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A Collection of Interview Correspondences with Incarcerated ALF and Vegan Straight Edge/Hardline Activist Walter Bond

By Jonathan Pieslak.

Abstract:

In September of 2013, I began a series of interview correspondences with Walter Bond, an Animal Liberation Front (ALF) activist presently incarcerated at the Communication Management Unit (CMU) of the Unites States Penitentiary in Marion, Illinois. The CMU is a recent designation unit, commonly housing militant jihadists, for inmates whose communication is severely limited and monitored. Bond is convicted of arsons at The Tandy Leather Factory in Salt Lake City, Utah and the Tiburon Restaurant in Sandy, Utah, and is serving an 87-month sentence. He claims to have committed the arsons in the name of animal-rights defense. Our communication took place mostly via the prison email system of CorrLink, and lasted almost one year; it was primarily intended to further my understanding of music’s role in the eco-animal rights militancy movement. His is a unique case study insofar as there are relatively few known ALF activists to interview, and he strongly self-identifies with the vegan Straight Edge/hardline movement, a music-driven subculture that emerged from the broader Straight Edge musical movement in the early 1990s.

For the ease and clarity of reading, I have arranged our email correspondences in the form of an interview, however the reader should understand that I would typically email Bond questions in numeric order and he would respond accordingly. Thus, non-essential information, like greetings, is omitted. The interview is followed by a series of email blasts Bond frequently sent to his contact list; they offer further insight into his personal rendering of eco-animal rights ideology and his relationship to the musical subculture of vegan Straight Edge and hardline. Finally, sections of this interview have appeared, with major and minor edits of our actual email correspondence appearing below, on the websites of the North American Press Office of the ALF (https://animalliberationpressoffice.org/NAALPO/) and Walter’s support site (www.supportwalter.org).

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