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Vandals hit trucks, SUVs

Vandals hit trucks, SUVs

April 10, 2003
Sentinel Staff Writer

Vandals spray-painted antiwar messages on about 60 sport-utility vehicles and trucks Tuesday night.
David Rosenthal, a Molly Lane resident, awoke Wednesday to find “No War,” “SUVs suck,” “No blood for oil,” and other antiwar messages spray-painted in blue and yellow across all three of his vehicles a truck and two SUVs. Several of his neighbors’ vehicles were tagged, too.
Rosenthal was outraged.
“It’s idiotic antiwar people,” Rosenthal said. “They’re not getting their point across at all. They think they’re doing it for a good cause. ... They should learn to use freedom of speech properly.”
The vandals targeted only trucks and SUVs, apparently to make a point that the vehicles burn more oil than cars and that America’s dependence on oil was the impetus for the war with Iraq.
Kraft’s Auto Body Shop on Soquel Avenue, just down the street from Rosenthal’s house, fielded calls from seven neighborhood residents whose vehicles had been painted. Santa Cruz police said 18 residents of the Carbonero Estates neighborhood reported their vehicles had been painted.
Robb Kraft, co-owner of the shop, estimated it would cost about $600 per vehicle to remove the graffiti.
The North Bay Ford and Lincoln Mercury car dealership on Soquel Avenue was hit hardest. Forty trucks in its lot were vandalized with antiwar and anti-oil sentiments, including “Killer,” “I love slavery” and “ELF.”
Santa Cruz police Sgt. Brad Goodwin said ELF stands for “Earth Liberation Front,” a radical environmental group he believes was involved in some taggings on the Westside about six months ago; “ELF” was spray- painted on several mobile homes.
Ingrid Stevison, a financial adviser for North Bay Ford, cried when told of the vandalism.
“Business is slow as it is,” Stevison said. “I wondered if I was still going to have a job tomorrow. Why are they targeting us when we didn’t do anything? They shouldn’t target innocent people. I mean, we’re not at war because of Ford.”
Jeff Winterhalder, the dealership’s general manager, did not know how much it would cost to remove the graffiti.
Kraft said most of the vandalized vehicles could be restored without the need for another coat of paint.
Wednesday afternoon, no one had been arrested or questioned in connection with the vandalism, Goodwin said. He said police were still taking reports from victims and collecting evidence.
On its Web site, ELF claims to be “an international underground movement consisting of autonomous groups of people who carry out direct action according to the ELF guidelines.” Guidelines call for nonviolent property destruction as a means of protest.
The group claims to have carried out dozens of acts of vandalism since 1997, resulting in more than $30 million in property damage.
Last week, the group claimed responsibility for setting fire to three SUVs at a Pennsylvania car dealership.
Goodwin said it’s hard to put a finger on local ELF members because they are mostly transients.
“It’s just an excuse for vandalism,” Goodwin said.
Contact Robyn Moormeister at rmoormeister (at)

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dependence on foreign oil

If ELF wants to blame SUV owners for Washington's invasion of Iraq on the basis of America's dependence on foreign oil, they should also be attacking environmentalists who have opposed even reasonable efforts to develop greater domestic sources of oil in Alaska and off the pacific coastline.

We wouldn't have a dependence on foreign oil, if domestic oil wasn't made artificially inaccessible, now would we? The military-industrial complex loves the environmental movement - without it, today's oil wars wouldn't be nearly as fierce.

It's so much easier standing up to strangers, than standing up to friends, isnt it?

This isn't about peace. It's about tribalism. My side vs your side. Us vs them. Teams, gangs, races, political parties.. they just want to draw lines wherever it's convenient, and maintain some kind of xenophobix tension to encourage cohesion and unity in their space against "the enemy".

Same as the warhawks.

Homo sapiens have been forming groups and attacking other groups in these silly mutual kill-or-be-killed contests for hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of years. The only difference today is we have fancy labels and rationalizations for the ever-changing lines they draw.

Same shit, different millenium.

If you really wanted to stop the oil wars, you'd research which CARB and CARBOB refiners import how much oil from oil-war-stricken countries, and start a movement to promote gas stations which sell guys refined only free market oil, and boycott those stations which sell gas refined from Iraq and other sources where oil piracy is occuring.

Look at the diamond industry and the ban on "conflict diamonds" from mines in nations like Sierra Leone, if you want a perfect example.

But no, the environmentalists will continue helping the military-industrial complex by using the American DoJ to restrict domestic oil supply and create the conditions which cause oil war. Meanwhile, activists will never say a word.

Just like the DoJ restricts the supply of recreational drugs, thus skyrocketing demand and prices, thus creating drug crimes.. and then points at those crimes to justify their existance. Meanwhile, supporters of law and order will never say a word.

You people, and those who oppose you, are ALL insane.


You should talk to some environmentalists before you speak

First off, don't lump all environmentalists into one category. I've never met someone who was an environmentalist who thought using ANY oil was a good idea. I don't think we should open ANWR to save Iraqis, I think we should stop using oil all together. It kills people all over the world. SUVs will stop burning when they stop killing our planet. That goes for every other oil burning machine as well.


> You should talk to some environmentalists before you speak

Because, of course, I can't have spoken to any environmentalists already, otherwise how could I have anything less than the blessings of God for them, huh?

> I've never met someone who was an environmentalist who thought using ANY oil was a good idea.

That's not the point.

Peace activists are blaming SUV owners for the war in Iraqi via the foreign-oil-dependence logic, when by that same logic environmentalists who have contributed to the inadequacy of domestic oil production are also to blame - yet peace activists refuse to address this.

Case in point - you're avoiding it too.

If there were sufficient domestic oil supplies, there would
be no war for Iraqi oil.



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