The ashes of [Mr. Vasella’s] mother, who died in 2001, had been taken from her grave in the eastern Swiss city of Chur, and the message, “Drop HLS Now’’, spray-painted in red letters on the gravestone.
Recent years has seen a rise in animal rights activity in Europe (except in the UK which has bucked the trend), but little has reached the scale of arson attacks and graverobbings. Our hearts go out to Mr. Vasella and his family, and we can only hope the police are successful in returning the urn and bringing those responsible to justice.
Sadly it did not end with the graverobbing – one week later:
August 4th 2009 – Extremists firebomb Mr. Vasella’s holiday home
“It was arson with a professional fire accelerator,” Novartis spokeswoman Isabel Guerra said in Basel.
More worrying still is the comments left by (Warning: AR Website) the North American Animal Liberation Press Office (NAALPO) – the mouth piece of the Animal Liberation Front:
“We personally can only regret that Mr. Vasella was not present in the home when it burned”
Extremists are not messing around, and unless people start to address the issue of animal research in the public domain the activists will continue to generate new, younger members. This extremism parallels a rise in extremism in the US we have seen in the last couple of years. We must act now before the more extreme activities are exported to the US from Europe.
The ALF has claimed this action (Warning: AR website) for themselves.
60 litres of petrol was concentrated in two places around the house – the roof sheltering the front entrance was packed full of petrol bombs with most of the petrol containers placed under it by the door to catch the wood inside, and around the side the wooden garage door and angled roof supports were targetted with the second group of devices.
We will destroy your life.
The ALF members are becoming more effective in their arson-efforts – A scary world indeed. Let us hope that this event has the anti-extremist backlash in Switzerland that it did in the UK.