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Rebecca Rubin Sentenced to 5 Years for ALF & ELF Arsons

After 7 years on the run, an ALF saboteur is sentenced for freeing horses, more.

After turning herself in in 2012 following 7 years on the run, and pleading guilty last October, this week Rebecca Rubin was sentenced to 5 years in federal prison. The sentence is much less than the 7.5 years the government was requesting.

In the media, the arson elements of her charges overshadowed the two actions in which she admitted to freeing wild horses from BLM corrals, where the horses were to be auctioned for slaughter.

Rubin was sentenced for four Animal Liberation Front and Earth Liberation Front actions:

  •  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)
In a letter to the judge, Rubin wrote:
“Animals and the natural world have always been for me a source of profound joy, wonder and solace, and their mistreatment and destruction a source of indescribable pain. By way of trying to explain–but not excuse–my actions, I reached a point in my early twenties when I could longer contain or appropriately channel the grief, despair, and powerlessness I felt in response to the mistreatment of animals and the natural world.”
She will also be on probation after she leaves prison, and must make monthly payments toward a restitution bill of over $13 million.

During the sentencing, the judge also drew attention 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.