First, let’s acknowledge the timing of this event: We’re well aware that arresting Tyler Lang on an indictment of federal charges was coordinated to coincide with the annual National Animal Rights Conference and the Fight or Flight Tour fundraiser. It was the FBI’s blatant and clumsy attempt to scare activists, create divisiveness, and deter Tyler and others from the above-ground activism they practice. But word of the incident spread quickly—not only among attendees at the LA conference, but throughout the country’s network of animal advocates—and one thing is resoundingly clear: we’re angry, but we’re not shaken.
Last summer, ten fur farms were raided in ten weeks, resulting in more than 10,000 mink, foxes, and even a rare bobcat being freed from certain death at the hands of fur farmers. And since the beginning of the government’s resulting witch hunt—when Kevin and Tyler were arrested in the course of a routine traffic stop on a road trip last August, when Kevin’s ID came up with a “domestic terrorist” flag—we’ve all known that law enforcement has been trying to connect dots that they simply cannot. We’re in the midst of what the FBI is attempting to make into a classic AETA prosecution. And the activist community is all too familiar with the insidiousness and inaccuracy that underpins this law…
Ultimately, we want it known that Kevin and Tyler are not faltering. They’re aware of their position, they’re confident in the facts, and they want to make sure other activists are not set off course by these incidents.
“It’s easy to get caught up in the drama law enforcement tries to create for us. And it’s easy to lose yourself in some the issues surrounding this movement…but it’s not about us or them at all. It’s about injustice—and about what we can do to stop it,” says Tyler, who was released on bond Thursday afternoon.
Funds are needed NOW for attorney fees and Kevin’s ongoing support. Please donate via the PayPal link or Donations page.
Please send Kevin a letter of support:
Kevin Johnson, M42382
Vandalia Correctional Center
P.O. Box 500
Vandalia, IL 62471
Tyler Lang was released in November.
Tyler Lang and Kevin Olliff are two Los Angeles animal rights activists who were arrested in rural Illinois for “possession of burglary tools.” After a traffic stop in which they refused consent to a police search, their car was searched anyway. Inside, police allege they found bolt cutters, wire cutters, muriatic acid, ski masks, and cammo clothing.
Police believe these items were “burglary tools” intended to be used in a crime, and arrested Kevin and Tyler. The two are held on felony charges which carry up to 3 years in prison. They have remained in jail since their arrest on August 14th.
There is no evidence linking them to any crime or intended crime, nor were they arrested on anyone’s property, and their history as animal advocates is the only basis for these serious felony charges.
There are additional details which cannot yet be released, but will be posted here as soon as we are able to share more.
About Kevin Olliff
Kevin is a 25 year-old activist from Brentwood, California. A vegan since age 15, Kevin has been involved in numerous animal rights campaigns since the mid-2000s, including vegan outreach, anti-vivisection work, and a tour with the Sea Shepherd.
About Tyler Lang
Tyler Lang is a animal rights activist from Los Angeles, California. He went vegan at the age of 14 and has been an activist for animals since. In 2009 Tyler was arrested and given several misdemeanor charges for participating in home demos against UCLA vivisectors. Later that year he helped organize demonstrations against Fortress Investment Group, an HLS affiliate. After six months of home protests, Fortress announced they would no longer do business with HLS. Between 2011 and 2012 Tyler was sued by AstraZeneca, BlackRock, and Beckman Coulter for his role in organizing protests against their key executives.
Tyler continues to organize demonstrations in LA with Empty Cages Los Angeles, holding demonstrations at the LAX airport and other venues associated with airliners that ship primates to labs for animal testing.
Currently Tyler is patiently awaiting his release so he can continue fighting for animals.
UPDATE: Tyler was released on a plea deal November 6th!