Civil liberties groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union have protested the bill, (AB 2296) –claiming it may prohibit the posting of accurate information on the Internet and carries criminal penalties for conduct related to public protest.
Vlasak expects both the restraining order and the legislation in progress will have no effect on the activity of underground organizations such as ALF.
“If someone’s willing to risk 20 years of prison by … burning a building used for animal torture, I don’t think they’re going to worry about a silly restraining order that UCLA cooks up,” Vlasak said. “The same goes for AB 2296.”
He attributed the steadily rising numbers of animal rights protests and attacks over the last five years to the ineffectiveness of peaceful protests.
“I think out of frustration of legal means, with passing laws, with peacefully protesting, with writing letters to congressmen — all those sorts of things — after seeing those techniques frustrated I think people have said ‘Well, if this doesn’t work, then … we should try something different,” Vlasak said. “And that’s when I think groups like the ALF and other organizations step up to the plate and say, ‘… We’re going to make sure that you’re not going to ignore us.’”
Vlasak said that although ALF has a specific set of guidelines in place — allowing for property damage, the liberation of animals and economic sabotage — they denounce violence toward humans or animals.
However, he said, “Other organizations don’t have those guidelines.”
Vlasak also argued the UC system is mistakenly funding unnecessary research that could be used for legitimate forms of treatment.