The University of California is seeking a permanent injunction against five individuals and three anti-animal research groups in an attempt to prevent violence against researchers across the university.
The injunction is being sought after Los Angeles County Superior Court granted the university a temporary restraining order last month on behalf of UCLA, against five individuals, the Animal Liberation Front, Animal Liberation Brigade and the UCLA Primate Freedom Project. The order aims to protect students and employees involved in animal research across the 10 UC campuses, said Wendy Sugg, an attorney representing the regents.
The temporary restraining order was prompted by incidents of violence and harassment against UCLA researchers and their families that have occurred, including attempted firebombs, threatening phone calls and e-mails.
"Obviously, as shown by recent events, there is a need for a restraining order," Sugg said.
However, animal rights activists said the Animal Liberation Front and the Animal Liberation Brigade are comprised of anonymous members, rendering a restraining order useless.
"These people are already breaking laws," said Jerry Vlasak, a medical doctor and spokesperson for the North American Animal Liberation Press Office. "I can't see that these restraining orders are going to be particularly effective."
Christine Garcia, an attorney for the individuals and the UCLA Primate Freedom Project in the case, said she does not believe the injunction against the individuals is warranted.
"There's absolutely no connection between the people listed on the restraining order and any of the wrongful acts alleged," she said.