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Underground Eco-Defenders

Jessica Lee Sep 15, 2007

The Earth Liberation Front (ELF) and the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) are international, underground environmental movements made up of anonymous and decentralized groups who use property destruction against companies and institutions engaged in exploiting and damaging the environment. The ELF was founded in 1992 in the United Kingdom by a group of radical environmentalists who split off from Earth First!, a group that engaged in public, above-ground acts of civil disobedience.

The ELF was modeled after the ALF, which was formed nearly a decade earlier. Individuals who engage in environmental sabotage activities can claim them on behalf of the ELF if they meet three guidelines: (1) To inflict maximum economic damage on those profiting from the destruction and exploitation of the natural environment; (2) To reveal to, and to educate, the public about the atrocities committed against the earth and all species that populate it; and (3) To take all necessary precautions against harming life. Since the movements appeared in the United States, more than 600 actions against corporations or facilities engaged in logging, residential development, energy production and distribution and genetic engineering research have been claimed by the ELF or ALF, causing tens of million in damages. To date, no one has been injured or killed in any of the actions.

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