Activists try “Climate of Fear” approach!

The recent success of the Pro-Test Petition (10,000 signatures and counting) has caused stirs among animal rights activists. Two extremist blogs – the Thomas Paine’s Corner (which we have previously mentioned and is staffed by a number of ALF Press Officers) and the Negotiation is Over blog (which we have also mentioned), decided to encourage other activists to harass scientists who had signed the Pro-Test Petition.

The petition is both a directory of people whose minds need to be changed (and in many cases whose behavior needs to be changed) … Please select as many names from the petition as you see fit and contact these individuals as soon as possible. Some common names may be difficult to trace to the particular individual but many names will not be difficult (particularly if they have listed educational credentials or academic titles with their name).

It is only just the someone who opts to take a public position in favor of violence toward animals receive some negative feedback from more compassionate individuals such as the many dedicated activists who read this blog.

The effect is to create a climate of fear among scientists whereby they do not feel secure enough to speak up about their research or the research of others. Pro-Test for Science and Americans for Medical Progress have responded by emailing signatories and urging them to ignore any harassment (and to report it to us –, a response to which SR adds its name. Thus far we have not heard of anyone who signed being contacted by activists.


The petition is a good example of safety in numbers and the importance of standing up together to defend research – it becomes almost impossible for activists to effectively isolate and target individuals. This is what happened in the UK with the original Pro-Test movement and the subsequent “People’s Petition” which attracted over 20,000 signatories. So if you haven’t signed the Pro-Test Petition there is never a better time than right now!

A couple of blogs have also rallied round in defence of the petition such as Lousy Canuck and Traumatized By Truth:

So please, if you have not signed, now is the time to lend your support. Let these vile cretins know that you support science, you support medicine, you support a better understanding of disease, you support new medicines and improving old ones.

Let them know you support a better future for your parents, your children, your grandchildren, your friends – yourself. Let them know you support the scientists who are helping make that better future and will not tolerate violence against them.

Remember – the actions of the animal rights activists reflect the reasons behind our creation of the Pro-Test Petition. The more they harass us, the stronger our resolve must be to overcome it.


Tom Holder

4 thoughts on “Activists try “Climate of Fear” approach!

  1. Jason,

    You do have to laugh at how Camille cuts-and-pastes the comments to make them seem worse. What a whack job.

  2. Both of the simulposted blog posts explicitly make it clear that not only is torture and murder acceptable to “end the violence”, but that this “convenient list” is a list of people to check off not after being contacted but after having their contact info listed for the more violent factions within the ARA forces to harass or worse. Just look at the NiO one, with the “dishonorable mentions” section, for an example. For what other conceivable reason would full contact information be provided for those that rally in defense of the signatories on a petition?

    Thanks for the support, by the way, folks!

  3. Doesn’t the original blog post that this post is responding to basically just ask people to write a letter about an issue that is important to them?

    This post seems to be a bit of an overreaction.

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