Animal Liberation Front Targets San Diego, Calif., Fur Shop, Owner’s and Manager's Residences

| by Phyllis M Daugherty
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‘Furs by Graf Heavily Targeted by Activists’ is the sub-heading on a press release by the North American Animal Liberation Front (ALF) on July 21, 2013. It announced they had “sabotaged a San Diego Fur Shop and the owner’s and manager’s homes.” (The release is posted below.)

Animal-rights activists who call themselves “anarchists” vandalized a family-owned fur retail store in San Diego and damaged the East County homes of the store’s owners, U-TSanDiego reported on July 21.

During the attack on the Claremont business, Furs by Graf’s windows were covered with eroding etching solution, and slogans were sprayed on the exterior with red paint. Foul smelling acid was also sprayed into the store, according to the statement issued by ALF. Graf confirmed the damage and added that locks were glued. The store has reopened, she told reporters.

Kimberley Graf told U-T San Diego on Sunday the family-run business has been vandalized by activists about a dozen times over the past 30 years. However, this is the first time her home and her parents’ homes were targeted, she added. Both residences are in the East County.

That escalation has left the family unnerved. “When you have elderly parents and they are terrorized and attacked, it’s not easy,” Graf said.

Graf declined to confirm details about the damage at her residence and her parents’ home, but the press release by the ALF described that, “…homes, vehicles, driveways and porches were damaged by acid, paint stripper and spray paint — including a recreational vehicle.”

The family is working with law-enforcement agencies to investigate the incidents, which occurred July 14 or July 15. The Animal Liberation Front claimed responsibility in a post on the site of a Florida-based animal-rights magazine. They also widely distributed their press release on July 21.

Jerry Vlasak, a former trauma surgeon and spokesperson for the Animal Liberation Front, said Monday that he understands the attack was done on behalf of the group, but he does not have personal knowledge of it.”

The ALF does not have a formal membership but encourages taking actions “following the group’s guidelines,” Vlasak said.

“How would you like to have your home attacked?” she said. “Put yourself in our shoes. Any logical person would be upset about it.”

The claim of responsibility may help law enforcement find the attackers, Graf said. The U-T San Diego report states that sheriff’s officials are referring calls about the investigation to the FBI.


The Animal Liberation Front made its presence known in Southern California in 2010 on a website where the ADL-LA (Animal Defense League--Los Angeles) fervently supported the hiring of Brenda Barnette--then director of Seattle Humane Society, AKC legislative representative and a former dog breeder--as the General Manager of Los Angeles Animal Services.

In an post on July 9, 2010, it was explained that Los Angeles city officials had been plagued for several years with threats from a local group headed by Jerry Vlasak and Pamela Ferdin, called the ADL-LA. The group used physical and verbal protests at public events and often pre-announced visits to targeted homes and communities of employees of Los Angeles Animal Services. The protesters dressed in black costumes painted with white skeletons, waving placards with blood-red paint and various graphic accusations of “killing animals.”

However, the group was so enthralled with Ms. Barnette that it agreed to call off the continued picketing that annoyed and harassed the Mayor and his staff, if Barnette was hired to head Los Angeles Animal Services.

But, the ADL-LA’s endorsement of Ms. Barnette took a rather shocking twist on June 28, when they sent out an e-mail which stated:

“...ADL-LA isn’t battle weary; we’ve fought animal campaigns for longer then the one to STOP THE KILLING at LAAS. In fact, if any of the city councilmembers vote NO on her appointment, we are fully prepared to take our protests to THEIR neighborhoods!”

This might have been considered just political posturing until, on July 3, that same “forwarded” warning appeared on the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) website, right under pictures of animals being held by black-suited, masked rescuers.

The Animal Liberation Front was described by the Sydney Morning Herald (5/19/05) as listed by the FBI as a top domestic terrorism threat.” Read more: Should ALF Factor in Vote on L.A. Animal Services GM Brenda Barnette?


A commenter on the U-T San Diego article about vandalism at the property of Furs by Graf’s owners on July 22, wrote, “There has to be a better way for activists to make their statement. Don't they realize that participating in vandalism weakens their cause?” Do you agree?

Here’s the ALF release regarding the Furs by Graf's attack:

July 21, 2013
Received Anonymously

“In the early morning hours of July 16, 2013, anarchists in San Diego took action on behalf of the millions of fur-bearing animals who are trapped, enslaved, and killed to sustain the global fur industry

“We first visited Furs By Graf at 7670 Claremont Mesa Boulevard in the Claremont neighborhood. Every single piece of plate glass on this hideous enterprise was soaked in glass etching solution. The exterior of the store was covered in red spray painted slogans. Bottles of foul smelling butyric acid were sprayed into the interior, leaving this place of commerce smelling like death; identical to the odor present on every fur farm. We hope this is a costly clean up, and serves to drive away all patronage.

We then hiked to owner Ludi Graf's home, at (home address) in (city). His home was given the same treatment. We paint stripped his luxury winnebago parked in the driveway. Slogans were painted in blood red on his garage and the winnebago. The windows of the winnebago were etched. The remainder of the etching solution was applied to the windows of his home. Concrete destroying muriatic acid was poured on his driveway.

It was another short hike to manager Kimberley Graf's home at 3674 Birdie Drive in La Mesa. Her luxury pickup truck was painted red and soaked in paint stripper. All windshields and windows on the truck were smeared with etching solution. We covered her house and driveway in spray paint. Muriatic acid was dumped on the porch.

These actions were taken to vocalize the cries of the millions of wild beings yearning for freedom. This is in vain unless it inspires others to liberate and sabotage. Every fur farm prisoner deserves a jail break.

In solidarity with our comrades fighting in Vancouver,
Animal Liberation Front

Under[Press Office note, the second paragraph reads:
The Animal Liberation Front utilizes economic sabotage in addition to the direct liberation of animals from conditions of abuse and imprisonment to halt needless animal suffering. By making it more expensive to trade in the lives of innocent, sentient beings, the ALF maintain the atrocities against our brothers and sisters are likely to occur in smaller numbers; their goal is to abolish the exploitation, imprisonment, torture and killing of innocent, non-human animals.]

Sources: UT San Diego, Animal Liberation Front, OV