On July 13, 2012, Judge Lynisse Bryant-Weekes declared me a “danger to society,” revoked my $25,000 bond, and threw me back in jail on a half million dollar bond. During the 33 days I was incarcerated this time, I penned a jailhouse diary that will be published shortly. All proceeds will go toward legal fees for my upcoming trial on November 14. I suspect some of my views may be somewhat controversial. Following is an excerpt…
by Camille Marino
August 1, 2012
I pretty much gave up on exercising in here. My energy is depleted from eating a basic diet of junk food and drinking unfiltered Detroit water. I’m going to have to detox my system just from all the water I drink in here when I get out. Besides, there are only so many sit-ups, knee bends and repetitive floor exercises one can do before the monotony becomes painful. I bought five fruit and nut granola bars yesterday. So my new breakfast from here on is a 4 oz. orange juice and a granola bar.
I want to talk a little bit about effective campaigning. While many proclaim to hold the holy grail of effectiveness in different arenas, I fail to see any proof of it. I’ve seen no industrial abuser shut down in this country by the work of above ground activists. Yes, many of us are making inroads on many fronts. But what vivisector or lab have any of us stopped? What animals have we liberated?
I believe that the best chance we have of turning popular support against vivisection is to put a face on the torture and unmitigated horror that is the domain of “strict federal guidelines” and “animal welfare regulations.” These are the mantras of the vivisection complex that evoke innocuous images of healthy white mice navigating mazes and humane interactions with happy animals. We must understand that this propaganda tool is their weapon and we need to disarm them if we are going to advance.
When I was in New York, before I had any grounding in this movement, a story broke about Columbia University. A veterinarian had turned whistleblower. They were apparently doing some kind of menopause experiments on baboons where they sawed off their skull caps and implanted electrodes and devices in their brains. Well, the baboons were left to languish in agony in their cages with inadequate pain relief and, if I remember correctly, some of them died. I was sickened, horrified, and lost several nights sleep. However, I was allowed to believe that now that this unbelievably sadistic experiment was exposed, the perpetrator would be stopped and the animals would once again be well-cared for inside Columbia. Little did I know that the only violation of animal “welfare” law was the element of pain relief. Little did I know that this unfathomable sadism was standard practice and otherwise considered humane, at least according to the laws written by abusers. In other words, I think that highlighting AWA violations allows the public to believe these are the exceptions to the rule.
To be clear, any damage to a university’s reputation is beneficial and valuable. This is their stock in trade. And trust that I will fully exploit any violations I find at the University of Florida. In fact, I should check today on the status of one formal complaint that needs to go forward. But while some organizations have turned exposing violations of animal welfare law into an art form, the exposure that they are able to garner in the media needs to be supplemented by the rest of us.
We must begin to put a face on standard vivisection atrocities and business as usual.
To that end I’ve become something of an expert in my own right on how to penetrate university vivisection labs legally and expose their fully-legal and regulation-compliant crimes to the light of day.
I initiated my campaign against the University of Florida in October of 2010 after I heard a colleague speak about the primate experiments being conducted there. Unfortunately, the information I was given at that lecture by a veteran activist was factually incorrect and, when the media broke the story about my first misguided campaign initiative, it became abundantly clear that I was out there on my own. And to this day I have never given up anyone’s name and have taken full responsibility for my mistakes. But I also made an indelible mental note about the true nature and underlying motives of members of our alleged “community.” I had no idea how to proceed, so I organized a few pathetic protests along with another member of NIO Florida, but we simply had no momentum. We did have energy and dedication, however.
If no one would listen to us, we were going to make sure our presence was known.
We crashed and disrupted a Christmas gala at the University of Florida that was full of alumni, benefactors and supporters. Unfortunately for UF, they all learned that as they celebrated, their money was paying for monkeys to be imprisoned and tortured only buildings away. After accomplishing our mission, the police and security that swarmed each of us independently further disrupted the event. We allowed ourselves to be ejected and were each trespassed from the campus and all UF property in December 2010.
On this night, NIO Florida’s unique brand of above ground activism and our style of engaging the enemy was born.
But we needed substance in addition to style.
I had filed open records requests two months prior in October of 2010 to gain access to UF’s veterinary files documenting their primate experiments. In violation of Florida statutes, the university refused to disclose them. They remained in noncompliance, hiding their atrocities for 14 months until I won a lawsuit against them on December 30, 2011. The Eighth Circuit Court of Alachua County compelled them to turn over their records to me. This was a major victory for me and a watershed moment in gaining access to their labs.
And while being condemned for hurting the movement because the enemy was using the legal system to insulate itself from turning over records to extremists, the myopic conformists and pacifists proved to be wholly without perspective. Repression is a reaction to a threat. I revel in this fact. People may want to believe they’re effective and throw me under the bus as the worst thing that ever happened to this movement, but it seems obvious that if conventional mainstream efforts were worth anything except garnering donations, there would be a swift and orchestrated response to THEM! I’m perfectly comfortable out here on the fringe and under a microscope….
In January 2012, I started to publish UF’s records and put a face on “welfare regulations” and the “humane” manner in which they torture monkeys to death. Our protests took on a new energy and momentum. Once our community learned about the decades of poisoning, pain, and drug addiction these victims endure, there was unilateral outrage. Now it was our job to get our information into the public’s consciousness.
At a 40-person demonstration at an alumni gala on Feb 4, 2011, UF orchestrated another activist’s and my arrest in an effort to squash dissent and shut us down for good. The other member of NIO Florida was arrested for carrying a suspended driver’s license while standing on a public sidewalk. I was arrested on criminal contempt charges out of Detroit for refusing to comply with an unconstitutional injunction and remove a dog-murdering vivisector’s name, face, contact information and summary of his crimes from NIO. I was jailed for 31 days and extradited to Michigan where I bailed out on a $5,000 bond.
Now traveling back and forth between Florida and Detroit, I staged the civil disobedience at WSU on May 2 to get NIO Michigan’s campaign off the ground. I incurred two felony charges and the campaign out here appears to have died… not surprising since online activists virtually decimated on-the-ground support in Detroit. This is an increasingly detrimental issue and I cannot have hysterical and irrational people representing me or NIO online unless and until they become actual activists in the real world.
Bonding out this time on a $25,000 bond, I returned to Florida.
Escalating my own campaign at UF, I used open records laws once again to demand pictures of the tattooed holocaust victims imprisoned in their dungeons. I began to publish these a week before I was thrown back in jail in Detroit on July 13. We also were able to get in a major round of demonstrations and focus Gainesville’s attention on the vivisectors and their war crimes.
The one further way in which I am anxious to penetrate the enemy and expose their crimes is to get that court ruling that will make the location of their victims a matter of public record. As previously alluded to, we hold that since the location of the animals is not specifically included under “security exemptions,” that this information is public record. Therefore, my civil attorney, Marcy LaHart, filed her brief with the court in early July and we expect our appeal to be heard this summer. Communicating with my lawyer about this has proven to be a tremendous problem while I’m in jail. I cannot get her number “authorized” so I have no direct contact.
Nonetheless, while the repression apparatus is crushing activists’ constitutional freedoms across the board, this could be a precedent that would even up the playing field a little. I so badly want it! Whether I’m in here or not, the campaign against UF will go forward.
So let’s get back to what is or is not effective. Without question, like countless activists before me, I’ve learned to penetrate the enemy and expose their war crimes with tremendous efficiency. But, unlike most, I am unsatisfied disseminating this information within our community or looking to the USDA to slap their wrists.
Until we figure out how to connect the dots for the public, blast our image of vivisection into their consciousness, galvanize outrage in THEIR community and start shutting them down, I fail to see where any of us is “effective” for the animals.
It must be near 9 am and I’m dreading the cell door opening. I’m glad I get along with everyone. I’m glad everyone likes me. But I’m not sure how this strange thing happened where different groups of inmates seem to gravitate to my cell. There’s usually between three and five prisoners hanging out in here at any given time so I’ll have to go out in the dayroom so everyone will disperse. But, if it weren’t for my “crew” in here with whom I can talk about anything and stay clear of the drama, this would probably be a lot more difficult.
If I was on facebook today, I would put up this status:
“I’m somewhat perplexed when people say to me ‘you must really love animals.’ I wonder if people said to the liberators in Nazi Germany, ‘you must really love Jews.’”
Later (10 pm)…
My two vegan converts split my chicken patty over dinner as we discussed factory farming and all their flesh-eating aspirations when they get out. I wonder if any vegan proselytizers honestly believe their results are any different than mine. Hmmmm…
The dynamic in this unit seems to have shifted. One of the women hid underneath the bottom bunk in her cell last night to play a joke on the deputy on duty. But it was one of the toy cops with control issues who did the rounds and all hell broke loose today. Apparently they want to charge Shea with attempted escape and are asking the prosecutor to give her 10 to 15 years. And they are threatening to charge every single one of us as accessories even though we were all locked down. WTF! I’d love to match wits with one of these insipid buffoons outside this building that should have been condemned ten years ago.
It really annoys me when the women get emotional and react. When they make us line up in front of our cells to perform, I stare straight ahead at the wall opposite me and refuse to make eye contact. If they’re trying to get their kicks rattling and provoking the prisoners, I don’t play that game. I’ve persuaded a few of the women to rise above this situation and simply not react. They can lock up our bodies, but they can’t penetrate our psyches unless we let them.
Back to the new inmates. Two of them are on federal holds, allegedly don’t know why they’re here, and don’t fit. They put one in Ebony’s cell and she confided that the feds are trying to intimidate her into being an informant against her associates. The other one that I mentioned last night that talked about blowing up the WSU vivisector is really a mental case and her interest in my politics is disturbing. Ebony and I are not playing this game – whatever it may be – and we both have our guard up. It’s no playground in here – there are all kinds of people who would do anything to get themselves out.
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