SPECIAL REPORT: Legitimizing the Lunatics

The Center for Consumer Freedom has learned that the California State University at Fresno will host an event in 2003 dedicated to the topic of “Revolutionary Environmentalism.” The soon-to-be-announced February 13-14 conference will include a list of speakers that reads like a “Who’s Who” of the environmental and animal-rights criminal culture.

According to a draft of the conference’s publicity flyer, Cal State Fresno will bill the event as “A Dialogue between Activists and Academics.” On the contrary, the entire escapade looks like a one-sided, anti-intellectual exercise completely bereft of opposing viewpoints.

Confirmed participants will include:
Paul Watson — an animal rights terrorist on the high seas who is considered a fugitive from justice in at least two countries, has sunk at leasts 10 ships, and told the “Animal Rights 2002” conference: “There’s nothing wrong with being a terrorist, as long as you win”;

Gary Yourofsky — an employee of PETA who proudly sports an Animal Liberation Front tattoo on his arm, has been arrested at least 10 times for animal rights crimes, and has told activists: “Do not be afraid to condone arsons at places of animal torture”;

Steven Best — a University of Texas-El Paso philosophy professor who operates a “Center on Animal Liberation Affairs” in his spare time;

Rik Scarce — Michigan State University sociology professor who has spent time behind bars for refusing to tell a Grand Jury what he knows about the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), and who argues in his book Eco-Warriors that wholesale human extermination would be “an environmental cure-all”;

Rodney Coronado — a convicted arsonist who received over $70,000 from PETA’s tax-exempt coffers, spent over 4 years in prison for torching a Michigan State University laboratory, and now fronts for the violent animal rights group SHAC;

Craig Rosebraugh — a former ELF “spokesperson” who refused to answer more than 50 questions about his organization’s crime spree during Congressional hearings last February;

Leslie Pickering — Craig Rosebraugh’s roommate, who officially took over as ELF “press officer” after Rosebraugh was subpoenaed by Congress a year ago; and

Kim Marks – a “spokesperson” for the Olympia, Washington chapter of Earth First! (EF!), the radical green group that spawned ELF in 1992, at a time when EF! claimed responsibility for torching logging equipment, fire trucks, and bulldozers.

The event brochure laments that “tree spiking” and “animal rescues” have received “little public recognition.” In order to remedy this situation, says the flyer, “faculty members at California State University, Fresno invite environmental and animal-rights activists, and scholars to participate in a conference on the practical, political, and spiritual aspects of revolutionary environmentalism.”

This state-funded university is extending its open arms to individuals and movements that break laws, threaten innocent lives, and cause immeasurable damage. Although the proposed program includes a roundtable discussion on “The Ethics of Sabotage,” the overall impression being promoted by the Cal State Fresno faculty (and by extension, the taxpayers of California) is one of legitimacy.

The full list of conference sponsors within Cal State Fresno includes:

Department of Political Science and Public Administration
University Lecture Series
Office of the President
College of Social Sciences
Department of Anthropology
Department of Criminology [editor’s note: At last! an appropriate sponsor!]
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Department of Geography

We hope you are as incensed as we are by the thought of California tax dollars paying for a program to glorify criminal behavior, with absolutely no balance from more levelheaded observers.

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