SOCIOLOGY lecturer, Dr Roger Yates has begun a full time lecturing position in UCD, following his part time work in university evening courses over the past three years.
Former Animal Liberation Front (ALF) Press Secretary, Dr Yates was imprisoned on a count of conspiracy to cause criminal damage in 1987, despite evading prison for three years previously. ALF members were arrested for conspiracy when a British store burnt down, following the group’s planting of a incendiary device inside.
Stating that “I’ve broken the law but I’ve never really done anything which I regard as wrong, in a moral sense, that I would have be at difficulty defending I don’t think”, Dr Yates explained that the event “sounds a lot more dramatic than it actually was”.
Dr Yates absconded from his sentencing, stating that “I was just reacting as a father… and a bit of kind of righteous stubbornness thing kicked in because I would regarded myself as a fairly kind of innocent person”.
Dr Yates was acquitted of conspiracy to cause arson, yet was found guilty of conspiracy to cause criminal damage and conspiracy to incite others. Following two years spent in prison, Dr Yates began studying at Bangor University.
No longer a member of a animal rights organisations, Dr Yates feels that he now uses his past as a resource for his academic work, stating, “I’ve now started as an academic, looking back on myself in a theoretical or a philosophical or even a social movement sense”.
Dr Yates first became involved in the animal rights movement when he joined with the Hunt Saboteurs, whose activities included disrupting events such as fox hunting. Following this, he became a volunteer for the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection, at a time when, according to Dr. Yates, it had become “radicalised”.
Dr Yates has also been involved in the Merseyside Animal Rights Committee, and in campaigns against fur shops and laboratories which test on animals.
Dr Yates will be teaching qualitative research, critical theory, environment and social movement. He would also like to lecture on animals rights or welfare.