SAN DIEGO – Animal-rights and environmental extremist Rodney Coronado, charged yesterday with teaching other activists how to build firebombs during an August 2003 speech, gave a similar tutorial at Washington, DC’s American University in January 2003. Today the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom announced that video B-roll of Coronado’s earlier bomb-making demonstration is available to the media.
Center for Consumer Freedom Director of Research David Martosko said: “Federal agents should be congratulated for taking a dangerous animal-rights militant off the streets. Hopefully, the rest of the animal liberation movement’s violent underground will continue to get this sort of scrutiny from law enforcement. And that must include a close look at the ‘mainstream’ activist groups, including PETA, that have given people like Rod Coronado aid and comfort.”
Coronado spent 57 months in prison during the 1990s for his role in an animal-rights arson that destroyed a research facility at Michigan State University. Court records show that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) president Ingrid Newkirk “arranged … days before the MSU arson occurred” [emphasis in the original court documents] for Coronado to send her overnight packages containing stolen documents from inside the lab and a videotape of the arson fire being started. A copy of the U.S. Attorney’s Sentencing Memorandum in the MSU case is also available.
PETA gave Coronado over $70,000 for his unsuccessful legal defense. In a 2003 interview with ABC’s 20/20, PETA’s Newkirk defended the paroled Coronado, insisting that he is “a fine young man and a school teacher.” And in 2001 PETA wrote a $1,500 check to the Earth Liberation Front, a terrorist group of which the FBI said yesterday that Coronado is a national leader.
Martosko added: “Most Americans will find it appalling that some activists are hiding behind the First Amendment to teach arson techniques. It’s high time PETA stopped defending the indefensible.”
Mr. Martosko is available for broadcast and print interviews. Additional documents concerning Mr. Coronado and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals are also available from the Center for Consumer Freedom.