by Will Potter on June 22, 2011
Twelve animal rights and environmental activists have been arrested in Spain and are being labeled “eco-terrorists.” Little information is available about this developing story right now, but some of the activists have worked with open rescues, walking into factory farms where animals were being abused, documenting the animal welfare violations, and then rescuing some of the animals.
Some news outlets are reporting that the activists are alleged to have ties to the Animal Liberation Front. However, Javier Moreno, a spokesperson for the above-ground group Igualdad Animal (and one of those arrested), says his group has been targeted because the government hasn’t been able to actually catch the pople committing ALF crimes. He called the attack on Igualdad Animal open-rescue activists “an attempt to criminalize animal rights movement” and said the eco-terrorism rhetoric is part of a continued campaign against all aspects of the animal rights movement.
“As they have no one to charge for the release of Minks, they have arrested several members Equanimal and Animal Equality in an attempt to criminalize the animal rights movement, as happens in other European countries,” he said. “The lobbies of animal exploitation and the powerful multinationals want to stop the animal movement and the repression is now coming to Spain.”
The sweeping arrests, accusing people of both above-ground and underground tactics, seem quite similar to the recent attacks on Austrian animal rights activists as “terrorists.” However, it is far too early to know.
Here’s my favorite video from Igualdad Animal