint bombs for
instance. Be sure to start with the quietest parts when doing a number
of things. What is outlined here are general methods used by the A.L.F.
Every location and building is different, so after checking over your
target, you should both modify these methods based on the specific area
and target itself, and feel free to be creative and come up with new
ways to do damage. Creativity will make you more effective, harder to
catch since you are less predictable, and make whatever security they
come up with less effective.
Windows are probably the easiest target available in most situations,
yet large windows can cost hundreds, making them an ideal target. Glass
etching fluid (hydrofluoric acid) is available in some larger arts and
Be sure to buy out of town on specialized items like
this. It's a liquid or cream that eats through the surface of glass. If
you can get a hold of some, put it in some kind of squeeze bottle, one
of those plastic lemon ones for instance, and off you go.
If you get the
cream it can also be applied with a paintbrush, allowing slogans to be
written on the window. It's potent stuff, so be careful not to get it on
your skin. Working quickly at the target you'll probably make somewhat
of a mess with the bottle, so bring a plastic bag to throw it in after
you are done. It's a quick and relatively safe way to cause some
A less expensive but much noisier method is simply
smashing windows. It is loud, so get ready to run. Aside from throwing a
brick or rock, a popular way to do this is with a sling shot.
available in many sporting stores. You may have to patronize a store
that sells hunting equipment to find one, but you can always offset this
by returning at a later date and smashing their windows in turn.
advantage of a sling shot is that you don't have to be right next to the
window to break it. Sling shots can even be effective from moving cars.
Try to fire symmetrical objects such as ball bearings or nuts. Rocks or
bolts will be hard to control due to their lack of aerodynamics.
Whatever you shoot, be sure to wipe them for fingerprints first. It is
always your responsibility to be certain there is nobody in or near the
store that you could injure while firing. Shooting from totally inside
the car (as in, don't hang out the side) will make detection a whole lot
Air guns (a.k.a. BB guns) are another option. They don't do as
much damage to the window as a brick might, but they are very quick, can
be used easily from inside a car, and are very quiet. You can easily roll up to a store, stop in front for a second, roll down the window, take
a shot, and leave. Unless someone is standing right there, nobody will
notice a thing. Most of the time they will leave a small hole with a
spider web crack, about the size of a silver dollar.
will completely shatter a window though, so be ready for it. There are
generally two types of BB guns. The first look like rifles, and are
powered by being manually pumped.
The second look like handguns, and are
powered by CO2 cartridges. The cartridges only cost around $2 each and
will give you around 150 shots. The advantage of the CO2 style is that
they are generally semi-automatic (meaning it fires one shot every time
you pull the trigger). Using such a device you could take out over a
dozen windows in a couple of seconds.
They do look like real guns
though, so if the police roll up, drop them immediately or risk getting
The other option for breaking windows is a hammer. Tiler's hammers
are best because of their pointed design; they can be found in most
hardware stores. Windows, especially shatter proof, are tougher than
they seem, so use a hammer of some weight.
The best time for this is a
stormy night, the lack of visibility and noise of the storm providing
excellent cover. You'll naturally think to hit windows in the center,
but this is actually the strongest part.
Always go for the corners, as
this is these weak spots. Another option with windows is glass glue,
which permanently sticks glass to glass. Attaching a piece of glass with
a slogan painted on the inside will require them to replace the whole
People in more urban areas are probably familiar with stores lowering
metal shutters over their windows while closed. After having windows
smashed, a target store in a less urban area may do the same. If you are
dealing with the kind of shutters that are a grid, or bars, etching
fluid, sling shots, or BB guns will still work fine. It's also possible
to simply lock any kind of object to the shutter, making it impossible
Sometimes they won't use all the holes for locks that are available on
the shutter. If this is the case, put your own lock on there. Make sure
it's fingerprint free first.
More difficult are the full shutters that
don't have any holes. Hitting the shutter with a sledgehammer may work
in both damaging the shutter, and possibly breaking the window if they
are close enough together.
A more subtle method of dealing with full
shutters is gluing the shutter locks, which you can see under the gluing
locks section. If they have been dumb enough to only put a shutter over
the main window and left a smaller one, like on a door, uncovered -
break that one, then reach in and break the main one.
Vehicles are another easy target. There's a great number of ways to do
damage to them. When doing a set of things to a vehicle, start with the
quieter parts. Tires can be slashed. An ice pick, sharp knife, or
anything of that sort will work.
Tires, especially on trucks, are
tougher than they seem, so use something thick and strong that won't
break or bend. Putting a hole in the side wall will make it impossible
to repair. A pair of pillars can also be used to yank out the stem (the
thing you put air in through), which will also flatten the tire. A large
screwdriver can damage a radiator by punching holes in it.
Sand in the
fuel tank can cause a good deal of damage if you are careful to show no
signs of tampering and the vehicle is run. Using sugar does not work as
well since it may merely block the filter and not get into the engine.
If you are going to use sugar, use cubes in stead of granulated, as it's
easier to handle. Sand can also be used in the crankcase. About 10 to 15
mothballs in the gas tank are equally effective.
One way to cause major damage is to go underneath the vehicle, locate
the oil pan, punch a hole in it, or remove the drain plug, and carefully
collect the oil in a container as to leave no sign you were there. Once
the vehicle is driven a couple miles the engine will seize, doing as
much as a couple thousand dollars damage.
If you can get to the engine,
break anything breakable and cut any wire you can. Be sure not to cut
the break cable though, unless you are going to give a warning that you
have. Drano poured into the radiator will eventually eat through the
copper tubing, destroying the vehicle's cooling system. A pound of salt
will do the same.
Plaster of paris or BB's in the carburetor also result in heavy repair
bills. With trucks, there are generally levers on each side that open
the hood, which will tilt forward. If you can't get to the engine, you
can also cut what you can from underneath.
Bring something heavy-duty
like small bolt cutters, as regular wire cutters won't be able to handle
metal cables and such. Either paint or paint stripper can do some damage
to the paint job.
Windshield wipers can be broke off, headlights and
windshields smashed or painted with etching fluid, and locks glued.
Windshields are made to deflect rocks kicked up on the road, so only
more direct methods of breaking them, such as a hammer, will work.