North Georgia prof. raising money for jailed animal-rights extremist
- University of North Georgia Prof. Barry Friedman is raising funds for Camille Marino.
- Marino has been in jail since February because of a domestic violence charge from a fellow animal rights activist, University of Texas at El paso Prof. Steven Best.
- Marino is the founder of Negotiation is Over, an organization dedicated to animal liberation.
Friedman, who teaches in UNG’s political science department, is asking “every friend of animals” to provide a “financial gift” to Marino “to pay for food that is compatible with her vegan diet, clothing, toiletries, postage, and telephone calls.”
Marino has been jailed since February because of a domestic violence charge filed by her former friend, University of Texas at El Paso Professor Steven Best, who is no stranger to extreme positions on animal rights. The blog SoCawlege reported that Best “is an advocate of what many, including ourselves, would consider terrorist tactics.” Marino was previously arrested in 2013 after she violated her probation related to the 2011 harassment of a professor at Wayne State University, discussed later in this article.
Prior to her most recent arrest, Marino had been campaigning for the past several years against the University of Florida’s use of animals in medical research. In fact, Marino’s 2013 arrest came about after accusations of harassment by University of Florida faculty and students.
Friedman, however, appears to be squarely on Marino’s side. On his faculty page, Friedman pleads with readers to “[s]how those who want to crush Camille's campaign on behalf of the animals in the University of Florida's torture chambers that, like Camille, you do not intend to allow that horror to go on unexposed to public scrutiny.”
In an interview with Campus Reform, Dr. Friedman said he considers Marino’s protests “to be absolutely justified.”
Marino is the founder of the animal-extremist website Negotiation Is Over (NIO), which routinely posts the contact information of professors and donors alongside violent-sounding language.
Shortly after Marino and NIO began the campaign against the University of Florida, NIO published the names and email addresses of many of the donors and alumni of the university’s College of Pharmacy. NIO labeled the donors “ enemy combatants,” and encouraged its supporters to make them “as uncomfortable as possible.” NIO also hosted “Cyber Action” events to “target” University of Florida Alumni to publicly denounce the university or be considered “directly responsible” for the supposed “atrocities” the university is committing. Over 100 people RSVP’d “yes” to a Facebook page for the event.
Regarding one University of Florida donor, NIO wrote “[s]ince it is unlikely that we will ever persuade [him] to be a decent human being, perhaps we can simply suggest that his life might be more peaceful if he ceases to fund the University of Florida holocaust.” One person commented on the post that the donor should be “put out of his misery”; another commenter addressed the donor directly, saying: “Your situation will be addressed – You’re next!”
In addition to posting personal and contact information of its sworn enemies, the NIO website includes links to an “ anarchist cookbook” and how-to instructions on bypassing electronic security gates, and hacking into gated communities. The site also has an “arson” section and a “suggested reading” section, which includes a document titled titled “ Declaration of War”, which declares animal “liberators” to be at war with their fellow humans.
A disclaimer appears at the bottom of blog posts and in the site’s sidebar which declares it has “no intent, express or implied, to encourage any illegal activity and we assume no liability for how the information we publish will be used by any third party.”
For his part, Dr. Friedman told Campus Reform that he is “very involved” and “totally committed” to Marino’s “objective.” In 2014, Friedman wrote a letter to “animal-friendly” members of Congress, in which he implored them to cut all funding to the University of Florida’s “sadistic researchers.”
“It is an adage that animals cannot speak for themselves,” Friedman wrote, “and so they need human beings to give them a voice.”
To illustrate his point, Professor Friedman informed the congressman of his love for his “three pet kitty cats.”
“In my home are three precious pet kitty cats: Mary, Queen of Scots; Willow; and Woody. They cannot speak English to communicate with me, but their vocalizations, their expressive eyes, and their gestures of affection are clear as a bell,” Friedman wrote.
As far as what his role in the organization looks like moving forward, Friedman told Campus Reform that he “will take on a job as she and [Friedman] deem appropriate.” Friedman’s actions seem to echo this message. As of this spring, Dr. Friedman has moved beyond advocacy to actively raising funds for Camille Marino while she is in prison.
Marino was previously sentenced to six months in prison for her 2011 harassment of Wayne State University Professor Dr. Donal O’Leary. NIO reportedly sent a message to O’Leary, threatening to “strap [him] into a monkey restraining device and use industrial pliers to crack [his] testicles like walnuts.” Marino herself told O’Leary in an email that her “associates” would be paying his home a visit, adding that he was now on “‘NIO’s most wanted’“ and that she hoped he died “a slow and painful death.” At trial, Dr. O’Leary called Marino a “clearly disturbed individual, who was threatening me personally, threatening my children, threatening my home.”
Marino was also in the news in 2011 for threatening and harassing UCLA Professor David Jentsch, around the same time that Jentsch had his car firebombed. Marino and NIO again were in the news in 2011 after offering $100 bounties for the personal information of students involved in animal experimentation.
What’s more, the NIO website contains a “ Justifiable Homicide” section (the URL of which includes “assassinations”) mainly containing reports of acts of violence against animal abusers and poachers. The section also contains an entry devoted to Kendall Jones, the Texas Tech cheerleader who received death threats last year after posting pictures from a big-game hunting trip. The NIO post is ominously titled “Fuck Kendall Jones! Ya Want Fame? Here ya go…”
Despite all of the controversy surrounding Marino, Dr. Friedman told Campus Reform that he does “not consider Camille to be a terrorist,” but rather “consider[s] the practitioners of vivisection to be the terrorists.”
According to Dr. Friedman’s faculty page, Marino was sentenced to six months’ of incarceration in February 2015, which would put her release date sometime in August 2015.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @peterjhasson