Keith Mann was brought up in Rochdale in the 1970's where soon after leaving school he became involved with a group of local hunt saboteurs who were distributing leaflets on an information stall in the high street. Meeting people who were selflessly trying to help others - particularly animals who have no voice - was incredidibly inspirational to him. As a child he had always wanted, like many youngsters, to be a footballer and ‘play for England’ until the moment he found out exactly what we as a society were doing to other animals. It was a defining moment for him and the start of a lifelong crusade to bring about a change.
In his own words (from Dusk til Dawn):
They believed I should make it more personal, since they felt I have a story to tell, and so it has become something of a personal overview of the movement, with autobiographical overtones, although for obvious reasons I have not been at liberty to disclose everything. Hopefully you will get a fuller understanding of how and why some people are taking the law into their own hands, shirking conformity and risking everything. There is no financial reward and no glory. It’s a selfless occupation, which increasingly carries a risk of arrest, imprisonment, violence and even death. But the rewards are large and by necessity outweigh the risks. It’s about animals.
I’ve probably been at my lifelong happiest and saddest in this environment and very scared too. I can’t think what I would rather have been doing were it not this, despite the invited trauma and ever present risk of serious physical harm. I’ve fallen from a building and through a roof, jumped through a first floor window and swum a river in a pair of wellies and then had to get on a bus, dripping wet and beg a free ride! I’ve been shot at while trying to rescue animals; I’ve put my own car window through with a ball bearing that bounced back off someone else’s property; I’ve been spat on, punched and driven at, covered in a bucket of elephant piss by an angry clown, chased through woodland by men with spades and arrested, charged and convicted for things I haven’t done. I’ve felt utter despair and been driven to distraction - and action - by the endless procrastinating and indifference of officialdom and I’ve been locked in prison and made to go without food for my objections to the abuse of animals. All this aside from the indescribable suffering and cruelty I’ve witnessed first hand, but it’s precisely that, and being able to do something about some of it, that has made it all worthwhile. These close calls are nothing; the lucky breaks and the confrontations recharge my batteries rather than drain me, as, of course, do the victories in every life saved or opinion altered. The angrier I see the people I oppose and listen to their reasons for what they do, the more I empathise with the animals they are messing with and feel compelled to act. My only regret is getting caught. It has given me a voice but taken away my anonymity to risk behaving as above. I have a lot to say, but I preach that words are cheap and actions are everything. Allow me this lengthy contradiction.
I can’t imagine that winning ten World Cup competitions would give me anything like the same satisfaction I feel after convincing someone to stop encouraging slaughterhouses and factory farms or by placing a neglected animal in a safe, loving home for the rest of its life on Earth. I have never hurt anyone for being cruel but have defended myself when under attack and have done a lot of things to help desperate animals to which I can’t confess, not out of any sense of shame but because I’d be arrested and sent to prison. That this happens to people like me in a nation of animal lovers never ceases to amaze me as does the fact this nation treats other animals so appallingly. I write this book to document not so much my journey but that of a movement of people just like me who want to make the world a better place for all.
The story of the Animal Liberation Movement is a story shared – one that documents the struggles of many who make up this rich, diverse movement, driven by tens of thousands of people around the world of whom I’m just one. I had intended to make the book a historical document, not a personal journey, but others felt differently about the tone I had adopted in the earlier drafts.
Animalliberationfront.com. Wickham Trial April 2005
http://www.animalliberationfront.com/ALFront/Activist%20Tips/KeithMann.htm

Man of action is telling tales of life on the inside.
Rochdale Observer
18/ 9/2007
http://www.rochdaleobserver.co.uk/news/s/1016788_man_of_action_istelling_tales_of_life_on_the_inside

Animal activist barred from NZ
3/6/07
http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/411749/1164757

Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_Mann

Abolitionist online (Australia)
http://www.abolitionist-online.com/interview-issue04_keith.mann.shtml

Oxford Student. Animal Rights Attacks Continue
4/10/ 06
http://www.oxfordstudent.com/mt2006wk0/news/animal_rights_attacks_continue

New Zealand TV:
3/6/07
Animal Crazy
They say they act in defence of animals, but to the British and US governments they are the second most dangerous terrorist group next to al Qaeda. We go inside the secret world of the Animal Liberation Front and disclose plans to bring one of their most radical activists to New Zealand to spread the word. Mark Crysell has the story
http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/497100/11610


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Dusk 'til Dawn
An Insider's View of the Growth of the Animal Liberation Movement

© Keith Mann
puppypincher@yahoo.co.uk