On this date in 1982, a letter bomb addressed to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher exploded in her residence at Number 10 Downing Street. It was one of five explosive packages sent by a previously unknown group calling itself the Animal Rights Militia (ARM). With twenty-two years of hindsight, most observers now understand that ARM is a particularly nasty “arm” of the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), which still busies itself terrorizing farmers, restaurant operators, laboratory scientists, and others who fail to embrace animals’ “rights” as a life philosophy. And last week the ALF continued its violent campaign by hitting two Los Angeles McDonald’s.
Police Captain Patrick Gannon summed up the damage by saying, “They pretty much tore up the place.” The Los Angeles Times story on the incidents (which quotes CCF) notes:
LAPD investigators suspect that the crimes are part of a growing list of attacks, some involving bombs and arson, that authorities believe the animal rights group has carried out since 1996 against fast food outlets in Chico, Calif., and in Arizona, Michigan, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Utah and Virginia.
It’s obvious who loses when these lunatics strike, but the search for winners ends in unexpected places. As we explained to the suburban Los Angeles Daily Breeze:
“Groups like this throughout history exist to make the more moderate organizations look reasonable. This is very calculated. They do this in order to make People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the Humane Society and In Defense of Animals look perfectly ordinary and non-controversial.”
In the face of arson and death threats, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’s (PETA’s) public “won’t you go vegetarian” plea seems comparatively gentle. But it’s undeniable that PETA is rooting for — and in some cases conspiring with and bankrolling — the mad bombers that helpfully reposition their message as a seemingly mild-mannered alternative. Case in point: Last year two McDonald’s franchises in Chico, California were targeted by an arsonist who used a firebomb design similar to instructions offered just weeks earlier by $70,000 PETA grantee Rodney Coronado.