Kevin Olliff’s statement from jail


Listen closely. That buzz throughout the country is called frenzy. Of thousands of feet running, of industry roaring for answers, of law enforcement scrambling to provide them.

It’s not difficult to identify the exact moment at which Tyler and I stepped into this narrative. My ID returned with an “animal rights extremist” flag, and suddenly a routine traffic stop—a mistaken one at that—was swarming with officers. Some of them woken up out of bed.

Handcuffed in the dirt, I watched them poke at our bag of soy protein powder like it was anthrax. They clearly felt important as they talked on the phone to higher authorities about their “big catch.”

I braced myself for the inevitable.

That night’s circus has continued, beginning with the deputies’ acrobatic feats of self-contradiction in justifying their search. In court, the FBI insists on having this pitiful state case treated as a matter of national security. In jail, officials have selectively penalized me for the last four months with a variety of tactics. At home, my loved ones wonder when they’ll see me again…while federal agents harass them.

But I’m privileged to be replenished in strength and spirit by decent people the world over, from this tiny Midwest town all the way to Australia. I cannot sufficiently express my gratitude for every donation, every letter, and every book that’s been sent while I’m here. In the words of my jailers, “You guys are good at what you do.”

I’m proud to say that I agree. My greatest gratitude in here is for those fighting to shut down the most barbaric prisons, in which billions of innocent animals are held captive.

This is in stark contrast to the counter measures of my jailers and their peers, who would arrest any young person who happens through their town with Clif Bars and a radio scanner.

Their goal is to stop a movement that’s sweeping this country. And in their inability to capture the ones responsible, they settle for imprisoning anyone who will serve as a symbol of it.

As I sit inside Woodford County Jail awaiting the next turn of events, I’m kept going by two things. The support of a community that only grows stronger and more defiant.

And the thought of the ones who get away.

Please send Kevin a letter of support :

Kevin Johnson #4565
Woodford County Jail
111 E Court St.
Eureka, IL 61530

Tyler Lang has been released!