Discipline in the
Compromise Issue 7
By Groose Rats
Have you ever been arrested at a nonviolent protest for
animal liberation? If so, read on.
You have become a part of history, a history rich in
nonviolent protest actions dating back to the Boston tea
party, Harriet Tubman's underground railroad, Henry David
Thoreau's refusal to pay war taxes, the suffragette movement,
the labor movement, and Mohandas Gandhi's campaign for Indian
independence from the British Empire.
Being a part of history takes responsibility, and that
responsibility is all about discipline. All militant forces
have discipline. If we do not have the resources to set up
animal liberation boot camps or visit them overseas, then we
have to develop a strong sense of self-discipline to combat
the forces working against our efforts toward animal
Why Discipline? In addition to being arrested at organized
protests, one by one, outside of the usual protest situation,
we are being brought in by the authorities to be questioned,
railroaded, harassed, threatened, and set-up. Seemingly
unimportant encounters with the police have resulted in fellow
comrades being hauled in for questioning, their homes raided,
their computers and files taken, and more. We must be prepared
for this assault BEFORE it comes.
Discipline will prevent fear, loneliness, isolation, and
insecurity from taking over and causing us additional stress
that can lead to tragedy for the structure of our animal
Discipline in Ten Easy Steps.
1. Acknowledge and come to
terms with the reasons you are in this movement. If these
reasons stem from some unresolved conflict with authority,
forget it and move on. The animal rights militia needs people
committed to animals and to other activists within their
affinity* or cell groups. (*Affinity groups are
self-sufficient support units of 5 to 15 people who work
together toward a common goal. Whether or not you are planning
to do civil disobedience, it is important to either form an
affinity group or join an already existing one. Affinity
groups serve as a source of support and solidarity for their
2. Make a pact with your affinity or cell group. For
example, my cell knows that I would never say anything that
would incriminate any of them, no matter what. I also trust
them to the same extent. This trust was built over many years.
DO NOT TRUST ANYONE JUST BECAUSE THEY ARE WILLING TO DO
3. If you are participating in a covert action, make your
plan as foolproof as possible, but never think for a moment
that you will not be caught. If you are caught, stay calm.
Keep silent. Be prepared to rot in jail, but take comfort in
knowing we are out here supporting you and your efforts.
Prisons are not hotels. They can be hell holes and you might
be harmed in one. Are you ready for this? If not, don't do
anything that might land you in one.
4. Develop the ability to keep silent--in every
circumstance. If you have an overwhelming desire to tell
people what you have done, then you will eventually volunteer
information to the police. They are trained to get information
from people who don't speak. What chance do you stand? If you
know someone like this, do not get involved with this person,
5. If you are arrested, be prepared to be separated and
told lies by the police. Lies like: "All of your friends have
bailed out," "So-and-so is cooperating," "We are keeping you
longer," etc. These lies are intended to make you feel
isolated and angry~angry enough to turn on the people who you
think have turned on you. DO NOT BELIEVE THE POLICE! Have the
discipline to handle the separation and take comfort in
knowing that there are people supporting you on the outside.
If someone has turned on you, deal with it. Do not make it
6. Plan as much as possible. Before you participate in an
action that might lead to an arrest, make sure that your life
is in order. Make sure you understand the arrest procedure.
Attend as many CD training classes that you can. Discipline
falls apart when we are pressured to do something we are not
prepared for. All our actions have consequences. If you follow
the No Compromise philosophy, then you should follow through
on it. If your affinity group knows what each person is able
to do ahead of time, then chaos will be prevented. Activists
who jump in for the fun or the thrill of the moment, might not
be able to follow through on what others can do and this can
lead to infighting and bitterness between activists.
7. Recognize that the best laid plans can fall apart at the
last minute. Be strong. Have a plan B, C, D, etc. Or have a
fall-back position, even if it is just knowing the plan can
fall through. Be calm and resist causing additional stress by
blaming it on someone or complaining about why the plan
failed. The time to do an evaluation is later. Nothing is
8. If you are the only one arrested, be prepared to go it
alone. If you were part of a larger group and everyone else
has been released, stay strong in the knowledge that you will
be out soon and things are not what they appear. Do not do or
say anything you might regret later. Keep silent.
9. If the FBI, local police, or any other agency comes
knocking at your door, do not let them in without a warrant.
Do not speak to them on the phone either. Call Larry Weiss at
(707) 576-1415. Preserve your right to privacy.
10. Learn more about what the government, private industry,
and large PR firms are doing to destroy the animal liberation
movement. Be aware of the tactics that have lead to other
movements falling apart.
We can explore counter-intelligence and the tactics used in
another article. [Check out Anne Crimaudo's article, Informers
Are Everywhere] If we are prepared, we are strong. If we are
strong, we cannot be manipulated. If we cannot be manipulated,
then in time, the animals will be liberated.
Resources for further reading:
CovertAction Quarterly, Dept. MFW, 1500 Massachusetts Ave.,
NW, #732, Washington, DC 20005
Free the Animals! : The Untold Story of the U.S. Animal
Liberation Front and Its Founder, 'Valerie' by Ingrid
Institute for Global Communications, East Coast Office,
1731 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20009;
Nonviolence International, P.O. Box 39127, Friendship
Station, N.W., Washington, DC 20016;
Nonviolent Civil Disobedience Handbook--