The ALF Primer

A Guide To Direct Action And The Animal Liberation Front, Third Edition

by an unknown author

Members of the Animal Liberation Front act directly to stop animal suffering, at the risk of losing their own freedom. Direct action refers to illegal actions performed to bring about animal liberation. These are usually one of two things: rescuing animals from laboratories or other places of abuse, or inflicting economic damage on animal abusers. Due to the illegal nature of ALF activities, activists work anonymously, and there is no formal organization to the ALF. There is no office, no leaders, no newsletter, and no official membership. Anyone who carries out direct action according to ALF guidelines is a member of the ALF.
Animal Liberation Front Guidelines

1. To liberate animals from places of abuse, i.e. fur farms, laboratories, factory farms, etc. and place them in good homes where they may live out their natural lives free from suffering.

2. To inflict economic damage to those who profit from the misery and exploitation of animals.

3. To reveal the horror and atrocities committed against animals behind locked doors by performing nonviolent direct actions and liberations.

4. To take all necessary precautions against hurting any animal, human and non-human.

Countless publications on economic sabotage are in print. A more known one would be George Hayduke s Get Even The Complete Book of Dirty Tricks. Copies of the ALF primer can be obtained from the North American Animal Liberation Front Support Group. Also helpful is a series of essays written 2,300 years ago by Sun Tzu The Art Of War Forward Dedication Copyright Legal Disclaimer The History of the ALF Who are the ALF? The Animal Liberation Front Guidelines One View of the ALF Does Direct Action Work? Are You Ready for the ALF? Finding People to Work With Getting Started Planning Preparation Security

Before you even consider undertaking any action read this entire guide, then read it again. Know every detail inside and out, particularly those parts regarding preparation and security. We highly recommend you read Ecodefense, by Edward Abbey, as well. Although oriented more towards environmental action, it is incredibly detailed and informative. If what is presented here is the kindergarten class on direct action, Ecodefense is the college course.

This guide is dedicated to the brave men and women of the Animal Liberation Front. In this age of insanity you may be branded a terrorist, but you will one day be remembered as a selfless warrior who dared to fight for what is right.

This guide is anti-copyrighted. Any reproduction, in part or in full, without the expressed, written consent of the authors would be greatly appreciated.

Legal Disclaimer
This guide is for your entertainment, information, and general interest only. It is not meant to encourage the activities described within. We re just writing this for the heck of it. We would never dream of encouraging someone to use the proven-effective methods presented within to free innocent beings from the depths of hell, or to destroy the tools used to torture, mutilate, and murder them. We d much prefer you sit at home watching TV and remain apathetic.

The History of the ALF
The Animal Liberation Front has its roots in 1960s England. At this time a small group of people began sabotaging hunts there. This group, the Hunt Saboteurs Association, would lay false scents, blow hunting horns to send hounds off in the wrong direction, and chase animals to safety. In 1972, after effectively ending a number of traditional hunting events across England, members of the Hunt Saboteurs decided more militant action was needed, and thus began the Band of Mercy. They moved on to destroying guns and sabotaging hunters vehicles by breaking windows and slashing tires. They also began fighting other forms of animal abuse, burning seal hunting boats as well as pharmaceutical laboratories. After the jailing of two Band of Mercy members in 1975, word spread, support grew, and the Animal Liberation Front was begun in 1976.

Who are the ALF?
Members of the Animal Liberation Front act directly to stop animal suffering, at the risk of losing their own freedom. Direct action refers to illegal actions performed to bring about animal liberation. These are usually one of two things rescuing animals from laboratories or other places of abuse, or inflicting economic damage on animal abusers. Due to the illegal nature of ALF activities, activists work anonymously, and there is no formal organization to the ALF. There is no office, no leaders, no newsletter, and no official membership. Anyone who carries out direct action according to ALF guidelines is a member of the ALF.

Animal Liberation Front Guidelines
1. To liberate animals from places of abuse, i.e. fur farms, laboratories, factory farms, etc. and place them in good homes where they may live out their natural lives free from suffering.
2. To inflict economic damage to those who profit from the misery and exploitation of animals.
3. To reveal the horror and atrocities committed against animals behind locked doors by performing nonviolent direct actions and liberations.
4. To take all necessary precautions against hurting any animal, human and non-human.

In the third section it is important to note the ALF does not, in any way, condone violence against any animal, human or non-human. Any action involving violence is by its definition not an ALF action, and any person involved is not an ALF member.

The fourth section must be strictly adhered to. In over 20 years, and thousands of actions, nobody has ever been injured or killed in an ALF action.
This includes innocent bystanders

One View of the ALF
One ALF member put it this way, I see participating in the ALFs raids not as a momentary forfeiture of the highest human values - goodness, generosity and the like - but rather as an embodiment of them... We feel a sense of urgency for the animals whose pain and imminent death is absolutely real to them today.

Does Direct Action Work?
Susan Paris, president of vivisection front group Americans For Medical Progress (AMP), admits the Animal Liberation Front has had a large impact on vivisectionists. She writes, Because of terrorist acts by animal activists like Coronado, crucial research projects have been delayed or scrapped. More and more of the scarce dollars available to research are spent on heightened security and higher insurance rates. Promising young scientists are rejecting careers in research. Top-notch researchers are getting out of the field. The August 1993 Report to Congress on Animal Enterprise Terrorism describes the ALFs effectiveness as, Where the direct, collateral, and indirect effects of incidents such as this are factored together, ALFs professed tactic of economic sabotage can be considered successful, and its objectives, at least towards the victimized facility, fulfilled. If we look past the terrorist rhetoric, we can see that its a fact - direct action works. If you don t take their word for it, ask any animal rescued by the ALF and I m sure they would agree that direct action works.

Are You Ready for the ALF?
Direct action is nothing to take lightly. The moment you carry out your first action you are at risk of being arrested. Direct action is very demanding, physically and mentally. Are you in top physical shape? If you were being chased by a police officer, could you outrun him? Could you scale a barbed wire fence? Living under the constant stress of possible arrest can take its toll mentally as well. ALF activists should also remain drug and alcohol free, as these things decay physical and mental ability, give the police another reason to investigate you, and waste money better spent on supplies. Veganism is obviously encouraged, as it is both morally responsible, and will better your physical condition. Some ALF members will also limit their association with mainstream animal rights groups, as to remain less visible to police investigations.

Finding People to Work With
One of the most important steps towards getting involved in direct action is finding people to work with. In any ALF action you are putting your freedom on the line, so you must be positive you can completely trust the people you are working with. It is essential to find people who will not sell out you or the movement should an arrest occur. You should always work with people who you know well and have for a long period of time, people who you know you can rely on. Security is an important issue in direct action, so people with a tendency to brag or who won t be able to keep their mouth shut are a bad idea. Starting your own cell is better than joining an existing one, since if you know of an existing one, their security obviously isn t too good. Asking someone if they want to get involved is never an easy thing to do. Bring up the subject in a general way and see how the person feels about direct action first, and move on from there. Cells usually consist of 2 to 5 members. Use the minimum number of people needed for each action, but don t forget the importance of look outs. Having extra people unnecessarily puts them at risk. One person should be chosen as the leader of the group. This doesn t mean that person has any special power or privileges, and it often wont come into play at all. But if during an actions things go wrong, someone will need to make split second decisions, and in this case there is no time for democracy. Progress as a group, starting with minor actions to get used to each other, discussing after each action what went well and what didn t, and discussing how to improve and hit harder.

Getting Started
Before you even think about undertaking any action, read. Know this guide inside and out. Before you do anything you d better know how to do it right, or you may wind up in a lot of trouble. As with anything, the first time is the hardest. So start small. If your first action is a liberation of a large laboratory with high security you are going to have problems. Start by gluing locks or some spray paint. You can go about finding a target a few ways. First, you may want to decide what kind of establishment you want to target - a fur shop, a butcher shop, a factory farm or slaughterhouse, or maybe a fast food restaurant? If you are planning on getting involved in direct action you are hopefully already aware of various animal rights issues and probably know where and how to find whichever kind of abuser you want to target. Your local animal rights group is probably aware of abusers in the area, but keep in mind that local animal rights groups are the first people the police will question. The easiest way to find a target is to let your fingers do the walking. A phone book can direct you to all your local fur shops, butcher shops, etc. If fast food restaurants are your goal, you can t go down the street without seeing one. Locations of fur farms can be found in The Final Nail. Once you ve begun and know what you are doing, go big. The more actions you take part in the more likely it gets that you will get caught, so be sure that when you hit you hit hard.

After selecting your target become familiar with it. You may want to study a road map and become familiar with the surrounding area. You should first visit the sight in daylight. Park well away in a non-suspicious place, like the parking lot of a large store or a side road with many cars. Approach on foot and get as close as possible. Take a good look around (without looking suspicious) and think about how you are going to do whatever it is you are going to do. Once back to your car, draw a map including everything you can remember. Now it is time to draw up your exact plan. Leave nothing to chance. Figure out every detail and be certain that everyone is completely familiar with every detail. You don t want to find yourself at the site trying to get your act together. Next, return to the site once more before your action, this time at night. Follow your route to the site just as it will be during your action. You can think of this as a dress rehearsal. Get as close to the target as you can. This should also be as close to the time of day your action will take place (actions are obviously almost always carried out at night), so that you can see what security and other factors are in effect at that time. Always plan for things to go wrong. Know what you will do if you come in contact with a security officer or police. Know which way you will run, if you will go as a group or alone, and where you will rendezvous. These recommendations are general. For something as simple as gluing locks, less intense planning is needed. For something as complex as a raid, more planning may be necessary.

Consider leaving your immediate area for actions repeatedly working close to home can be a tip off to police. Also be sure to not keep a regular schedule of days and times your actions take place - if the police establish your pattern its one more thing they can use to catch you. As tempting as it is, avoid hitting the same place repeatedly. This is how a good number of people get caught. If you choose to report your actions, don t name your specific group. If so, the police will know just what actions are carried out by your group, making finding you easier. Always have a story set if stopped by the police. Know where it is you will say you are coming from and going to. If you are going to be using your car for actions, remove all bumper stickers. Also be sure all lights, license plates, etc. are OK. Drive carefully and legally. Don t give them reason to stop you. Be sure to have enough gas before leaving for an action, so you don t have to stop on the way, or especially while transporting animals. Clothing is important as well. Wear nothing with identifiable markings. Consider many targets are equipped with security cameras, and always assume the one you are hitting is. Any tattoos should be covered, any piercing covered or removed. You want to wear dark colors, but all black can look suspicious, so just keep it dark but not unusual. Ski masks are commonly employed during direct action, but be ready to ditch them if need be - they can be quite incriminating, especially on a summer night. A hooded sweatshirt, a baseball cap, and a scarf are a better idea in some locations. On high risk operations you may want to get some oversized shoes from a thrift shop to avoid leaving tell tale footprints. Stuffing the toes will make them wearable. Another option is to keep a pair of shoes used just for direct action with your tools at a safe house. If this is the case, only put them on while on the way to an action and take them off on the way back, as not leave corresponding footprints around your house or on your carpet. Wearing socks over your shoes or covering the soles in duct tape also works well against footprints. For actions where the police are going to be investigating more heavily, even hairs and fibers on clothing may be a problem. In this case you can buy clothes from a thrift store just for that night, and throw them away afterwards.

Another possibility on high risk operations is to wear boiler suits, which cover all your clothes, and can be removed quickly after back to the car.

Always wear gloves and be mindful of fingerprints. Be careful of using thin latex gloves, since fingerprints can be left through them. Put one pair over another if you choose to use them. Fingerprints will also be left on the inside of the glove, so if you use them, dispose of them separately from any other evidence. Be careful whenever purchasing equipment for an action. Buying a gallon of bright red paint a block from home and dumping it on the McDonalds two blocks away the same day is not a good idea. Purchase everything far away from home and always with cash, as well as long before an action is to take place when possible. Be careful of using materials that will give away where you are from. For instance, if using newspapers in an arson attack far from home, using your local paper will be dead give-away.

Wipe everything you are taking with you completely to remove fingerprints, in case anything is dropped or has to be left behind. You have to scrub hard to remove prints, and some soap or rubbing alcohol may help. Clean everything as if it is going to be left behind, since sooner or later something you didn t plan to leave will drop.

For this same reason you should take as little as possible with you, and connect whatever you must take to your body. A rubber band through your belt loop with each end attached to your key chain will keep it secure, even if you are being chased and have to go headfirst over a fence, etc. Even if you don t touch something while purchasing it by wearing gloves for instance, wipe it anyway so it cant be traced Obviously, do not have drugs, weapons, or anything else illegal on you or in you car during an action. If you are using tools such as crowbars or bolt cutters (this is mostly for liberations), sharpen or file them after every action, since slight markings on the tool can leave traceable markings on what is opened. Also, never keep tools at your house. If you are keeping tools used in actions, store them at a safe house. A safe house is the house of a person not involved in the actions at all, someone who the police would never investigate. Tools and clothing should never be disposed of in your own garbage. A large dumpster at a store or restaurant is an ideal place to dispose of evidence. Never buy cheap tools, especially if you are using walkie talkies. Your freedom and the animals lives are on the line, so go for the quality equipment. Before setting out for an action, spend about 30 minutes outside in the dark. This will improve your night vision. When using flashlights, regular light will ruin your night vision. Red or blue lenses will not, and are also preferable because they are less visible from a distance. Military flashlights, available at Army/Navy stores come with red or blue lenses. Another piece of equipment that can greatly increase security is walkie talkies. Having lookouts set up and connected to the team via radio can increase warning times from seconds to minutes. The Walkman/headset style are ideal, and are commonly available at Radio Shack for a reasonable price. Night vision scopes are another useful tool. They take existing light and magnify it tens of thousands of times, allowing one to virtually see in the dark. Top of the line night vision equipment is out of the financial range of most activists, but earlier models are available for a few hundred dollars at Army/Navy and survival stores. For very thorough information on radios, night vision scopes, and many other useful bits of technology, consult Ecodefense.

The government is actively monitoring animal liberationists, particularly suspected members of the ALF, so watch your back. They are opening mail and tapping phone lines, so never ever ever say anything incriminating over the phone, mail, or e-mail. Always assume that you are being watched and your house may be searched at any time (they have gone so far as dismantling heating ducts while searching the houses of suspected ALF members, so never assume anything is hidden well enough). Discussing direct action works on a need-to-know basis. Never tell anyone anything that they do not absolutely need to know. Never discuss actions with people not involved, for your safety and theirs. If someone asks you about the ALF, say that you aren t involved, but you have heard or read about it. That way you can discuss the ALF without incriminating yourself. If someone says something incriminating over the phone, quickly excuse yourself and hang up before they can get another word in, then explain to them what they did wrong next time you see them in person. Keep in mind that homes, cars, and anywhere else can be bugged. Try to discuss actions in areas that are secure (where nobody can overhear), but that they would be unable to bug. Take a walk through the woods, for instance. Except for the purpose of improving your group and its effectiveness, once an action has taken place, never discuss it again. The damage was done, animals lives were saved, and that s the important thing. Bringing up old war stories is an unnecessary risk. All this may seem like paranoia, but the government will go to any length stop us. Besides, its better to be a little paranoid than in jail.

Start small, then move on to bigger things. Even the simplest actions take practice to get right, so try one thing at a time until you ve gotten it down. Once you ve mastered the small things, use them in combination to really ruin an abusers day. Think about possibilities of combining breaking windows and paint bombs for instance. Be sure to start with the quietest parts when doing a number of things. What is outlined here are general methods used by the ALF. Every location and building is different, so after checking over your target, you should both modify these methods based on the specific area and target itself, and feel free to be creative and come up with new ways to do damage. Creativity will make you more effective, harder to catch since you are less predictable, and make whatever security they come up with less effective.

Send questions or comments about this web site to Online since 1991.

THE ALF PRIMER -- A guide to direct action and the animal liberation front, third edition
Countless publications on economic sabotage are in print. A more known one would be George Hayduke s Get Even The Complete Book of Dirty Tricks. Copies of the ALF primer can be obtained from the North American Animal Liberation Front Support Group.

Windows are probably the easiest target available in most situations, yet large windows can cost hundreds, making them an ideal target. Glass etching fluid (hydrofluoric acid) is available in some larger arts and crafts stores. Be sure to buy out of town on specialized items like this. Its a liquid or cream that eats through the surface of glass. If you can get a hold of some, put it in some kind of squeeze bottle, one of those plastic lemon ones for instance, and off you go. If you get the cream it can also be applied with a paintbrush, allowing slogans to be written on the window. Its potent stuff, so be careful not to get it on your skin. Working quickly at the target you ll probably make somewhat of a mess with the bottle, so bring a plastic bag to throw it in after you are done. Its a quick and relatively safe way to cause some financial damage. A less expensive but much noisier method is simply smashing windows. It is loud, so get ready to run. Aside from throwing a brick or rock, a popular way to do this is with a sling shot. They are available in many sporting stores. You may have to patronize a store that sells hunting equipment to find one, but you can always offset this by returning at a later date and smashing their windows in turn. The advantage of a sling shot is that you don t have to be right next to the window to break it. Sling shots can even be effective from moving cars. Try to fire symmetrical objects such as ball bearings or nuts. Rocks or bolts will be hard to control due to their lack of aerodynamics. Whatever you shoot, be sure to wipe them for fingerprints first. It is always your responsibility to be certain there is nobody in or near the store that you could injure while firing. Shooting from totally inside the car (as in, don t hang out the side) will make detection a whole lot harder. Air guns (a.k.a. BB guns) are another option. They don t do as much damage to the window as a brick might, but they are very quick, can be used easily from inside a car, and are very quiet. You can easily roll up to a store, stop in front for a second, roll down the window, take a shot, and leave. Unless someone is standing right there, nobody will notice a thing. Most of the time they will leave a small hole with a spider web crack, about the size of a silver dollar. Occasionally they will completely shatter a window though, so be ready for it. There are generally two types of BB guns. The first look like rifles, and are powered by being manually pumped. The second look like handguns, and are powered by CO2 cartridges. The cartridges only cost around $2 each and will give you around 150 shots. The advantage of the CO2 style is that they are generally semi-automatic (meaning it fires one shot every time you pull the trigger). Using such a device you could take out over a dozen windows in a couple of seconds. They do look like real guns though, so if the police roll up, drop them immediately or risk getting shot. The other option for breaking windows is a hammer. Tilers hammers are best because of their pointed design they can be found in most hardware stores. Windows, especially shatter proof, are tougher than they seem, so use a hammer of some weight. The best time for this is a stormy night, the lack of visibility and noise of the storm providing excellent cover. You ll naturally think to hit windows in the center, but this is actually the strongest part. Always go for the corners, as these are the weak spots. Another option with windows is glass glue, which permanently sticks glass to glass. Attaching a piece of glass with a slogan painted on the inside will require them to replace the whole window.

People in more urban areas are probably familiar with stores lowering metal shutters over their windows while closed. After having windows smashed, a target store in a less urban area may do the same. If you are dealing with the kind of shutters that are a grid, or bars, etching fluid, sling shots, or BB guns will still work fine. Its also possible to simply lock any kind of object to the shutter, making it impossible to open.
Sometimes they wont use all the holes for locks that are available on the shutter. If this is the case, put your own lock on there. Make sure its fingerprint free first. More difficult are the full shutters that don t have any holes. Hitting the shutter with a sledgehammer may work in both damaging the shutter, and possibly breaking the window if they are close enough together. A more subtle method of dealing with full shutters is gluing the shutter locks, which you can see under the gluing locks section. If they have been dumb enough to only put a shutter over the main window and left a smaller one, like on a door, uncovered - break that one, then reach in and break the main one.

Vehicles are another easy target. There s a great number of ways to do damage to them. When doing a set of things to a vehicle, start with the quieter parts. There are basically two different approaches that can be taken with vehicles, destruction and sabotage - the difference being with destruction vehicles are visibly damaged, and with sabotage the action is not evident until the vehicle is run and experiences mechanical problems. There are many options with the destruction method. Tires can be slashed. An ice pick, sharp knife, or anything of that sort will work. Tires, especially on trucks, are tougher than they seem, so use something thick and strong that wont break or bend. Putting a hole in the side wall will make it impossible to repair. A pair of pillars can also be used to yank out the stem (the thing you put air in through), which will also flatten the tire. A large screwdriver can damage a radiator by punching holes in it through the grill. If you cant get to the engine, you can cut wires and break various components. If you cant get to the engine, you can also cut what you can from underneath. Bring something heavy-duty like small bolt cutters, as regular wire cutters wont be able to handle metal cables and such. Either paint or paint stripper can do some damage to the paint job. Windshield wipers can be broke off, headlights and windshields smashed or painted with etching fluid, and locks glued. Windshields are made to deflect rocks kicked up on the road, so only more direct methods of breaking them, such as a hammer, will work.

With the more subtle sabotage method, it is important to leave no signs you were there, so the vehicle is run and the damage is done. If dealing with trucks, look for levers on the side of the hood to release it and open it forward. The stereotypical sabotage technique is sugar in the gas tank. This will merely block the filter, and do little damage. More effective fuel tank additives are sand or 10 to 15 mothballs. Be sure not to use sand from near home, as it can be traced. The best sabotage target is the lubricating system. If incapacitated, it will cause the engine to overheat, bind, and generally destroy itself. Karo syrup in the oil filler hole is another classic that, in reality, only effects the filter. One option for major damage is to carefully remove the oil, either by punching a hole in the oil pan, or removing the drain plug. Adding water to the oil is more effective, since it will not lubricate, but will keep the oil pressure up, keeping a warning light from coming on. Better than water is diesel or gasoline, as it will also break down existing oil. For maximum effect, look to adding abrasives to the lubricating system. The oil filler hole is not the only option here. All moving parts need lubrication, such as transmissions, differentials, and wheel hubs. Many lubrication points will have screw on caps that can be removed with an adjustable wrench. Sand can be used for this as well. However, the top of the line abrasive is the kind used to polish stones in tumblers, available in hobby and lapidary supply shops. A very fine powder grit mixed with a slightly more coarse fine sand grit will have the best chance of getting throughout the whole engine and wrecking everything. A 400 and 600 grit size mix works well. A mere half pint of this will completely destroy an engine. Pouring sand or grit can be difficult, especially at night, so here are a few ways to make it easier. Attach a couple feet of flexible plastic tubing to a funnel for increased and easier reach. Or get a grease gun, available at auto parts stores, remove half the grease, mix in grit, and apply with the gun. Another option is to put the grit in a condom, tie it off, and simply drop it in the oil filler hole. After running for 30-50 minutes the condom will dissolve and release the grit. Other options for sabotage include dropping plaster of paris or a handful of BB s into the carburetor. A box of quick rice in the radiator will expand as the vehicle runs and clog the works. A pound of salt or some Drano will eat away the copper tubing of a radiator.

Gluing Locks
Gluing locks is one of the quickest, easiest, and safest forms of direct action, and one of the most commonly used. The idea of gluing locks is that time is money, and if you can keep an abusers business closed, even for a short time, that s money lost and animals saved. Properly glued locks will require a locksmith to fix, and they aren t cheap either. In order to glue a lock, get a tube of glue, ideally the kind with the long, sharp tip, or the kind in the syringe. Approach your target, be it store or vehicle, and put a small piece of wire or similar object, less than a fingernails length, into the lock. Insert the glue tube into the lock, and fill the lock with glue.

Once the glue dries it will be practically impossible to open. Some glues are effective, some aren t. Get some cheap locks and test some out for yourself until you find what works. In order for a glue to work well it must be thick enough as to not run out of the lock, and dry solid, not rubbery. Also consider drying time. Hardware stores have a wide selection of various glues, so try to find something with both these properties. An easier way to effectively glue locks may be to take a glue tube with a wide enough opening, squeeze some glue out, fill the tube with BBs and mix them in with the glue. This way your solid material will simply squeeze out with the glue.

Paint is often a good way to get your message across and do some damage. Vehicles, billboards, and buildings are all paintable. Spray paint is one option. Splashing paint out of a container of some sort is another. Plastic soda bottles will work well there. To get more range you can put a hole in the top and screw it back on, then spray through it. Paint-bombs can be constructed by simply filling Christmas ornaments or light-bulbs with paint. Light-bulbs take some work, but are easier to come by. Cut off the bottom part of the metal, below the glass. Very carefully break out the bottom part of the glass, by the filament, inside the remaining metal ring. Fill and carefully seal. You can use a screwdriver for that. The advantage of such paint bombs is that they are surprisingly quiet. Be positive they are print-free first though. Always transport them in sealed plastic bags, in case one ruptures. Balloons can be used too, but they tend to not work as well. Paint can be inserted into soda bottles, ornaments, or bulbs using, ironically, a turkey baster. Always mix paint about 50/50 with water or paint thinner so it splatters better. Paint on glass is easy to get off, getting it on wood, metal, or stone exteriors is a lot more effective. Large markers can also work. Super-soaker type water guns filled with a paint/water mixture are effective as well. They sometimes leak and drip, so keep them in a plastic bag before and after a hit. Its impossible to wash all the paint out afterwards, making it good evidence if found, and possibly clogged after a couple uses. Bearing this in mind it may be a good idea to buy one, use it one night on a number of establishments, and dispose of it. Just remember that paint is a messy business and has a tendency to get everywhere, including all over you.
Paint stripper is another option, especially effective on vehicles. 3M Safest Strip, or Extra Strength, has the advantage of clinging to vertical surfaces. Dupli-Color makes ST-1000 Paint Stripper, available in auto parts stores. It comes in spray cans, and can eat down to bare metal in 30 minutes. Brake fluid is an effective paint stripper as well.

Sponges and Toilets
This is one of the few actions undertaken actually inside the abusive establishment, and while they are open none the less. This can be risky for heavily involved ALF members, but it s a great action for those looking for simple and more low level things to do. If you are able to get access to an abusers toilet, such as stopping in a fast food restaurant to use the bathroom, here s a quick and easy way to do some damage. Get a sponge, the bigger the better. Big fluffy ones are better than hard square ones. Get it wet, and then wrap it tightly in string and let it dry. Remove the string and it will stay in its compact shape. Once in the water the sponge will expand to its previous size. So simply drop it in, flush, and hopefully clog up the toilet. If it gets deep into the pipes first, this can turn into a very expensive problem. Lacking a sponge, lots of their toilet paper can clog a toilet as well. It is easier to unclog, but still a minor nuisance.

A mixture of plaster and sawdust in a nylon stocking is another method.

Telephone Lines
Telephones lines are the most neglected way to easily cause a business to lose money. Once you find an abusers building, locate the phone lines coming out. Attach a weight of some kind to a strong rope, toss it over the line, grab both ends and pull. Another option is to climb the pole it is going to and to cut it. Either way, business rely a lot on their phones and this is an easy way to take them out of commission. If you see any wires, phone lines or other, at ground level, just yank them out or cut them.Careful if it s electrical though!
Security Cameras
Places that get hit a number of times may install security measures, such as cameras. Don t let this deter you. As long as you are well covered, the best they can do is give them a general height of the people involved, which doesn t mean much. What they actually do for establishment is the opposite of what they are intended. Instead of protecting them, it gives you something else to break. Security cameras are expensive, and not all that hard to destroy. Aside from open cameras, look for boxes or spheres, which sometimes house cameras. They are generally up high, around ten feet up. Flood light systems are another thing you might see pop up. If you want to hit the place again but you re not to fond of all the light, try a slingshot to take them out of commission. Just remember that if they do install a security system, that means money out of their pocket, which is what you wanted anyway. It also means you re being effective, so keep it up. Just be careful not to hit the same place too often or they ll be waiting for you.

Stink Bombs
Various foul smelling agents can serve a variety of purposes and direct action. Some ideas are dropping some through mail slots, windows after being broken, trucks (especially if windows or doors are left open.), large fur sales, and hunting conventions. Numerous very weak acids have powerful and strong smells. Most well known is butyric acid, of which two drops will clear a room and one ounce is enough for a building. Other options include capryllic acid, caproanic acid, isovaleric acid, proprionic acid, ethyl amine, skatole, hydrogen sulfide, carbon disulfide, and n-butyraldehyde. Many of these can be diluted five or ten to one with water without losing much strength. A more commonly available option are the various lures used by hunters, such as deer piss. Any of these can be delivered using a medicine dropper or hypodermic needle.

Construction Sites
If you come across an abusive institution under construction, there are many effective actions that can be carried out at this point. Firstly, however, be positive it is in fact going to be what you think it is. During construction survey stakes (wooden stakes with colored ribbons tied to the top) are used to mark such things as corners, water and sewer lines, and elevation. Simply removing these stakes, and disguising the holes will cost a few days work. When removing stakes, also look for hub and tacks , which are 2X2 stakes pounded flush through the ground, with a nail driven in top, or sometimes marked by flags on wires. Also, reference points, which include various stakes or hubs and tacks as much as 50 away must be removed or the survey sticks can simply be replaced. More effective than removing stakes may be to move them just slightly. Although it may seem minor, removing survey stakes is considered a relatively major crime, so use the usual security precautions.

Salt greatly weakens concrete. If a large amount can be introduced into cement bags or sand piles for making concrete, foundations and the like would be weakened. Leave a note that you have damaged the cement so that people don t get hurt. Make certain the note is received.

After the foundation is poured, connections for plumbing, especially sewage, are exposed. There are often covered in duct tape to avoid objects being dropped inside. If the duct tape were to be carefully removed and clogging elements such as concrete, epoxy, or plaster were dropped down the pipes and the tape was carefully put back in place it could cause major problems if not realized until the building is completed.

After drywall is put up electrical wiring is put in. Once sheet-rock or other wallboard is hung this wiring is very hard to get to. After drywall is erected, wiring can be cut in inconspicuous places like behind studs, and then taped or glued into position. Hopefully this will keep the cuts from being noticed until after sheet-rock is hung.

Send questions or comments about this web site to Online since 1991.

THE ALF PRIMER -- A guide to direct action and the animal liberation front, third edition
Countless publications on economic sabotage are in print. A more known one would be George Hayduke s Get Even The Complete Book of Dirty Tricks. Copies of the ALF primer can be obtained from the North American Animal Liberation Front Support Group.

Arson is a big, and dangerous step up in direct action. It can be very dangerous in a number of ways. Arson is a very serious crime, so before considering it you d better be aware of the possible consequences if caught. Fire is also terribly dangerous, so the utmost care is needed when starting one. Its necessary to be positive that no human or nonhuman animals will be hurt in the blaze. It is also dangerous media wise. Arson carries the heavy tag of terrorism , and must be used wisely as not to discredit the entire movement. As dangerous as arson is, it is also by far the most potent weapon of direct action. One of the first arson attacks in the US was against a new research lab at U.C. Davis doing over 4 million dollars in damage. When constructing your incendiary device, be careful! Consider the source of the information you are using. Never, ever, ever use The Anarchists Cookbook. This was put together by a right wing individual purposely using faulty recipes in order to kill or injure people following the book. Never use information off the internet either, as much of it is from The Anarchists Cookbook or other unreliable sources. Just use common sense. Arson can have two different purposes. The first and more obvious is to start a fire and burn down the target, be it a building or a vehicle. But devices can also be created that will only have a small fire, meant to give off heat, thus setting off a buildings sprinkler system, doing water damage to merchandise. If using this method, you should be using timed devices, set to go off at night when nobody is around. It is best to try to get the device into the store while open, rather than breaking in during the night. These devices are placed out of sight under flammable furniture, displays, etc. Putting them inside of furniture or other products may be dangerous considering the device may fail to go off on time and go off at a later time after someone has purchased it. Placing the device on the top floor is best, since the water from the sprinklers will then ideally run down to the other floors, doing damage on each. We will first discuss devices intended to start a fire, then move on to more complicated timed devices meant to set off sprinkler systems. Before using any device be absolutely sure to wipe it clear of all fingerprints. Do not assume the device burning will get rid of fingerprints. The authorities have at least 32 methods of pulling prints of burned articles. In some cases, the fire actually fuses the oil of the print to object, making it easier to read. Whenever using a flammable liquid try to use kerosene, or diesel fuel. Their fumes aren t flammable, unlike gasoline, and are therefore safer to use. Kerosene can be bought at outdoor or camping stores as well as some gas stations. Here it is especially important to buy far away from home. Purchase it in regulation red fuel containers, then transfer it to whatever bottle you are using (usually plastic drink bottles or jugs). Also, if using bottles don t fill them all the way, or as the liquid turns into a gas and expands it will cause the bottle to leak. Flammable liquid is made to have a noticeable smell, so be sure to keep it totally sealed in a plastic bag when transporting, and be careful not to get any on you or in your car. Wash yourself, your clothes, and air out your car or spray some air freshener in it after the action is done. Incense sticks are often used as a fuse in incendiary devices. We strongly caution against this. They are hard to light, go out easily, and dont always set off the device. A much better fuse can be based on those prank birthday candles - the kind that you cant blow out. They re made to not go out, so what could be better? Just be sure that they are set up in a way that the dripping wax wont interfere with the connection to the rest of the device.

A simple way to create an incendiary device is based on two plastic bottles of flammable liquid. Lightly soak two sponges in whatever liquid is in the bottles. Place the ends of the candles between the sponges, and place the sponges between the bottles, then tape the whole thing together. You can also put matches at the base of the candles in order to help things along. Be positive the candle and match heads are very close to the sponges or it will not work. The fire will slowly move down the candle, light the sponges, which will melt the bottles, and start the fire.

A different version of the same device uses one gallon water jug, the kind with the handle. A sponge is placed sideways through the handle opening and the candles are stuck in on both sides of the handle. Another simple way to start a fire is the cigarette delay. This entails taking a cigarette, and placing the end between two open books of matches, with the match heads against the cigarette. Tie them together around the cigarette with string or a rubber band. Place this between cardboard boxes, newspaper, or whatever other flammable stuff you care for. This method will give you a five to ten minute delay, but don t count on specific times.
A common target for arson is the wooden broiler units used to hold hens. Due to various drugs, hens now reach their maximum weight in just seven weeks. So, every seven weeks the hens are slaughtered, and the boiler units are cleaned out and disinfected, ready for the new batch of chicks. Just after the disinfecting is the best time to burn them down since the disinfecting scares away rodents. The standard process for this uses only two people, although other people may be put to use as look outs and drivers. One person carries bags of torn up clothes. The other carries a container of flammable liquid, newspaper, matches, and fire-lighters. Fire-lighters are pieces of solid material used to start fires. You can find them in camping and army/navy stores. Broiler units are often left open to air out after cleaning and disinfecting. The bags of torn up clothes are placed in the corners of the unit, and the flammable liquid is poured into the bags, soaking the clothing. The bags should be leaning against the walls so the don t fall away while burning. Some flammable liquid can also be poured on the wall as well, but be careful not to overdo it, you still have to get out. The fire-lighters are placed on top of the bags, against the walls. A box of matches can be placed on top of the bag as well. A piece of newspaper is rolled up and used as a fuse so you don t have to be right over the bag while lighting it. If your target has a number of buildings you probably wont want to stick around long enough to do more than one, so go for the largest one.

Destroying vehicles by means of fire, one must be careful. When the fuel tank of a car or truck explodes it can throw the vehicle 20 to 30 yards. If it is that close to a building containing human or nonhuman animals it is necessary to break in, release the break, and push it out of range. A simple way to burn a vehicle is to place a sheet or blanket on top or underneath and soak it in flammable liquid. If the doors can be opened, it can also be poured over the dashboard and seats. If not using a time-delay device, try to light it from as far away as possible by lighting the end of a rolled up newspaper, flare, or other torch-like object.

The device used to set off sprinklers begins with a cigarette box, playing card box, or similar small box, and a card is cut to fit inside (to attach the parts to). Playing card boxes work well in this capacity since you already have perfect fitting cards. Holes are punched in the sides of the box and card for ventilation, and both parts are coated with nail varnish. A brand new nine volt battery (must be Duracell or it wont work!) is glued to the card. Next, take a 21 watt bulb, the kind used in cars for reverse lights. The glass must be broken without damaging the filament. To do this, heat the bulb with a lighter and then place it in cold water. The older way of wiring it is to get a battery snap (the thing nine volt batteries attach to) and solder one wire of it to the nipple of the bulb. A spare piece of similar wire is soldered to the metal side of the bulb (the side part is also a contact, not only the nipple). Fine, but stiff, wire is then soldered onto the ends of the two wires. These two will later be attached to a watch face. A watch (not digital - the kind with hands!) is used, removed of its band and glass over the face. The thin but stiff wire at the end of the wire coming off the side of the bulb is bent up off the watch face into a bridge shape, like an upside down letter U. Both ends are soldered onto the watch face with the bridge part lifted off, or perpendicular, to the watch face. The other wire, the upright, is bent at a 90 degree angle, so the end stands off the face, slightly taller than the bridge. The purpose is to have the hour hand push the upright into the bridge, completing the circuit and setting off the bulb. In order to not have the minute or second hand hit the upright they must carefully be bent out of the way or cut off. Then the two wire ends, the bridge and the upright, are glued onto the face between one and three. They are placed on the watch face so that as the hour hand reaches them it will push the upright into the bridge. The watch, battery, and bulb are glued onto the card. A piece of fire-lighter is glued to the card in front of the bulb, and covered with nail varnish. The filament is carefully placed on the fire-lighter and more varnish is painted over the filament and fire-lighter. Match heads, removed from the sticks with razor blades, are placed on the fire-lighter, touching the filament, while the varnish is still wet. Fire-lighter can be hard to get going, so attach as many match heads around it as possible. Any remaining space on the card should be filled with more pieces of fire-lighter. Only touch it with gloves after that point, or better yet, only touch it with gloves from the beginning, since parts may be impossible to wipe off after being assembled. Before entering the target, set the hand to the correct position, depending on what time you want it to go off. Do not connect the battery snap to the battery yet. Once in the store, visit the bathroom and connect it there. The device is now armed. Various problems can come up, such as the hour hand not being strong enough to push the upright into the bridge, so try it out and try to use the same materials and set up once you ve found what works. Here is the newer, and more effective way of setting up this device. First off, watch hands aren t that strong, so small travel alarm clocks work better. This will require you find a larger type of box. Also, a simpler wiring than using uprights and bridges is to just connect the wire to the hour hand, traveling along it from the center out. Be sure to leave enough loose wire so that as it goes around it doesn t pull off. The end of the wire should be stripped with enough bare wire to make good contact. Depending on your set-up, it can either contact another wire attached to the side of the bulb, or contact the side of the bulb itself. Try different set ups out, testing it along the way by checking if the bulb lights up before you break it, and so on. Once you have a finished product test it out to make sure it flames up enough to start a small fire. Take notes throughout the process so you can recreate it again if it works. Once you have found something that works, commit it to memory and destroy the notes. Always be wary of any evidence you may be keeping around, like those notes, or boxes or receipts from parts you had to buy.

A timed device used for vehicles is similar. It begins with the same box, card, bulb, and battery set up. Using pieces from a plastic bag, make a small bag, about 4 x 2.5 cm, containing a mixture of half sodium chlorate (weed killer) or potassium nitrate (saltpeter) and half white granulated sugar (use Jack Frost - it vegan!). UHU or similar glue is used to seal the edges of the bag. The bag is placed along the filament where the fire-lighter was used in the previous device. If you don want to mess around with the bag, use the same fire-lighter set up as the 12 hour device. Instead of a watch being used as a timer, this one uses a cooking timer which has a rotating arm. A nail is banged into the top of the timer, not far enough to affect the mechanism, and secured with glue. A piece of metal that can conduct electricity is bent into a letter L shape. This piece is glued to the arm, so that the L touches the nail when the timer reaches that point. The wires are attached to this arm and to the nail. The device is glued to a plastic bottle filled 3/4 full with gasoline, and dish washing liquid is added. The dish washing liquid is used to sustain the flame. It does solidify the gasoline in around three days, so the device should be used within 24 hours. The device should be placed inside the truck, on the upholstery. If you cant open a door, you ll have to break a window or use it below the truck. Before using such a device it is absolutely necessary to check the truck to make sure the driver is not sleeping inside, as is often the case with larger commercial vehicles. Any product that repels dogs and cats can also be placed around the truck for safety, especially with longer timers. Again, make sure all fingerprints are completely gone before setting off for an action and only touch it with gloves after that.

Getting Through Locks
In some actions, particularly liberations, breaking in is an essential part of the action. Locks can be dealt with in a number of ways. If you are going to be attempting to get by a lock you should take a close look at it, possibly when you check out the site your first time during the day, or more likely your second time at night. Then try to get the exact same kind of lock and see what works. You can try to pry them open with a crowbar, or cut them with bolt cutters. The other way through a lock is to use an electric powered drill and a new 1/8 inch high speed drill bit. Depending on the hardness of the lock it may take more than one bit. Never buy cheap drill bits - they ll let you down. Most keyed locks are pin-tumbler types. In this kind of lock, a number of spring loaded pins are pushed up when the key is inserted. When the tops of these pins are in perfect alignment with the shear line , the plug into which the key is inserted can turn and the lock opened. In many locks, parts are made of brass to prevent corrosion.

Fortunately, brass is relatively soft and easily drilled. A drill can be used to destroy the pins along the shear line. Be careful not to drill too deeply, since this can damage the locking bar making it impossible to open. Drill only the depth of the keyway, which is 3/4 inch in most padlocks, and 1 inch in most door locks. A drill stop , available in most hardware stores, can be used to pre-set the depth required. Once the lock has been drilled out, insert a pin, such as a nail, into the lock to press the remains of the pins above the shear line. You may have to insert the drill a few times to chew up bits of pins that are interfering with opening. Finally, using a flat-head screwdriver, turn and open the lock. This operation takes practice, so get a few cheap locks and work on it first. Books and tools for picking locks are not too difficult to come by. The other way to get past doors is to just go through them. Prying them open with a crowbar, knocking them open with a sledgehammer, are two ways.
Another way is to cut a hole through the middle of the door just big enough to fit through. A row of holes drilled with a thick drill bit is one way to do this, portable power saws are another. The advantage of this method is that if the door is alarmed going through the middle may not trigger the alarm.

Liberations are the quintessential direct action. Education and economic sabotage save animals lives in the long run, but liberating animals from laboratories, factory farms, or other places of abuse is the only way to save animals lives here and now. Liberations are probably the most complex actions, and some of the most risky. For both these reasons, an incredible amount of planning and preparation are needed. The first step in a liberation is research. You have to know all you can about the target. You have to know how many animals they have, what kind of animals, what they are doing to them, and where they are located. Once these are determined comes the most important part of a liberation - finding homes for the animals. Aside from the actual break in group, a whole other group of people may be needed for this aspect. NEVER liberate an animal that you have not found a good and loving home for. Liberated animals should be placed in homes of people not associated with your group, and hopefully not associated with the movement at all. Once animals are taken police will be looking for them, so they have to placed somewhere police will not look. Before being liberated, an animal should be completely checked over by a trusted veterinarian. Again, before planning on how to get animals out of bad situations, be certain you have a good situation to put them in once they have been liberated. Special homes may be needed for some animals considering you may be liberating animals not normally kept as pets, or with special conditions inflicted upon them by the abusers.

While caring for a dog taken from a laboratory breeder may not require special skill, the average person does not know how to care for a monkey with a hole cut in its skull and an electrode attached to its brain. As was said, liberations are often highly complex, requiring a number of people and a huge amount of planning. The people involved should each have an area of responsibility, a specialty. You will need people responsible for finding homes, researching and planning the raid, look outs, breaking in, carriers - people to get the animals out, and drivers, as well as someone to coordinate the whole thing. If possible the look outs and break in crew should arrive early so that the carriers and drivers are there for as short a time as possible. Of course have a way for lookouts to notify everyone else if things go wrong, be it an audible signal or by walkie talkies. Many animals naturally make noise when disturbed or moved, and there s nothing you can do about it. All you can do is get in, get the animals, and get out as quickly as possible. You have to have lookouts you can rely on, so that you can concentrate on getting the job done and not have to worry about watching your back. If things go wrong get everyone together and leave quickly. Most people will be happy just scaring you off, so unless literally being shot at, don t leave anyone behind.
Parking vehicles near the site may be suspicious. It may be best to have the vehicles arrive early and park in nearby large parking lots or on side streets amongst other cars. Then, they can simply pull up, either at pre-appointed times or when notified, possibly by walkie talkie, get the animals, and go. Always have the vehicle with the animals leave first. If the animals get caught they face death, if you are caught you will only lose your freedom for a short time.

Fur Farm Liberations
Almost all animals raised on fur farms can be released safely into the wild. Police and fur farmers may disagree, saying they will starve or die in the wild, but wildlife officials agree that this is a self serving lie. Of course some will not survive the wild some animals raised in the wild don t survive it either. Do they stand any better chances on the fur farm? This makes liberating animals on fur farms much easier than those from laboratories. Fox, mink, wolf, bobcat, lynx, raccoon, and coyote can all be safely released into the wild. The only common fur animal that can not survive the wild is the chinchilla. Fur farms are also an easier target since they are more open and generally have less security, although with increasing fur farm liberations, security is quickly increasing. No huge ecological imbalance results from releasing these animals, even in massive quantities, into the wild. They all disperse quickly, with mink traveling five to ten miles a day, and fox traveling twelve. Fur farms are easily spotted, most use long sheds or rows of cages. Fur animals are kept as cold as possible, since this will thicken their coats. For this purpose fur cages are always open to the outside air, making liberation that much easier.

There are some points of safety for the animals that must be followed in a fur animal liberation. Animals are not old enough to be released until after they have been weaned. Also, they should never be released after late October, since by then winter has set in and they wont have time to learn to hunt since prey species will be more difficult to catch at this time. The best method for releasing large amounts of animals is to cut holes in fences surrounding the compound, and then just open the cages and let the animals find their own way out. Of course some will not get out, but when releasing thousands of animals it may be the only way. The more escape routes you can cut the better chances they will have. With any release into the wild some animals will be recaptured, but getting most or even some of the animals to freedom is still much better than all dying. Chinchillas are a small herbivore native to South America. They are generally not killed until spring. As was said earlier, chinchillas are the only fur animal not able to be released to the wild, so they should be found good homes with people who know how to care for them. An important thing to know is that they can not tolerate temperatures over 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Books about their care are available at book stores and libraries. Even if a liberation is not possible, fur farms can still be disrupted. From October to December the pelting stock , the animals about to be killed, and the breeding stock , those animals left to produce more animals, are the same size. By opening all the cages and releasing them into the compound they will be unable to tell which is which. The breeding stock may be kept in just a few cages, so be sure to open them all, or else you might miss the breeding stock and have accomplished nothing. You can also destroy the breeding cards, index card sized slips which contain the genetic history (thus the value) of the stock, usually kept on the front of the cages. This action will not save the animals in the fur farm at that time, they will still be killed. In fact, they will probably kill all the animals and purchase new ones for breeding. But, such actions can cause a farm to shut down, thus saving countless animals. Its a question each individual must decide for themselves.

Another method is to take a non-toxic dye and spray it on each animal, rendering the pelt worthless. Again, they will still be killed, but possibly it will shut down the farm and save future generations.

Dealing With The Police
The following holds true for both being arrested, or just taken in for questioning. When performing direct action, arrests at some point are inevitable, so you had better be prepared for dealing with the police. Although it is true that the more actions you do the higher your chances of arrest get, and some forms of direct action are more risky than others, there is still a chance you will be arrested during your first action, no matter how minor, so be prepared. The general rule in dealing with police is to say nothing. Keep in mind that these people go to school to learn how to trick you into incriminating yourself and others. They are also avid liars, and will say anything to try to trick you. Realize that every word out of their mouth, no matter how friendly, innocent, or unrelated it may seem, is said with the goal of getting evidence against you. Just keep your mouth shut. They may try to threaten a statement out of you. They may say they will keep you in longer if you do not talk. A lie. If they see they are not going to get what they want out of you they eventually will give up. If they see you may talk they will keep pushing until they get what they want. They may threaten you with physical violence. They may even use physical violence against you. Do not fight back. Face it, your are in a police station, surrounded by cops. You aren t going to win. If you do try and fight back you will get yourself a charge of assault on a police officer against you, and some hefty jail time. Its not worth it. If attacked, try to role into a ball and protect your head with your arms. If you can get into a corner, do so. Police will only turn to violence if they think it will get you talking, so keep your mouth shut and you will keep safe. If given a phone call, do not say anything incriminating over the phone. Call your lawyer if you have one, if not call a good animal rights group and they will help you out with one. By the way, no one has ever gotten off by giving police the information they wanted or by turning in others. Its important for ALF members to know their rights, since they are often in possession of incriminating evidence, and allowing a search to happen when you don t have to could be disastrous. When dealing with a police officer it can fall under one of three categories. The first is consensual contact. This means that you are not being held, are free to go if you choose, and you do not have to talk to the officer. This is the state you are in if they have no solid reason to suspect you of any crime and just want to talk to you. In this situation you should politely excuse yourself and leave, since talking to the officer will give him the chance to look for spray-paint on your fingers, etc. The next stage is detention. This means that they have reason to suspect you, but not enough to arrest you on. In this situation you can not leave, but of course should answer no comment to any questions. In order to hold you in detention they must have SAF, or Specific and Articulate Facts. Then of course there is arrest, which requires a high level of suspicion that you have committed a crime. Only once under arrest can you be searched, otherwise t