It’s a small victory, but it’s something. On Thursday a Jefferson County, Kentucky court convicted People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals campaign director Bruce Friedrich — who advises “blowing stuff up and smashing windows” — on one count of Criminal Trespass. The charge stemmed from a series of December protests at the home and church of KFC restaurant executives. In addition to a fine, Friedrich was ordered to “have absolutely no contact” with one restaurant leader or his “place of residence.” This may be an important sign that law-enforcement and the criminal courts are unwilling to approve of activists who turn their professional gripes into personal vendettas.
A PETA press release, distributed to Louisville media on December 22, 2003, provided the set-up:
Leading PETA members holding signs that read, “KFC Tortures Chickens,” and accompanied by an activist in a chicken costume, [Bruce] Friedrich will hold a Christmas Eve protest … at Southeast Christian Church … The next day — Christmas Day — Friedrich will accompany PETA’s “Santa” to deliver sacks of coal to [a KFC executive’s] house and visit the homes of other KFC executives. Friedrich is available for interviews.
For reasons unknown, PETA has since removed this release from its website. But other indications of similar exploits are still visible, including a previous protest at a Louisville house of worship and a plan to turn a former KFC president’s neighbors against her with misleading statements about the company’s practices.