It’s a Grand, Grand, Grand Jury

Fallout continues to accumulate from a recent “Revolutionary Environmentalism” conference at Cal State Fresno. The February conclave featured classroom visits from violent radicals like convicted arsonist Rodney Coronado, anti-American terrorist “spokesperson” Craig Rosebraugh, and Animal Liberation Front evangelist Gary Yourofsky. At first, it appeared that the event’s harshest critics might be in the California legislature, where two state senators have threatened to withhold a portion of Fresno State’s funding. But now it looks like the university is also answering to a federal grand jury.

The Fresno Bee reported on Saturday that university officials, answering a grand jury subpoena, have turned over a video recording of at least one “Radical Environmentalism” conference session, which was closed to the public. Authorities aren’t saying exactly what they’re investigating, but this may be part of a wide-ranging criminal investigation that has triggered the defense mechanisms of several radical animal-rights groups in recent months.

No Compromise, the semi-official publication for supporters of the terrorist Animal Liberation Front (ALF), has noted with alarm that “Federal Grand Juris [sic] have been convened in New Jersey, Washington DC, and Little Rock, Arkansas targetting [sic] animal advocates throughout the country.” No Compromise instructs its readers that grand juries are “wrong” and “unconstitutional,” and offers a ten-step tutorial on “How to Crush a Grand Jury.”

Similarly, the violent special-interest subset of ALF known by the initials SHAC is bitterly complaining that recently empanelled grand juries are “one of [the FBI’s] favorite tools in their war on freedom.” In March, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals co-founder and president Ingrid Newkirk advised animal-rights zealots to refuse to cooperate, saying: “It is dangerous to engage in even the most innocuous-seeming discourse with the FBI.”

For his part, eco-nut Craig Rosebraugh calls grand juries “a secret weapon of the U.S. government” used against “those considered to be dissidents.” These so-called “dissidents,” we might add, burn down buildings and threaten human lives. They’re hardly on a par with Solzhenitsyn or Sakharov.

Asked by The Fresno Bee for his take on the Fresno State grand jury subpoena, Center for Consumer Freedom research director David Martosko said: “I think it’s about time … Americans and our government have a duty to question the activities of violent activists who want to force their choices on the rest of us by any means necessary.”

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