Letter to Editor-The Connecticut Post
Published: Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Page A11

Your June 28 article (“Terrorist watchdog ties Shahzad to other militants, groups”) unveiled the work of the Institute for the Study of Violent Groups at the University of New Haven, in which Friends of Animals was wrongly accused by the institute of associating with acts of terror as follows: “The Institute has documented 172 incidents involving terrorists, radicals and the Mafia in Connecticut. They’ve documented actions by the Ku Klux Klan, the White Wolves, Minutemen, Friends of Animals and the Diablos motorcycle gang.” Upon complaint, Daniel Mabrey, the institute’s executive director, promised a clarification would be forthcoming.

He failed to follow through, yet admitted he was relying on a 22-year-old news report, which claimed that a New York resident, who was arrested for attempting to deliver a pipe bomb to U.S. Surgical Corporation, was a member of Friends of Animals.

In truth, the person was not a member of Friends of Animals, but regardless, the group cannot be indicted for someone else’s act of coercion, or terror. That’s not evidence, nor is it proper analysis.

Clearly, a public apology is due Friends of Animals. Activists are routinely labeled as domestic terrorists in the U.S. to suppress protest demonstrations and other activism, yet nonviolence is Friends of Animals’ guiding principle.

Friends of Animals advocates animal rights and repudiates violence toward humans and nonhumans.

I joined Friends of Animals because of its view that no exploitation is acceptable, that challenging domination is at the core of animal advocacy, and that humans should be committed to social and environmental justice.

Careless news-gathering and reporting by the institute defamed the practices and policies of Friends of Animals. The institute’s allegations are preposterous.

They damage the reputation of an international animal advocacy group that deserves respect.

Priscilla Feral
Friends of Animals
Darien, Connecticut