Suspected Animal Rights Extremists Arraigned on Felony Charges in California
Posted: May 6, 2009
Two suspected animal rights extremists were arraigned in Los Angeles on charges of conspiracy, stalking and other felony crimes on April 20, 2009.
Linda (Lindy) Faith Greene, 62, and Kevin Richard Olliff, 22, each pleaded not guilty to three counts of conspiracy to commit stalking, three counts of stalking, two counts of conspiracy to threaten a public officer or school employee and two counts of threatening a public officer of school employee. Both were arrested on April 16.
Some of the charges against Greene and Olliff stem from a June 30, 2006, incident in which an incendiary device was placed outside the home of a neighbor of Lynn Fairbanks, the director of the Center for Primate Neuroethology at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute. The device, which was intended for Fairbanks' home, failed to ignite and no one was injured.
In a communiqué issued a few weeks later, the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), one of the most active animal rights extremist movements in the U.S., took credit for placing a "molotov cocktail" on Fairbanks' doorstep because of her involvement in animal experimentation.
The indictment against Greene and Olliff accuses Greene of posting the communiqué and identifying Fairbanks, with a photo and personal contact information, as a "target" on an animal rights Web site. (An unnamed co-conspirator placed the incendiary device outside the neighbor's home, according to the indictment.)
Fairbanks was one of several UCLA researchers targeted as part of a campaign against the University of California by ALF and the Primate Freedom Project (PFP), a group that describes itself as "dedicated to ending the use of nonhuman primates in biomedical and harmful behavioral experimentation." Prior to the June 30 incident, a photo of Fairbanks and her contact information appeared under the "targets" list on PFP's UCLA Web site, along with a flyer for "distribution in her neighborhood."
Greene and Olliff routinely demonstrated outside Fairbanks' home and on the UCLA campus, in some cases making threats through a bullhorn and denying that the wrong house was targeted, according to the indictment.
The indictment alleges that Greene and Olliff were involved in a similar campaign against Dario Ringach, a UCLA neurobiology professor who ended his animal experimentation in 2006 due to pressure from animal rights extremists.
It further alleges that the pair stalked executives of POM Wonderful Juice Co., based on a belief that the Los Angeles-based company was experimenting on animals. (POM Wonderful has been targeted by another animal rights extremist group, the Animal Rights Militia. In December 2006, the group claimed to have poisoned bottles of POM Wonderful juices in several retail chains on the East Coast to protest animal testing.)
In a statement issued the day of the arraignment, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office described Greene and Olliff as "alleged domestic terrorists." Greene and Olliff are scheduled to appear in court on May 20 for a pretrial hearing.
Greene and Olliff were previously named in an injunction obtained in April 2008 by the University of California's Board of Regents in response to the campaign against its faculty.
The injunction prohibited five individuals, including Greene and Olliff, as well as three groups (ALF, PFP, and Animal Liberation Brigade, a moniker used by an apparent animal rights extremist cell that has targeted UCLA on several occasions), from harassing UCLA researchers online or in person. Specifically, it banned the individuals and members of the groups named coming within 50 feet of researchers' homes during the day and 150 feet at night, and banned them from posting personal information about UCLA researchers on their Web sites. Following the injunction, PFP's UCLA Web site was taken down.
Greene was also among the targets of a home raid conducted by the FBI and Santa Monica Police Department in October 2006 as part of an ongoing investigation into radical animal rights activity in the area. Greene was at that time a press officer for the North American Animal Liberation Press Office (NAALPO), a Web site that shares information and statements from extremist cells that commit criminal activity.
Officials also searched the homes of Jerry Vlasak, a NAALPO co-founder and primary spokesperson for the extreme animal rights movement, and four other individuals without established affiliations to the Web site.
In response to the raids Greene noted, "The Press Office must be doing something right to incur such wrath from those who support animal exploitation and abuse."