Gossip Busters: NC Supports Rod Coronado
from No Compromise Issue 4
 

By No Compromise Staff

For nearly a year, there has been much silence, and much confusion, regarding North America's only A.L.F. prisoner Rod Coronado. Worse, numerous damaging allegations against Rod were spread through the animal rights grapevine while he sat isolated in prison, unaware of the charges, and totally unable to respond to them.

The staff at No Compromise want to put an end to these undeserved attacks, and show our full support for Rod Coronado. We would also like to apologize to Rod for not getting to the bottom of this issue sooner. The main rumors against Rod allege his sentencing speech hurt the movement, his legal defense strategy was wrong, and that he eats animals. At NC, we have researched this issue, spoke with all parties involved, and the following are our conclusions.

Some activists condemn Rod's sentencing speech on the grounds that it gives aid to the enemy, and bad-mouths the A.L.F. Rod said many horrible things before being sentenced -- he said the justice system works, he apologized for his involvement with the A.L.F., he said he shed the animal rights movement like he sheds old clothes, and other disgusting comments.

But the key question is, "did he mean those things?" And the answer to that question is absolutely not. Rod was trying to scam the government into reducing his sentence, so that he could be free, and active, as soon as possible. Actions speak louder than words, and Rod's involvement with destroying decades of mink research -- research which helped keep the fur industry financially viable -- defines him more accurately than anything he said at sentencing.

Other people denounce Rod for plea bargaining with the government instead of demanding complete discovery, doing a political trial, and utilizing other court strategies. Certainly there are many time-tested and effective court strategies available for arrested A.L.F. activists to use -- and liberators should be informed of those options. But ultimately, the arrested activist should decide how their court situation will be handled. They face the long prison sentence. It's their life on the line. It only makes sense that they should decide how they deal with their legal affairs.

As long as A.L.F. warriors don't incriminate other activists, they deserve our full support regardless of how they handle the courts. Rod took nearly 5 years in prison instead of informing on other A.L.F. activists. His sacrifice should be commended, not condemned. You don't have to agree Rod's decision to plea bargain was the best legal strategy available to him, but you should respect his decision to do what he thought was right.

The last charge against Rod is that he is no longer vegan. Rod confirmed to NC that during his time on the run while living with his native people (Rod is a Yaqui Indian) he infrequently ate food with lard, dairy, and, at one time, also ate deer meat. We make no excuses for these actions. Eating animals is wrong. Period.

Thankfully, these outrageous actions are no longer. Rod now adheres to, and advocates, his people's pre-conquest diet, which is vegan. At NC, we judge people by their present -- not past -- actions. Former vivisectors and cattle-ranchers have been embraced by our movement after accepting our beliefs. And although their former crimes against animals are unforgivable, we manage to forgive them and even fight along side them in the struggle. Rod deserves at least equal treatment.

Finally, those people who attack a true warrior for the animals like Rod Coronado while he is most vulnerable should be ashamed of themselves. If you have a problem with Rod, contact him. Don't gossip about him behind his back. Get both sides of the story. Facing a long prison sentence is bad enough, to have those who supposedly support you, back-stab you is intolerable.

NC calls for an end to the Rod Coronado attacks. Rod is a seasoned activist who has made more sacrifices for the animals than at least 99.9% of the people reading this. His experience with the issues and direct action gives him much insight that we can learn from and the NC staff welcomes Rod onto our team as a regular columnist.

Now that the silence has been broken, and hopefully the confusion laid to rest, it is time to move forward, stop spreading rumors, support A.L.F. prisoners, and achieve total animal liberation!