Friday, March 16, 2012


Abdul Haqq (formerly known as Walter Bond) is Animal Liberation activist serving time in America today.  

I am presenting Haqq here with more than a little trepidation.  I can't tell you that I am ready to offer him much support myself.  Some of his views, I believe, at best come very close to being beyond the pale.  Combined with the way some of his statements just sound, the tone of his remarks, make me leery of this fellow.  Abdul Haqq demonstrates that just because someone holds onto a position strongly which we may support, doesn't necessarily mean that person is our comrade.  Life is far too complex to treat things that simply.

I would welcome further comments and further information on this man.

Haqq is serving twelve years in prison for a number of Animal Liberation Front arsons in 2010 at The Sheepskin Factory in Denver, the tandy Leather Factory in Salt Lake City and Tiburon Restaurant in Sandy, Utah.

Haqq worked as a nineteen year old slaughterhouse construction workers.  It is one of the reasons he became and activist and a vegan.

Haqq gave the following statement to the Court prior to sentnecing on the final two charges in Utah.

I'm here today because of the arsons I committed at the Tandy Leather Factory in Salt Lake City and the Tiburon restaurant in Sandy, Utah, which sells the incredibly cruel product foie gras. The U.S. attorney wants to give me the maximum sentence and beyond not because of my "crimes" but because I am unrepentant and outspoken. My intuition tells me that this court is not going to show me mercy because I become suddenly sorry. So instead of lying to the court in a feeble attempt to save myself, as I'm certain many do when they face their sentencing day, allow me instead to tell you what I am sorry for.

I am sorry that when I was 19 years old I built two slaughterhouses that are still killing animals even now as I speak. I am sorry that Tandy Leather sells skin that has been ripped from the dead, and often live bodies of such animals as cows, ostriches, rabbits, snakes and pigs. I am sorry that the leather tanneries that supply Tandy Leather Factory poison the Earth with dangerous chemicals. I am sorry that the restaurant Tiburon profits from the force feeding of geese and ducks until their livers explode so that rich people can then use that as a pate for crackers and bread. I am sorry that they make a living from the dead bodies of wild and exotic animals. I am sorry that we live in a day and age where you can rape a child or beat a woman unconscious and receive less prison time than an animal liberation activist that attacked property instead of people.

I am sorry that my brother was so desperate to get out of debt that he flew from Iowa to Colorado just to get me in a taped and monitored conversation for reward money. I am sorry I am biologically related to such a worthless little snitch. I am sorry that I waited so long to become an Animal Liberation Front operative. For all of these things I will always have some regret. But as far as the arsons at the Leather Factory and Tiburon, I have no remorse.

I realize that the laws of the land favor a businesses ability to make a profit over an animals right to life. It also used to favor white business owners ability to profit from a black persons slavery. It also used to favor a husbands ability to viciously attack his wife and act on her as if she were an object. Those who broke the law and damaged property to stand against those oppressions were also called "terrorists" and "fanatics" in their time but that did not change the fact that society progressed and is still progressing along those lines.

So today I'm the bad guy. That is just a matter of historical coincidence. Who knows, perhaps a less brutal and less violent society will one day exist that will understand that life and Earth are more important that products of death and cruelty. And if not then to hell with it all anyway! Weather my supporters or detractors think I am a freedom fighter or a lunatic with a gas can makes no difference to me. I have spent years verifiably promoting, supporting and fighting for Animal Liberation. I have seen the animal victims of human injustice, thousands of them with my own eyes and what I saw was blood, guts and gore! I made a promise to those animals and to myself to fight for them in anyway I could. I regret none of it, and I never will!

You can take my freedom, but you can't have my submission.

Haqq has also taken a stand against drug abuse in this country.  He was raised in a family racked by drug use.  Support Walter notes:
Walter has been a vegan hardliner for over 15 years and has struggled against a deadly and genocidal culture of drug abuse in the United States. Walter is unabashedly straight edge and is the subject of the song “To Ashes” by the band Earth Crisis - which was inspired by Bond's 1998 prison sentence for arson. Bond was convicted of burning down the home and meth operation of a multi-million dollar drug dealer that was selling poison to his family and friends.
Haqqs has some views I find impossible to swallow.  He opposes abortion and has been know to connect abortion to vivisection.  In a response to some of Haqqs statements the blog Because We Must notes:

That Walter would find it necessary to speak about abortion specifically points to his failure to see it as part of this larger issue, concerned with the concentration of power by the state into and using the reproductive organs of others.

Asking questions about life is a salient issue for vegans, but we acknowledge differences exist between “having a life” and “being alive”. I frequently explain to non-vegans that nonhumans have unique, rich experiences with themselves, their surroundings, and other creatures on this planet. They are sentient and experience life and need to be respected as such...
 Connecting abortion doctors to vivisectors is particularly heinous. Nonhumans subject to medical testing are forced into situations that are 100% non-consensual, abusive, and exploitive. Persons seeking abortions frequently do so enthusiastically, therapeutically, and have positively transformative experiences. Abortion can frequently be a political action as a direct response to reproductive oppression. Conflating these experiences erases both the horrors of the vivisectors lab and the political agency found in resisting state coercion and control over one’s organs... 
His concern for “black genocide” by abortion is a kind of racist paternalism and protectionism that smacks of a white-centered ecological worldview, rather than one that acknowledges the ways reproductive oppression specifically manifests itself ethno-racially. Citing arguments that “pro-choice” people advocate for access to abortion as a population control mechanism highlights how mainstream, ecologically focused arguments do have racist implications that need to be examined, and also why the reproductive justice framework is a necessary antidote to this kind of thinking...
Some write these views of Haqq's off due to his tough up bringing and all that.  That is a ridiculous notions which would imply that only the well off and highly educated can understand issues like reproductive rights.  I find that notion classist at best. 

Somewhat related to this, I find some of Haqq's statements to reek of self importance.  At times, he seems to me to think he is somehow above all the rest of us.  

On February 20, 2012. Walter  converted to Islam and was given the name Abdul Haqq (translates to "servant of the truth").

The following interview is from  Support Walter.

Walter Bond’s Exclusive Post-Sentencing Interview

On October 13, 2011, the Criminal System of Injustice sentenced Walter Bond to 87 months in prison for two ALF arsons in Utah – he burned down Tandy Leather Factory and Tiburon Foie Gras Restaurant. This sentence will run consecutively with the 5 years he received earlier this year for setting a sheepskin factory in Colorado ablaze and permanently ending its reign of terror. For his bravery and acts of compassion on behalf of the animals entombed in a holocaust, Walter will serve a total of 12 years 3 months in prison. This is NIO’s exclusive post-sentencing interview with Walter Bond, Prisoner of War…
NIO: In our last interview, Go Vegan and Break Something, we touched on the issue of fear and how activists acquiesce, thus, allowing themselves to be controlled by the industrial-state complex. Did you ever have to confront your own fear? How does one transcend their fear to emerge a warrior?
Well, yes, of course I felt fear — especially right before the commission of arson. It’s kind of like jumping into a river or swimming pool when you’re first learning to swim. The fear is at the jump off point. Once I was involved in an action I was simply concerned with the task at hand.
How to conquer fears that keep us frozen in our tracks or shy us away from militant interventionalism is a difficult issue to tackle. But for the serious direct activist, a calculating and tactical worldview needs to supplant our examining and comtemplating of feelings. Most Vegans and Animal Rights activists are very in touch with their feelings. It’s what makes us the compassionate and hopefully self-sacrificing people that help and care about Animals, when society really favors the abusers and Animal enterprises. For many though, that heightened awareness encompasses all of their feelings, not just love, compassion and empathy. But also fear, doubt and worry.
For me, conquering fear is not about owning it or analyzing it. It’s about refusing to give into it and learning how to control my emotions. It’s about a certain amount of impersonalization as well. In the bigger picture, my fear of committing a crime or getting caught isn’t the main concern. Imagine what an Animal in a cage watching its kin get skinned and murdered must feel. Imagine their fear. For many hands-on activists it’s not hard to imagine. If you worked in a slaughterhouse, or rescue, or sanctuary, as I have, you see the victims of human callousness, greed and gluttony over and over again. That’s what drives fear away for me, the reality of Animal exploitation.
For too many “activists” in the internet age or the classroom commandos, Animal Liberation is a subject of interest… something to be seen in the context of other social concerns. Many of these head trippers enjoy sounding heavy and perfecting their idealistic meanderings. Unfortunately, Animals and all victims of oppression need people that can actually maneuver in reality. People that can build a barn, shovel shit, intervene with physical force and cast their fear to the side like any other impediment.
To conquer your fear and own self-interest as it relates to Animal Liberation, you must care more about their plight than your own. I wish I knew how to teach that to people. -WB
NIO: How did you choose your targets? What kinds of things need to be considered when one is trying to isolate a vulnerable abuser?
As an economic saboteur and A.L.F. arsonist, I chose what are known as “soft targets,” meaning I went after buildings that were older and appeared fire friendly. My main concern was maximum damage, not sending messages or warnings. I felt then as I do now that when you deal in death or the products of death for profit, then you deserve the worst. The only concerns when isolating a vulnerable abuser is
1) Can I completely ruin them?
2) Can I get away with it?
If there is a 70% chance or better that I could, then I would continue forward. At that point the rest is just details. -WB
NIO: For the sole purpose of creating an accurate historical record, are there any details of your actions that you can discuss?
I would love nothing more than to give a step-by-step description as to how I committed my campaign. Unfortunately, that is the one thing I cannot publicly describe. The enemy would love nothing more than to give me more trumped-up charges for inciting others or announcing a call to arms.
But what I can say is the best way to learn how to tear anything apart is to first learn how it goes together. What made me an effective arsonist wasn’t any pyrotechnic training, but having many years of experience working jobs in the trades, such as laborer, maintenance, factory assembly, welding, torch cutting and blueprint reading. Direct action is a hands-on way of life. If you want an effective militia, you first recruit or become the type of person that knows how to do the task at hand. Forget putting anarchist cookbook style recipes and plans into the hands of cowardly and physically incapable people.
The internet is loaded with the “how-to’s” of illegal direct action. Lack of information is not the issue. The problem is that we are framing militant Animal Liberation as an issue that doesn’t appeal to action-oriented people. Just think about how much more of a threat the underground would be if it attracted construction workers, demolitions experts, fighters, soldiers and the poor and disenfranchised, instead of turning these people off with a rhetorical and pretentious worldview of political correctness.
That’s why I feel it’s important to turn ourselves into action-oriented activists and promote a syncretic philosophy, and militant creed that embraces the most radical and relevant views of both the left and the right, such as the Vegan Hardline. -WB
NIO: Were there any other tools in your “kit,” that were essential to successfully fulfill the job description.
Crowbar, gasoline, gloves, bandana and a lighter. But most importantly, the will and determination to use them. -WB
NIO: I was surprised to learn that the “Lone Wolf” always walked to work. Why was this important?
Everything about police response is geared towards locating, tracking and stopping vehicles. I have never driven to a target and I have never been caught in the act or near the scene. -WB
NIO: Every time we push ourselves to take action, we empower and strengthen ourselves. But very few have taken any action of the magnitude that you have. The morning after your first action – striking a definitive blow for the animals and permanently putting the degenerate sheepskin factory out of business – can you describe how you felt?
The day after I burnt down The Sheepskin Factory I felt awesome! Before that action I had so much tension, disenchantment and activist burnout, and that one act washed it all away. Nothing will ever compare to directly intervening and stopping a grave injustice. I also, all at once, felt in control of my life, perhaps for the first time. I was happy that The Sheepskin Factory had gotten a small taste of the hell that their business inflicted on our Mother Earth and her Animal Nations. I brushed my teeth that morning and looked in the mirror thinking, “I am a member of the Animal Liberation Front,” just like all my heroes. And every moment after that as long as I was alive, free and continuing my campaign, I was winning.
I’m really not trying to be romantic or melodramatic, but with the flick of the lighter I was changed for the better. I’ve been an activist for a long time and, without a doubt, the best things I have ever done was rescue and care for actual animals and burn down their exploiters. Everything else was done more to make me feel like I was making a difference, instead of saving life and dealing out justice to those guilty of destroying it. -WB
NIO: For your militaristic acts in defense of the animals enslaved in a holocaust, you are now a prisoner of war. Do you have any regrets? Looking back now, is there anything you would have done differently?
My biggest regret is that I confided in my brother who ended up getting wiretapped, and was the sole reason I was arrested. Not only because of my arrest, but because he stopped my work when I was really just getting started. I hope that everything he ever does in life fails, and I have nothing but hatred and contempt for him or anyone like him.
I also regret that I restrained myself by a philosophy of non-violence in direct action. That may sound extreme to some but it’s true. When I was out there I really was very close to sending a communiqué renouncing my affiliation as an A.L.F. operative, due to the A.L.F. stance on non-harm in direct action. I mean, why stifle our own activity simply out of concern for some Animal-abusing piece of shit. They don’t show any concern for Animals, obviously, since they profit from their death.
I regret that I only attacked the businesses responsible for Animal murder instead of the business owners themselves. And now it’s too late, since I will never be able to again partake in illegal direct action due to my lack of anonymity. I really wish that when I had the chance I would have not restricted myself with the vestiges of pacifism.
As far as regrets go, of course, I regret being imprisoned. After sentencing and my final judgment of 12 years, 3 months, I was having a rough time. I will have to serve 10 years of that sentence before I am eligible for parole. But like most situations, it’s a matter of perspective. The average federal prison sentence is 15 years. So many, many more people have it much worse than me. And when I get out I will be in my early to mid-forties, at which point I plan on immersing myself in Animal sanctuary work, which really is my first love as an activist.
At the end of the day, I would rather regret the things I have done than daydream about the things I wish I’d done. -WB
NIO: You have raised the bar in so many ways – in escalating tactics, remaining resilient and singularly defiant, modeling self-discipline and deliberation – and this movement owes you a huge debt of gratitude. What can we do out here to make your time in there more bearable?
Thank you so much for your kind words but “the movement” owes me very little and vice versa. All I need as a Prisoner Of War is letters of support, some books to read and a few bucks from time to time for commissary items and stationery products.
The main thing my supporters can do to make my time easier is be active, help actual Animals and become as energetic, radical and fanatical for the true liberation of the Earth and Animals as they possibly can. When people write me to tell me of their real world activism or I hear of communiqués from the Underground in solidarity with me, it makes my day. To know that people are concerned and care about me is important and uplifting, but to know that I’m part of a movement and resistance that goes on no matter what, is the best.
I love Animals and, in that love, their grief and pain has also been my sorrow; conversely, their liberation, freedom and victory is also my triumph. I’ve done what I could do, now get out there and sab the bastards!
Animal Liberation, whatever it may take! -WB


Anonymous said...

From what you presented here, Abdul Haqq does not appear to be confused to me. I would say it is you who are confused about what you have gathered about Abdul Haqq and you seem to wish to come to a decision about how you feel about him. May I suggest that there is no real need to form a complete and final opinion on this person. Don't forget that you are only seeing him through his writings and what others (supporters, detractors/critics, journalists) have written. To support this man or any person, one doesn't have to agree with every single one of his/her views. Sometimes, as we have all experienced ourselves, a person's views change, or grow into something different. Abdul Haqq is a very interesting person, for a variety of reasons. One reason I find him interesting is the way he conducts himself and handles being a Prisoner of War (the war to liberate the natural world from the forces of domination and exploitation). It's also very interesting that instead of freaking out about being sent to USP Marion's Communication Management Unit (CMU), he quickly became intensely immersed in studying the Qur'an and Arabic. Some of his fellow prisoners at the CMU and their guidance and teaching had such an impact on Abdul Haqq that he converted to Islam within 3 weeks. Anyway, he's an interesting guy. People are not equal to what is said about them or even what they say. Thank you, Eliz.

Comrade Black said...

what I find confusing is howa straight white middle class privileged activists can refer to a Latino bisexual man's views as 'smacking of white privilege" and yet you quote them at length; meanwhile the description of your blog includes the line "The struggle against white skin privilege and white supremacy is a key point of reference for Scission."

Perhaps had the blogger on Because We Must done even ten minutes of research on her subject before publishing her criticism she would have actually had something more useful to contribute, rather than accusing a racialized person of white supremacy for quoting the same 4 people of color in this article that he has quoted in numerous other articles on other subjects.
Walter constantly references the Young Lords and Black Panthers because those are groups he has studied extensively and is strongly influenced by. Further, while I do not agree with his positions in his statement on abortion that the BWM blogger was replying to, I must state that on numerous occasions she strongly misrepresented his actual arguments. However, all of this is slightly mute considering Walter has recently changed his position on abortion altogether.

What I find even more racist though is that while this man sits in a prison build for people the government has designated terrorists, where over half the inmates are Arab Muslims (many palestinians), and is currently struggling with dietary needs do to lack of support from the community, people such as the BWM blogger are publicly criticizing and condemning him.