Earth Liberation Front

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The Earth Liberation Front (ELF) is a is a decentralized, non-membership based environmental activist group. ELF has used methods such as arson, vandalism and other forms of property destruction. It was inspired by the Animal Liberation Front (ALF). [1]

Overview & philosophy

On its website, ELF states that:

"Earth Liberation Front (ELF) is an international underground organization that uses direct action in the form of economic sabotage to stop the exploitation and destruction of the natural environment ... Due to the autonomous and underground aspects of the ELF cells, an infiltration into a cell by no way means the entire movement will be stopped. If one individual or even one entire cell is captured by authorities, other individuals and cells will be free to continue their work, as they operate independently and anonymously from one another."[2]

It also states that the ELF guidelines on its form of "direct action" are:

1) "To cause maximum economic damage to a given entity that is profiting off the destruction of the natural environment.
2) To educate the public on the atrocities committed against the environment and life.
3) To take all necessary precautions against harming life."

ELF rejects the effectiveness of conventional non-violent direct action campaigns.

"Why don't ELF members come forward and publicly take responsibility for their actions? Frequently, when this question is asked, there is usually some reference made to the ELF members showing cowardice by not publicly taking responsibility for actions. This is complete nonsense," ELF states.[2]

It also claims that:

"the problem arises when above ground organizations, who claim to be for the same cause, come out publicly against the actions. Regardless of their motives, these groups have (whether they meant to or not) created a rift in the movement. A split in a social and political movement classically signifies a weak point that has historically been, and can continue to be, exploited by the authorities and entities who are interested in the movement's demise. Grassroots and mainstream organizations who have come out publicly against the actions of the ELF do so either for economic reasons (to continue receiving donations from the public, members, or grants from charities or governmental or non-governmental organizations) and/or they have a firm belief and an exceptional amount of faith in the system of government in operation in their particular area. "[2]

Contact Details

North American ELF Press Office
Phone: (202) 521-1482
Email: info AT

Articles & sources

SourceWatch articles


  1. The Earth Liberation Front, Animal Liberation Front, accessed June 2009
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Earth Liberation Front, "Frequently Asked Questions About the Earth Liberation Front", Earth Liberation Front website, accessed June 2009.

External articles