On January 27, 2014, Chief U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken sentenced accused “eco-saboteur” Rebecca Rubin to five years in federal prison.
Animal Liberation and Earth Liberation Front participant Rebecca Rubin was on the run for nearly a decade before turning herself in to the FBI in 2012, pleading guilty last October to crimes of arson, attempted arson and conspiracy to commit arson in Oregon, Colorado and California.
The ALF website reports Rubin’s involvement this way:
- Freeing 400 wild horses from a federal land management corral in Oregon as others set the property on fire (1998)
- Bringing gasoline to a ski resort under construction in Vail, Colo., later used to ignite fires that destroyed the ski complex (1998)
- Bringing incendiary devices to the Medford, Ore., office of U.S. Forest Industries, which were later used in an arson fire (1998)
- Freeing wild horses from a California BLM facility as others set fire to a barn (2001)
The indictments allege Rubin took part in activities of the ecoterrorism group known as “The Family” based in Eugene, Oregon.
According to The Oregonian, Judge Aiken sentenced Rubin to probation following her release, adding that Rubin “must make monthly payments toward a restitution bill of over $13 million”.
In the Defendant’s Sentencing Memorandum Rubin states:
“Although at the time I believed my only motivation was my deep love for the earth, I now understand that impatience, anger, egotism and self-righteousness were also involved,” she writes. “In retrospect, I recognize how immature my actions were. I am now forty years old and have had much time to reflect on and consider the consequences of my choices, and my thinking has become much more coherent. I know now that my actions were not merely destructive of inanimate objects but were also harmful to other, feeling human beings.”
ALF reports that the Judge drew attention during sentencing “by asking Rubin to read Malcom Gladwell’s latest book, David and Goliath, which she said would could teach her about “non-violent” means of protest.
Okay. Wasn’t that confrontation resolved with some rocks and a slingshot?
What I wonder reading all of this is: Is it not a crime then to free federally held wild horses back into the wild, so long as you do not burn anything down?
 Defendant’s Sentencing Memorandum
(pdf, 38 pp, 2.33 MB)