By: Mike Gorrell
Headline: Web Sites Rally Olympic Protesters
Source: Salt Lake Tribune
Date: 6 September 2001
From self-styled anarchists to animal-rights activists, opponents of Salt Lake City's Olympics took their cases to the Internet this week.
A Web site, www.burntheolympics.org, launched Monday urged protesters worldwide to converge in Salt Lake City next February to "subvert" the 2002 Winter Olympics.
It also called for the disruption of an International Olympic Committee sports medicine conference Sept. 16-21 at the Grand America Hotel because one sponsor, the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, promotes products developed through testing on animals.
Meanwhile, the Utah Animal Rights Coalition (UARC) unveiled a Web site -- www.saltlake2002.net -- to attack a Davis County rodeo scheduled for next Feb. 9 as part of the Cultural Olympiad.
The Salt Lake Organizing Committee responded promptly to the use of that domain name by firing off a letter to UARC, contending the similarity to the address of the official Olympic Web site -- www.saltlake2002.com -- violated trademark laws and the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act. Organizers threatened litigation if UARC did not erase its Web site and transfer the.net domain name to SLOC.
UARC attorney Brian Barnard disputed SLOC's contention that anyone looking for information on the rodeo might mistakenly reach his client's site instead and divert "Internet traffic away from SLOC's official Web site." But to avoid misconceptions, he advised UARC to put a disclaimer on its Web site, advising readers of the distinction between the two sites.
"My client isn't interested in deceiving anyone," Barnard said. "They want only to clearly state their position that the Olympic rodeo is barbaric."
SLOC attorney Bryan Day insisted organizers were not trying to limit UARC's free-speech right to criticize the Games, but noted that its Web site used legally protected Olympic words and phrases. Responded Barnard: "How can a person criticize the Olympics without using the word Olympic. It's part of the Olympics' campaign to silence criticism."
Although animal rights figured prominently in the "BURN (Build Underground Resistance Not) the Olympics" Web site, UARC administrative director Eric Ward distanced his group from its call to action.
"We do not see [anarchy] as an effective form of protest. We want to foster an environment of sympathy for animal causes," said Ward, whose group plans nonviolent protests during the Games.
The domain name www.burntheolympics.org is registered to Salt Lake City resident Sabrina Forsey, a former UARC member. Salt Lake Tribune efforts to contact Forsey were unsuccessful.
The Web site got the attention of Utah Olympic Public Safety command leader Robert Flowers, who said it will be "evaluated."
"It's freedom of speech, but it causes me concern when . . . people provoke or encourage unlawful behavior," he said. "But this doesn't change anything. It doesn't change the way we operate. We set about making professional preparations for law enforcement during the Games, whether that is responding to individuals going beyond the boundaries of the law, accidents or emergency responses."
The Web site claimed the Olympics was targeted for "use of public money, oppressive police powers, environmental degradation and corporate sponsorship."
It added that the 6th World Congress on Sports Medicine was singled out because Pfizer is a customer of an animal-testing laboratory and "in business to make money off sickness and our unhealthy society."
Salt Lake City Assistant Police Chief Scott Folsom said, "If there is a protest and it's lawful, we'll assist them like we would any other group. If they are planning on being disruptive, we'll respond expeditiously and try to maintain order."
[Quotes are from the main explanation page, titled "Ten Reasons to BURN the Olympics" (Source: http://www.burntheolympics.org/about.html).]
The Olympics are sexist. Baron de Courbertin, founder of the IOC, was a French chauvinist who hated women. He felt that "The Olympic Games must be reserved for men." Since then (1896), women have slowly been included in more events, but there are still far more men's competitions.Wow. 106 years is a long time to hold a grudge. Those darn 19th Century French chauvinists! They should be punished!!
Umm... Exactly which Olympic sports have only men competing?
Here's something a little more up to date: Sabrina Forsey, the sponsor of the "BURN the Olympics" site, actively campaigns against medical research for drugs to treat AIDS and breast cancer. She calls her protests "non-violent."
Perhaps she doesn't consider the ravages of AIDS, breast cancer and other diseases to be "violent," but many people who suffer from these diseases consider them very violent indeed.
Here's another gem from the "BURN the Olympics" website:
The Olympics promote spectatorship. The Games do not help aspiring athletes, but instead get us to watch TV. The Olympics want people glued to their televisions so they can absorb advertisements. By placing athletes on pedestals, people are disempowered by being convinced that they must buy things to get closer to the gold."Spectatorship" -- that bane of human existence. Actually, I agree with Sabrina on this one. There is too much commercialism and people do watch too much television. Getting rid of your TV set is one of the best things people could do. But I think the Olympics encourage and inspire people to be involved in sports. I'd much rather have people watching the Olympics than the latest WB sitcom.
I think Sabrina is just jealous that people ignore her heartfelt protests against "animal slavery" (pet ownership), and prefer to watch world class ice skating.
At the bottom of her intro page Sabrina concludes:
This information is provided by Build Underground Resistance Not the Olympics (BURN the Olympics). We are working to educate, agitate, and organize for the Salt Lake City Olympics in February of 2002. BURN the Olympics has been initiated by radicals who are not resigned to sit back and watch our city turn into a playground for the rich. We plan on using our diverse skills and tactics to tackle the multinational death machine that is killing the planet.Straight from the horse's mouth. (Oh, wait, is "horses mouth" an offensive term for Animal Rights adherents?)
It's nice to know that the Olympics are a "multinational death machine."
Oh, and at the bottom of the page, you can make a donation to a PayPal account using your credit card. Because, you know, anarchy costs a lot of money. I'm sure that Sabrina and her friends will grimace convincingly while they take accept your filthy lucre.
Source: Salt Lake Tribune
Date: 29 April 1999
By: Paul Rolly and JoAnn Jacobsen-Wells
Fifteen-year-old Sabrina Forsey has asked the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for help because her second-period teacher at Bonneville Junior High says she must stand during the daily Pledge of Allegiance.
Sabrina, an atheist, finds offense at the phrase, "One nation under God." For two years, all her other teachers at Bonneville have respected her wishes.
Although Sabrina now is permitted to stand with her back to the flag, the ACLU has contacted Granite District to put an end to the "harassment."
UARC Office Occupation Eviction! Anti-press release not for immediate distribution Salt Lake City, UT -- The Dandelion Free State and Anarchist Squat Cafe is currently in the process of being evicted from the roof of the UARC office. The free state, which has enjoyed short lived glory, is now being torn down by the combined forces of the building owner and "legal owners". "We worked really [expletive] hard to drag all that sh-- up there, Eric!" one squatter was said to have yelled this morning. "We [expletive] pushed a shopping cart all around Salt Lake to get all that cool [expletive]: the road signs, the grass, the flowers, the flags, the skids, the boards, the bricks... [expletive]!" The free state was the brainchild of the rolling blackout that occurred last night, forcing UARC office dwellers to move away from their computers and venture outside. Even before the beer was busted out, squatting the office roof seemed like a fun and intelligent idea, despite the roof already being of poor, leaking quality that could barely support the tarmac it is made of. "This just goes to prove how counter-revolutionary and corrupt moral philosophy of the Utah Animal Right Coalition is. We must smash yoo-ark with our mighty squatting fists for a just and free society." said Sabrina Forsey, eager to get in her two bits on anything to do with bashing UARC. Whether or not the roof or other part of the UARC office will be re-occupied remains uncertain. At the time of this release, Eric was unavailable for comment, and remains sulking in his room.
[Photo caption: Sabrina Forsey from the ANIMAL DEFENSE LEAGUE, which called it quits Wednesday because homemade chains were cutting off circulation to protesters' arms. Photo by Eric Rolph]
The protesters who planned on staying outside the Animal Resource Center on the University of Utah campus until police dragged them away left of their own free will Wednesday afternoon.
We decided that we had essentially done as much good as we could do," protester Craig Manville said. The protesters, all members of the Animal Defense League, stayed outside for about 32 hours before unhooking themselves around noon.
We were losing the circulation in our arms," Manville said.
We couldn't sit up on our own."
Manville said the protesters were still willing to go to jail for their actions, but the logistics of the protest were impossible. Manville said the group was fairly positive" police would come to remove them within about 6 to 10 hours of the protest's beginning. Protester Sabrina Forsey said she thought the U would view Wednesday's events as a victory.
They're going to feel like they won either way," Forsey said. Anne Brillinger, the director of Public Affairs of the Health Sciences Center, said it was neither a victory nor a defeat.
We're not in a fight," she said. "Their presence was not disruptive." Brillinger said the U was very tolerant of the peaceful protest, and the activists did not delay or stop the Animal Resource Center's business. Both Forsey and Brillinger said no one made requests for the protesters to leave. The protesters, however, maintain that they stopped a shipment on Tuesday, March 27, before they even started protesting and lessened the shipment on Tuesday, April 4. Additionally, on Wednesday, Manville said a delivery did not happen because of the protest. Brillinger said the U had not planned any action even if they could have legally removed the protesters. Forsey said she still thinks the group made its point.
"I'm not at all disappointed," Forsey said. "I'm very proud of the rest of the group."
Manville and Forsey said the group will continue its fight at the U.
Forsey said the group learned a lot about how to stay comfortable during the protest. She also said the group will consider whether or not to use the same tactic in the future. Manville said the locked boxes" the protesters used cost $60 each to make.
Salt Lake City, Utah, Nov. 26 - Jeremy Parkin, dedicated animal rights activist, was booked into the Salt Lake County Adult Detention Complex on charges of 3 counts of Felony theft, 1 count of Felony Criminal Mischief, and 1 count of Felony Burglary. The charges were later consolidated, minus the charge of Felony theft.
On Friday morning, as animal rights groups protested around the nation as a part of Fur Free Friday, a national anti-fur event, Parkin's home was swarmed by approximately 14 FBI Agents and local Sheriff Deputies. In a surprising demonstration of militaristic force, they closed off his entire residential street to apprehend him.
Parkin is a vocal animal rights activist who speaks out on behalf of abused animals, as well as underground direct action groups like the Animal Liberation Front who rescue animals slated for death and cause economic sabotage upon those who profit from the slaughter of non-human animals.
The charges that Parkin is facing are related to his work as an activist, but how exactly is not yet known. Parkin's mother commented to friends that the charges are related to a protest at a fur farm last November which resulted in an unknown number of mink being released, as well as destroyed breeding cards for the animals. She also stated that the FBI mentioned an act of economic sabotage claimed by the Animal Liberation Front in San Francisco, resulting in over $30,000 worth of damage done to a storefront.
"How do we ever expect things to change unless we are willing to face the oppressors and lay down our lives?" he asked friends just weeks earlier. "Everything short of this is a compromise, and every time we compromise we give them control."
Spokesperson for the newly-formed Free Jeremy Collective, Sabrina Forsey, said, "The FBI is on a witch hunt to burn someone for the so-called crimes of the Animal Liberation Front, and so far have gotten nowhere. Harassing and making false charges against this nonviolent animal rights activist will not stop the ALF. The ALF will only cease their relentless direct action campaign when every cage is empty."