Before Walter Bond gained attention for setting fire to three animal abuse businesses on behalf of the Animal Liberation Front, he was already known for another act of vigilante justice: burning down the meth lab of a dealer who was selling to his brother. Vegan straight edge band Earth Crisis heard his story, and turned it into the song “To Ashes” in 2009, making Walter well-known in the straight edge movement before his arrest for ALF actions in 2010.
I was sent this brief interview with Walter Bond done on July 28th, 2009, a full year before his arrest. To the best of my knowledge, it is the only existing pre-prison interview with Walter. It is being published here for the first time.
Earth Crisis song “To ashes” deal with a topic which is quite hard, and it concerns you. Can you tell us about it?
Sure, the song “to ashes” is about an arson charge that I received in November of 1997 for burning down the home of a meth dealer and the meth lab that was in that house. This drug dealer had been selling his poison in my home town for about 20 years. He had half of the local police bought off and half of my graduating class addicted to his poison, including my brother, who had at that time been diagnosed with “drug induced schizoid disorder”, which is just a fancy way to say he had lost his mind from drug abuse. I tried everything I could think of even talking with Steve (the drug dealer). but to no avail. So I decided to take the law into my own hands and I burnt his house to the ground in a fire that took 17 hours to put out. He was under investigation by the the FBI. which I of course at the time did not know. A couple interesting things happened at this point. First since the house was no longer a standing structure the feds were able to search through what was left of the place without a warrant. They found nearly 1 million dollars in drugs. Secondly Steve told on all of his drug dealing friends. So by the time it was all over I think it was 13 meth dealers in four U.S states that got life in prison. I myself did 4 years for burning down his drug den. I don’t regret it one bit. My four years imprisonment was a small price to pay for such a positive result.
How did you become straight edge, and what does it mean for you?
I am now 33 years old, I have been Straight Edge for 18 years and Vegan for 13 years. I went Straight Edge mainly to rebel against my family. My father was a terrible alcoholic and my mother and brother were both heavy into drugs. I did not want to end up like that. I was like 15 years old and I heard a band called “gorilla biscuits” screaming the Straight Edge message. I loved it the moment I heard it! I knew almost immediately that this was for me. It was also through Straightedge that I learned about veganism Which I feel is the most important and worthwhile cause on this earth. As far as what Straight edge means to me? it means no drugs, no alcohol, no promiscuity for as long as I live. It furthermore means standing against drug culture and apathy.
Do you think that Earth Crisis’ song reflects the complexity of what happened and of how you felt?
I think It captured everything very well, of course there is only so much message you can squeeze into a couple minutes of video. But Karl and the boys did a great job! Its really amazing to me to see my story in a song and video by my favorite band! I am humbled by it all.I am just happy if my story educates or inspires anyone.
View a flier made and distributed by Walter Bond before his arrest for Animal Liberation Front arsons
This week I was sent this flier made by Walter Bond, before his arrest for Animal Liberation Front-claimed arsons at Sheepskin Factory, Tiburon, and Tandy Leather Factory. It is very reminiscent of literature that circulated among the grassroots movement in the mid-1990s.
You can download the flier here, or view below.