UCLA and its researchers have been subjected to an organized campaign of illegal activity by extremists opposed to the use of laboratory animals in research. In addition to serious acts of violence, the harassment has included threats to their lives and demonstrations at private homes, often by people who wear masks to conceal their identities and who bang on doors in the middle of the night.
Since 2006, anonymous extremists have claimed responsibility for the following criminal acts, in addition to making numerous unfounded claims of sabotage:
June 2006An improvised incendiary device intended for the home of a UCLA research psychologist is instead left on the doorstep of an elderly neighbor. Police believe extremists got the address wrong. There is evidence the device was lit but did not ignite.June 2007An improvised incendiary device is left under a vehicle owned by a UCLA ophthalmologist and parked outside his residence. There is evidence the device was lit but did not ignite.July 2007A package containing razor blades is mailed to the home of a UCLA ophthalmologist and addressed to his wife. A threatening note tells her to persuade her husband to stop his research or "…we will do exactly what he does to monkeys to you."October 2007A window is broken and a garden hose inserted into a home owned by a UCLA professor of psychiatry and molecular and medical pharmacology. Flooding damage is estimated at $60,000.February 2008An improvised incendiary device chars the front door of a home owned by a UCLA professor of psychiatry and molecular and medical pharmacology. No one is home at the time.June 2008A UCLA commuter van parked overnight at a park-and-ride facility in Irvine, Calif., is destroyed by fire.October 2008Three vehicles parked outside the home of a UCLA postdoctoral psychology scholar are vandalized.November 2008A UCLA medical clinic in Santa Monica is vandalized with spray-paint.November 2008Two vehicles parked in the driveway of a private home are destroyed by fire. Police believe extremists were targeting a UCLA molecular and medical pharmacology research assistant who lives nearby but got the address wrong.December 2008A UCLA commuter van parked in a campus structure is spray-painted and its tires are slashed.March 2009A vehicle owned by a UCLA psychologist and neuroscientist is destroyed by fire while parked overnight outside his home.November 2010A package containing razor blades and a threatening note is mailed to the home of a psychologist and nueroscientist.
The FBI, with assistance from UCLA police, is investigating several of these crimes as acts of domestic terrorism. No arrests have been made.
The University of California Office of the President has cataloged some of the harassment (PDF) directed at researchers affiliated with various UC campuses. Among the most serious:
February 2008Extremists demonstrating at the home of a UC Santa Cruz researcher during a child's birthday party confront her husband at the door, striking him on the hand.August 2008A UC Santa Cruz researcher and his wife and two children escape their home from an upstairs window after an improvised incendiary device ignites on their doorstep and fills the house with smoke. Nearby, on the same day, a car owned by another UC Santa Cruz researcher is destroyed by fire.
Four people have been arrested and charged with violating the federal Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act for allegedly harassing UC Santa Cruz and UC Berkeley researchers. There have been no arrests made in connection with the suspected arsons in Santa Cruz.