A judge in Santa Monica, Calif., issued a temporary restraining order on Thursday against five people and three underground animal-rights organizations, prohibiting them from harassing researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles.
The ruling came after the University of California’s Board of Regents filed a complaint in a state court on Thursday, seeking protection for UCLA animal researchers, who have been the target of three firebomb attacks and numerous other forms of harassment in the past two years, according to a statement issued by the university. The suit was filed against the UCLA Primate Freedom Project (which is not affiliated with the university), the Animal Liberation Front, the Animal Liberation Brigade, and Linda Faith Greene, Hillary Roney, Kevin Olliff, Ramin Saber, and Tim Rusmisel.
According to the complaint, those individuals have harassed and threatened UCLA researchers. Among other examples, it states that three of the defendants repeatedly said “We know where you sleep at night” during a protest. It also states that after a firebombing at a researcher’s home, one of the defendants and other protesters issued threats through bullhorns, telling the crowd to “burn that f***er to the ground.”
In the temporary restraining order, Judge Gerald Rosenberg of the California Superior Court barred the defendants from harassing UCLA researchers and from coming within 50 feet of them during a demonstration. The ruling also ordered that personal information about the researchers be taken down from the defendants’ Web sites, according to the university. As of Thursday night, the Web site for the UCLA Primate Freedom Project still listed the home address of Edythe D. London, a professor of psychiatry and of molecular and medical pharmacology, whose house was hit by an incendiary device on February 5.
In an article in The Chronicle on Thursday in advance of the suit, UCLA’s chancellor, Gene Block, said that the legal action “sends a message that the university is serious about assaults on its investigators.” —Richard Monastersky