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Animal rights activist admits targeting UCLA researchers; another pleads no contest to stalking, conspiracy charges

One animal rights activist pleaded guilty and another pleaded no contest this week to charges related to protests held against UCLA researchers and juice company executives, prosecutors said Friday.

Kevin Richard Olliff, 22, pleaded no contest Friday to felony stalking and conspiracy charges, a day after Linda Faith Greene, 62, pleaded guilty to similar charges. Both are affiliated with the Animal Liberation Front, an underground network of activists that has claimed responsibility for sabotaging animal research labs, setting fires, flooding properties and making death threats against researchers.

Last year, Los Angeles County grand jurors indicted Olliff and Greene on charges that they had harassed UCLA scientists who use animals in their research and held threatening protests near the homes of executives of the POM Wonderful juice company.

Olliff and Greene were among five activists named in a 2008 injunction that barred contact between animal rights activists and UCLA researchers.

As part of a negotiated settlement, prosecutors said Olliff signed a plea agreement saying “I admit that I am an animal rights activist who engaged in demonstrations targeting specific professors, researchers and business people at the personal residences and at their workplace, including the UCLA campus."

Olliff faces up to three years in state prison, and is scheduled to be sentenced in May.

Greene signed a plea agreement acknowledging she worked for the North American Animal Liberation Press Office website and had posted “specific and personal identifying information about persons engaged in lawful scientific research involving animals.”

Greene’s settlement requires five years of strict probation, during which she cannot belong to animal rights organizations and must stay away from victims’ homes and workplaces and UC property. She is scheduled to be sentenced next month.

UCLA officials welcomed the news.

"While we respect the rights of those who take a different view of animal research, we are committed to protecting our researchers from harassment and providing an environment where they can continue their work toward cures and a greater understanding of the human body," Chancellor Gene Block said in a written statement.

-- Tony Barboza

Comments () | Archives (12)

This shows what complete nutjobs these people are.

I know some researchers that go through enormous hoops to work on mice. No one likes it but it is absolutely essential for therapies and treatments for nearly every human and animal condition. We need to start speaking out in support of this research (can you imagine if an actor voiced support of animal research? it would be career suicide.... for something that we know that we need)

I fully support animal research with the proper regulations (from what I hear, there are too many regulations and it is drastically slowing researchers down). For example, mice used for one experiment cannot often be used for anything else, thus increasing use of animals and slowing progress.

Ninety-nine percent of people would be appalled and nauseated if they ever witnessed the animal vivisection that occurs daily at UCLA. As a physician, I understand that the vast majority of UCLA vivisection is done in the service of greed, ego, and curiosity. while doing nothing to advance human life. The torture dished out to these laboratory cats, dogs, and monkeys is almost incomprehensible. These animals are caged often for decades (in the case of primates), clamped and restrained for days, mutilated while still alive, and perpetually deprived of hydration so that they can be coerced to perform tasks for a few drops of water. While I do not condone any illegal activity, I believe that UCLA vivisectors such as Edythe London are the very countenance of evil.

Medical research using Animals have never benefited the Human Race in any shape or form and if "Fred" feels so strongly let him/her volunteer to partake in these tests instead of abusing Animals by the millions with no proper out come, that way maybe the Human Race will get the cures they need.

If these people truly believed in their cause (instead of just fronting it as an excuse to commit violence), they'd swear an oath to never use antibiotics under any circumstances. Anything less is absolute hypocrisy.

Frank, you know not of which you speak. These activists (who were not violent, by the way--they didn't hurt one living being) were protesting the use of unnecessary medical experiments such as rabbits who had their penile arteries severed to see if Pom Wonderful would cure human men of impotence. Why not have willing impotent men participate in the study??? Who wouldn't want free pomegranate juice, a little monetary compensation and a possible erection to boot? There was so much outrage by compassionate people and companies such as Whole Foods, that Pom stopped these tests after activists like Greene and Olliff helped expose this cruelty.

Maybe you should do a little research before you post statements accusing people of being hypocrites. I challenge you to get educated on the subject of vivisection. It is the stuff of nightmares and much of it is completely unnecessary and does not in any way help humanity. Try this link for a start:http://www.primatefreedom.com/vivisectors.shtml It will give you some information on UCLA vivisectors and exactly the types of experiments they are performing.

"work towards cures and a greater understanding of the human body"

How can you hope to have a greater understanding of the human body if you use animals bodies? There are far too many species differences.

Where are all the cures after decades of animal research? always round the corner....

When will the public be told the facts about animal research so that they can make an educated decision?

Why arent the public properly informed about the ever increasing failures and dangers to humans because animals are used as models for humans?

Why arent the public properly informed about all the many prescription drugs taken off the market after causing harm to humans?

Why arent the public kept informed about the pharmaceuticals being taken to court? Vioxx is one example of court cases worldwide and the majority of people know nothing whatsoever about it. Vioxx can significantly increase the risk of heart attacks after tests on monkeys showed that it protected their hearts. It had the exact opposite effect in humans!

Why arent the real risks to humans from taking prescription drugs publicised? The public have a right to know about all the serious adverse drug reactions and the testing of drugs on people in third world countries.

The results of a survey conducted on people that literally know nothing about animal testing is completely useless.

If they knew all the facts I guarantee that their response would be entirely different.

The reason I say this is because I used to support animal testing until I researched it thoroughly.

As for you Frank, same old same old, unthought out comments which shows a complete lack of understanding and knowledge.

Frank said the cause is an excuse to commit violence? Honestly, would anyone actually believe such utter nonsense? Same old tired, worn out and completely irrelevant comment.

Incidentally, it would not be hypocritical if someone that opposes animal research took anti biotics (most avoid the animal tested dodgy drugs like the plague in fact) because it is not their fault that there are no medicines that have not undergone animal testing and that is precisely part of the reason why they want non animal methods!

Let me ask you this, if the roads to the hospital had been paved by slaves in history and you opposed slavery would you be a hypocrite if you used the roads to get to the hospitals? We cant change the past but we can try to change the future. Do you get it now?

Alex's comment is the truth of what is really happening and all the evidence is available online.

Regardless of your thoughts on animal research, hopefully you still value living in a free country where people have the right to protest. That's all this young man did... peaceful protest outside vivisectors' homes. Which is legal. And he's going to prison for three years? If you refuse to stand up for the rights of someone you disagree with to express their opinion in public, then you will soon lose your rights as well. I thought we learned this in elementary school.

The point is that these people used criminal harassment and stalking methods, not whether their cause was a valid one. Harassment of climate change scientists is now leading to fear on the part of renowned climatologist Stephen Schneider. Harassment and stalking of abortion doctors led to a murder. Environmental attorneys and their clients are harassed, as outlined by a panel at the recent Public Interest Environmental Law Conference in Eugene, Oregon. Environmental journalists are harassed. Private individuals are even harassed if a group of harassers can be harnessed by the perpetrator. Harassment is chilling and must be stopped wherever it rears its ugly head. Only prison sentences and peer pressure will do that. Think of it this way: Someday it could be used on you by anyone with a grudge against you, or who does not like you or what you do. It's the equivalent of vicious adult bullying. When you see these techniques used by anyone, stop them. Don't believe lies about people, this is how harassers pull community members in. As in this story, remember there are criminal penalties for harassing individuals.

Hmm. Interesting subject. They are making no progress by setting fire to labs and making death threats. It just makes the people behind the movement look immature and irresponsible.. Not the right way to approach something!

There is no evidence that these people are affiliated with the ALF. The ALF is comprised of underground activists--these people are convicted of aboveground, legal demonstrations. Additionally, the ALF has never once made a death threat. Violence is against the ALF's guidelines; the ALF liberates animals and destroys property, but does not harm or threaten to harm and animal (human or nonhuman).

Hmmm interesting, billions of dollars and millions of scientists working on cures for cancer and AIDS, none of them have found it. Are these scientists really that stupid or are they just trying to keep their jobs. Testing on animals is a sure way to gurantee careers and create endless jobs - because it makes finding a cure nearly impossible! It's the best scheme ever invented by scientists to put food on the table.

Yes, there have been some progress made in science researching on animals but that's like saying you managed to get to work this morning hopping on one foot. There are better, easier, more effective and efficient ways.

Believe me, they are not out there to save your life.

Joanne wrote "Yes, there have been some progress made in science researching on animals but that's like saying you managed to get to work this morning hopping on one foot. There are better, easier, more effective and efficient ways."

Wow, you are smart. You know everything about research. All this time, our researchers are a bunch of lazy arses doing this to complicate their lives so they can produce mediocre results that have no redeeming values.

Please, professor Joanne, enlighten us with your discoveries. We need to know more.


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